Pacific Business News 2010


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Pacific Business News 2010

  1. 1. OCTOBER 22, 2010 SECTION B Celebrating business that worksP L AT I N U M S P O N S O R GOLD SPONSORS SUPPORTING SPONSORS
  2. 2. OCTOBER 22, 2010 | PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS B9 Business Leader of the Year Finalist Hospice exec seeks miracles amid the pain BY LINDA DELA CRUZ “We have an incredible mission we in nursing administration at the Uni- PBN CONTRIBUTOR are so passionate about,” Zeri said. “In versity of Maryland in Baltimore, alsoK enneth Zeri shows how much he cares when he flashes a warm smile and takes a few seconds tocall attention to a breathtaking orangesunrise. Even though he looks at death the toughest times, that passion fueled our fire to keep going.” Outside the office, he is serving his third year as president of Kokua Mau, the statewide hospice and palliative is a clinical associate instructor at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. When he’s not busy working, he enjoys computers, reading and listening to Ha-daily as the president and chief profes- care association. One of his accomplish- waii Public Radio. His volunteer worksional officer of Hospice Hawaii, he says ments has been rallying others to pass includes the Rotary Club of Honolulu,that out of pain and suffering miracles a law called Physician Orders for Life Aloha United Way and serving as a ,can emerge. Sustaining Treatment (POLST). church choir director. One such miracle occurred when Zeri “This law enables people to have their He also loves to cook — he has beenvisited the home of a patient’s family . end-of-life wishes heard and respected tweaking an apple pie recipe for theThe father, who had been hospitalized in the home and community as well past 25 years. A silent auction itemfor a month, was brought home shortly as the hospital,” said Elizabeth Char, in Hospice Hawaii’s annual Na Hoabefore he died. With the help of Hospice a doctor. “It is useful for EMS and 911 Malama fundraiser on Nov. 6 will be aHawaii, the grieving daughter was able first responders and in the emergency dinner for four that Zeri will keep her promise to her dad that she department, hospital, care homes and He urges people to donate to Hospicewould bring him home. hospice settings.” Hawaii. “It was a day’s work for us but it was Zeri is a past president of the Hospice He credits his family, staff and patientsa lifetime of a memory of that promise and Palliative Nurses Association and for keeping him humble, and for teachingthat was kept,” Zeri said. “That is good a candidate for the Western Region di- him about life.stuff. My job is to be sure there are the rector’s position on the national board “We get to see that life is not supposedresources, tools, training and passion.” TINA YUEN of The National Hospice and Palliative to be about that I’ve forgotten to take out The former Navy nurse’s bucket list Hospice Hawaii President Kenneth Care Organization, where he presently the garbage or the fights over $20,” hefor work sets the bar high for inspiring Zeri says his job is to provide “re- serves on several committees. said. “Life is supposed to be about love,others on how to give “rest-of-life” care sources, tools, training and passion” Internationally he fosters a learning , relationships, and purpose that make thein hospice locally and internationally . to those who care for the terminally ill. exchange and sister relationship with difference in the world. The fact of theHe’s making progress at crossing things Pallium Hospice in Tokyo and Banksia matter is, there is beauty to be enjoyedoff the list with the support of Hospice visual geek turned the organization Palliative Care Services in Melbourne, in life, and the simplicity of things likeHawaii’s staff of 90 employees and 150 around during financially challenging Australia. the ocean. We are all interconnected,volunteers. The self-proclaimed audio- times by zeroing in on its core values. Zeri, who earned a graduate degree and we affect each other’s lives.”
  3. 3. OCTOBER 22, 2010 | PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS B17 Best in Business Finalists ‘Green’ architects practice what they preach BY LINDA DELA CRUZ designs featured a big bed, flush toilet and hot showers, T PBN CONTRIBUTOR which were inspired in part by White’s wife’s idea of he offices of Philip K. White & Associates Ltd. a good camping trip. The electricity came from solar Architects and Planners are full of examples of panels. Running water went through the sink, shower the company’s design mantra of being green by and a composting toilet. working with the environment. The company’s vast portfolio also consists of private Bamboo wood floors, Eucalyptus woodwork and re- homes and commercial projects as diverse as the Hawaii cycled plastic are integrated throughout. Maritime Center and the Oceanic Time-Warner Cable “We always try to do things right and well,” said Presi- Building. dent Philip White. “Whether it is right for the community, White credits Higa with focusing on marketing and right for the environment, or right for the employees — project management so that he is free to direct the archi- those are the things we strive for.” tecture arena, which generated $1.3 million in revenue On the firm’s roof deck, employees rolled up their sleeves to in the past fiscal year. put plants in pots and grow a vegetable garden. The outdoor “We are always brainstorming with each other on how dining set and barbecue grill give the deck a touch of home. we can move forward and do things,” Higa added. “This is pretty cool because it allows our clients to come White and Higa say the firm’s small staff of seven by and they see some of the things that we have done and , makes a great team — employees attend a team-building how it is doing,” said Vice President Terine K. Higa. “It weekend retreat each year. Also, for the past year, em- gives them an idea of what they can do.” ployees have worked 80 hours over nine working days, The transformation that 40 S. School Street has undergone allowing them to have every other Friday off. The office is noticeable — it had stood empty for about five years and is closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day And, in . was overrun by graffiti when the architects moved in about keeping with the green theme and team-building activi- three years ago. Now, a florist and interior design retail ties, employees decorate the office Christmas tree with store present an attractive storefront for the Leadership in ornaments they make themselves from recycled office Energy and Environmental Design Silver-certified building. supplies such as an igloo of white computer keys, and a The reason Philip K. White & Associates does things reindeer made from an old light bulb. green is two-fold. “The power of design has an effect on the community ,” “One is for the community White explained. “And ,” White said. “For us as architects we take that responsibil- the other is for ourselves. We always try to do things that ity very seriously .” work with the environment, so they ventilate well, and The company’s community service includes employees TINA YUEN maximize natural light.” pitching in with design services and building days forPhilip White says his architectural firm embraces The company created campsites at Molokai Ranch in Habitat for Humanity Other community service work .environmentally friendly practices for both the the 1990s that were called tentalos because they were includes having helped Kawaihao Church for the past 25community and its own employees. made of sturdy-canvas tent material. The award-winning years, and serving on several nonprofit boards. Drive-in keeps local touch as it modernizes BY CURTIS LUM Ifuku retired and Ayako preparing to retire, GusukumaT PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS was asked to help lead the company in 1995. o an outsider, little has changed at Rainbow The Ifukus’ philosophy was to serve large portions Drive-In since Seiju and Ayako Ifuku opened the of “simple food” at a reasonable price, and it was Gu- restaurant in Kapahulu in 1961. sukuma’s goal to stay true to their mission. Gusukuma The popular plate lunch items are the same, long- had worked for a major airline for 20 years up until then.time employees greet customers with a smile, the small “It was never my intention to change Rainbow Drive-In,outdoor dining area is packed and the parking lot is so it was an easy thing to step into,” he said. “What I didalways jammed with cars. try to do was modernize it from a business standpoint. But behind the scenes, owner Jim Gusukuma has been Up until that time, Rainbow Drive-In was basically abusy keeping up with changes in technology and the mom-and-pop, real small-family business. Bringing myeconomy as well as the eating habits of his customers. background in corporate structure helped move RainbowSince taking over operations from his in-laws in 1995, Drive-In from mom-and-pop into small-size corporation.”he has worked to diversify the company and create a Rainbow Drive-In was featured this past summer onRainbow Drive-In brand. the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” which “What we’re trying to do is hang on to our product and Gusukuma said brought the eatery much-needed expo-our food, meaning that we should do what people expect sure at a time when businesses locally were struggling.from us,” Gusukuma said. “In the back, we restructured “That helped a lot,” he said. “This summer, we no-the company we have logo wear, we modernized our cash- , ticed a spike.”register system, accounting practices and purchasing, With the success of the business and a hard-workingin order to keep up.” staff, Gusukuma is able to get involved in community Despite the recent recession, Rainbow Drive-In has and charitable events. He and his wife, Sherie, headbeen profitable in at least two of the past four years. the Ifuku Family Foundation, which provides at leastGusukuma said he’s proud of the fact that he did not $30,000 annually in scholarships and grants.have to lay off any of his 44 employees. Rainbow Drive-In also is a partner with Help, Under- Seiju Ifuku, Gusukuma’s father-in-law, learned to standing & Group Support (HUGS), which helps familiescook while in the Army serving with the famed 100th of seriously ill children. Gusukuma has donated mealsBattalion, 442nd Infantry during World War II. After and trophies and his employees have volunteered tothe war, Ifuku worked at the old Kapiolani Drive-In, take part in HUGS’ the site of the Wailana Coffee Shop in Waikiki. “It’s important to note that Jimmy is never standing The Ifukus decided to go out on their own and opened on the sidelines supervising, he is right there alongsideKalakaua Drive-In at the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard his staff cooking and serving meals with a smile,” saidand Kalakaua Avenue. In 1961, they moved to Kapahulu and Donna Witsell, HUGS’ executive director. “This top-downopened Rainbow Drive-In, which featured $1 barbecue steak approach to volunteerism is to be admired and honored. TINA YUENplate lunches, 25-cent hamburgers and 14-cent french fries. Not every business can or will commit to this level of Jim Gusukuma has modernized Rainbow Drive-In’s In the early 1970s, Harvey Iwamura, who married one care and generosity .” business practices while preserving the local flavorof the Ifuku daughters, joined the company With Seiju . | 955-8001 that has made it popular for almost a half-century.
  4. 4. B24 PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS | OCTOBER 22, 2010 Community Spirit Award Finalists Dow AgroSciences gives at grass-roots level BY LINDA DELA CRUZ a year ago, wasted no time getting in-P PBN CONTRIBUTOR volved with the local residents. Staff- itching in to help its Neighbor Is- ers judged a science Olympiad where land communities comes naturally middle-school students had a limited for Dow AgroSciences. time to put a project together and share It gives presentations to groups about their findings at the symposium.agricultural biotechnology It judges . “We hope to see these kids as theyscience fairs. It sponsors events. It even continue to grow and continue to furtherdonated two outrigger canoes to one of their education,” said Thomas Scagnoli,the local paddling groups. site leader on Kauai. “They will come Dow Agrosciences, headquartered back and be interested in companies likein Indianapolis, is a wholly owned sub- Dow to come find a long-term career. Itsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company , is good to be on the front side of that.”specializing in agricultural chemicals, After the Olympiad was complete, theseeds and biotechnology It has opera- . staff jumped in to enlist more schools totions on Molokai and Kauai. participate in the next event. Its sponsorships are all part of con- Another example of the firm’s com-necting with the communities in which mitment to service is the ripple effectit does business. of sponsoring Molokai Middle School “It is a long tradition of rural people COURTESY: DOW AGROSCIENCES seventh-grade science teacher Jenniferhelping their neighbors,” said Dave The Farm Fair is among many activities that Dow AgroSciences employees get Ainoa so she could attend the week-longGilliland, Dow AgroSciences Hawaii involved in. The Dow Chemical subsidiary has operations on Kauai and Molokai. Ecological Studies Smithsonian Scienceresearch manager and site leader on Education Academy in Washington, D.C.Molokai. “It happens at the grass-roots Dow AgroSciences did this,” Gilliland or off the clock. For example, during an When she returned, she shared what shelevel probably more than any other said. “Yet again there was recognition agricultural farm fair nearly everyone learned, and her students rode on herlevel.” that we had been involved in a very good volunteered on their own time to set up wave of enthusiasm to start a Native Why paddling? Dow AgroSciences way It was a beautiful thing.” . and break down. Hawaiian forest project.Project Manager Adolph Helm and his The canoe club circumnavigated the “They were all thankful for having the Other community efforts includesons created Aka Kukui o Molokai in 90 miles around Molokai, raising aware- opportunity to outreach and help the Akaula Middle School, the Ag Chal-2002, which focuses on community ser- ness and appreciation of the island’s community Helm recalled. “Because ,” lenge at the Hawaii State Fair, Hawaiivice in addition to traditional regattas. resources. the island is small, in some shape or Farm Bureau Foundation, Kauai Fili-The canoe halau held a traditional bless- The company has 60 full-time employ- form, in some way they have helped a pino Chamber of Commerce and theing with a potluck paina in 2006. ees, and at least 60 part-time workers on friend or family member on this island.” Kauai Economic Development Board “There was no recognition visible that Molokai and Kauai — all eager to help on The Kauai operation, which launched Ag Conference. Community spirit gets personal at Farmers BY JANIS L. MAGIN for volunteer work.F PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS “What we found is, if we engage them armers Insurance Hawaii employ- they start doing more and start doing it ees marked the company’s 55th on their own time,” Saito said. anniversary last spring by plant- Employees last month contributed toing 55 plants, shrubs and trees at Dole Farmers’ Drive Out Hunger in HawaiiMiddle School. campaign, working with partners such The school also was marking its 55th as Lex Brodie’s Tire, Brake and Wheelanniversary and more than 55 Farmers , Co., Napa Auto Parts, the University ofemployees teamed up with 55 students Hawaii’s athletics department and theand teachers to help beautify the Kalihi Boy Scouts to put together a programcampus. to collect food and monetary donations The event was such a success that for the River of Life Mission, Lanakilait was recently repeated on Kauai, in Pacific’s Meals on Wheels and the Ha-partnership with the Grand Hyatt Kauai. waii Foodbank. “One of the employees has an account The employees surpassed their fund-on Kauai and someone said ‘it would be raising goal of $18,000, Saito said.nice if someone did that at my child’s “We’ll be matching what the employ-school,’” said Farmers Insurance Hawaii ees raised,” she said.President Michele Saito. Farmers’ community assistance goes The company has been involved with beyond volunteering and raising money .the community since it began as Ha- Lanakila Pacific began a businesswaii Insurance Consultants in 1955 and COURTESY: FARMERS INSURANCE relationship with the company eightcontinued as AIG Hawaii, which was Farmers Insurance Hawaii President Michele Saito joins Kapolei Middle School years ago when no other insurance car-purchased by Farmers Insurance Group students at a Hot Spots event to promote traffic safety. rier was willing to carry the nonprofit’sof Companies last year. workers’ compensation insurance. Early One of its most successful endeavors Police Department talk to the classes. attention of Farmers Hawaii’s parent on, Farmers provided guidance in de-is a traffic safety program called Hot In the past year and a half, 1,700 vol- company which recently used the tem- , veloping a safety program for LanakilaSpots, which enlists Farmers employees unteers have participated in events at plate for an event in Delaware. that helped reduce its workers’ compto wave signs outside public schools. 17 schools. While the company supports nonprofit rates by 66 percent, said Marian Tsuji, The program, which was started eight Farmers used to choose a school for a organizations monetarily its nearly 300 , Lanakila’s president and CEO.years ago, identified 50 “hot spots” on Hot Spot program, but then the program employees are also involved in volunteer- “This is very significant, becauseOahu where schools have traffic safety got really popular, Saito said. ing their time and efforts with a number Lanakila Pacific’s Workforce Resourcesissues. “Now it’s grown a life of its own,” she of different organizations. It has been program trains adults with physical and Farmers employees also produced a said, adding that schools are calling the working this year to enhance employee cognitive challenges,” she said.booklet to teach children about traffic company to request events. involvement with the community Em- .safety while members of the Honolulu , The Hawaii program also caught the ployees also are given time off each year | 955-8041
  5. 5. OCTOBER 22, 2010 | PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS B25 Community Spirit Award Finalist TINA YUENKraft employees, from left, Kristina Lee, Will Young and Margo Worrell sort pro-duce and other items at Hawaii Foodbank’s warehouse. Kraft sponsors the Ha-waii Foodbank’s annual holiday giving program. Making a difference is part of Kraft’s culture BY LINDA DELA CRUZ and athletic endeavors is also part of Share THE HOLIDAY* PBN CONTRIBUTOR Kraft’s focus. With support from its staffK raft Foods Hawaii, known for brands such as Jell-O, Trident, Nabisco and Oscar Mayer, cel-ebrates “Make a Delicious DifferenceWeek” in October around the world. In of 50, Kraft Foods Hawaii’s Shop and Score program with Times Supermar- kets, now in its 10th year, gives Adidas sports equipment to area high schools. This year, Maui and Kauai participatedHawaii, making a difference takes place for the first time since Times acquiredmore often than just a week. Star Markets. The cashiers ask custom- The food company donated $185,000 to ers which high school they want thethe Hawaii Foodbank last year because points from Kraft products go to. Eachfighting hunger is one of its favorite product, including Ritz Crackers, Capricauses. Sun, Lunchables and Wheat Thins, are “It is the retailers and the customers worth one point. At the end, points arethat shop that really put this together,” added up, and each school gets a percent-said Gerald Shintaku, Kraft Foods Ha- age of the prize.waii customer business manager. “You “All the schools get behind it,” Shin-can’t put a value on being able to achieve taku said. “Athletics is important to keepthose numbers.” young adults focused in positive areas. Those numbers came from the com- We have good support from other foodpany’s Check Out Hunger program, sponsors, too.”which runs during the holiday season The company’s Kokua I Na Kula fund-from November to January At the check . raising effort, now in its 16th year, allowsstands, customers are given the chance customers to buy Kraft products at KTAto donate. stores on the Big Island to help elemen- “Every year there is always some kind tary schools, which get a percentage ofof global tragedy that has occurred,” $100,000 to use as they wish. To earn moreShintaku said. “And yet, the people in points, this year students are designingHawaii find it in their means.” an aloha print that will be judged by Polly Kauahi, director of development fashion professionals, and the designfor Hawaii Foodbank, acknowledged will be made into a quilt to be donatedKraft’s many fundraising projects. to the needy . “Operations would be a lot less effi- Other community service projects in-cient without our state-of-the-art fork- clude volunteering with Junior Achieve-lifts named Macaroni and Cheese, which ment and sponsoring a show at Diamondwere a gift from Kraft,” Kauahi said. Head Theatre. Other good-neighbor In addition to fighting hunger on efforts include helping the Kraft Keikithe local level, Kraft is participating Great Aloha Run and Circus, Straub’sin the national Huddle to Fight Hun- Kid Fest and the 4-H Club.ger Program, which helps the Feeding “A corporation plays a big role in whatAmerica charity. A customer will get the the community does,” Shintaku said.chance to be part of The Kraft Hunger “Even more so in Hawaii, you see a lotBowl football game in San Francisco of companies getting involved in com-on Jan. 9. munity events. I think it is the whole Nourishing children in their academic spirit of ohana and family .”