- President and chief executive officer, Kualoa Ranch
- Descendent of Dr. Garrett Judd, recipient of the Kualoa Nature Reserve and Ranch from King Kamehameha III
- Sixth generation of large business founders in the islands
Travels from Oahu, Hawaii
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President, Kualoa Ranch, sixth generation descendent and owner
Cigarette aside, John Morgan is the definitive Hawaii Marlboro Man. He knows his 4000 acre spread like the back of his hand. A sixth-generation descendant of Dr. Gerrit P. Judd, a missionary dentist who befriended King Kamehameha III, Morgan today oversees the land that Judd purchased from the king in 1850.
Kualoa Ranch was recognized as a 2013 regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winner during the 2013 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, Colo. Under Morgan’s leadership, Kualoa Ranch has built a reputation for balancing cattle production and protecting the environment for future generations.
Kualoa Ranch includes three mountains, two valleys, two streams, dense rainforest, an 800-year-old Hawaiian fishpond and a secret beach called Secret Island. Kualoa has morphed into many things throughout the years, and with Morgan’s vision and willingness to push the envelope, currently encompasses a working cattle ranch, blooming agriculture, and a thriving recreational enterprise. The ranch, which has been the site of films from the 1961 Elvis Presley hit Blue Hawaii to the more recent Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Lost, 50 First Dates, Descendants, Hawaii 5-0 and, others including the recent Jurassac World will continue to consider opportunities that allow it to share its beauty with a broader audience. Kualoa Ranch now attracts half a million visitors a year, most of whom are interested in the Hollywood aspect of the tours. “The more things that are filmed here, the more people go ‘Oh, that’s great. I want to go there.’ It’s a wonderful thing for us,” says Morgan.
In the past few years, John Morgan diversified the land’s usage, encouraging farming and the growth of Kualoa’s agricultural involvement. Kualoa now participates in vegetable and fruit farming, flower nurseries and production of fish, oysters and prawns for local markets. More recently, Kualoa began serving and retailing its own beef from cattle raised on the ranch, and has expanded this venture to the Big Island, as well.
“Through John Morgan’s leadership, Kualoa Ranch has demonstrated that sustainable land stewardship and economic stability are vital to good stewardship of the land,” said Gottlieb. “The fact that hundreds of thousands of people visit Kualoa Ranch every year and see the beauty of the land and learn about ecosystem services that ranching provides to the community are of great benefit to our industry and to the preservation of the land itself.”
“We’re continually thinking of ways to enhance our experiences while keeping true to our mission,” Morgan said. A year ago the ranch started serving its grass-fed beef in its restaurant. Plans are in the works to build a double-hulled canoe as an educational display for its Ocean Voyaging tour. There is an annual country fair that attracts thousands of local and mainland participants in 4H competitions. Kualoa offers zip-lining, horseback riding, and ATV-ing, and in early 2016 they launched a Hollywood-specific bus tour that integrates the set pieces from Jurassic World and other movies that remain onsite.
John is a true outdoorsman, mountain climber, hiker, horseback rider, and nature enthusiast. He’s truly living the dream. “My family feels fortunate to be the caretakers of such a beautiful and significant part of Hawaii,” Morgan said. “We intend to preserve Kualoa Ranch as a place of refuge, enjoyment and education for all.” Through John’s leadership some new ventures are in the works. His vision continues to grow for Kualoa Ranch, and he just keeps pushing the envelope.
Expanding Your Vision & Pushing the Envelope
From Vision to Reality
Diversifying Your Business
Using Your Success to Make a Difference
Creating the Life You Love
Adding Value While Adding to the Bottom Line
Creating a Positive Company Culture
John’s talks are wonderful for visitor groups, local corporate programs, associations, university groups, and environmental groups.
He speaks on the history of Kualoa Ranch, being a rancher in Hawaii, the cattle business in Hawaii, new endeavors such as their oyster farms, and the movie business at Kualoa Ranch.
The Kualoa Private Nature Reserve is one of the most historically significant areas on Oʻahu, and in ancient times, it was one of the most sacred places on the island.
Established in 1850, Kualoa is a 4,000-acre Private Nature Reserve as well as a working cattle ranch with more than 500 head of cattle, stretching from the steep mountain cliffs to the sparkling sea. Located on the northeastern side of Oahu in the Hawaiian countryside and along the white sandy shores of Kaneohe Bay, it is just 24 miles from Honolulu. The reserve terrain varies from dense rainforest to broad open valleys and from beautiful white sand beaches to verdant cliff faces. It is truly a paradise for outdoor recreation with many places accessible only by horseback, on an all-terrain vehicle, or by hiking.