Hawaii Loses Business Leader and ‘Wise Man’ Joe Dacey

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Sam Slom interviews Joe Dacey

BY SEN. SAM SLOM – Sunny Joe Dacey died last week in Honolulu ending an outstanding business and leadership career. Joe, a member of Small Business Hawaii (SBH) from the outset in the mid- 1970s, was a familiar figure at  SBH business and community events, including his last monthly SBH SUNRISE Networking Breakfast several months ago.

Joe was 86. He continued to be a mentor for young business men and women. He is survived by his wonderful wife Mary Ann who traveled the world with him.


Nicknamed “Sunny” by his Mother, Joe always brought positive energy and a smile into a gathering. He was Chairman Emeritus of A. H. Hansen Sales, Ltd., a major food wholesaling business in Honolulu. He along with Art Hansen, were pioneers in voluntary employee benefits and incentives, including profit sharing.

Joe served as an officer in the Navy, CEO of his own company and past president of the Pacific Club and Waialae Country Club. He always was known for his positive attitude. He was a gentleman’s gentleman.

In 2002, Joe was included in a best-selling book entitled,  “Lessons in Leadership and Life: Secrets of Eleven Wise Men,” by Dickson C. Buxton, Managing Director of Private Capital Corporation. (Two other Honolulu business leaders were also included in the book: Robert Midkiff, Hawaii Theatre chairman, and former Honolulu Advertiser publisher, Thurston Twigg-Smith).

Buxton said, “Joe was a very special friend of mine and his spirit will stay with me. Anyone who has read Lessons in Leadership and Life knows about this Wise Man and why he was one of the most loved men in Hawaii.”

Private Capital Corporation and Bernstein Global Wealth Management are hosting a Hawaii CEO Summit, Thursday, September 1, at the Hawaii Theatre from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  A lot has changed since the Hawaii Theatre reception for the leaders and the book, September 10, 2002.

Joe will be there in Spirit.

Mahalo Joe, for all you have shared with us and for your ever-present smile. Your leadership lives on.

(Joe’s celebration of life will be held Sunday, September 4, 5:30 p.m. at the Waialae Country Club. Aloha attire is requested.)