In Memoriam: Kenneth White
Kenneth Lee White was born in San Francisco in 1946. He passed away in Bangkok on November 29, 2015 at the age of 69 years. Until the age of 9 Ken lived overseas in posts throughout South America and the South Pacific. He completed his undergraduate and MBA degrees at University of Puget Sound where he met his wife, Ann, to whom he was married for 45 years. He attended The American Management Association training program in Saranac Lake, NY prior to being recruited by David Rockefeller into the management fasttrack program at Chase Manhattan Bank.
In the 23 years with Chase Manhattan Bank as a mobile overseas professional, Ken learned the inner workings of the banks and banking systems; he became a trouble shooter - fixing problems and then moving on to the next. He rose quickly through the ranks and traveled around the world with his family, Ann, Monique and Travis, to assignments in the Caribbean, Panama, Pakistan and finally Thailand, in 1986.
Ken left his position as Chase’s Senior Vice President of SE Asia in 1992 and started Pacific Siam Strategic Consulting Co. He served on the American Chamber’s Board of Governors for a total of eight years between 1988 and 2011 and as a committee leader and Board liaison for the Business Economics and Tax committees.
His career constantly evolved: beginning with a financial background his attention shifted to promoting corporate governance and transparency in Thailand; the latest chapter recognized the importance of working with individuals on a one- on- one basis. He began coaching and mentoring young, entrepreneurial professionals to help them better navigate their own careers, giving them tools and guidance that he felt would make a real and lasting difference to their professional and personal lives. Between his consulting work, board seats, mentoring, coaching and being sought out by many for advice, Ken was a friend and confidant to many and was always willing to offer wise counsel to those who asked for it.
Ken was a common sight on the fairways of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club; he had an arsenal of corny jokes; he was kind and always reached out to help others; he loved history and reading and his National Geographic collection goes back to 1970.
He loved his family and worked hard to take care of them. He was a “third- culture kid” before the term existed. He was a product and a champion of globalization. Arriving in Thailand in 1986, he made Bangkok his home and permanent residence, finding for the first time in his nomadic life a place he could really call home.