STANLEY W. HONG / 1936 – 2015Isle executive used his networks to help the communityz
By Gary T. Kubota / email@example.com
Stanley W. Hong’s positive outlook combined with his keen business sense and network of friends made him a sought-after leader, from serving as chief executive officer of the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau to raising money for The Nature Conservancy, according to business associates.
Hong died from cancer Friday in Honolulu. He was 78.
“He was a totally wonderful guy … a great supporter of conservation,” said Suzanne Case, The Nature Conservancy’s executive director in Hawaii. “We’re very, very sad that he’s gone.”
Hong was born in Honolulu. His father, Gilbert, was a dentist and his mother, Rosalie, a homemaker. Hong attended Saint Louis School, then Oregon State University and Drake University Law School.
Hong rose to a number of executive posts, including executive director of the Aloha Medical Mission, a group that provides medical services to people in poor areas overseas, and as trustee and chairman of the King William Charles Lunalilo Trust Estate.
“He really brought a wealth of knowledge with him,” said Lunalilo Trust Executive Director J. Kuhio Asam. “He was phenomenal when it came to networking in the community and using those networks to help people out for the good of the community.”
Hong also had stints as vice president of administration and general counsel at Theo H. Davies & Co. and as an executive with Davies’ parent company Jardine, Matheson and Co. of Hong Kong.
He was chief executive officer and president of the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau from 1984 to 1993. Hong also served as president and CEO of the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce from 1996 to 2002.
“We have lost a great, great friend," said Honolulu attorney Jeffrey Watanabe, who met Hong when he worked for U.S. Sen. Hiram Fong more than 50 years ago.
“Stanley was a truly extraordinary business executive, public servant, and environmentalist.”
Hong was on the board of trustees of The Nature Conservancy for nearly 20 years from 1991 to 2010 and helped the group raise support for its numerous projects. “He would introduce us to people who might have some shared interest,” Case said.
Hong was also a trustee for Bank of Hawaii’s Hawaiian Tax Free Trust.
Lawrence M. Johnson, retired board chairman and chief executive officer of Bank of Hawaii, said Hong was a great family man and a “true friend of mine.”
“He’s a man of great integrity, intellect, and had a true concern for the community,” Johnson said.
Hong was nearly 66 when he became president of Houston-based Waste Management of Hawaii Inc. with landfills on Kauai, Oahu and Hawaii island, but remained undaunted by his new job, pointing out that working kept him sharp mentally.
“It’s just another challenge,” he told a Honolulu Advertiser reporter in 2002.
Hong is survived by his wife, Karen, sons David and Jonathan, mother Rosalie Moilee Hong, brothers Michael and Stephen, sisters Laurie Wong and Tina Leong, and four grandsons.
Mass will be celebrated at St. Pius X Parish, 2821 Lowrey Ave. in Manoa, at 10 a.m. Friday, followed by private inurnment. The family will receive guests an hour before and following the Mass. The family requests no flowers.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased