Cole and Case have more than AOL or Virginia in common - Cole is also a Hawaii native and is committed to sensible land use, as well as economic viability. "Maui Land & Pineapple has great assets but has struggled in recent years," Case stated at the time of the hiring. "David Cole's love for Hawaii and his diverse background made him the ideal person to lead the turnaround effort."

Aren't pineapples and golf courses small potatoes in a post-AOL life? Case is happy to take exception. "I'm still on the board of Time Warner and a significant shareholder, so I still have a considerable interest in what happens there. [But] my principal focus is on existing investments on Kauai and Maui. I plan to visit Hawaii every three months or so."

From The Heart
Case has also taken a philanthropic turn, through the Case Foundation, which largely funds youth and family initiatives, especially those focused on technology and education. The foundation, established in 1997 by Case and his wife, Jean, provided the seed money for the national PowerUp program, meant to close the digital divide by delivering necessary computer skills to underserved youth.

One of the more poignant purposes arose when Case's older brother, Dan, contracted and later died of brain cancer in 2002 at age 44. Before Dan's death, the brothers established Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure. The organization's purpose is self-evident in the name, helping to fund innovative research and clinical trials in the field.

Whatever may yet come for Case, there's already a fair amount of history piled up behind him. But he feels it's of too recent vintage for him to be dispensing any sage advice. "I'm still too young to be giving retrospectives, or passing lessons along." The only certainty? "I think I probably have many more lessons to learn.