Sommer Kaehuokalani Meyer

Jo McGarry
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Friday - June 15, 2011 Share | | podcast Podcast |

Jo McGarry photo

Occupation: Regional sales manager, Bacardi USA

Where were you born and raised? Hilo.

I’m really proud of the fact that I am from Keaukaha and that I graduated from Hilo High. I think it’s the one thing that keeps me grounded.

How did you get started in the industry?

I was studying for my undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado in Boulder. I answered an internship for a salesperson/marketing and PR job for a local microbrewery, Boulder Beer. I joined them at the peak of the microbrewery craze, left to run Miller Brewing Company in Colorado as director of sales, then moved to run Hawaii for Miller in 1999. Now Bacardi is home for me.

Favorite summer cocktail? The Bombay Sapphire French 75. The perfect marriage of everything I love: gin and Champagne.

Do you cook at home? My husband does. I’m much more of an entertainer. I like to set the menu, the table, plan the décor. When I do cook, I keep it simple. New York strips on the grill, MA’O Farms salad and a great cocktail.

What’s always in your fridge? I might starve to death, but I will never go thirsty. I always have Waiwera sparkling water, lemons and Bombay Sapphire. And really good blue cheese.

Favorite restaurants? I am in love with Duc’s Bistro. I have never had a bad meal there. I also love the Himalayan Kitchen. The food is out of this world!

With whom would you most like to have dinner? I’m not blessed with any vocal talent, so Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Elton John, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Cocker and Diana Krall would be good - and throw in Aretha Franklin for a little blues. I will make the drinks.

You modestly never mention that you started a shoe box company, Shoe Fetish, that is so successful you were recently featured on Oprah. You made the O List. Yes, it’s a good thing (laughs). I have more than 350 pairs of shoes.

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