Editor’s Page: Team

Pulling together.
Robbie Dingeman

I landed my first journalism job as a junior at the University of Hawai‘i, working as a summer intern at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. That turned into a part-time gig there, then a full-time job, and, before I knew it, 20-plus years in various jobs in the news business raced by. That first summer, my brother David gave me the advice that I should consider the people I was working with as a peek into my potential future. He explained I’d likely become similar to them in many ways. I took it to heart (hey, he’s my big brother).


That year, I got to know people who worked hard to help readers understand and navigate our community, who strived to make the world a better place, who loved words, cracked wise during stressful times and treated others fairly. Some were quirky characters but mostly in a more-interesting-than-crazy way. They taught me a lot, setting an example of good work done well, with humor and care for others. On good days, I feel I am wired like them.


That workplace camaraderie helps us thrive, especially because we often spend more of our waking hours with our co-workers than our families. I’m feeling fortunate these days for our team at HONOLULU as we thank those who stick by us through the challenges, triumphs and trials each week. Working on the Best of Honolulu issue gives us the enviable task of celebrating the good things in our community, but no matter the issue, our magazine emerges each month—and our website each day—because of the work of many people: web editors, fashion experts, photographers, salespeople, marketing and event folks, our owner, our bosses, the creative team members who inspire and wow us with thoughtful and innovative designs; support teams who keep everything running. Thanks to all of these people, HONOLULU Magazine can show up in your mailbox.


That workplace camaraderie helps us thrive, especially because we often spend more of our waking hours with our co-workers than our families.


Each member of our editorial team brings strength and smarts and savvy. This month, I’d like to recognize Michael Keany: someone who’s made us think and smile and muse about life in Afterthoughts, the column that’s closed each issue for years. Mike has been with the magazine for 15 years, if you count the time he served as a summer intern while attending UH Mānoa. He rose steadily over the years to become senior writer and then executive editor. Along the way, he’s written poignant, funny and fascinating pieces, too many to recount here. And I can’t thank Mike enough for the past three-and-a-half years he’s worked alongside me. He has been the keeper of institutional knowledge, a skilled editor and a sounding board. I will miss how he appreciates history yet celebrates the fresh and edgy, his keen eye for words and photos, and his wit. I wish him the best as he begins writing the next chapter of his professional life at the state Office of the Auditor. He’ll be working with folks he first knew as colleagues here at the magazine, so we’re pretty confident he’ll be in good company. And I’m happy to say he’s agreed to share a few more Afterthoughts with us in the coming months.


We’re also sending our aloha with three members of our creative team. Happily, two of them, art directors Kelsey Ige and Stephen Guzman, are staying with our company in different roles. I’d like to offer a special thanks and shoutout to associate art director Gary Saito, who has left the building. For the past three years, Gary maintained an air of good humor and calm as he conjured up clever touches and intriguing designs, often on deadline. We’ll miss his work and that smile.


We know that departures also signal arrivals, and I’m looking forward to what’s next with a different mix of talented characters. We learn from the best of times, and do what we can to avoid the worst of times.


One last bit of aloha: Welcome to Ashley Mizuo, our editorial intern for the summer, a junior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in journalism and political science. We’ll tell you more about her next month as she charts her path with us and beyond.


Thoughts about the magazine? Please email me at robbied@honolulumagazine.com.