“Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” basically means that the first generation in a family-run business starts and grows the company, the second generation drives it, and the third blows it, as explained by Steven Ai. But for the president and CEO of City Mill, Steven and his sister, Carol try to maintain and preserve a legacy that their grandfather started more than 100 years ago.
To lay proof to this claim and refute the business proverb are the various awards they have received as proprietors of City Mill. In 2004, the company was awarded the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award by the Hawaii Psychological Association. In the same year, Steven and Carol were honored the Retailer of the Year and Retail Business of the Year awards by the Retail Merchants of Hawaii.
The century-old company was also featured in Pacific Business News as “Best in Business” worth over $10 million.
“One thing my sister and I wanted to make sure is that we were not the third generation that took the company down. We’re very proud to be third generation. About five to ten percent of businesses will make it to the third generation,” says Steven in his Great Good Radio interview.
What keeps the hardware and lifestyle store a strong business entity in the State is the support-based relationship it preserves through the years with the local community. In addition, City Mill effectively embodies transformation, innovation and keeping up with the times, making the business a fierce competitor of mainland companies founding their trade in the islands.
Evan and Kari brings to you Steven Ai as he shares how “remembering the source of the water you drink” may prove to be an effective business strategy. Listen now to know more.
AI, STEVEN C.
PR/CEO, City Mill Co. Ltd. 138 B. Honolulu,
Iolani School, HI
Whittier College, BA, Bus, Admin.
U of Denver, MBA MIL. NA EXP. EVP (’83-85)
Admin. Asst. (’79-83) with City Mill Co. Ltd.
MGR/Mgt. Consulting, NY, HI with KPMG Peat Marwick
Loan Analyst/International Div., Union Bank
Accountant, City of LA Mayor’s Office CORP. DO. Imatec, Ltd.
Oahu CC, Honolulu Club COM. BD. Children’s Discovery Ctr., Iolani School, HMSA, YMCA, Young Presidents’ Organization, Le Jardin, Fil Com Center, Gee Hing Trust, Hawaii Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Tennis, running, keyboard, guitar, golf, travel, cooking, computers
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