22 Oct OluKai’s CEO Honored for Entrepreneurship
Goldman Sachs is recognizing OluKai CEO Jim Harris as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2015 at its Builders + Innovators Summit in Santa Barbara, CA.
Goldman Sachs selected Harris as one of 100 entrepreneurs from multiple industries to be honored at the two-day event. Under Harris’s guidance and stewardship, OluKai has grown from a startup to a nationally recognized brand. Harris’s passion for the brand and his belief in every single employee has catalyzed OluKai’s growth – building a company with strong core values and an independent spirit. OluKai has established itself as a role model for corporate citizenship, having contributed significant resources to giveback programs, becoming a certified B Corporation, and most recently establishing Ama OluKai Foundation a 501(c)(3) in the state of Hawaii.
“Being recognized in this way is primarily a testament to the passion and innovation of every member of the OluKai team,” said Harris. “Creating a culture that unlocks the maximum potential of everyone in the organization is what I’m most proud of at OluKai.”
Harris has a regarded track record focused on investing in and leading premium consumer brands. He was President and Partner of Huneeus Vintners, a luxury wine holding company in Rutherford, California which includes the wines of Quintessa, Flowers and The Prisoner among others. Previously, Harris was CEO of Scharffen Berger Chocolate Manufacturer and ultimately ran Hershey’s premium chocolate division following the acquisition of Scharffen. His impact there was documented in a popular Harvard Business School case study. Harris began his career as a private equity investor at Kohlberg & Company and Trivest, Inc. Harris is also currently an Operating Partner at CenterOak, a private equity fund. He is an active angel investor and member of the board of directors of several successful businesses including: Winebow, Southern Tide, Marine Layer, Numi Tea, Tcho Chocolates, Fork-in-the-Road Foods, Inner City Advisors (non-profit) and Fund Good Jobs (non-profit).
“We are honored to recognize Mr. Harris as one of the most intriguing entrepreneurs of 2015,” said David Solomon, co-head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs. “This is an exciting time for entrepreneurs. This is the fourth year that we’ve hosted the Builders + Innovators Summit and continue to be amazed by what happens when a diverse group of seasoned and emerging business leaders — the builders and innovators – come together to discuss how to drive innovation, create jobs, and build enduring organizations.”
For more than 145 years, Goldman Sachs has been advising and financing entrepreneurs as they launch and grow their businesses. In addition to honoring 100 entrepreneurs, the summit consists of general sessions and clinics led by Goldman Sachs experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, academics and business leaders as well as resident scholars.