BY DR. CHUCK KELLEY – Last Thursday, David Carey, Outrigger president and CEO, was honored with the first-ever Pineapple Award for Leadership in Hospitality Management, one of several categories in a new Pacific Business News awards program recognizing business excellence and community contributions in Hawaii’s visitor industry.
The award presentation cited David’s leadership in Outrigger’s growth from a collection of hotels on Oahu to a global hospitality company with nine world-class beachfront resorts reaching across Southeast Asia, the southern and western Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Hawaiian Islands. David set the goal of becoming “the world’s premier beachfront hospitality brand” and is leading the team that is working to make it a reality.
The conversion of a collection of aging hotels on Lewers Street into the widely acclaimed Waikiki Beach Walk is another tribute to David’s leadership. Highly successful not only from a financial standpoint, the destination beautifully showcases the look and feel of Hawaii.
Years back, in collaboration with former COO Perry Sorenson, David also undertook an initiative to create a unique form of hospitality combining Outrigger’s corporate culture with local values wherever we do business. With guidance from the late Hawaiian scholar George Kanahele, Ke Ano Waa — “The Outrigger Way” — was crafted. It connects the three pillars of the hospitality industry: employees, guests and destination. Outrigger’s distinctive values, blended into a series of local cultures, have set us apart and made us an industry leader.
The Pineapple Award also recognizes contributions to Hawaii’s community. In his “spare time,” David has been a tireless driver of programs that make Hawaii a vibrant community and a better place to live. His efforts include strengthening our public and private schools and assisting military personnel at all levels through his work with the Military Affairs Council of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii.
David has seen just about everything since that first day at Outrigger when Richard “Doc” Kelley assigned him to work the front desk at the OHANA Waikiki East on Kuhio Avenue. Through it all he has risen to become a highly respected hospitality leader, not only here in Hawaii but worldwide.
Congratulations, David, on this great honor.