Fittest CEOs 2006

Who’s the fittest CEO in Hawaii?

October, 2006

In the following pages, Hawaii Business answers this burning question. Hawaii’s Fittest CEOs are an elite group of folks, who push themselves as hard in the gym as they do in the boardroom. They display agility in maneuvering through both complex deals and the martial arts. But, hey, CEOs aren’t a competitive bunch, are they?!

We also have information in this section to help you make healthier choices.Seriously, this is really about individual choices and leadership. It’s our hope that by highlighting the executives who have risen to the top of Hawaii’s Fittest CEO Challenge, we can encourage other leaders and workers to follow their example and choose health and wellness. Hawaii faces a looming healthcare crisis and healthcare is a high cost of doing business today. If each of us makes healthier choices, it will eventually translate into healthier bottom lines for employers.

This year, qualified Hawaii executives competed through a series of five tests. Trainers at 24 Hour Fitness administered and scored these tests. A local representative of Pfizer Inc. took this data and ranked the executives on the basis of their scores. A list of the Top 10 Fittest CEOs and methodology can be found below.

Hawaii Business thanks the sponsors of our first Fittest CEO Challenge and encourages CEOs statewide to step up and accept the challenge next year. Your employees and companies will be the better for it.

Congratulations to the Fittest CEOs in Hawaii. You all set the pace and set a great example.

Chip Doyle
President Group Pacific (Hawaii) Inc. 46

For about a year, Chip Doyle has religiously gone to the gym three times a week to meet his personal trainer. It was on one of those days that a very athletic guy approached him. One of those guys, Doyle says, that you see in the gym all the time and you want to emulate. Now this guy was watching Doyle. “He said ‘Gosh, what are you training for?’ It was around the time of the Tin Man [Triathlon], so he probably thought I was training for that,” recounts Doyle.

“I told him I was training for old age. Just maintenance man, from here on out,” says Doyle, hitting the punchline of a story he can now tell with relish.

Meet Chip Doyle, president of the development and construction management company Group Pacific (Hawaii) Inc., a guy who, just over a year ago, complained of back-pain and an expanding waistline—a guy who, one year later, is officially Hawaii’s Fittest Male CEO.

His inspiration for his rejuvenation beams out from two picture frames on his office desk: Daddy’s little girls, Casey, 10, and Clancy, 7. “I am on the older side of the dads at the soccer field,” Doyle says. “Even a year ago, I would go hiking with the kids and I would be sucking wind. I would be coaching [his girls’ soccer teams] and I would send them to go do the drills. Now I’m right with them, running with them.”

Doyle’s success is in large part due to getting a personal trainer. Doyle espouses the value of seeing an expert, like you would in any other field. He also suggests making working out a firm part of your schedule. Doyle puts his personal trainer appointments in his Outlook calendar, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at noon. Then he gets into the gym when he can on his “off days,” paddles a one-man canoe on the weekend and of course, helps coach his girls’ soccer teams.

This winter, he and his wife, Courtney, are taking the girls skiing for the first time. Chances are he won’t be sucking wind. “It will be the first time they see snow and I want to be there with them,” says the proud and fit father. “I don’t want to be the dad that can’t go. I don’t want to miss a beat.”

Ruth Limtiaco

“When I took the trip I was way out in front of everyone else, like a mountain goat,” recounts Limtiaco.Three years ago, Ruth Limtiaco, then 58, wanted to take a high-altitude hiking trip through the Swiss Alps. The hiking started at 6,000 feet and would reach a summit of 10,000. The oldest person among the hiking group was in his mid-40s, the youngest in mid-30s. “I was very concerned that I would be a burden to the rest of the group,” Limtiaco says. So for three months she hired a personal trainer.

Now Limtiaco, the chief executive officer of the public relations firm The Limtiaco Co., is out in front again. Limtiaco is the Fittest Female CEO in Hawaii: a fact that might be surprising to a woman who doesn’t obsess about keeping in shape or keep herself to a rigid workout schedule. Physical activity is just something she enjoys and does a lot.

“It’s who I am. It’s not so much dedication as a component of who I am,” Limtiaco says.

When Limtiaco moved to Guam after graduating college, she took up running just because she loved it. Then she took up scuba diving and pursued it passionately. Next she studied the Japanese martial art, aikido, which she continued studying in Hawaii when she moved here in 1982. Limtiaco is a second-degree black belt in aikido. Later, she took up paddling, and has competed in the Na Wahine o ke Kai, a 41-mile open ocean gauntlet from Molokai to Oahu.

Today, she visits the gym regularly, though she often goes in the evening, after work, after the dogs are walked, and after her home chores are done. “I don’t go crazy if I miss it. I know eventually I will be there, because it makes me feel good,” she says. “Rather than drive yourself insane with peaks of workouts and fad diets, have a long-term commitment to a healthy lifestyle.”

Says Limtiaco, “Over the years, I’ve been consistent. So I didn’t have to start over at the age of 57 and reinvent my body. I think never stopping your physical activity means never having to face the inertia of trying to restart.”

Doyle’s family is his inspiration to stay healthy. Wife Courtney is in fantastic shape and continues to provide a good example for him and his two daughters. He works out at 24 Hour Fitness three to four days a week and on the weekends paddles a one-man outrigger canoe and a surf-ski. When asked what event he is training for, Doyle answers, “Old age.”
Climbing Mariner’s Ridge is a frequent excursion for Limtiaco. To stay fit, she is a regular at the gym and walks her dogs. She tries to incorporate movement into her daily routine and accomplishes this by doing things such as using the stairs, instead of an elevator. When traveling, she finds ways to maintain a fitness routine, even if it is just push-ups in the hotel room.
Lewis has had black belts in Taekwondo and Aikido for more than a decade. His favorite class is cardio kickboxing and he enjoys doing hanging crunches to work his lower abs. He says diet is key to having a healthy life and, as a CEO, it is important to make time throughout the workday to stretch and maintain flexibility.
Leong’s motivation to exercise is so she can eat whatever she wants. She exercises at home and says it is the only hour of the day that she gets lost in reality shows or the Style channel. In her home gym, she uses the elliptical machine and lifts light weights.
In order to stay fit, Cristofori prefers to vary her routine. She works out with her trainer twice a week at the Honolulu Club and trained specifically for the Fittest CEO program. For the contest, she switched her focus from toning her thighs and waistline to her upper body. She says her ideal routine would include yoga twice a week, because it is relaxing.
Ferstler is a retired Navy master chief who has been power lifting competitively for more than 25 years. He holds several power-lifting records in Hawaii and also holds an American weight-class record for the dead lift of 716 pounds. Ferstler’s stress break is the gym. He says it is important to have a good attitude and outlook on life to be a healthy CEO.
This summer, Kennedy completed a six-day, 300-mile bike ride through Glacier National Park. Every year, he finds similar challenges to complete. He works out six days a week, including in his routine 5- to 6-mile runs, 30 to 45 miles of bike riding, swimming and the gym three days a week. He also goes on several ski trips a year.
Fu stays fit by surfing. She surfs every other day for work, but also manages to squeeze in surfing for fun at least one day a week. She is currently surfing a 7-foot fun board, but is moving toward surfing a short board. Fu also plays softball and says that stretching is essential to staying active.
Every morning after she brushes her teeth, Thompson does 100 sit-ups. This is motivated in part by her and her husband’s interest in helping people with lower back pain. She says you have to have strong upper stomach muscles. Thompson enjoys running around Diamond Head with her husband and treats herself after a workout or a busy day with something sweet that makes her smile.
Taketa works out almost every day at the Honolulu Club. He has attended spinning classes for more than 10 years and goes to yoga twice a week. He enjoys playing golf whenever someone “twists his arm” and eats red iso peanuts almost every day.
*Tied for sixth place.METHODOLOGY: In order to qualify for the Fittest CEO Challenge, an executive had to either be a CEO, a president, an owner or the top Hawaii executive of a business or nonprofit organization. Earlier this year, trainers from 24 Hour Fitness tested 30 Hawaii executives in five fitness areas, using the following tests: Submaximal Step; Trunk Flexion (Sit and Reach); Push-Ups; Bent-Knee Curl Ups and a One-Repetition Leg Press. Contestants were divided by gender and age (50 and above or below 50) and each of these four gender/age groups had a different scale by which their performances on each of the tests were measured. Each contestant was given a numerical score for each test. These scores ranged from 1 to 3 for the Bent-Knee Curl Up test to 1 to 6 for the Submaximal Step and Trunk Flexion tests. A representative of Pfizer collated all of the scores and the contestants were ranked by the total of their scores for each of the five tests. Where total scores resulted in a tie, preference was given to whoever scored highest in the Submaximal Step test. If scores for the Submaximal Step test were the same, preference was given to whomever scored highest in the Trunk Flexion test. The next tests in order of priority were the Push-Up, Bent-Knee Curl Up and One-Repetition Leg Press tests. If all scores for all tests were even, older age was used as a tiebreaker.


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