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Few can resist the immediate gratification of a cash-out. “Our parents and grandparents,” says Morgan, “instilled in us the value of preserving the land, our heritage, and not treating it like an entitlement or a cash cow.A great example is my grandmother, the one who said, ‘No one should ever again build a personal house in the interior of the ranch.’ If one could, more would, and that would lead to a degradation of the pristine nature of the property and end up with people putting self-interest above that of the family, the company and the land.” But the family also realized that preservation alone was a doomed strategy. Maybe it’s because we’re an island chain, and prize getting along for survival’s sake, but our ‘ohana knit us together.They form an invisible safety net, cushion us with their values.“We approach all our diversification from the perspective of, ‘We have this parcel of land, what can we do with it to hopefully mālama the ‘āina, make it productive, serve a business purpose and, if possible, help the greater community?’” As for passing on those values to a now widely extended family, the Morgans started a formal program 10 years ago to bring family to the ranch every third year. “We get everybody familiar with the family business so they support it; we help them develop a close emotional relationship with the land; and we help develop relationships between people.
“Each generation has had a tremendous impact on who we are today. Judd started our legacy by buying the ahupua‘a of Kualoa from King Kamehameha III, in 1850.“Funny, but I feel like an artist with a huge ball of clay that you keep working on, this little piece and that little piece, making it a little bit better, and hopefully one day you’ll turn it over to somebody who will make it even better.” —DW Getting the Job Done ook up the late financier Chinn Ho and you’ll find a string of “firsts,” as well as a lifetime of accomplishment and community commitment.The self-made multimillionaire real-estate developer was the grandson of a rice farmer who grew up to become the first person of Chinese ancestry to become president of the Honolulu Stock Exchange.“You learn at a very early time to keep your mouth shut,” he says.He thinks that’s pretty typical of Island sensibilities.
Through it all, the Ho family has remained personally grounded, never known as spotlight seekers.