HAWAII-HIROSHIMA EMERGING YOUNG BUSINESS LEADERS PROGRAM (EYBLP)
INAUGURAL PROGRAM – A SUCCESS
By Wayne T. Ishihara, President & CEO
The Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce has created with the Hiroshima Prefecture Government the EYBLP which commenced on Monday, November 13, 2017 thru November 16, 2017 in Honolulu. The initial goal was to have 10 participants from Hiroshima and 10 participants from Hawaii. In March 2018 this group will meet in Hiroshima to complete the Program. The target age group was 25 to 40 years old. The primary objective of the Program is the following; improve leadership competency and commitment; build cross-country relationships which will continue to become long term relationships; learn the impact Japanese culture has had on Hawaii; and learn and share the Japanese and Hawaii values.
The Program in Honolulu was facilitated by Glenn Furuya, President & CEO of Leadership Works. His company has been devoted to growing people, teams and businesses for the last 30 years. He holds a Bachelor and Master Degrees in Education from the University of Hawaii. He is a former teacher and has experience in business management.
The Program focused on leadership and team building with the recognition of Hawaiian and Japanese culture. Guest speakers were part of the program. They included Gordon Kagawa, CEO, Occidental Underwriters of Hawaii, a locally owned third generation family business, Shinya Takamatsu, Vice President, Tonkatsu Tamafuji, a successful food restaurant in Honolulu and Luis Salaveria, Director of Business Economic Development & Tourism who spoke about the Hawaii economic condition and forecast. Finally the last day was spent on a high impact leadership thinking, Ho’omaluhia “The Hawaiian Survival Training” held at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden facilitated by Brother Noland Hawaiian culture instructor, composer and singer.
On Monday, November 13th a dinner was hosted at the Hawaii Consulate General’s residence by Consul General Koichi with the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce. The Hiroshima delegation was led by Kazunari Kawaguchi, Managing Director of Overseas Development and Investment Promotion, Commerce, Industry and Labor Bureau, Hiroshima Prefecture Government and the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce was led by Chair of the Board Brian Nishida.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this excellent program,” said Rick Mishima, a Hawaii participant who is employed with Finance Factors and is a member of the Chamber. “Not only did I advance my knowledge in management and leadership, through the friendships made with my cohorts, I gained a network of influential business leaders in Hiroshima.”
The Program was created as part of the Sister-State agreement between Hawaii and Hiroshima. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the agreement and the creation of the EYBLP was very appropriate. It also was endorsed by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). Luis Salaveria, Director, DEBDT stated that, “This new Program is the perfect example of how we want to expand our Sister-State relationships. We are promoting cultural exchange and business opportunities that will have lasting effects for economic development here in Hawaii, as well as in Japan.”
Participants were selected with the potential of becoming next generation leaders in Hawaii and Hiroshima who are likely to drive change in their organizations and communities in the future.
The Inaugural Hawaii participants were Edward Kiyo Egashira, Ina Chang, James Tenrai, Jill Kuramoto, Kevin Ching, Kristin Alm Kamakahi, Lucas Love, Michael Lim and Rick Mishima. They were chosen by a selection committee made up of Chair of the Board Brian Nishida, Chair-Elect Melanie Okazaki, Immediate Past Chair Dave Erdman, Past Chair Tyler Tokioka and President & CEO Wayne Ishihara.
Co-chairs for the creation of the Program were Tyler Tokioka and Wayne Ishihara. The Program was underwritten in part by the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Island Insurance. We are hoping to continue this Program in the future.