John and Sally Lyles
John Lyles was born in Fresno, California, in 1945. His father and two uncles had formed a pipeline construction company following World War II. In a UCSB Spanish class, John met Sally (a Punahou alumna); they married in 1970 and moved back to Hawaii shortly after.
In Hawaii, John began working with his mother-in-law on the then-new 27-story condominium, 2033 Nuuanu, honing his skills as a property manager. Around that time, John worked for Theo H. Davies & Co. on the completion of the Davies Pacific Center. However, when the Center was sold to The Hongkong Land Group, he moved companies as well, continuing his tenure in property management. Years later, John formed the American Land Company. Paving his way in the niche market of overseas property owners, American Land Co. they represented their client’s best interests. John worked on projects such as Pauahi Tower (in Bishop Square), the historic renovation of the C. Brewer Building, and the Punahou Cliffs Condominium, among others. In 2018, alongside Fred Moore, John formed a new entity: AutoPark Hawaii, Inc. This new venture seeks to bring advanced technology to the parking industry with the goal of reducing traffic congestion in Waikiki.
A little over 10 years into working in Downtown Honolulu, on days that particularly felt like things were not “going well”, John would take his lunch hour and pull out $100 from the bank and walk it down to IHS when it was then located at 127 Beretania St, often conversing with Fr. DuTeil. At the time, his donations felt like a self-professed “sacrificial exercise” as he tried to start different company ventures, with the fourth one sticking and proving quite successful.
Now, some years later–over 40–John and Sally have generously donated a generous gift of $100,000. Taking an alternative path from traditional philanthropy practices, they chose to give this gift now rather than creating an endowment. A decision that did not come lightly, but at its heart, from the desire to ensure their hard-earned money is given to an organization that is doing good work and paying it forward.
Mahalo nui loa, John and Sally, thanks for believing in our mission then and continuing to be part of our ‘ohana all these years later.