Ed Sultan '81
Ed Sultan '81 can remember each teacher he had early on during his 13 years at Punahou. From Mrs. Ane '48 in kindergarten to Mr. Durand in the sixth grade, he reels off their names with enviable ease. "I am a product of Punahou School," he chuckles.
"My father [Ed Sultan, Jr. '45] and sisters [Linda Anthony '71 and Susan Anthony Loria '76] went to Punahou and the school has had a huge impact on who I am today."
As President and CEO of Na Hoku, a business founded by his grandfather, Sultan understands the importance of heritage. At the same time, he's not afraid to challenge tradition: Over the past 15 years, Sultan has transformed the small, local business into the seventeenth-largest fine jewelry business in North America.
In 2006, Sultan also co-chaired his 25th-reunion Class Gift committee, which raised $208,925, a record-breaking amount in total class giving.
Sultan's participation in his class reunion fundraising underscores a family commitment to education. In 1946, Ed's grandparents started Sultan Foundation Nursery School in Honolulu, which pioneered an early-intervention program for infants with disabilities that has become a national model. The success of the program eventually led to the founding of Easter Seals Hawai'i, the state's largest provider of services to infants, children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Sultan, who serves on the board of Easter Seals Hawai'i, understands the need to lead by example. He kicked off his involvement with reunion giving with a $25,000 donation that rallied committee members toward success. "I'm ecstatic our class stepped up the way it did," Sultan says. "It was a true team effort and I hope that what we did will encourage future 25th-reunion classes to become involved in class giving because it's an entirely worthwhile cause."
Whether it's tackling ambitious giving goals or guiding a local business to national prominence, Sultan thrives on the challenge of daring, new ideas. It's a quality he sees reflected in his alma mater.
"Punahou develops in its students a sense of confidence that positions them to break out and try new things and lead teams to achieve greater success," Sultan says. "I love the whole idea of leadership. And whether it's the teachers, the students or the culture, there's some magic to Punahou that creates that spirit of leadership."