Posted on: July 21, 2011

Tapani Vuori Joins Pacific Whale Foundation

Tapani Vuori has joined Pacific Whale Foundation as the Regional Manager and Retail Buyer. He will be responsible for overseeing the retail operations of Pacific Whale Foundation, including Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Stores in Lahaina and Ma’alaea, and Pacific Whale Foundation’s online Ocean Store at www.pacificwhale.org.

Vuori was the Retail Director at Maui Ocean Center for 9 years, operating their extremely successful high-end retail operation and managing a staff of 26 employees. While there, he also led the opening of a retail operation at Maui Ocean Center’s sister aquarium in Palma deMallorca, Spain, in 2007.

Vuori has also served as the General Manager of Finlandia Furniture and the General Operations Manager of Computer City/Compuworld, a computer superstore with 135 employees. Vuori has also founded two businesses and served as the CEO of each. Moomin Shop is a successful specialty cartoon shop with an online e-commerce presence. Pilo Furniture was a high end European specialty furnishings company.

Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Stores are located at 612 Front Street in Lahaina and at The Harbor Shops at Ma’alaea next to Maui Ocean Center. Store hours are 06:30 am to 20:30 pm daily in Lahaina and 06:00 am to 18:00 pm daily in Ma’alaea. The shops carry ocean-themed clothing and hats, educational books and videos, games and toys for children, jewelry and gift items, plus cameras, binoculars, reef-safe sunscreen and other adventure gear. All profits from sales support Pacific Whale Foundation’s mission to protect our oceans through science and advocacy, through research, education and conservation programs. To learn more, visit www.pacificwhale.org.

“I’m excited about serving the loyal group of customers who shop at our Ocean Stores,” says Vuori. “We will be building upon the unique line of gear and clothing that is designed and created especially for Pacific Whale Foundation and is available exclusively at Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Stores.”

“Being a person who loves the ocean, I am especially happy to be working for a retail operation that raises funds to support programs such as wild dolphin research, whalewatches and education programs for children, and conservation advocacy,” comments Vuori.

“Tapani brings extensive experience in all phases of retail management to this job,” says Greg Kaufman, President and Founder of Pacific Whale Foundation. “We are especially impressed with the many demanding assignments and challenges he has taken on during the course of his career, his entrepreneurial outlook and his progressive approach to management.”

“He arrives at an exciting time of growth for our retail operations,” notes Kaufman. “Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Store on Front Street in Lahaina has recently expanded in size from 1312 square feet to 2320 square feet. This is a huge step forward for us, and will give our Lahaina customers a greater choice of products and a more comfortable shopping environment.
 

Kaufman points out that Pacific Whale Foundation’s online Ocean Store at www.pacificwhale.org has only scratched the surface in terms of its potential. “We look forward to making it easier and more fun for our customers to shop with us, even when they’re home on the Mainland,” he says. “We hear over and over that you can’t find products like ours anywhere else.”

“We are also looking to make our stores and our products as green as possible,” comments Kaufman. “Tapani has hit the ground running in this area; in just a few weeks, he has found a way to cut our energy costs dramatically in our stores, by replacing our conventional lighting with energy efficient LED lighting through the Hawaii Energy Future program.”

Pacific Whale Foundation is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, founded on Maui in 1980. A pioneer in non-invasive whale research in Hawaii, Pacific Whale Foundation also introduced educational whalewatch tours to Maui, to raise funds for its work. Since then, Pacific Whale Foundation has grown to become an international organization with more than 130 employees and projects in Hawaii, Australia, Ecuador and other parts of the world. To learn more about Pacific Whale Foundation, visit www.pacificwhale.org.