Newlyweds Mike and Carol Ai May share a passion for each other and the Aloha United Way.

A May to May romance
and partnership

By Erika Engle

In order to spend more time together most couples cut back on activities.

Mike May and Carol Ai May took on an additional commitment, and it worked. They do spend more time together as co-chairpersons of the annual Aloha United Way fundraising campaign.

Mike is president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc.; his wife Carol is the vice president and marketing manager for City Mill Co. Inc.

Each has had previous involvement with AUW and other nonprofit organizations and both decided "before we were married," Carol said, "to do something we could both be passionate about."

Thus, they became AUW's first married campaign co-chairs and passionate they are. Each touts AUW as the only nonprofit that provides a safety net for every segment of the community "from birth to death," she said.

The close connection allows one to go to a meeting when the other can't; it also provides more opportunities to discuss the campaign's progress, say, over dinner.

"I think we're really going to miss it when it's over," said Mike.

The official end date of the campaign is Oct. 11, "our one year and eleven month anniversary," she said, bringing a smile to his face.

More seriously, Mike said, "This is a very difficult year. Hawaii has been hit hard. There are also many other issues demanding people's time and resources, such as the election. There are also fewer resources to go around. Many foundations which are normally generous givers are feeling the pinch of the downturn on Wall Street.

They were well aware that "it's going to be tough," Carol said, "but let's make it really fun."

Hence the plan to bring in other married couples where possible to lead committees. They brought in friends and associates from other walks of life to lead teams involved in the effort; many are married couples while others are industry competitors.

"They are a very effective and gregarious group," she said.

Besides, many hands make light work.

AUW spokeswoman Trudie China described the whole team as "a microcosm of what AUW is all about in the community."

The effort has been good for them as a couple and for those around them, Mike said, "You have to model the things you want to see in others."



Biographical facts

Michael and Carol Ai May
were married in November 2000.

>> T. Michael May is president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc.. He joined the company as senior vice president in 1992.

Education: Bachelor's degree in industrial management, master's degree in finance

Career: Founded Management Assets Group, a consulting company. Served as president and vice president of subsidiaries of Caterpillar Inc.

Community: Co-chairman, 2002 Oahu County Aloha United Way campaign; serves on the boards of the Boy Scouts Aloha Council, Academy of the Pacific, Blood Bank of Hawaii, Edison Electric Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute.

>>Carol Ai May is vice president and marketing manager of City Mill Co. Ltd., which was founded by her grandfather in 1899.

Education: Tufts University, Boston Mass.; Scripps College, Claremont, Calif.; Punahou School.

Career: Owned and operated Hawaiian Juice Industries Ltd.; property manager, Waikahe Corp.; vice president and account supervisor Starr Seigle McCombs Inc.; account executive, Ogilvy & Mather Inc.; assistant account executive, Dancer Fitzgerald Sample Inc.; management trainee, The First National Bank of Boston.

Community: Co-chairperson, 2002 Oahu County Aloha United Way campaign; serves on the boards of Child & Family Service, Hawaii Executives Council and Retail Merchants of Hawaii.

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