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Richard Schuman

Magnum Helicopters
To be a good leader, you have to lead by example. You need to be willing to do whatever it takes to make the job happen. If your employees see you willing to take that extra effort, that extra step, they’ll follow.

About the Entrepreneur

Richard Schuman has been immersed in the transportation industry his entire life. Starting with Schuman Carriage, a horse-drawn wagon company founded by his great-grandfather in 1893, the family business evolved into an automotive dealership and finally a helicopter company.
Today, Magnum Helicopters provides aerial tours of Oahu and is a division of Schuman Aviation, which also includes Makani Kai Air, an airplane operation that primarily services the island of Molokai. Working with CBS in the reboot of the classic 1980s crime drama Magnum P.I., Richard’s latest project for Magnum Helicopters is developing a fully immersive Magnum P.I. experience.

More with Richard

What do people love about Schuman Aviation?

One of the great things about our business on the helicopter side is that visitors come from all over the world and when they’re able to take an aerial view of the island of Oahu and see the beauty of the island and some of our major features like Diamond Head and especially Pearl Harbor, it’s very moving for them and life-changing because they get to experience something they never experienced before. They get to feel very good about themselves: they've overcome a fear of helicopters, saw the beauty of our island, and learned some of the histories of our island.

Has COVID-19 resulted in any unexpected surprises?

One of the unexpected surprises was the reaction that I got from Hawaii National Bank. I have done business with other larger banks before and had history with them, but when this all came down, I worked with my account executive closely. We were talking probably daily on the phone about what was going on. They were very understanding, they wanted to be kept informed of what was happening on a regular basis and we started working on game plans to figure this out.

With four generations in the transportation industry, what are some lessons that have been passed down?

Something that I’ve learned, mainly from my grandmother who would tell me how my grandfather and my great grandfather would operate as businesspeople, was integrity. Running an honest business, taking care of your employees, making sure when you give a person your word that you come through with it. That’s my motivation. It’s having that integrity to do the right thing. Take care of the people who were taking care of you when you were growing.

What do you love about banking with Hawaii National Bank?

Their willingness to come to my location, to see how we operate, to meet my people, and get to know my business. I’ve banked with the two largest banks in Hawaii for many years, and when I moved to Hawaii National Bank I was very impressed – I couldn’t believe that banks operate the way they operate. They operate the way I envision banks should operate: Where they get to know you as a customer, they get to know your type of business, and they are willing to support your growth. That’s what we need as small business people.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Although it will take some time, I believe we can pull it off.
Richard Schuman
Magnum Helicopters

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