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We had the opportunity to return to Hawaii last week. We gave a report to some very cool clients (I guess they’re products of their environment). We made a presentation in the morning to the marketing team. Then, we went up the elevator in the afternoon to present to the executive team. I think the findings were well received. So, we look forward to building the brand.

Spent Saturday with our friend Ken, who showed us around some parts of Hawaii most haoles don’t get to see. First, we went to the Honolulu Academy of Arts, where they have a once-in-a century show of antiquities from Bhutan. There were some fabulous textile pieces that were hundreds of years old, but looked better than some of my ties. And a few small statues were from as far back as the sixth century. Wow!

Over lunch, we got some more teaching about Hawaii culture. We learned that a lot of names are transliterated into the Hawaiian language, but because the language has a limited number of sounds the names have to be changed slightly. For example, Kenneth is “Keneke.” I was delighted to learn that in Hawaii, I am “Kimo.” Cool, huh!

Then, we headed to Pearl Harbor. Turns out, Ken is a retired Navy Captain, so he was able to take us backstage. We got pictures of the Missouri and the Arizona Memorial, but our favorite part of the visit was the Utah Memorial (we were the only ones there). We stood on the shore and Ken explained the brilliant Japanese strategy for Pearl Harbor—and how their failure to complete the mission allowed us to get back on our feet and eventually win the war in the Pacific. Good case study in strategy and execution, which I will surely use at some point.

Last stop of the day—a Shinto shrine right in the heart of Honolulu. Ken explained the role of Shinto and Buddhism in the traditions of Hawaii, especially among Asian Hawaii people. We appreciated his willingness to share these things with us.

Keneke is an incredible person, yet completely unassuming. It was an awesome day. Mahalo!

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