TUMON, Guam—Leonard K. Kaae Sr. was named the 2017 Guam Business Magazine Executive of the Year at a gala last night at the Hyatt Regency Guam.
Kaae, 66, is senior vice president and general manager at Black Construction Corp. He also heads Black Micro Corp., E.E. Black Limited (Philippines) and Black Construction/Mace International Joint Venture, Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory.
Kaae secured his first job with a local construction firm in 1971. By 1978, Kaae ventured from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland and the United Arab Emirates. It was then that he was appointed to E.E. Black as project manager in Hawaii.
His career with the Black Group of Companies has spanned almost 40 years, taking Kaae throughout the Pacific Rim, including Hawaii, Guam, Micronesia and the Philippines. He has now resided in Guam since 1985.
Kaae leads a team of 1,259 employees on any number of million-dollar projects at a time. Recent region-wide and award-winning projects include those at the Chuuk International Airport, the Guam hotel Tsubaki, the closure of Saipan’s Puerto Rico Dump and Saipan Comfort Homes and the Matson Navigation Corp. Inc. new headquarters.
Through Kaae’s management, Black was awarded the national Associated Builders and Contractors prestigious Eagle Award three times—the only company from the Micronesian region to do so. Black has 15 times been named the Guam Contractors Association Contractor of the Year, won numerous Excellence in Construction and other special awards from the association, been recognized with safety awards for its work for the U.S. military in Guam and elsewhere, secured Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, construction awards and received the 2006 U.S. Small Business Administration’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence in construction.
Kaae serves under Black as a member of the Guam Contractors Association, Guam Trades Academy and Society of American Military Engineers, and is individually a part of the Community Assisted Policing Effort, FBI Citizens Academy, Guam Chamber of Commerce and USO Advisory Council, as well as off-island organizations of the Associated Building Contractors, American Concrete Institute and American Concrete Paving Association.
Kaae is featured in a portrait on the cover of the Guam Business magazine’s January- February issue, which was released at the gala.
Other executives who vied for the honor were William D. Beery, vice president and general manager, Tutujan Hill Group Ltd.; Sanjay R. Dewan, president, Dewan Enterprises Inc., which does business as Port of Mocha Coffee House; Christopher K. Felix, president and principal broker, Century 21 Realty Management Co. Inc.; Siska S. Hutapea, president, Cornerstone Valuation Guam Inc.; James I. Oehlerking, CEO, Pacific Telecom Inc., which does business as IT&E; Annette T. Santos, dean of the School of Business and Public Administration, University of Guam; Steven M. Solberg, general manager, Outrigger Guam Beach Resort; and Keith J. Stewart, president, Pacific Rim Group of Companies, and managing member, Isa Villas Partners LLC.
Past Executive of the Year recipients include Robert H. Jones of Triple J Enterprises (1983); Marian Aldan-Pierce of DFS Saipan (2000); Juan T. Guerrero of Herman’s Modern Bakery Inc. (2003); David M. Sablan of Century Group of Companies (2005); Jerry Tan of TanHoldings Inc. (2009); Lourdes A. “Lou” Leon Guerrero of Bank of Guam (2010); George Chiu of TanHoldings (2013); Norman T. Tenorio of Joeten Enterprises Inc. and Pacifica Insurance Underwriters Inc. (2014); Jeffrey B. Jones of Triple J Enterprises (2015); and Jose C. “Joe” Ayuyu of McDonald’s of Guam and Saipan, RJ Corp. and RJ Guam LLC (2016).
The gala was a fundraising event for the Guam Chapter of the American Red Cross. (PR)