Tuesday, October 1, 2002

KEN FROELICH / 1913-2002

Frito-Lay franchise
grew under ex-owner

See also: Obituaries

By Genevieve A. Suzuki

Former Frito-Lay of Hawaii owner Ken Froelich, 89, died Sept. 6 in Newport Beach, Calif.

Froelich purchased a 20-year franchising license for Frito-Lay of Hawaii in 1969 after serving as chief executive officer of the Frito-Lay Rold Gold Foods Division in St. Louis.

In Froelich's first year with Frito-Lay of Hawaii, the company made $1.2 million. "He just did a terrific job growing the company," said Lisa Early, general manager at Frito-Lay of Hawaii.

Early said Froelich had a reputation as a "very generous, kind of a Mr. Hawaii."

"He was a decision-maker, and when he gave you the authority to make a decision about something, he backed you up," said Hank Tonini, the former chief financial officer for Frito-Lay of Hawaii.

Tonini worked with Froelich for about 15 years, until Froelich sold Frito-Lay of Hawaii back to its parent company, PepsiCo Inc., in 1989.

Tonini and Froelich met when they worked with Junior Achievement of Hawaii, a nonprofit organization that educates young people about business and economics. Froelich asked Tonini, then the treasurer of Junior Achievement of Hawaii, to join Frito-Lay of Hawaii as its chief financial officer.

Froelich was later inducted into the Junior Achievement Hawaii Business Hall of Fame in 1990 as one of its first laureates.

"He was an exceptional person and great for the community," Tonini said.

Froelich was the Hawaii and U.S. Western Regional Small Business Person of the Year in 1982, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii 1985 to 1986, a member and former president of the Honolulu Rotary Club, president of the Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation and on the board of directors for the Bank of Hawaii.

Froelich is survived by sister Rena Hamilton, of Albuquerque, N.M.; daughters Linda F. Gruver and Nancy F. Lewis, of Sugarland, Texas; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held 6:30 p.m. Friday at Central Union Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rotary Foundation or the Central Union Church Building Fund.

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