Career change? Gov. Lingle named Salesperson of the Year
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has been named 2007 Salesperson of the Year by the Sales and Marketing Executives International Honolulu Chapter.
An accolade not
for Colt, June or the Warriors? Not this time, anyway.
SME is marking the 50th anniversary of the Salesperson of the Year event, the gov is SPOY No. 50 and Hawaii is the 50th state. She is 50-something (54).
Hey, wait a minute!
All that synchronization caused your columnist's inner cynic to sit up, take notice and say, "Well isn't that special," in the Church Lady voice from Saturday Night Live.
Taking nothing away from our governor, we are talking about sales and marketing executives. SME members' work-lives revolve around such concepts as making the deliberate appear serendipitous, intersecting with existing consumer behavior and other strategies to lure us to believe we're making our own choices versus being slickly suckered.
For the record, your columnist loves the art and science behind all that stuff.
The Lingle choice was not orchestrated, said Mike Curtis, SPOY committee chairman. There was no crew of cronies 'round a conference table conspiring to concoct an honoree.
"We solicit nominations from the members," and there was "a groundswell from the committee saying, 'this is somebody we want to recognize for contributions to the state,'" he said.
SME's announcement cites improvements in the state's business climate, advancements for the homeless and initiatives on innovation and the environment that have "really put Hawaii on the map as a modern, thriving and progressive state," said Dave Livingston, SME Honolulu president.
The announcement doesn't mention embarrassing stories about a former chief of staff or humiliating national coverage of Superferry protests.
Curtis did not recall any committee talk about "the Awana situation," but, "we did talk about the Superferry."
The majority agreed that while a controversial topic, "was it the right overall plan with the right intention -- and the answer is yes," he said.
"I really think that she and her Cabinet have moved the state forward in ways that all of us have to recognize," Curtis said.
Lingle told the chapter she would only accept the honor if she could do so on behalf of her team.
"I am very proud of the members of my Cabinet, who consistently maintain an optimistic perspective. They are always looking for opportunities that will move us forward while at the same time developing innovative solutions to the challenges we face," she said in a statement.
SME's luncheon for Lingle will be March 19 at the Sheraton Waikiki. Seats are $75 and can be reserved online.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org