"What lies ahead is anyone's guess, but if Walter's resume to date is any predictor we know it's ... something that will make Hawaii a better place."

Kirk Caldwell
State representative

Walter A. Dods Jr., former First Hawaiian Bank CEO, was congratulated yesterday after being honored by the state Senate and House of Representatives in the Senate chambers.

honors Dods

The longtime banking executive
extols the virtue of dreaming big

After being honored at the state Capitol yesterday, retired First Hawaiian Bank Chief Executive Officer Walter Dods Jr. was reluctant to talk politics.

"One thing I promised myself -- legislators from both sides of the table signed a resolution today -- I'm really not going to talk about anything political," said Dods, whose name has again surfaced as a possible candidate for governor in 2006.

In the 2002 governor's race, speculation that Dods would enter as a Democratic candidate came after the front-runner, then-Mayor Jeremy Harris, decided against officially jumping into the campaign.

But Dods also decided against running after discussions with his family.

His wife, Diane, and two of his sons were with him yesterday as the Democratic-controlled state House and Senate honored Dods on the floor and then at a reception that followed.

Dods, 63, retired at the end of December as CEO of First Hawaiian and its parent BancWest Corp. but remains chairman of both.

"Walter is still in his most productive years. What lies ahead is anyone's guess. But if Walter's resume to date is any predictor we know it is going to be something great, something first-class, something that will make Hawaii a better place," Rep. Kirk Caldwell (D, Manoa) said during a speech on the House floor.

The "epitome of the local boy done good" said his retirement brings mixed emotion.

"As people were talking, I sort of watched my whole 40 years go by and it made me feel special and it made me realize that we locals, we need to dream big," he said after yesterday's accolades.

"I've always been brought up to believe in public service and I believe that those of us who have gotten much, owe much. And I intend to one way or another continue to return service to my community."

Dods continues to say that his public service will probably be "nonelected, but I'm not going to ever say never."

He said he intends to stay active in helping others in the political ring.

"I plan to help a lot of people," Dods said, but he declined to say publicly whom.

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