John Leong

John Leong was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and graduated from Punahou School as a President Award winner and varsity athlete in football and track.  He went on to the University of Pennsylvania where he studied business at the Wharton School, focusing on Environmental Policy and Management and Entrepreneurial Management.  Upon graduating from Wharton, Mr. Leong had a strong desire to return home in the hopes of making a difference for Hawaii.In the fall of 2000, he established Pono Pacific Land Management, LLC to serve conservation agencies and protect Hawaii’s natural resources.  As Chariman and CEO, Mr. Leong’s driving desires is to see that the work done by Pono Pacific leaves a lasting beneficial impact on Hawaii, as well as allow the people who make up the company find significance, value, and community in the place they work. Additionally, Pono Pacific has a strong commitment to Hawaii’s youth and the betterment of local communities.  In 2007, Mr. Leong, his wife Julianna Rapu Leong, and long-time friend and colleague Matthew Bauer founded a separate 501c3 non-profit, Kupu, which provides hands-on, service based job training programs to Hawaii’s youth across the state.  With an annual budget of close to $3.5 million, Kupu’s programs provide over 300 paid and non-paid positions on seven islands, as well as provide $450,000 in educational funds to encourage local youth to continue schooling. Some of Mr. Leong’s achievements include U.S. Presidential Award for Small Business, Board of Directors, The Corps Network (since 2009), Management of 2 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects 2009-2010, 2010 Pacific Business News Forty Under 40, 2010 Best In Business I Finalist, 2010 Bank of Hawaii Community Leader of the Year, 2011 Legislative and Gubernatorial Proclamation of “Pono Pacific Day”, 2012 20 for the Next 20 Hawaii Business Magazine, judge for Pacific Business News and Pacific Edge magazine awards, 2013 Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs Ho'oulu Award, Hawaii delegate chosen to speak on Job Creation before the U.S. Democratic Senate Caucus.