In his new job, Jack Stone relishes the chance to “bring aloha, live aloha and give aloha.” // © 2016 Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
Feature image (above): Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa // © 2016 Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa recently welcomed Jack Stone to the newly created position of cultural advisor. He guides the resort’s cultural programs, celebrations and activities, from coconut husking and taro pounding to hula and ukulele lessons.
Born and raised on the island of Molokai, Stone has been working in the hospitality industry since 1990. He told us about why he loves sharing Hawaiian culture with visitors and what they can get out of the experience.
Why did you accept the job at Sheraton Maui?
My passion is to teach, share and bring Hawaiian values to life for all. It has been a dream of mine to lead a Hawaiian cultural program at a resort like Sheraton Maui, especially given the deep significance of its location at Puu Kekaa (Black Rock). This is a great opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted: Bring aloha, live aloha and give aloha.
What kinds of things are Sheraton Maui’s guests most interested in, in terms of local culture?
Guests love hands-on activities and crafts. They want to hear the why and the how behind every activity and get the full experience and feeling behind what they are doing. They also like learning about Hawaii’s history. My goal is to increase their knowledge of this special place while teaching them about ancient Hawaii.
How can visitors benefit from time spent with you?
I’m passionate about teaching, explaining and sharing the stories of Hawaii. Whether a guest wants to play ukulele, practice hula, open a coconut or simply talk story, I think visitors to our resort will feel a deeper connection to Sheraton Maui and to Hawaii after learning about the traditions and history of our islands.
A lot of Hawaii resorts have on-site cultural advisors these days. What do you bring to the job that’s unique?
I love to play Hawaiian music. I actually started a local band back in 1995 and was nominated by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts as “Most Promising Artist” in 1997. Now, you can find me around Sheraton Maui strumming my ukulele in the lobby, at the pool and in Na Hoku Lounge, sharing the aloha spirit through song.
How did your upbringing on Molokai affect the way you do your job today?
Growing up in Manae, on the east side of Molokai, I learned a lot from our elders about sustainability. I was taught about taking care of what we have and limiting what we take from our ocean and our land so we have something for tomorrow. I learned to give without asking for anything in return. Today I continue to be thankful and grateful for all that I have. I try to share aloha every day.