Parker Ranch looks to reshuffle


POSTED: Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Big Island's Parker Ranch, which was founded more than 160 years ago and is the fifth-largest ranch in the nation, is laying off two vice presidents and exploring restructuring options for its real estate brokerage, tourism and retail enterprises as part of its second major overhaul in less than a decade.

Difficult economic conditions and continued operating losses prompted Parker Ranch Inc.'s board of directors to eliminate jobs for Vice Presidents Michael “;Corky”; Bryan and Diane S. Quitiquit, who both will consult during the transition. Bill Maris, the ranch's chief operating officer, will lead company changes to reduce general operating costs and return profitability.

“;The company will refocus its efforts on its two core business lines — livestock production and land-resource management,”; said Pete Moynahan, the ranch's chairman of the board.

The ranch will continue its livestock operation, which brings approximately 10,000 head of cattle to market annually; and long-term land management, including planned real estate exchanges to reduce debt, funding of necessary infrastructure improvements and diversifying its asset base. The ranch employs just more than 50 workers.

In 2002 most employees at the now 130,000-acre Parker Ranch on the Big Island were offered voluntary separation packages as part of an economic restructuring of the ranch.

Following the current transitioning, the ranch will explore other moneymaking opportunities, including wind/solar energy production, biomass production, wildlife, habitat restoration and other natural land-based uses, Maris said. “;We need to re-evaluate each of our operations in a little more depth and hope to work closely with our employees as we explore different possibilities,”; he said.