Andy Friedlander, forever young

Andy Friedlander
Andy Friedlander

By Howard Dashefsky - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - He works out 6 days a week, has the energy of a man in his 20's, and also runs one of the best known businesses in Hawaii.

But that's just a small part of what keeps Andy Friedlander busy.

It's his passion for people, education and the arts that makes him most proud, and makes him a recipient of one of this year's "Forever Young" awards.

To many, Friedlander is considered the Mayor of Chinatown.

He has walked every nook and cranny of these streets for the last 35 years, while building one of the state's best known commercial real estate companies.

Colliers, Monroe, Friedlander.

"It's been such fun" said Friedlander.  "We have such amazing people in the company that it's allowed us to do some other work because we have great people running the company."

But while his company serves as a testament to his success, Friedlander is most proud of his role as an employer, and mentor.

"It's so much fun to see young people who have no idea what they can do for themselves and to see them mature and become successful citizens in our community" said Friedlander.

And when it comes to giving back, Friedlander leads by example. His primary passion is improving Hawaii's schools.

"Public education is actually getting better all the time" said Friedlander. "The numbers are so much better, we have so many great teachers, so many great principals."

His second great passion, to change the very face of the community that surrounds him by transforming Chinatown into a vibrant arts district. For the professionals. And for the children.

"They brought all the students down here and he community turned out, all the other artists came in, people wanted to buy it.  It was phenomenal art from King Intermediate."

A kid at heart himself, expect to see the forever young, soon to be 70 year old,  pounding the Chinatown pavement for many years to come.