HHF at 40: The 2000s

October 07, 2020

The 00s – Evolution!

We survived Y2K! A new generation of partners took the helm bringing in a fresh wave of planners and landscape designers with them! Founders Larry Helber and Mark Hastert retired and Scott Ezer and Rick Quinn took their place. The firm continued to hone its expertise in military planning and was involved in planning some of O‘ahu’s up-and-coming developments.


Richard “Rick” Quinn, Vice President & Landscape Architect (’00)
“In 2007, I got to go to Tibet and Western China for some work with Shangri-La Hotels on some conceptual designs. Great trip!
Lesson I learned was to never pull on the tail of a Yak!”
Cindy Gamiao, HR and Office Manager (’00)
“A few memories…the world globe that was located in the front lobby had dots showing all the different locations of the firm’s projects.
We were always family-oriented. There was a back office on the Mauka side that was used as our childcare room. The kids used to watch VHS Blockbuster movies, read, take naps and enjoy lunch from McDonald’s.

One of the most memorable projects that I worked on was Wendies’s Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan for the Navy.  I assisted with editing, formatting, etc. which I really enjoyed because the report had so much interesting historical information.”
Tina Bushnell, Associate & Historic Preservation Planner (’08)
“My first project for HHF was the HAMP Navy Cultural Landscape Reports—for all Navy lands. This was a massive project and took years. I think it was started in 2007 and wasn’t finished until 2011. It was me and Wendie, with Ryan doing graphics. It took a long time for me to learn the cultural landscape process—I probably taxed Wendie’s patience.😊

During this project, we used a lot of maps—and hard copies of maps (that I still have). There was a big map (work) table in the back that I would sit at for hours poring over the maps looking for landscape features. Today, we hardly ever use hard copy maps—relying on online access to digital maps. I haven’t seen a hard copy map in years! I kinda miss it.”
George “Rob” James, Senior Associate & Senior Project Manager (’03)
“When I started at HHF, Larry would be working early every morning at his layout table overlooking Honolulu Harbor. We’d chat and drink coffee for a few minutes each morning, if not longer, so I got to know him mainly outside the project work. At the time, he still used a planimeter and dot overlays to calculate areas. He was so excited when I told him I could easily do that in AutoCAD. And just like that, I was Larry’s go-to area calculator until he retired again.”

(Pictured above left to right, Rob and Dave Curry)
Robyn Sweesy, Senior Associate & Senior Project Manager (’04)
“One of my best memories from the early days of working at HHF was attending the evening grand opening celebration of the Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens in August 2008. The event featured a helicopter orchid drop at sunset, fireworks, and a concert by Earth, Wind & Fire. Best of all was seeing thousands of islanders and visitors enjoying the venue, which was over two years in the making.”
Corlyn “Cory” Orr, Senior Project Manager (’08)
“Some memories from the 2000s…
My first project at HHF was a site selection study and then writing an EA, SMA permit application and Diamond Head Special District permit for the Waialae-Kāhala Bicycle Staging Area. Such a technical name for the public bathroom at Kapi‘olani Community College (on Diamond Head Road between the chapel building and the film studio).  It makes me smile. Twenty years later, it’s a well-used amenity for bicyclists and people exercising in the area.
In my early years, I worked on the Hawai‘i Overview Plan. It was the first generation of the Navy’s Regional Shore Infrastructure Plans, and my introduction to military planning and GIS. Our site visits took us to all the different facilities on O‘ahu, places I’d never been before and never knew existed.
Wendie sat at the space across from me during those days, and was my motivating gym partner who would make sure I wouldn’t miss any lunchtime workouts.”

Memorable Work

Hot in the 2000s

Around Downtown

  • Playing Snake on Your Nokia
  • Motorola Flip Phones and Blackberrys
  • First, First Fridays
  • Fax machines
  • Scanners
  • iPods

How We Worked

  • Hand-drawn presentation + report graphics
  • Adobe Creative Suite is born (circa 2003)
  • Actual maps, but also Google Earth!
  • First digital cameras
  • AutoCAD


Check out our recap of the 80s and 90s!

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