Community Is Key To Success

By Mike Nelson
Wednesday - September 01, 2010
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By Mike Nelson
Vice President of Ko Olina Resort & Marina

Wherever my life has wandered, from a radio announcer, an entertainer, a cast member at Walt Disney World to a Boy Scout leader, relationships with my community have always provided keys for success.

My responsibilities as one of Ko Olina’s vice presidents include various aspects of carrying forward the vision set by Jeff Stone, our visionary and master developer. Whether assisting our resort operations team or developing resort events, we all focus on creating a memorable experience for our guests, whether it’s for a day, a week or a lifetime.

As Ko Olina Resort & Marina evolved over the years, our work-force development philosophy continues to be a cornerstone of our commitment to the community and is increasingly an important key to the success of our resort partners.

Since 1999, more than 2,250 jobs have been created through our resort partners (JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club, Ko Olina Golf Course and Ko Olina Marina); from 2002-2007, more than 8,800 positions have been generated - a growth that we expect to continue. With the completion of additional resort projects such as the Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina Station, Ko Olina Center and Honu Kai Lani (a third Watabe Wedding Chapel), we estimate that 5,000 resort jobs and 6,000 construction jobs will be created between 2008 and 2013.

Ko Olina Taste at Kapolei attracts thousands of people each year, raising scholarship money for West Oahu youths

At the same time, we’ve supported various nonprofit organizations through our Ko Olina Charities, which was created to expand our community participation efforts.

In partnership with the Rotary Club of Kapolei, Ko Olina Taste at Kapolei is set for Sept. 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Ko Olina Resort & Marina (Ulua Lagoon) and will help raise funds for aspiring college students from West Oahu. Ko Olina Taste at Kapolei is a perfect example of how we work closely with volunteer organizations in our community to fund scholarships and create educational opportunities for the next generation. I encourage everyone to attend and help send young people from West Oahu to college by purchasing a ticket. More information is available at

We truly believe that a thriving local community plays a significant role in the success of Ko Olina Resort & Marina. Our goal has always been for the resort to be a stimulus and economic engine for the state. We have accomplished a lot, but there is much more work to do.

Working hand-in-hand with local leaders, we will continue to support resources that train and educate residents to be active members of the hospitality industry work force.

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