Leadership – July 1, 2019

Leadership Conference 2019

10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Leaders of Tomorrow Need To Be More Than Corporate Leaders, They Should Be Community Stewards


Duane Kurisu, Founder & Chairman, aio

Born and raised in the sugar towns of the Big Island’s Hilo Coast, aio Founder and Chairman Duane Kurisu was instilled early on with the traditional values of Hawaii’s plantation culture. A product of Hilo High School and the University of Hawaii-Manoa, Duane launched his first company in his late 20s to develop and manage commercial real estate properties in the Islands and on the mainland. He soon branched out into a variety of business interests, and the acquisition of his first magazine property in the 1990s led to the creation of the aio family of companies. Today, Duane’s plantation roots still shape his vision for aio. Those time-honored small-town values of family and community are equally important in the world of commerce and industry — the local values of trust, respect, humility and honesty that drive the companies and inspire the people of aio.


Karen Tan, President & CEO, Child & Family Service

As the CEO of Child & Family Service since 2017, Karen Tan’s bold, collaborative and refreshingly transparent style of leadership naturally brings people to the table. Through her efforts, CFS is introducing national models for success to the Hawaiʻi market and sharing them with other community-based organizations. Karen Tan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Omidyar Fellow (Cohort VI), and an expert on trauma-informed care. Her latest initiative, “Stomping in Puddles” invites community stakeholders to join CFS in addressing generational poverty in Hawaiʻi.


Jack Wong, CEO, Kamehameha Schools

Livingston “Jack” Wong was named Chief Executive Officer of Kamehameha Schools in September 2014. Prior to being named CEO, Jack served as an attorney for Kamehameha Schools for 17 years, and most recently served as Kamehameha Schools’ Vice President of Legal Services and General Counsel.

Before joining Kamehameha Schools, Jack represented international, national and local businesses, financial institutions and landowners in the areas of real estate, finance and business associations. He also previously served as an adjunct professor at Hawai‘i Pacific University, teaching courses in Business Law.

Guided by the vision of its Trustees, and under Jack’s leadership, Kamehameha Schools embarked in 2015 on a bold, exciting voyage that envisions, in one generation, a thriving Lāhui in which all Hawaiian learners achieve post-secondary educational success, enabling good life and career choices. Grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values, learners will be leaders who contribute to their communities both locally and globally.

At the heart of this new journey are those who share this vision to ensure that all Native Hawaiians have the opportunity to succeed. Strong community collaborations, donor participation and key state, national, and international partnerships are vital to creating the means to propel our learners onto knowledge and career paths of their choice.


Dr. Michael Latham, President, Punahou School

Michael E. Latham began his tenure as the 17th president of Punahou School on July 1, 2019, after an accomplished academic career as an educator and college administrator. Prior to returning to Hawaiʻi, Latham – a 1986 graduate of Punahou – served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Grinnell College in Iowa, a nationally ranked liberal arts college known for innovative teaching. He previously served as Professor of History an Dean of Fordham University’s College at Rose Hill in New York. Latham holds a Ph.D. in history from UCLA and is a widely respected scholar of American foreign relations. 


Wayne Kamitaki, CEO, Maui Varieties, Ltd.

Wayne Kamitaki is the CEO of Maui Varieties, Ltd., a family-owned business consisting of a chain of Ben Franklin Craft stores in Hawaiʻi and Ace Hardware stores in Hawaiʻi, Washington, Oregon and Las Vegas, NV, and most recently, the addition of Daiso stores in Hawaiʻi. In addition, the family business includes several real estate properties in Hawaiʻi and small partnership ventures in Japan, Hawaiʻi, and California. Wayne is passionate about children’s education, particularly in science, and developing a child’s critical thinking process, through a family business venture called Faraday Studios. Wayne is on the Board of Directors of Central Pacific Bank and given his time to volunteering for the Hawaii Academy of Science (Hawaii State Science Fair), Hawaii Japanese Center, and Merrie Monarch Festival.


Moderator: Steve Petranik, Editor, Hawaii Business Magazine

Steve Petranik has been an editor and reporter for almost four decades and now is the editor of Hawaii Business. Before joining the magazine in 2009, he spent 18 years as an editor at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and five years at the Honolulu Advertiser. He’s reported from six countries on three continents and his stories have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.


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