Where did 33 years go?

BY DR. RICHARD KELLEY — This is the final edition of Saturday Briefing for 2016, and, as we have done at year’s end for over three decades, the articles, photos and graphics on the following pages will briefly summarize what we – as a company and as individual members of the Outrigger ohana – have achieved during the year. This year, however, the final edition of Saturday Briefing is a unique milestone because it also marks my personal retirement as scribe, editor and publisher of one of the most remarkable corporate newsletters in the hospitality industry if not in the world. Here’s how it happened.

In the roughly three decades that followed the end of World War II, from 1947 to the early 1980s, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts and Hawaii’s visitor industry grew at an exponential pace. Ever-larger and -faster aircraft brought visitors to our Islands first from North America and soon from all over the world. We all had to learn a great deal very rapidly.

WP-SB-First-Edition-1984-1Members of our ohana wanted information, ideas and improved communication up and down the line. A “brainstorming” group discussed the possibilities with corporate consultant Ichak Adizes and suggested that a weekly newsletter by, for and about our company and the members of our ohana might fill the need. I volunteered to be the editor and almost exactly 33 years ago, on January 21, 1984, the first edition of Saturday Briefing (pictured at left) went out the door. It was printed in black type on company stationery, was just two pages long and had no photographs. Yes, it was sparse, but it was a start!

Now, do some math. Thirty-three years later with roughly 50 issues per year, we have published about 1,650 newsletters ranging from six to 24 pages in length. That is quite a record!

Whenever possible, I have personally written a “lead article” that focuses either on an interesting event or anniversary and how it relates to Outrigger or, alternatively, on someone who has done something special or good in our company, our communities or our world. Other members of our ‘ohana follow that lead in their articles, which often recount noteworthy achievements of individuals or teams in our ‘ohana. As our company has grown in size and spread across the Pacific and Indian oceans, it has been amazing – and immensely gratifying to me personally – to see how many “good” things are done in our company every week somewhere in locations that now span over half the globe.

Because people often want to know what is on the boss’s mind and like to hear it directly from that person, I’ve also expressed my views on a number of topics ranging from health care to politics and the economy. I’ve also written a number of articles that focus on the importance of Travel & Tourism in the many communities where we are located. Too often, people – especially politicians – forget that visitors bring money, jobs, education and opportunity to communities large and small. Yes, “Tourism Really IS Everybody’s Business.”

I have had help from wonderful, dedicated, talented individuals throughout my journey. Karen Rogne DeCarlo, Marie Casciato, Donna Gonzalez, Lehua Kalai and Kathy Foley have all worked exceptionally hard to get Saturday Briefing out the door every Friday afternoon. Computers and the internet have helped but also brought challenges we did not even think of when we used manual typewriters, postage stamps and envelopes. Kitty Lagareta has been a valued advisor, and Howard Daniel – and before him Russell Pang – has been a magnificent editor week after week, day or night, from near or far. Countless others, including many members of my family, have submitted articles and ideas, done proofreading and helped in many ways over the years. No edition ever goes to press without a final review from my wife, Linda V.G. Kelley.

Mahalo to each and every contributor to Saturday Briefing for all you have done for 33 years – a third of a century! – to help me “catch people doing something good,” to bring their accomplishments to everyone’s attention, and to continually remind all our readers that “Tourism Is Everybody’s Business.”



Posted in: Featured Post, Our Company, Our Thoughts, Weekly Lead Article
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