RAM wel­comes new chief staff ex­ec­u­tive

The Maui News - - CLASSIFIEDS - By SARAH RUPPENTHAL

He may be “the new guy,” but David Belew is al­ready a fa­mil­iar face around town.

Belew, Real­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of Maui, Inc.’s newly minted chief staff ex­ec­u­tive, moved from Chicago to Maui in Novem­ber, a few months af­ter his pre­de­ces­sor, Terry Tol­man, an­nounced his re­tire­ment. It’s safe to say that Belew has ac­cli­mated quickly. In the space of two months, he has met hun­dreds of peo­ple, joined a con­gre­ga­tion, be­come a mem­ber of two board game clubs, and signed up to vol­un­teer at the Maui Hu­mane So­ci­ety.

Oh, and he also landed a role in Maui On­Stage’s pro­duc­tion of “Cabaret,” which opens at the His­toric Iao Theater in Wailuku on March 2.

“I’m not a sit-around kind of guy,” he laughed.

Born in Mis­souri and raised in Texas, Belew stud­ied mu­sic at the Uni­ver­sity of Texas at El Paso, and later, earned a de­gree in in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy. In 1999, he was hired as a help desk an­a­lyst at the Chicago-head­quar­tered Amer­i­can Bar As­so­ci­a­tion and swiftly scaled the lad­der — from an­a­lyst to help desk man­ager to se­nior project man­ager to divi­sion direc­tor of mar­ket­ing ser­vices.

Af­ter 16 years at the ABA, he be­came the direc­tor of mem­ber ser­vices for the Al­liance of Merger and Ac­qui­si­tion Ad­vi­sors, a Chicagob­ased as­so­ci­a­tion of 2,000 merger and ac­qui­si­tion pro­fes­sion­als. There, among other things, he su­per­vised staff and over­saw all mem­ber­ship pro­grams and ac­tiv­i­ties.

Last sum­mer, Belew spot­ted RAM’s job post­ing on LinkedIn and was in­stantly in­trigued.

“When I started read­ing the job de­scrip­tion (for chief staff ex­ec­u­tive), I said to my­self: ‘That’s ev­ery­thing I do,’ ” he re­called. “It was my job de­scrip­tion.”

Belew fig­ured it could be a long shot (he knew there would be a flood of ap­pli­cants ex­cited by the prospect of work­ing for a rep­utable or­ga­ni­za­tion on Maui), but de­cided to toss his hat in the ring any­way. Turns out, it was a very wise de­ci­sion. Af­ter a flurry of phone calls, a Skype in­ter­view and a whirl­wind, 24-hour trip to Maui to meet with RAM’s se­lec­tion com­mit­tee, he packed his things and waved good­bye to the Windy City in early Novem­ber.

Apart from await­ing the ar­rival of his dog, Yakko, Belew says ev­ery­thing has fallen neatly into place over the past two months — and he at­tributes much of that to the warm wel­come he’s re­ceived from RAM.

“The mem­bers, the staff and the board have been very sup­port­ive,” he said.

He also cred­its Maui’s thes­pi­ans for mak­ing him feel at home.

“The theater com­mu­nity has been so wel­com­ing,” he said.

Belew de­vel­oped a pas­sion for the per­form­ing arts at a young age, and over the years, he’s di­rected and acted in stage plays and mu­si­cal pro­duc­tions in Texas, Mis­souri and Illi­nois — and now he can add Hawaii to that list. He didn’t waste any time sign­ing up to au­di­tion for Maui On­Stage’s pro­duc­tion of “Cabaret;” he will also put his vo­cal chops on display dur­ing the “RAM’s Got Tal­ent” show at the His­toric Iao Theater on Feb. 10.

In the days to come, Belew said he plans to ex­plore Hawaii, hone his golf game, learn how to wind­surf, and most im­por­tantly, con­tinue to help RAM mem­bers be more suc­cess­ful in their ca­reers.

“I’m very happy to be here and to be a part of this or­ga­ni­za­tion,” he said. “This is my home now; I am so taken with this place.”

Belew suc­ceeds Terry Tol­man, who gave his time and tal­ent to RAM for more than two decades.

“Terry was in­stru­men­tal in guid­ing RAM into the 21st cen­tury in terms of in­ter­net ac­cess, pro­grams and ap­pli­ca­tions de­signed to make busi­ness eas­ier and more ef­fec­tive for the mem­ber­ship,” said 2015-16 RAM Pres­i­dent Jean­nie Wenger. “His con­tri­bu­tions over the 20-plus years are as­tound­ing. Be­sides main­tain­ing an of­fice staff, he made sure to be the voice of RAM within the com­mu­nity, as well as the Hawaii As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors and the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors. The mem­ber­ship owes him a debt of grat­i­tude for his many years of ser­vice to Maui Real­tors.”

Do you know a RAM mem­ber who should be rec­og­nized for their con­tri­bu­tions to the com­mu­nity? If so, send your story idea to Sarah Ruppenthal at mis­s­rup­[email protected]

David Belew, RAM’s new chief staff ex­ec­u­tive, is a man of many tal­ents. He will ap­pear on stage at the an­nual “RAM’s Got Tal­ent” show on Feb. 10, and in Maui On­Stage’s pro­duc­tion of “Cabaret” in March.

The Voice of Real Es­tate on Maui

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