Sakada Offspring

Michael Robert Deloso

Driven to success.

Lucy Peros | All photos courtesy Deloso ‘Ohana

An ancient Chinese proverb says “Learning is a treasure that follows its owner everywhere.” Leonardo da Vinci also once said “Learning never exhausts the mind.” This month’s Sakada Offspring, Michael Robert Deloso, definitely is a person whose learning and education followed him everywhere.

Michael Deloso

Michael was born in Los Angeles, California on March 22, 1958 and was raised on Maui by his parents, Alfred and Clara Ruiz Deloso. Alfred’s parents (Felix and Lucia Deloso) were Visayan (Cebu and Bohol). They came to Maui and lived in Waikapū, where his father worked for the sugar cane company. Clara’s parents, (Marcos and Mary Ruiz) were Ilocano. They came from Narvacan, Philippines to Hāli‘imaile, Maui, where he eventually worked as a truck driver for the Maui Land and Pine Company. Marcos and Mary were also very active in the Filipino Community Association in Hāli‘imaile.

“I remember my sister, brother and I would spend a lot of time in Hāli‘imaile with our grandparents—living there until my brother Ross was born and the family moved to Kahului,” Mike recalls. “And throughout our childhood, we would often spend weekends there, exploring every area we could. One of the fondest memories I have is when we would ask our grandmother for some change so we could go to the small store that was a couple of blocks away. She would always pull out some change from a little change purse that she had, and we would run two blocks, through our neighbors’ yards, to the store where we could each get candy. Our grandfather would drive us out into the pineapple fields to show us the crops. And, both grandparents taught me to drive through the little village (even before I was old enough) and once I got my license, he gave me their old car that I used to learn to drive. Visiting Waikapū was always busy, with a very large family of uncles, aunts and cousins. My grandfather Felix died early, when I was in elementary school but my grandmother had a long life surrounded by family.”

High school graduation with grandpa Ruiz and mom Clara.

Michael’s sister Claire and her husband Victor Flocco run a number of businesses throughout the islands and live on Maui. They have a son, Angelo. Michael’s brother Ross now coaches track at Maui High School. He has a daughter, Mahealani who also lives on Maui.

While living in Hāli‘imaile, Michael attended Doris Todd Nursery School and Makawao Elementary School. Mike’s family moved to Kahului where he attended Kahului Elementary School, then to Maui High School.

Alfred Deloso with mom.

At Maui High, Mike was a very active student, starting his freshman year in Speech, Debate, Student Government and Golf. He expanded his involvement working with the Yearbook, Maui Hi-Notes newspaper, Social Committee, Homecoming Committee, Saber Theater, and representative to the Maui District Student Council Organization, and the Maui Curriculum Conference. Mike was recognized with the National Merit Scholarship Program Commendation (top 35,000 students in the US), Daughters of American Revolution Good Citizen Award, inducted to the Society of Distinguished American High School Students, National Honor Society and National Forensics League (Degree of Distinction). The active involvement in learning, in the classroom and outside of it, is something Mike took with him to college, where his level of dedication and involvement continued to expand.

Mike attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. At Purdue, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and was engaged in numerous campus activities and organizations. Mike is a member of Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, where he held a number of different offices and was named National Outstanding Undergraduate Man of the Year in 1980.

Family photo after Maui High School Graduation (1976).

Mike was recruited from Purdue by Procter & Gamble (global consumer goods giant). He started at the Corporate Headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1981. Mike was part of a newly developing business concept grouping organizations that were related to the physical creation, planning, movement, storage and delivery of products called “Product Supply” (which everyone understands post-COVID as “Supply Chain”). Mike moved through the organization, averaging 13 months on each assignment, working with all the big brands like Pampers/Luvs, Tide and other detergents, Crest and Scope and other health and beauty aides, Pantene, Vidal Sassoon and other beauty care brands. He once worked with all divisions/brands in an assignment to secure and produce all of P&G’s printed advertisements. Toward the end of his tenure at P&G, Mike was the Supply Chain lead doing post-merger integration of Richardson Vicks (an acquisition in the late 1980s). He also led the business turnaround for a struggling Vidal Sassoon beauty care products business and finally, led a manufacturing operation restructuring, which took him and his wife to Greensboro, North Carolina.

Mike joined Andersen Consulting in 1992 (now Accenture) in San Francisco to start and grow their Supply Chain and Manufacturing Operations Consulting Practice. Mike and family moved to San Francisco where in addition to developing and growing the new consulting practice, Mike’s clients included Levi Strauss & Company in San Francisco, Microsoft outside of Seattle and Nike in Portland, Oregon.

The wedding of Alfred and Clara.

In 1996, Mike was asked to join Nike to start up a new billion-dollar business unit initially for Nike apparel (with plans to expand to footwear and equipment down the road). Two years after the successful start-up of the new business unit, Mike was asked to be the Global Leader of Strategy and Finance for Nike Apparel, working across all global regions in the direction and execution of important business strategies and tactics, and the delivery of expected business results.

In 2001, Mike joined a tech start-up company, Gaia, as one of two business-focused leaders. The company was started by Intel engineers, all on the ground floor in the development of “blue tooth” technology. The start-up defined and created a new business application leveraging blue tooth technology and access to data/information within Retail and Big Consumer Brands. Gaia was doing really well with its introduction and start-up/roll-out. Unfortunately, when the tech market crashed, the company did not secure 4th round funding and shut its doors.

Michael, daughter Emma and wife Linda.

In 2003, Mike joined Carter’s | OshKosh (baby, children’s clothing brand) in Atlanta, Georgia, initially as VP of Inventory, and later as VP of Operations. Mike’s initial focus was to get Carter’s financially ready from an Operations perspective, for its initial Public Offering (IPO) which was successfully done in 2004.

In 2007, Mike decided to go back into consulting, joining Deloitte Consulting, LLP in Atlanta where he shifted focus from Consumer Products to Healthcare/Life Sciences. He worked with many Fortune 100 life sciences companies—J&J, Merck, Cardinal Health, Glaxo Smith Kline, Sanofi, Novartis as well as smaller, more contemporary pharmaceutical and medical devices companies. Mike’s clients list had him spending a great deal of time in Europe—Belgium, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland and UK. Mike retired in 2020.

Personally, Mike has been married for 40 years to Linda Allen Deloso from Indianapolis, Indiana, who he met at Purdue. Linda’s career included working at an advertising agency, selling airtime for Radio and TV, being on-air as a news reporter for the ABC Affiliate in North Carolina, video direction and production for various clients and finally voice-over work. They have one daughter, Emma, who lives in Manhattan and works for the Shubert Organization, the largest Broadway organization in the world with seventeen theatres on Broadway. Emma graduated from UCLA and studied abroad in London, as well as a study semester at New York University working with the United Nations.

Daughter Emma.

There hasn’t been a lot of time outside of work but Mike has been able to be involved in a few activities:
Junior Achievement while at P&G, he ran mini-companies for a number of years which enabled High School students to start up, run and eventually close down a business (one of his companies was named Company of the Year for the state). He was also asked to run the mini-company program across P&G (its second largest volunteer/investment activity).

Mike and Linda started a non-profit in Cincinnati to use their business acumen and connections to purely raise money for those organizations that could build/renovate affordable housing for the growing homeless problem in the city.
United Way while in North Carolina (P&G’s #1 volunteer/investment focus)—Mike ran the United Way campaign across the manufacturing facilities in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point Triad raising money for United Way Organizations.

Mike worked side-by-side with the Church leadership at Beaverton Christian Church in Oregon, developing strategies and annual business plans with specific activities to grow “small-groups” within the parish.

While Emma was at UCLA, Mike was selected by the University to be part of their Parent Student Organization to guide family and student activities while students were at UCLA. He was instrumental in welcoming out-of-state students and families and injecting unique out-of-state perspectives to various programs.

While at Deloitte, Mike was also engaged in the growth of supply chain professionals, being a mentor to many within Deloitte, and leading nation-wide university case competitions to improve the capabilities of college graduates focused on supply chain.

The opportunities and experiences Mike (and his family) have had, as he reflects, are all possible because his grandparents, Felix and Lucia Deloso, and Marcos and Mary Ruiz, had the courage to leave their lives as they knew it, emigrated to someplace far away and start anew doing hard work in Hawai‘i just to survive. Learning a new language, integrating and living with those from other backgrounds and cultures, and working difficult, manual jobs just on the chance that it would be a better life for their families and the generations to come, is more than admirable.

As a result, his mother and father were firsts in the families—to get college educations, secure good jobs and start to live the dream their parents were hoping for.

And Mike has benefited by being part of the next generation. His mom, dad, sister, brother and Mike traveled across the U.S. as kids, and travel has been a big part of his life over the last 40 years. He has been lucky to travel and work in many different cities and countries around the world and have had the means to include his wife and daughter in many of the adventures abroad. Education was important to his parents, so he was encouraged to think about studies in the mainland and ended with two degrees from Purdue. Hard work was part of his family’s DNA, and he constantly worked to do the best he could with every role he had.

“The cool thing is I see the same traits that my grandparents had and that I had, in my daughter,” he states. He and his wife encouraged their daughter to be bold regarding education—to go for the dream no matter how difficult. She was accepted to UCLA which is the most applied to public university in the U.S. and graduated in four years. “She has the courage to do something different even if it meant moving to New York City to potentially get a job on Broadway, while COVID had the city and the industry shut down,” Michael reveals. “And she is doing the hard work, driving to be successful.”

Lucy Peros is a retired schoolteacher, having taught at St. Anthony Grade School and Waihe‘e Elementary School. Both of her late parents, Elpidio Cachero Cabalo (a 1946 Sakada) and Alejandra Cabudoy Cabalo of Hāli‘imaile, worked for Maui Land and Pine Company. Lucy now enjoys retirement and has time to join other seniors in the Enhance Fitness Program under the Department of Aging three times a week. She also attends the line dancing class and other activities at Kaunoa and joins other Waihe‘e School retirees when help is needed at the school. Lucy also devotes some of her time to activities at Christ The King Catholic Church. She enjoys writing and reading in her spare time.