TGI welcomes new business reporter

When The Garden Island’s new business reporter, Ford Gunter, stepped off the plane last week, reality quickly clashed with at least one preconceived notion he’d had of how life on the island would play out. “I had visions of owning a motorcycle when I landed,” he said. “I don’t any more.”

Gunter just happened to come to Kaua’i on the island’s 38th day of wet weather. And though he was reassured the heavy downpours occurring upon his arrival were abnormal in their duration, visions of booming around the island on a motorcycle, the wind blowing in his hair, were quickly replaced by the desire for dry socks.

“Diligent research and keen foresight caused me to pack a rain coat,” said Gunter. “But I seem to have forgotten socks.”

Gunter’s first contribution to the local economy then, was a retail excursion and purchase of the aforementioned footwear.

As the business reporter for Kauai’s only daily newspaper, Gunter feels staying dry will lend itself to a more professional image as he begins to reach out to Kauai’s business community. Not only will Gunter cover the major players in his beat such as the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, Wilcox Memorial Hospital and the tourism industry, he will inform readers about the mom-and-pop businesses that dot the island as well.

Aside from a vacation on O’ahu, this will be Gunter’s first real taste of life in the Islands. Gunter replaces former The Garden Island business reporter Andy Gross who left the newspaper in November.

Gunter hails from Houston, Texas where he most recently worked as the business editor at the Katy Courier, a daily newspaper covering Houston’s business corridor.

He has several years experience as a freelance writer for various publications, nabbing bylines in the Houston Chronicle, Texas Highways magazine and Austin magazine.

Gunter earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 after completing under-graduate work several years before at the University of Richmond where he received a degree in marketing.

He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and South America, as well as spending a few months in Africa leading photo safaris.

Gunter says he is committed to discovering the undercurrents driving business here in Hawaii, while exploring the long-term issues that steer the future of business here on Kauai.

“In addition to heading up the Sunday business section, I’ll keep readers abreast of Kauai issues such as land development, inter-island transportation and other island business issues pertaining to health care, shipping, agriculture, utilities, tourism and retail,” he said.

Gunter can be reached via e-mail at fgunter@kauaipubco.com and by phone at (808) 245-3681 ext. 251.

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