Our Publisher Says Aloha After 45 Years in Local Media

It’s a bittersweet move, but as the Cheshire Cat says in Alice in Wonderland: “Every adventure requires a first step.”
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Photo: Aaron Yoshino

This column is written every month by our editor, Steve Petranik, but for this issue he has generously ceded his space to me so that I might have a “last word,” and being the experienced, talented journalist that Steve is, he has also advised me not to “bury the lede.” So here it is: After 45 years in the media business in Hawai‘i, I am retiring at the end of this month.

I don’t like the word “retirement,” and I suspect that many of us would agree the concept of retirement can have negative connotations. A retired person is old, out of the loop and no longer a daily contributor to a challenging, vibrant business community. Retired people lose their tech skills and run the risk of watching daytime television! Some studies find retirement associated with worse health and reduced longevity. Who wants THAT?!

Leaving a longtime career can be sad – especially if one has the extraordinary luck of ending that career in a position as fulfilling as the one I’ve had for the last 5½ years at Hawaii Business Magazine.

I spent most of my career in local television and when I came to Hawaii Business, I knew nothing about publishing a magazine. Really. Nothing. I recall my first meeting when I admitted I didn’t understand the word “teeohcee.” After a pregnant pause I was politely informed that “TOC” stands for “table of contents.” With patient teaching from my colleagues, I’ve learned a lot since then, some of it challenging, some daunting, and all of it rewarding.


Heart and Soul

Over the past 5½ years, I’ve had the honor of working with an incredibly talented team of people for a magazine owned by Duane Kurisu, whose very rare vision for running a business is that the business be run with “heart and soul.” Not many of us get to experience this – especially toward the end of our careers.

I am filled with pride when I reflect on the accomplishments of a small team who work so hard to publish an award-winning monthly magazine and 11 weekly newsletters, while creating and executing the best business events in Hawai‘i, distributing all that content across different digital platforms, and continuing to maintain the highest standards for our readers and advertisers. All of this through a fast-changing media landscape and a pandemic. What this team does month in and month out, year over year, is astonishing.

So why retire?! As I’ve considered this giant life change, I have done a lot of thinking and reading. I even reached back to the ancients. Roman orator and prolific writer Cicero thought aging and retiring free us from destructive ambition and competition. Hmm, maybe.


Let’s Call It Evolution

I read Serena Williams’ article in the September issue of Vogue, in which she said: “I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. … Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution.” Yes, much closer.

And very recently, I came across a quote from the Cheshire Cat in “Alice in Wonderland.” According to him, “Every adventure requires a first step.” Bingo!

Retirement isn’t negative or sad – it’s the first step toward a new adventure – and one I’m ready to take.

I will miss being publisher of Hawaii Business. Most especially, I will miss working with this team and our business community, but the good news is that, along with all of you, I will get to watch the HB team continue to grow, create and innovate by reading the magazine, subscribing to the newsletters and attending events. Hawaii Business Magazine will celebrate its 68th anniversary next year and is nowhere near retirement – there are too many adventures ahead for all of us!



Categories: Opinion