EARLY MOST MORNINGS when the surf is pounding, you’ll find Creighton Arita among the waves. “Waves come at different times, you can’t plan it. I wish you could,” says Arita, the CEO of ʻike Hawaii, an umbrella of Hawaii technology companies.
ʻike Hawaii’s more than 300 employees enjoy a “work lifestyle” that Arita says embraces team accountability and personal work/life balance management. “Our goal is to attract leaders, attract innovation and soft-land them into Hawaii, or into their passion and their gifts, and to be able to create a leadership culture of great people … who create great impacts.”
Arita got his professional start as a Wall Street investor, rising over eight years from intern to executive VP of local firm Cadinha & Co. Then he joined his father, Dan Arita, at Datahouse, now a 40-year-old company that Dan Arita founded after foreseeing the importance of technology in streamlining Hawaii workplaces.
“In his wisdom, the way I joined him was by starting up TeamPraxis,” says Arita. But, “The first five years were really humbling for me … I realized that being an entrepreneur was way harder than it looks … you see yourself through your own limitations.” Now, 23 years later, Arita says, TeamPraxis is the largest physician service organization in the state and the largest of ‘ike Hawaii’s seven companies.
“You realize that the culture you build among the employees is a reflection of the joy or the humility or the anger or the control or the fear you have. You realize you need to really value people for who they are and who they can become and not just what they can do for you,” Arita says.
He also serves as executive pastor of the Christ Centered Community Church (C4), which he helped found in 2004. “Creighton has always been a strategic guy,” says Fernando Castillo, C4 co-founder and lead pastor. “He’s very passionate about helping people realize their calling and he’s always [supporting] people to find what they’re best suited for.”
As part of his role with the church, Arita founded a nonprofit that offers administrative services to other Hawaii churches and leads C4’s international mission work.
“I don’t know anyone who is more disciplined than he is,” says Castillo. “He finds the right people, builds the right teams and brings his energy to make it much better and bigger.”
– MEGHAN MINER