Professional Background

Mike’s Hotel career began in 1969 at the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki, bussing tables in the Hau Tree Terrace Restaurant. He has held various managerial positions at the Hawaiian Regent (1971-1973), Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (1973 – 1982), and the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel (1982 to 1985). Mike has been the general manager of the Kaanapali Beach Hotel since 1985. In this position, he has led the visitor industry in preserving and supporting the Hawaiian culture for over 25 years, implementing “Project Pookela,” an educational program designed to enhance employees’ understanding of the Hawaiian culture and values, which they apply at work, at home and in the community. The Pookela process has resulted in Kaanapali Beach Hotel being recognized as Hawaii’s “Most Hawaiian Hotel.” Under Mike ’s leadership, Kaanapali Beach Hotel has been honored with numerous state and national awards and recognitions for focus on the Hawaiian culture, community service and creating a model for sustainability in the visitor industry.

Legislative Experience

Mike represented the seventh district in the State House of Representatives from 1993 to 1998. In the Legislature, Mike served on the Finance, Human Services, Tourism, Economic Development, Judiciary and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committees. The International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 142 supports Mike. Willie Kennison of the ILWU states “We have great respect for Mike who we have worked with for over 20 years, as both a state representative and as a general manager. We have found Mike to be very knowledgeable, compassionate, and willing to take the time to find real solutions.”

Community Service

Mike has actively served the following professional and community organizations:

  1.   Hawai'i Visitors & Conventions Bureau, Board of Directors

  2.   Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, Board of Directors

  3.   Maui Visitors Bureau, Board of Directors and Executive Committee

  4.   Maui Economic Development Board, Board of Directors and Executive Committee

  5.   Ka'anapali Beach Resort Association, Board of Directors

  6.   Kualoa Ranch, Board of Directors

  7.   Hawai‘i Hotel & Lodging Association, Board of Directors

  8.   Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Treasurer

  9.   Maui Food Bank, Board of Directors

  10.   Maui Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors

  11.   Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Board of Directors

  12.   Hawaii Employers Council, Board of Governors

  13.   Hawai'i State Tourism Marketing Council, Maui Representative

  14.   Member of Hawai’i’s Delegation to The White House Conference on Travel & Tourism

  15.   Friends of Mokuula, Advisory Board

  16.   Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hawaiian Cultural Program Advisory Council

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About Mike...

Mike White is a sixth-generation kamaaina, born and raised on Oahu. He lives in Makawao with his wife Whitney and has five grown children.

Mike is the third of four children born to Bob (Amfac) and Karen (Family Court Juvenile Probation Officer) White of Honolulu. Childhood was spent primarily in Kailua and Laie playing Little League, competitive swimming and bodysurfing during free time.

A graduate of Punahou and University of Hawaii School of Travel Industry Management, Mike spent four years working in Waikiki and 12 years working on the Big Island before moving to Maui as General Manager of Kaanapali Beach Hotel in 1985.

The family farm in Makawao is shared with pets including everything from pigs to mini donkeys, but Mike’s favorite is his dog Duke. When he is not at the Hotel or working on other association or community projects, Mike can occasionally be found turning bowls in his garage.