Thursday, May 27, 1999

Tourism Authority
chairman resigns

Reed, citing personal
reasons, also quits other
board positions

By Russ Lynch


The Hawaii Tourism Authority is expected to elect a new chairman or chairwoman at its next meeting, replacing John Reed who unexpectedly resigned as chairman and as a board member.

Saying he was stepping down for personal reasons, Reed also yesterday announced his retirement from his job as chairman of Pacific retail development for international duty-free operator DFS Group Ltd. Reed said he is also leaving more than a dozen boards of directors of which he is a member.

The 13-member HTA, appointed by Gov. Ben Cayetano in August, now will need a new member to replace Reed. The group's next meeting is likely to be held Wednesday.

The HTA oversees a roughly $60 million budget and is in charge of setting long-term strategy and marketing for Hawaii's No.1 industry.

Reed, 58, said today he has some minor medical problems he has put off treating for a couple of years and it is time to get that done. "I'm kind of a health nut," he said.

Reed also said he became aware, looking back on 40-plus years of work, that he hasn't spent as much time as he could have with his family. He also has business matters that he wants to spend more time on, he said. "Your priorities change."

Robert Fishman, HTA's chief executive, said today that since the governor picked Reed from a list of candidates submitted by Senate President Norman Mizuguchi, that process will be followed in finding a replacement. Mizuguchi is expected to submit three names to the governor who will pick one, whose appointment will then be subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Reed's resignation, in the late afternoon yesterday at the end of an all-day HTA board meeting at Honolulu Airport, was a surprise, Fishman said.

Cayetano issued a statement thanking Reed for his service. "John Reed has been a model corporate leader, providing invaluable advice to help strengthen the visitor industry," Cayetano said. "As chair of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, he has been instrumental in moving the authority forward in such a short time."

Reed said he is pleased the HTA has made significant progress toward setting the goals and vision for Hawaii's tourism. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to try to correct all the ills of our past."

DFS said Reed's responsibilities in the company will be taken on by Bob Coe, president of DFS Hawaii. Brian Kendrick, president and chief executive officer of DFS Group, said Reed not only played an important part in building the company's presence in Hawaii but also "has made a lasting contribution to the economic and social welfare of the state."

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