CLASS OF 2003 TESTIMONIALS
John K. S. Aeto,
General Manager, Visionary Related Entertainment
The Pacific Century Fellows Program was an invaluable experience for me. I come from a business (sales and marketing) background and was amazed at the contacts, networking and partnering opportunities with the alumni and fellow classmates. One of the highlights was Economic Development Day. We spent time with Walter Dods, Evan Dobelle, the “top brass” of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and more. I was able to not only learn by listening, but make contacts to further advance by business. To date I have done over $200,000 in business deals directly connected with the PCF program!
President, Paradise Media Group LLC
The past year has been very beneficial and exciting. As a Pacific Century Fellow, I have had a chance to meet leaders from varying professions throughout Hawaii. The most memorable was our meeting with Admiral Fargo, the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific. The timing was perfect because it was just before the invasion of Iraq and to see and hear the confidence he exuded reassured me that we were battle ready. During our briefing, another fellow asked the Admiral, "What does it take to be a good leader?" He replied, "You need to know your job and profession well, you need integrity, and you need incredible stamina and endurance." That statement made a lasting impression on me!
William Keli`i Akina,
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hawaii Youth for Christ
In one year as Pacific Century Fellows, my colleagues and I saw first-hand how power and influence operate in Hawaii and beyond. We spoke privately with key players in business, government and other institutions. We traveled between offices and boardrooms to weigh conflicting stories and pose frank, sometimes daring, questions. Unprecedented access to local and international trendsetters sets this program apart. Pacific Century Fellows has inspired me to work with others to fulfill Hawaii’s potential for global leadership and success.
Carl James Alexander,
Director of Campus Operations, Kamehameha Schools Maui
The Pacific Century Fellows Program provided me an excellent opportunity to network and gain a perspective on the many facets of our community and economy. The unique experiences offered to the Fellows to meet with top leaders gave us keen insights into the challenges facing our state, as well as its enormous potential. As I am from a Neighbor Island, it was particularly beneficial to me to view issues that we face on a less grand scale being addressed at a statewide level. In addition, the broad spectrum of the topics addressed during our various days and the divergent viewpoints of the speakers allows an analysis of society's issues from a holistic view.
Janel T. Brown, Joint Exercises Coordinator, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
As a Military Officer in Hawaii, I am often confronted with the challenge of convincing sailors to accept orders to Hawaii. Many sailors and their families are concerned about the quality of life in Hawaii, with concerns ranging from the quality of education in Hawaii to the availability of affordable housing. Pacific Century Fellows’ Education Day allowed me to talk frankly with presidents of the top local private schools, officials from the Board of Education and the Hawaii Teachers Union, top teachers from the public schools, and the President of University of Hawaii. I even had an opportunity to talk with ADM Fargo, Commander U.S. Pacific Command, about what the military is doing to help public schools that serve military families. I learned that although many of the sailors' concerns are valid, there are people and teachers out there who are committed to broadening educational opportunities. It is experiences like interfacing with the people who make critical decisions for our children that really make the Pacific Century Fellows Program special.
Ann Hee Sun Chung,
Executive Director, Hawaii Technology Trade Association
Being a part of the Pacific Century Fellows has been a truly eye-opening and informative experience. Through meetings with Hawaii's most important leaders and hands-on demonstrations, I gained key insights and a much broader understanding of the complex tapestry of Hawaii's business, social, educational and governmental communities. Being a fellow and interacting with other fellows has been an incredibly rewarding experience.
Executive Director and General Manager, Hawaiian Islanders Arena Football
The Pacific Century Fellows program offered a unique educational opportunity for me as an entrepreneur. A “real life” graduate studies program. My most memorable experiences were the day spent with the Legislature, as well as the evening spent with Governor Lingle at Washington Place. I found that each session, interview and interaction provided terrific insight not only into the legislative process but into the people themselves. I was particularly impressed with House Speaker Calvin Say's sincerity and thoughtfulness. What I learned from the Pacific Century Fellows program is that the only way that we can expect our social situations to improve and enjoy true harmony as a community is for us to collectively understand our responsibilities to one another, as well as our responsibilities as active members of our community.
Bennette M. Evangelista,
Senior Vice President and Senior Manager, Central Pacific Bank
What a memorable year it has been! The Pacific Century Fellows Program will certainly remain as one of the best experiences of my life. I was awed by the many places I have visited, the people I met, and the camaraderie and friendships I have gained along the way. I wanted to participate in the program because of my thirst for knowledge of all things related to Hawaii. The Program quenched my thirst and filled my spirit to the brim. I now understand our beautiful State so much better. I know that this new-found knowledge will serve me well in my business and personal dealings. I may not have been born in these Islands, but as this past year revealed: from hereon, wherever I go, whatever I do, Hawaii will always be HOME.
Charles M. Farnsworth,
Vice President Private Client Services, Bank of Hawaii
The Fellowship ignites a different fire within us all and challenges us through actual experience. For me it was the definition of Servant Leadership and it was at our first retreat after Kent Keith spoke that I realized the importance of a moral compass. Since then my path has been true and I have come to realize that much of the complexity and chaos that paralyzes us from making a difference is just an illusion.
Linda A. Fischer,
Major/Provost Marshall, U.S. Army
I applied to the Pacific Century Fellows Program because I wanted to make a difference in the community. The success I have enjoyed is a result of support from family and friends and the quality people that serve us in our communities. In order to serve the community, you need an understanding of current issues. The Pacific Century Fellows Program gives the fellows a look at the many issues facing Hawaii. I believe the success of our youth begins with a solid educational foundation. The Pacific Century Fellows Program provides the opportunity to meet with the key leaders in our community who shape the future of our youth.
Director of Clinical Pastoral Education, Pacific Health Ministry
I'd really like to express my deep appreciation for the Pacific Century Fellows Program. It has been a tremendous blessing for my professional and personal growth. As pastor, chaplain and educator for spiritual care and counseling, it is essential for me to build networks in the broader community, learn and better understand its needs to be able to provide helpful services. The wide exposure through the PCF program to all levels of Hawaii's Ohana gave me many opportunities to meet with diverse leaders in our island world. Meeting, for example, with Dr. Kent Keith and reflecting on his model of "Servant Leadership" set the foundation for me when I began my year with PCF. His service-oriented model set the stage to look at the many educational and mind-opening encounters that followed with government and business-leaders. The PCF program also offered several opportunities to connect with Hawaii's soul and spiritual roots -- for example, when Dr. Sam Gon from the Nature Conservancy took us up to the Mt. Kaala Oahu Natural Area Reserve. I was amazed by the beauty of Mt. Kaala, but more by the stories Sam shared about Hawaii’s native plants. Each story connected us with the source of all, teaching the wisdom of interconnectedness, relationships and responsibility for one another. It was a true mountain-top experience. Very nurturing and affirming! Embarking on the USS Georgia Navy submarine a few weeks later was quite different but an equally educational experience, exposing us to the life on submarines and their high-tech equipment. The diversity and multitude of exposure in the PCF program is its greatest strength. One day for example we "talked story" with Auntie Margaret Loo at her taro patch in Waipio Valley on the Big Island, learning about 50 years of taro farming and the Waipio/Kukuihaele Farmers and Business Association. The next day we found ourselves discussing the latest technology at the Maunakea Observatory. One of the most impressive speakers for me was Dr. Manu Aluli Meyers from the UH Hilo. Her focus on "The Philosophy of Knowing" encouraging her listeners to dare a paradigm shift in consciousness and understanding based on Hawaiian knowledge inspired me -- in conjunction with the many other PCF experiences -- to look with new eyes at our Ohana and its future. To summarize my experience with the PCF program I'd like to quote Dr. Manu Aluli Meyers: " If knowledge is power then understanding is liberation." The past year with PCF has been a time of understanding. Mahalo nui loa.
Vice President and Financial Services Officer, Central Pacific Bank
My most motivating experience was Education Day. Through meetings with many of the key decisionmakers within management and labor, we were introduced to a broad spectrum of opinions on problems and proposed solutions to fix Hawaii’s education system. The experience provided our group with in-depth exposure to the raw politics, entrenched sacred cows and the apparent leadership vacuum that are major roadblocks to improvement. The PCF experience has strongly convinced me that improving public education is absolutely key to Hawaii’s future. There is simply no other local group or membership organization that can offer this depth of exposure to the issues facing Hawaii.
James Robert Hollyer,
Program Manager, College of Tropical Agriculture, University of Hawaii at Manoa
The program really challenged me to understand the complexities of the issues facing the public sector in Hawaii through meetings with such people as University of Hawaii President Evan Dobelle, UH Film School Director Chris Lee and Director of Business and Economic Development Ted Liu. It was also interesting to see the polarity between people and the constituencies they represent, like the Democratic and Republican representatives or the Heads of the Department of Education and the Teachers' Union. It gave me a better understanding of the difficulty of working toward consensus on a variety of topics. I think that there is still much work to be done if we are to make Hawaii what it could be in the future.
Lane Christine Hornfeck,
Attorney, Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher
On January 10, 2003, along with 28 other Pacific Century Fellows, I had breakfast with Senate President Robert Bunda, several members of the majority, and Senate Minority Leader Fred Hemmings. Mid-morning, I met with House Speaker Calvin Say, members of the Minority, and House Minority Leader Galen Fox. Mid-afternoon, I met with Robert Watada, Executive Director of the Campaign Spending Commission, and, later, had dinner at the Governor's Mansion with Governor Linda Lingle, Attorney General Mark Bennett and Budget and Finance Director Georgina Kawamura, among other members of the Governor's cabinet. January 10, 2003 was Government Day for the Pacific Century Fellows Program, and was just one of the monthly, all day events that the Pacific Century Fellows Program coordinates and sponsors for its annual fellows. As a business and commercial litigation attorney, I have been given the special opportunity to meet and speak with key players in Hawaii's political and legislative process -- something that benefits me and my clients on a daily basis. Participating in the Pacific Century Fellows Program with 28 other business and professional people has been a wonderful and priceless experience.
Charles Y. Kaneshiro,
Associate and Project Architect, Group 70 International, Inc.
Our visit to Mt. Kaala was my personal highlight. I almost choose not to attend this activity, thinking that it was just a hike in the woods. However, the experience of seeing, touching and smelling a whole landscape of natural Hawaiian vegetation was truly unforgettable. The nature preserve at the top of Mt. Kaala was like another world, full of beauty and life uninhibited by human intrusion. It impacted me deeply about the value of our environment and the efforts by few to preserve it. This event will transform anyone who has the privilege to visit.
Cheryl Lehua Ka`uhane,
President and Chief Executive Officer, YWCA of Oahu
"As CEO for a community service organization, I am responsible for responding to the needs and issues facing women and girls in Hawaii with innovative and relevant programs and services. The Pacific Century Fellows program opened my eyes to a broader picture of the interconnectedness of this community. As I heard about the war on drugs our HPD officers face daily, I'm reminded of the women from Drug Court that the YWCA serves at our Fernhurst Transitional Housing program. As an advisory board member to Sisters Offering Support, I invited fellows to learn more about the commercial sexual exploitation of women in a breakfast briefing following Criminal Justice Day. As I listened to Ted Liu from DBEDT during Economic Day, I explored how to provide leadership and financial literacy training for women to support their economic advancement as part of the YWCA's main strategic focus. In learning more about the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the ceded land issue from Trustee, Oswald Stender, I related the YWCA and our national imperative towards racial justice with the struggles of Native Hawaiians. Through PCF, I've gained a perspective, an insight, into sectors of our community that I would never have had the privilege of seeing this close up. This has been instrumental in supporting my planning efforts to determine the strategic direction for the YWCA.
Donald Jack Liles,
Lieutenant Colonel/Executive Officer, U.S. Marine Corps
As an Active Duty Marine Corps Officer, the Pacific Century Fellows Program has offered me a rare opportunity to interact with local professionals and gain insight into the Hawaiian community at large. Attending the presentations and tours each month not only provided a great venue for professional education and development but encouraged a sharing of ideas and view points from each of the Fellows in the class. One of the more interesting experiences for me was Justice Day. The class received briefs from the top leadership and select members of the Honolulu Police Department, the Justice system, a tour of a correctional facility and finally a ride-along. First, access to this eclectic group of people was impressive in itself and second, the ability to discuss relevant issues facing the civilian and military community was unique and enlightening. On a personal note, the friends I've made through Pacific Century Fellows past and present are rewarding and can only benefit the future refinement of our Hawaii home. I would recommend this program to anyone.
Jace Lyndon McQuivey,
Vice President/General Counsel, Hawaii Reserves, Inc.
Finding Meaning Through Committed Service -- that is what the Pacific Century Fellows Program has reinforced in me. To be able to interact with leaders in Hawaii who have an impact on local, national and world events has been incredible! Dining with Governor Lingle, having tea with Japanese Consul General Masatoshi Muto and talking strategy with Admiral Fargo are among the amazing experiences we've had as fellows this year. Witnessing these leaders’ sacrifice and commitment to service has been unbelievable. But the most inspiring experiences I've had have been to witness that same level of commitment and service on a grass roots level, interacting with individuals like former PCF alum Sam Gon with the Nature Conservancy, who is trying to safeguard our natural resources one species at a time; the young HPD Officer I rode along with one evening, who is out on the streets of Honolulu every night keeping order and responding to calls for help; Washington Middle School Teacher Mark Miyamoto, who is helping children one kid at a time; and the young teenage Ensign in the US Navy, who mans a post a few inches from 24 silos containing ballistic missile warheads on the nuclear submarine USS Georgia, doing a thankless job so our world can be a safer place to live. Recognizing that the fabric of our society is intertwined with individuals committed to serving our community reinforces my desire to be my best whether I serve in front of a host of people or across the fence to my neighbor. I can impact my community for good.
Ronald G. Nishihara,
Architect/Development Manager, Graham Murata Russell
Imagine the opportunity to have open, candid discussions with a host of highly respected community leaders including Walter Dods, David Heenan, "Doc" Buyers, Admiral Thomas Fargo, Kent Keith and our state's political leaders. Then imagine the opportunity to discuss these meetings with peers, many of whom will be the next wave of our community's leaders. I can't think of a way to get this combination of opportunities except through the Pacific Century Fellows program.
Edward M. Nishioka,
President/Owner, Professional Results
One of the most rewarding benefits I received from participating in the Pacific Century Fellows Program was being exposed to experiences that I would have never had or would have not thought of doing during the course of my everyday life. I have gained a greater appreciation of nature through our visits to the Waipio Valley taro farms, hiking on Mt. Kaala and visits to the Big Island and recycling plants. Being out in those natural settings clearly has impacted my life as I ordinarily spend my time indoors in offices and meeting rooms. The experience truly reawakened my appreciation of the natural beauty of the state. That is something I will never forget.
Quin H. Ogawa,
Manager-Accounting, Kuakini Medical Center
Spending a day with the submarine crew from the USS Georgia to experience hands-on what it feels like to be deployed on a submarine was unforgettable and has helped me develop a greater appreciation for the sacrifices and dedication our military personnel have in protecting and promoting the freedom of America. It really hit me when we waved goodbye to them as they headed out to sea.
Sherri Y. Okinaga,
Director of Alumni Relations, Iolani School
The Pacific Century Fellows Program offers participants a rare opportunity to gain awareness and insight into Hawaii's most critical areas of concern. Criminal Justice Day left a lasting impression on me. We were briefed on gangs, drugs, homeland security, toured the Halawa Correctional Facility, and even rode along with an on-duty HPD officer. While it was alarming to learn of our local crime realities, I was inspired by Police Chief Donohue to take a hands-on approach to making Hawaii safer. Everyone can make a positive difference and we must take personal responsibility to safeguard the paradise we call "home".
AICP – Land Use & Environmental Planning
Our 3-day trip to the Big Island was a fantastic experience. For me, it embodied what the Pacific Century Fellow Program is all about: the opportunity to see and do incredible things, learn from and talk with business and community leaders, and to develop friendships with the other Fellows. We saw the marvels atop Mauna Kea at the Keck Observatory and the wonders of the bottom of the ocean at the Natural Energy Lab. We rode on horseback through Waipio Valley and walked amongst its taro patches, hearing stories from long-time residents. Each place we visited shared success stories -- a powerful message that great things are happening in Hawaii -- and offered lessons for each of us to learn from and pass along. We saw a working Big Island ranch and heard about the challenges of delivering products to market while at the same time implementing 21st century technology and innovation. We heard how the military, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and a pioneering approach to healthcare are all playing important roles in contributing to the Big Island’s diversified economy. We had the great opportunity to meet with Mayor Kim and hear first-hand the vision and leadership of his administration. The challenge we all face is how to protect what makes Hawaii so special, while growing the economy and creating new opportunities for future generations. Having the opportunity to participate in the Pacific Century Fellows Program and the friendships I’ve made are experiences I will always treasure.
Alyssa J. Park,
Chief Operating Officer, Pan Pacific Pathologists, Inc./Clinical Laboratories of Hawaii, LLP
The Pacific Century Fellows Program is essentially an eye-opening, hands-on survey course of the daily issues that confront the people of Hawaii. Embedded within each day of the Program is the understanding that even the most remote of concerns will have some impact in our lives and most certainly on our businesses. I particularly enjoyed Environment Day. The trip included visits to H-power, a landfill and the UH Institute of Marine Biology on Coconut Island, to name a few. As an individual I can do my part to help, but as a business leader, my power to effect change for the better will be all the greater, and more informed -- thanks to the Program.
Alison Ueoka Powers,
Executive Director, Hawaii Insurers Council
The Pacific Century Fellows program has truly made an impact on me not only through its educational aspect on various state issues, but also by the interaction of a select group of professionals within a common age-range. I think the program will make an impact on Hawaii’s future by broadening ones scope of thinking and learning about issues outside of our chosen professions. Having a better understanding of Hawaii’s many opportunities and challenges has already prompted me to have discussions with others. I hope these kinds of conversations will germinate into positive action for Hawaii’s future.
Patricia “Coot” Richards,
Chief Operating Officer, Kahua Ranch, Ltd.
PCF has been a rewarding and learning experience. In addition to meeting and getting to know the accomplished individuals in my class, I was introduced to community leaders in areas such as government, business and education. Thanks to PCF, the dedicated staff and all of the time our speakers gave us, I have a broader and clearer understanding of Hawaii and the role that each of us needs to play for its success.
Kaloa R.N. Robinson,
Executive Director, Hui Malama Ola Na `Oiwi
If you are the type of person who values leadership and understands its intricacies, and want to be in a happening group of up-and-coming professionals, you want to be a Pacific Century Fellow. If you enjoy being with a diverse group of people who offer different perspectives in their questions and outlooks, and are confident you can make a difference in improving and protecting your community, you need to be a Pacific Century Fellow.
Toby Barry Taniguchi,
Vice President, KTA Super Stores
Seldom is one given the opportunity to participate in a program provocative enough to change your life. Becoming a Pacific Century Fellow did just that! The program encouraged me to re-examine my closely held beliefs and critically reflect upon my greater role at home, in my community, across our state and around the globe. I have already been afforded the opportunity to work with former Fellows and community leaders right here on the Big Island. Undoubtedly, this program has been one of the finest experiences I have had in both my personal and professional development!
Terence Q. L. Young,
President/Dentist, Terence Q. L. Young, D.D.S., Inc.
One of my most memorable excursions was on the U.S. Navy Submarine Georgia. It was quite evident that we were aboard a vessel with powerful far reaching weapon systems. What struck me most was the dedication and professionalism of the crew. I left with a feeling that these men clearly understood their responsibilities and were ready at any given moment to protect our nation. We should never take our freedom for granted or those men and women in the Armed Forces. It is important to get out of your daily professional routines and get to know the other sectors in your community. Pacific Century Fellows is a fabulous way to do this! Thank You Mufi! Thank You Trudi!