BY DRS. CHUCK KELLEY AND RICHARD KELLEY — Chaminade University inducted Jean Rolles into its Silversword Hall of Fame at the 7th Annual Intercollegiate Athletics Gala last Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Ala Moana Hotel, recognizing her years of tireless work in support of its athletic program.
As Outrigger’s vice president of community relations, Jean has been extraordinarily active in many nonprofit organizations that benefit our community. She currently serves on 12 local boards, including the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross, Honolulu Museum of Art, Japan-American Society and The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i.
Chaminade’s recognition is only one in a string of honors that grateful community organizations have heaped on Jean in recent years. These include the Hawai‘i Arts Alliance Alfred Preis Award, Punahou School’s Charles S. Judd, Jr. ’38 Humanitarian Award, and being named a YWCA of O‘ahu Leader Luncheon Honoree.
Jean began her relationship with Chaminade as a graduate student. Studying late at night and on weekends in what she calls her “spare time,” in 1993 she completed a master’s degree in Japanese business studies, which included learning to speak Japanese.
Recognizing her boundless energy and passion for community work, the university invited her to serve on its board of regents. There, her “hands on” and “get it done” style quickly made her a driving force behind many significant improvements to the university’s athletics programs, including the Carlson Fitness Center.
Like her siblings Richard and Pat, Jean grew up in the hotel business under the watchful eyes of her parents, Roy and Estelle Kelley. From an early age they had her checking in guests and taking care of business at the Islander Hotel, the very first in the Outrigger chain. The lessons she learned in those early years served her well as she went on to earn a degree in hotel management from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. From there, she and her husband, Chuck Rolles, created a chain of Chuck’s Steak Houses stretching across the United States.
In the early 1980s, Jean returned full-time to Outrigger, applying the many skills she had learned as both an hotelier and entrepreneur. For many years she headed Outrigger’s retail leasing activities, cultivating outstanding relationships with the company’s many tenants.
Today Jean maintains a non-stop schedule, starting early each morning with a tennis match and ending late in the evening after community board meetings. In her free time, Jean is an avid traveler, visiting many far-away, exotic destinations, often requiring arduous travel.
We are all exceptionally proud of Jean for her many accomplishments at Chaminade, elsewhere in our community and right here at Outrigger Enterprises. Congratulations, Jean! You’ve done it again!