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Things Worth Fighting For

 

My brother, who was living in California until recently, confessed a few months ago to a guilty pleasure. His father-in-law in Hawaii would tape television episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter” and give them to him on periodic trips to Palo Alto. My brother, a former high school wrestler, found the sport and personalities were addictive and would look forward to viewing the tapes after the Baby Einstein crowd was asleep.

He is part of a growing number of fans of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). You will meet some of the fascinating folks behind this burgeoning Hawaii business in our cover story by Kyle Galdeira. In fact, one promoter claims that, per capita, Hawaii has the most MMA fans in the country. Go here to find out what all the blood-spattered fuss is about and how some entrepreneurs are starting to make good money with the “new boxing.”

A “big event” of a much different sort takes place this month. On Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007, a diverse crowd is scheduled to convene at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa for the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Summit. Hawaii Business has been a supporter of this long-term planning initiative and has partnered with the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs (HIPA) in creating a series of business forums on sustainability, which can be viewed online here. Former Governor George Ariyoshi shares his thoughts on Hawaii 2050 here. His “Leadership Lessons” column will be moving to a quarterly schedule and we appreciate his continuing contribution to the business dialogue.

I look forward to hearing your feedback to the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan, which “emphasizes the triple bottom line of a sustainable economy, society and environment.” I will have to miss the summit in order to participate in a wonderful program my company offers called aio Discovery. Through this program, a handful of employees have the opportunity each year to do volunteer work in a foreign country. I will be volunteering in the Russian town of Yaroslavl for two weeks and hope to both share Aloha and learn from the people of a nation so rich in culture and history. I know I will return a better person. Until then … dah svee dahn ya.

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Hawaii Business,September