O‘AHU — The Board of Directors of the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) today announced that John Monahan has been unanimously selected as its new president and chief executive officer.
He will begin work immediately.
HVCB Board Chairman Anthony R. Guerrero said the search committee picked Monahan over a strong group of local and mainland candidates as the best person to create a new organizational model for HVCB.
“The Board feels he is the ideal person to restructure HVCB from a global focus to a singular emphasis on Hawai‘i’s most important market, North America,” said Guerrero.
“John Monahan has great leadership qualities as a CEO, strong organizational skills and a proven ability to rally people aro-und a common goal of excellence. He will bring stability and a renewed sense of purpose to HVCB’s marketing mission.”
“HVCB is an invaluable entity for all of Hawai‘i so it’s a great honor to accept this responsibility and help support our most important industry,” said Monahan, 52, the former president and CEO of the Liberty House department store chain in Hawai‘i.
“I look forward to working collaboratively with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the executive directors of the Island Chapter bureaus, and our visitor industry partners for the good of Hawai‘i.”
As a leading figure in Hawai‘i’s retail conmmunity, Monahan has worked closely with the tourism industry. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawai‘i’s leading paid visitor attraction.
At Liberty House, he oversaw a gross annual advertising budget of $10 million.
Most recently, he was appointed by the U.S Trustee’s Office and Bankruptcy Court to serve as Chapter 11 Trustee for Hawaiian Airlines. He unexpectedly had to resign after a month on the job due to a medical concern. That concern has since been resolved and he is in excellent health.
Monahan replaces Interim President and CEO Les Enderton, who has served double duty for both HVCB and as executive director of 0‘ahu Visitors Bureau (OVB) since the July 21 resignation of former HVCB President and CEO Tony Vericella.
With Monahan’s appointment, Enderton will return to his full-time role of leading OVB’s marketing programs, a responsibility he has undertaken since 1997.
“Les Enderton did a tremendous job leading HVCB and deserves our congratulations for his tireless efforts in keeping the Bureau on course with its marketing programs for Hawai‘i,” said Guerrero. Monahan joined Liberty House, Hawai‘i’s largest department store chain, in 1990 as a vice president and director of stores and was promoted to chief operating officer in 1995, before being elevated to president in 1997.
He added the chief executive officer title in 1999.
He is credited with successfully guiding Liberty House through a three-year bankruptcy filing that ended March 1, 2001, when the company emerged with 18 department stores and retail outlets.
and 3,000 employees. Under his leadership, Liberty House refocused its product line and customer service on the Hawai‘i market with good success. He left Liberty House after it was sold in mid-2001 to Federated Department Stores, Inc., which converted the store chain into Macy’s.
Since leaving Liberty House, Monahan has worked as an independent business consultant. He is married And resides with his wife Nancy in East Honolulu. For more information about Hawai‘i, the Islands of Aloha, visit the HVCB’s Website at gohawaii.com or call 1-800-GOHAWAIL.