Written by Event Chair, Kari Kiyota (PSH Insurance)
On Wednesday, February 28th, Dole Cannery’s Pо̄maikaʻi Ballroom was filled with cheerful laughter and conversation as the HJCC welcomed over 200 people to the annual General Membership Gathering | Arigato. Chamber members were joined by members of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber and prospective HJCC members in an event to say thank you to the membership as well as honor 4 members’ dedication and commitment to the Chamber.
The evening started out with a Member Expo where 12 HJCC member companies promoted their products and services to those who attended. It was a great opportunity for networking and catching up with friends. Each expo participant was allotted a one-minute presentation on stage to share about their business.
This year’s Chair of the Board, Brian Nishida, shared about the Chamber’s strategic plan and what initiatives are being taken to help the HJCC prosper as one of the premier business organizations in Hawaii.
The main program consisted of the presentation of the Outstanding Member of the Year awards and the Kuroko Awards. Brian Nishida presented the Outstanding Member of the Year award to Myles Shibata, Vice President of Development at Hawaii Community Foundation who is the HJCC’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee Chair and Jason Ito, Director at Kyo-ya Management Company who is the HJCC’s Membership Task Force Committee Chair. Both are long time Chamber members who sit on the Board of Directors. Their insight and ingenuity is greatly contributing the Chamber’s long history and continued success.
Wayne Ishihara presented the Kuroko Award to Stanley Gono, who adorably shared his award with his wife, Elsie Gono, and Cathy Tong, Agent at Coldwell Banker. Throughout the years, they have been a tremendous asset to the Chamber with their endless support of various HJCC events as volunteers.
A very special thank you to the HJCC staff, Mina, Mai, Merilyn, and Justin who did a fantastic job with the coordination and set up of the event and to the event planning committee: Blake Isobe (Advisor), Clayton Hill, Kathryn Fujitani, Ryan Inouye, Kevin Ching, Reiko Suzuki, Jennifer Gibo, and our emcee, Brandon Saigusa.