Celebrate a Legacy Honoree Chinn Ho
Chinn Ho was eminently successful as a developer of Hawai‘i financial, publishing and tourism projects. His career began modestly as a messenger boy, but his drive and ambition led to incredible success. His success is especially remarkable given the times. Asians were not commonly part of the management scene in Hawai‘i’s business community, but Chinn Ho’s successful career helped open the doors for other Asian-Americans. In his career of firsts, he was the first Asian director of Theo H. Davies, the first Asian trustee of a landed estate (the Robinson estate) and the first Asian head of the Honolulu stock exchange.
As the developer of the ‘Ilikai Hotel in 1961, he created Hawai‘i’s first luxury high rise resort. The project was innovative for its time, combining a hotel resort with condominiums for sale. As a landmark in Hawai‘i, the hotel was prominent in television and movies, including the famous opening sequence for Hawai‘i 5-0. Outside of Waikīkī, he developed the Mākaha Resort, the first resort destination on the leeward coast of O‘ahu.
His involvement in the business community and politics made him an influential force within the state. His investments covered a broad range of businesses in Hawai‘i, and he worked with partnerships to support many of Hawai‘i’s business leaders, including Dr. Hung Wo Ching of Aloha Airlines.
Chinn Ho’s leadership extended to professional organizations – including the Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau board – where he contributed his expertise and insights into the development of Hawai‘i’s tourism industry.
As an Asian-American success story, Chinn Ho showed that hard work, financial acumen, and inspiration can overcome barriers to success.