Thursday, January 11, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 11, 2001

Hilo Hattie president leaving for job with travel company

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

Chris Resich, the president of Hilo Hattie who oversaw a doubling of business at the Isle retailer in five years, is leaving to become partner and president of Honolulu-based travel destination management company MC&A.

Chris Resich has a travel management background.
Resich, board chairman of the Hawai
i Visitors & Convention Bureau, said the opportunity to partner with MC&A owner Mary Charles and get back into the travel industry persuaded him to leave the retailer.

"I’m really excited about joining the premiere destination management company in Hawaii, which is really the strength in my background," he said. "I am very proud of the accomplishments Hilo Hattie has had over the last several years, and I believe that they have a tremendous future ahead of them."

Resich joined Hilo Hattie in 1995, helping the company expand from five stores in Hawaii with roughly $30 million in annual sales, to 14 stores in Hawaii, Guam and the Mainland with about $70 million in annual revenue.

MC&A provides travel management services in Hawaii for convention groups, package tour customers and corporate incentive trips. Current and past customers include the American Dental Association, Oracle, Nike, American Airlines Vacations and

Charles said she needed someone with vision and leadership skills to help her continue growing the company, which has 140 employees. Revenue increased from $32 million in 1999 to $40 million last year.

Resich, a native of Poland, came to the United States in 1977 as a marketing executive with Polish Airlines. He joined American Express in 1985 after earning an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. There, he worked in various travel-related positions. In 1992, Resich came to Hawaii from New York with American Express. He joined Hilo Hattie as president in 1995.

Jim Romig, founder and chief executive officer of Hilo Hattie, said a search for a replacement will begin immediately. Resich will stay on with Hilo Hattie for three or four weeks to help with transition.

"He is a tremendous asset," said Romig.

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