Economy PoliticsWritten by Jerry Burris On 12 September 2010

Call it the Perfect Storm of politics, business, education…well… everything.

The observation came from developer Dick Gushman in a keynote speech to ThinkTech-Hawaii Venture Capital Association forum recently. Gushman’s point: Virtually every major institution in the state has recently experienced leadership change or is about to.

There’s politics, of course, where we will have a new governor, new Honolulu mayor and prosecutor and faces on county councils and at the Legislature. In Congress, we will either elect a newcomer or cement the seat for Republicans.

The big banks have new leaders as do the utilities and landowning giants such as Kamehameha Schools. There is new leadership in place at the University of Hawaii and the state school system will soon formally choose a new superintendent and perhaps even its entire system of governance if the voters approve a move to an appointed board.

In all, there has been or soon will be change at the top in nearly two dozen institutions. And interestingly, much of that new leadership has come here from elsewhere.

What all this means is unclear. But anyone who thinks Hawaii is going to continue to roll along in the same old ways with the same old patterns had better stop and think again. Seismic change is underway and success will go to those who best adapt to it

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About Author

Jerry Burris

Senior Writer, Hawaii Business magazine. Award-winning Hawaii journalist, political columnist and former Editorial Page Editor of The Honolulu Advertiser. Co-author of the groundbreaking book, “The Dream Begins: How Hawaii Shaped Barack Obama.”

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