President's Message
By Carol VanCamp, President


Carol VanCamp-Pres. Mess. It's hard to believe that it's been over a month already since my installation as president of JCCIH.  I am humbled and honored to serve as your president of this 63-year-old organization, and will do my best to continue the great work of our past presidents and their leadership teams. At the same time, I will work closely with our current board and members to move our Chamber forward this year with great programs and initiatives for continued success. 


Our June 17th installation event was sold out, and so many people contributed to the success of this exciting evening.  I want to give special thanks to Janice Bueltmann and her Social & Cultural Committee, and to Dwayne Mukai, our Emcee and to Outgoing President Jon Arizumi for his guidance and expertise in preparing me for this position. Others who played important roles included Gina Tanouye (entertainment), Randy Kurohara (speaker), Lincoln Ashida (installation ceremony), Art Taniguchi (kanpai), and Barry Mizuno (Tejime). Lei Fujiyama Pillers, our Executive Assistant, coordinated all of the details, and we could not have done it without her.


Steve Ueda (Suisan) coordinated some great pupus for the event, and Spencer Oliver and his Hilo Yacht Club team did an amazing job with the food and overall event.  Richard Lim, Director of the Hawaii State Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, provided a great and optimistic overview of our current state and island economies. 


2013 Installation speaker
Richard Lim - guest speaker

A highlight of our annual installation is the visit and participation of our Sister Chamber members from the Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry.  This year, we were privileged to have 10 guests, led by Vice Chairman Ryuichi Sasaki, and we enjoyed sightseeing, dining, golf, and having fun together during their short visit. There are no words to properly express the impact that this relationship brings to our respective Chamber members.  There is mutual respect and appreciation that we are able to have these exchanges, and we look forward to them each year.



2013 Installation greeting at Hilo Yacht Club
Welcome group picture



2013 Higashi-Hiroshima
Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry guests



As our Chamber year moves forward, there have been several other activities that I have been privileged to participate in on behalf of the Chamber:

* I attended the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce's installation event with Judith Fox-Goldstein installed as president, and Governor Neil Abercrombie as guest speaker.
* I attended the Hawaii Island Contractor's annual meeting, with Brian Ninomoto installed as president.  Brian has also recently joined our Chamber.
* I participated in the recent visitation of 6 students and 4 adults from Fukushima, Japan, which is an effort among many in our community to help children (intermediate school age) who were victims of the 2011 tsunami to continue to recover.  Due to radiation exposure, these kids are only allowed outdoors to play for one hour per day.  Their recent 29-day tour to Hawaii was not only an adventure for them, but also aimed at de-toxing them from the radiation exposure.  Accolades go to the Fukushima Kenjin Kai, Vicki Nelson and many others who have been making these visits possible in the aftermath of this tragedy.



Fukushima Kids
Children from Fukushima at Puna Baptist Church

I urge you to participate in our upcoming events, and to also invite others to join our Chamber.  Thanks to the leadership of our Communications & Marketing Chair, Barbara Hastings, our Chamber website at has been updated and offers more information about Chamber programs and activities.  Check it out!




back to the top






Protecting Mauna Kea's Cultural Assets
By Stephanie Nagata, Office Director of Mauna Kea Management


We are happy to report that OMKM has recently made several important strides towards fulfilling its responsibilities to protect and preserve the cultural assets on Mauna Kea.


In June, OMKM presented its Burial Treatment Plan to the Hawaii Island Burial Council at its meeting at the Waimea Community Center. The Burial Treatment Plan was prepared for OMKM by the archaeological staff at Pacific Consulting Services, Inc. (PCSI), which had meticulously surveyed the 11,288-acre Mauna Kea Science Reserve for OMKM between 2005 and 2009 and identified a total of 263 historic sites. The burial treatment plan addresses 34 documented Native Hawaiian burial sites in the Mauna Kea Science Reserve and the Mauna Kea Access Road Corridor.


After lengthy discussion and comments from various members of the Hawaii Island Burial Council and members of the public in attendance, the council voted to approve the burial treatment plan by a 5-1 margin.


OMKM is also pleased to announce the hiring of Wally Ishibashi as our Cultural Liaison Officer and Joy Yoshina as our Project and Policy Coordinator.


Wally will serve several critical functions for the Office, including cultural monitor for projects that take place on UH's managed lands; advisor to staff members-including Rangers and VIS staff-on cultural matters; liaison between OMKM and Kahu Ku Mauna Council; and outreach to the Native Hawaiian community and community in general.
Joy will help OMKM keep track of projects approved by the MKMB and UH; assist with the development of administrative rules; respond to inquiries and follow through on reports by the Rangers; and help develop policies for OMKM, in particular as they relate to the CMP.


OMKM is pleased that it was able to develop the burial treatment plan to protect burial sites on Mauna Kea without a construction project driving it, and to seek approval from the burial council even if it is not required to. These actions, together with the addition of two full-time staff, reflect OMKM's commitment to achieve its mission... and to do so in the right way.










Mayor's Message

  Mayor Billy Kenoi

We love our island lifestyle, but we must also remember we are faced with a myriad of natural forces that at times threaten the safety of our residents.  Our team of first-class public safety professionals is committed to keeping you and your family safe.


As Tropical Storm Flossie headed straight for the east side of Hawai'i Island at the end of July, we activated our Emergency Operations Center - the nerve center of disaster preparation and response in the county.  Representatives from all of our departments, federal and state agencies, and private organizations that aid in disasters responded immediately to help protect our community.


Through the entire tropical storm warning, our Civil Defense team was in touch with the National Weather Service and emergency management teams across the state.  Fire and Police personnel went to rural areas to notify residents and campers of the coming storm, even working with the Civil Air Patrol to reach our most remote valleys.  Parks staff  closed our beach parks and worked with the American Red Cross and the Department of Education to open shelters for those who evacuated.  Public Works crews were busy clearing debris and fallen trees from our roads.


We are thankful that our residents were prepared, and that Flossie spared us major damage.  I was proud to see our team in action, keeping our families safe.


Each time a natural disaster threatens our island, we plan for the worst and hope for the best.  Hurricane season runs June through November.  Please visit for preparedness tips, and sign up to receive email and text alerts at



back to the top






15th Annual A Taste of Hilo
By Russell Arikawa & Craig Shiroma

Calling all foodies!  Mark your calendar - October 20th, as this year marks the 15th Annual A Taste of Hilo.  Once again it promises to deliver great gastronomic delicacies and spirits you've come to enjoy each year from this epicurean event.


We will feature fresh, locally raised "Kampachi", provided by Blue Ocean Mariculture, located within OTEC at Keahole, Kona.  Chef Colin Nakagawa of Hilo Seaside Restaurant is one of our most popular chefs, and he will surely make this dish something worth savoring!


Don't miss out on this fabulous event, tickets will sell out!  Get your ticket in advance for $45 while they last or if still available at the door for $65.  Tickets may be purchased from any committee member or at the JCCIH office by calling 934-0177.


All proceeds will benefit the Hawaii Community College, providing scholarships and funding for faculty and staff development.


We look forward to seeing you at A Taste of Hilo XV on Sunday, October 20th at the Sangha Hall from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm.




back to top 





HawCC Update
By Chancellor Noreen Yamane


Hawai'i Community College is screening and interviewing candidates for Director of the University of Hawai'i Center, West Hawai'i. The UH Center, West Hawai'i is our satellite campus in Kealakekua, which delivers Hawai'i CC programs as well as Bachelor and graduate degrees via distance education from other campuses in the UH System.

Our screening committee has narrowed the Director search down to two highly qualified candidates, Laura Hope and Stephen F. Jennings. The two candidates visited the island in July for interviews and meetings with Hawai'i CC administrators, faculty, staff and students as well as members of the public.


Dr. Laura Hope Dr. Laura Hope is currently the Dean of Instructional Support at Chaffey College, a two-year public community college in Rancho Cucamonga in Southern California. She has been with Chaffey for 23 years, starting as English faculty in 1990.


Dr. Steven Jennings Dr. Stephen Jennings is currently a professor of Information Science, College of Engineering and Information Technology at University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Dr. Jennings has over 30 years in academic, commercial, and not-for-profit environments.


The new Director will be guiding UH Center, West Hawai'i through an exciting phase of development as construction for the new Hawai'i Community College - Palamanui campus will begin hopefully within the next few months. I'm hoping to name the new Director for the UH Center, West Hawai'i shortly. Once the candidate is confirmed, there will be a public announcement that will mark the beginning of the first of four phases to build Hawai'i Community College-Palamanui.



Aviation Center

An aviation training center in Hilo and related training programs at Hawai'i CC and UH Hilo are taking flight. Legislation signed into law July 9 appropriates $100,000 to hire a program coordinator and staff member who will be tasked with the planning for the aviation center and the training programs.

Hawai'i CC plans to administer a professional helicopter pilot program and a professional unmanned aircraft systems pilot program. UH Hilo intends to administer an advanced aviation degree training program.

This $100,000 appropriation is an exciting initial investment that lays the foundation for a facility and programs that will prepare Hawai'i residents for high-paying technical and professional jobs in the aviation industry. It can also mean greater revenue for our state and community if students can pursue their aviation careers here and students from around the world come to Hilo for education and training. We're excited to get this program off the ground, and we thank our local legislators and the governor for their hard work and support!


Did you know that nationally, between now and 2019, it is estimated that we will have 308,000 fewer skilled welding technicians than we need? That's the reason instructors from Hawai'i and the mainland came to Hawai'i CC's welding shop for a weeklong training in July.

The shortage of workers is a result of retiring baby boomers and also because of growth in solar, wind and shale gas energy industries that have created a greater demand for welders.



The workshop was organized by WeldEd, a nonprofit group working to increase the number of skilled welders. The WeldEd program at Hawai'i CC had about 20 participants, many of them from Hawai'i CC and Honolulu CC. By training the teachers, the hope is they will successfully guide their students into the welding profession. Hawai'i CC was pleased to be a part of this program.





back to top 





TMT Update
By Sandra Dawson, TMT


Sandra Dawson As many of you may already know, TMT hosted two major science events here on Hawaii Island last month. The inaugural TMT Science Forum was held in Waikoloa and the first Pacific Astronomy and Engineering Education Summit at locations in Hilo. Both were huge successes!

Mahalo to everyone who helped make both scientists and the high school students from around the world feel welcomed.

In addition to this busy week of science, TMT hosted its first Board of Directors meeting in Hawaii. The Board of Directors' meeting produced a defining moment in TMT's history in establishing a formal agreement amongst the international parties defining the TMT project goals, establishing a governance structure and defining member party rights, obligations and benefits.

TMT is a unique and vibrant collaboration among universities (Caltech and University of California system) in the United States with institutions in the nations of Canada, China, India and Japan, with major funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Uniting these various parties under a Master Agreement stands as a significant milestone for TMT as a scientific endeavor with global reach.

TMT Board Vice Chair Ed Stone stated that this was certainly a vote of confidence from the scientific authorities and that signing the TMT Master Agreement was a key endorsement of the project's scientific merits as well as the project's overall implementation plan.

As I humbly watched these international countries gather to sign the TMT Master Agreement, I was reminded that the world sees Mauna Kea as we do-a place where science and culture co-exist.

Each TMT Partner noted with excitement that this next generation observatory represents a quantum leap for the scientific community and the signing of the Master Agreement is a major step forward in the creation of a revolutionary astronomical facility.

I look forward to keeping all of you informed as we move forward with plans to begin construction next April 2014. 


Mahalo for your kokua!

Sandra Dawson





back to the top








By Josie Kiyan, Membership Chair


Russ OdaWhat a pleasure it was to engage in a conversation with Shigeyasu (Russell) Oda, a gentle, polite and soft spoken man. Russell Oda was born in Hilo, Hawaii and is the son of S.K. (Shigeru) and Tsuruyo Oda, but was raised by his grandparents Chujiro and Keru Oda.  The third oldest child of six children, he was given to his paternal grandmother who raised him for 16 years. Nurtured by his grandmother, who spoke fluent Japanese, she raised him in the traditional lifestyle of a Japanese home where they "ate beans and vegetables and hardly any meat", he says.


S.K. Oda, who was a contractor, introduced his son to the business while surrounding Russell with his architect friends such as Ken Roehrig. Russell's career began when Ken Roehrig hired him to work for his firm as a summer intern on Oahu, and 45 years later, he continues the journey.


You will often see Russell at many Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii's (JCCIH) events as well as various community functions.  When asked: What do you see is a value of being a chamber member?, he replied, "Professionally networking, socializing and contributing to the community culturally and economically".  He is an avid Rotary Club, Chinese Civic Association and Urasenke Hilo Association member.  For over 35 years he has been active with the Urasenke Hilo Association, of which he served 20 years as the Vice-President, and 15 years as the President.  No matter how busy his schedule may be, he continues to find time to participate in JCCIH affairs.
Russell's most memorable experience while being a JCCIH member was the annual International Pacific Festival, where the event was held for several days and included the Japanese training ship and U.S. Naval ship which marched in the Parade of Nations in Hilo.


Mentors who have steered him throughout his life were his grandmother (Keru), father (S.K. Oda), mother (Tsuruyo), and architects (Ken Roehrig and Ernest Hara). In memory of his grandmother Keru Oda, Russell and his wife Aki established the endowed scholarship fund to benefit students in need of financial support at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.


Russell recently received an award recognizing and honoring him by the Junior Achievement of Hawaii, and was inducted into the Hawaii Business Hall of Fame. When asked: What does that award mean to you?, he replied, "I felt it should have been shared with my partner, Harrell McCarty; I didn't do it by myself". 


As our conversation neared the end, he shared some advice for JCCIH members:


1. There will always be negativity around, so think positive no matter what the circumstances.
2. Keep participating and be involved.
3. Don't be a "lunch participator".
4. Don't be a member for your own Bio.




back to the top






Meet your Committee Chairs...

We are excited to launch this new section in the Oshirase, and each issue will feature highlights of different committee chairs. We are extremely proud of the hard-work and dedication that these chairs provide to the chamber and their committees, and we are amazed at their very gifted and interesting backgrounds and experiences. We hope that you will enjoy a snapshot into what drives these leaders, gain insights into the different committees and what they do, and be inspired to attend a committee meeting to check out more.

We would like to start with two committees that are at the heart of what keeps us all involved and committed: Membership Committee and Social & Cultural Committee...

Membership Committee - Chair: Josie Kiyan

Josie Kiyan Born and raised on Oahu, Josie has spent most of her life in Hilo with her husband and four children. Josie is the Administrator for the Engineering and Support Services Department at Hawaii Electric Light Company. She joined HELCO in 2006 as the Executive Secretary to Warren Lee, was promoted as the Administrator for the General Manager, Jose Dizon, and upon Jose's departure, she was transferred to the Engineering Department in 2012.

Prior to working at HELCO, Josie worked for Kamehameha Schools, Casey Family Programs, Hawaii Paroling Authority and for a few law firms in Hilo. While holding a full time job, she also enjoyed selling Tupperware part-time, and was a Manager for 15 years. Over the years, through selling Tupperware, Josie had made many long-lasting friendships.

Josie's passion is giving back to the community. Her sons were avid athletes which required a lot of fundraising. She has been involved as the Fundraiser Chair for Hilo High School Volleyball and Basketball; PioPio Bears Association and Ha'aheo School PTSA, and was also Ha'aheo School PTSA President for 4 years. In addition, her current community involvement includes Hilo Hattie Hootenanny Food Basket; Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program; Board of Director for HELCO Federal Credit Union; JCCIH Membership Chair and member of the Communications Committee.

In her spare time she plays volleyball for the Haili Women's Volleyball team and dances hula for Kumu Johnny Lum Ho (20 years). She has nine grandchildren (includes 2 sets of identical twins), likes to golf, bowl and fish. Most of all she enjoys the quiet time at home with her husband Randy and their pets.

The Membership Committee broadens the membership base, encourages member participation in all aspects of the chamber, and works hand-in-hand with the other committees to ensure that our chamber members are offered the type of involvement that is fulfilling and meaningful. Please consider attending a Membership Committee meeting to see if you'd like to become involved with this committee! Please contact the chamber office or Josie if you are interested.

Social & Cultural Committee - Chair: Gina Tanouye

Gina Tanouye Originally from Oahu, Gina came to Hilo about 10 years ago after having lived in California and
Arizona for a few years, where she was a radio DJ. Gina is a dedicated mother of her almost 3 year-old son Ryan and 12 year old daughter Kylie, and enjoys spending time with her family along with husband "G Cruz". Gina works for Allstate - Speegle Insurance Agency, and has been with Allstate for about 10 years, focusing on insurance sales and service. A woman of many talents, Gina is also a singer in an incredible cover band, Vizion 20/20. Gina has been with the band for about 8 years.

Gina brings such colorful passion and innovation to the chamber and her committee. One of her goals as committee chair is to help build a bonding between members and the community through sharing her energy, plans, and vision.

The Social & Cultural committee in many ways is the heart and soul of our chamber relationships - the events help us connect with each other, with the community, and they make the chamber unique in that it's through these events that we enjoy and value being part of JCCIH. This committee helps the chamber truly live one of its main visions, of perpetuating the Japanese cultural heritage and traditions in Hawai'i, because it's through the types of events and activities that are planned that we are able to continue to spread this cultural wealth.

There are some new and fun ideas and events that the committee is currently planning. Gina invites you to see what her committee is all about, and come join in one of the meetings to see if this is something that you'd like to be part of! If you are interested, please contact the chamber office or Gina.


 Words of WisdomTommy Goya

By Tommy Goya


"A lie can go around the world twice before the truth can get its shoes on."  Mark Twain










  August 2013
     August- Hachigatsu
In This Issue
President's Message
OMKM Update
Mayor's Message
15th Annual A Taste of Hilo
HawCC Update
TMT Update
Meet your Committee Chairs
Words of Wisdom
2013-2014 JCCIH Leadership
Welcome New Members!












What's Happening


August 15, 2013

Going Blue with Henk Rogers

'Imiloa Astronomy Center, Moana Hoku Room

11:30 am-1:00 pm


August 27, 2013

Goji Kara at Hilo Hawaii Hotel

Moku'ola Room 1

5:00 pm-7:00 pm


September 9, 2013

Board Meeting

Hilo Yacht Club

11:30 am-1:00 pm


September 23, 2013

General Membership Meeting-Sherry Menor McNamara, Incoming President, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii

More information forthcoming


October 20, 2013

15th Annual A Taste of Hilo

Sangha Hall

1:00 pm-3:00 pm


October 21, 2013

Board Meeting

Hilo Yacht Club

11:30 am-1:00 pm


November 12, 2013

Board Meeting

Hilo Yacht Club

11:30 am-1:00 pm





Officers & Directors  


Executive Officers

Carol VanCamp, President

David Honma, 1st Vice President

Darren Nishioka, 2nd Vice President

Russell Arikawa, 3rd Vice President

Naomi Menor, Japanese Secretary

Donn Mende, Treasurer
Ivan Nakano, Auditor

Jon Arizumi, Immediate-Past President

Directors - term expiring 6/30/14
Tommy Goya

Phoebe Lambeth
Marvin Min

Dwayne Mukai
Russ Oda

Joseph Skruch

Arthur Taniguchi


Directors - term expiring 6/30/15

Janice Bueltmann

Barbara Hastings

Randy Kurohara

Amanda Lee

Tracey Miura

Michael Miyahira

Allan Onishi

Debbie Shigehara

Nina Tanabe

Toby Taniguchi


Directors - term expiring 6/30/16
Nobuo Arimoto

Ross Birch

Laurie Correa

Charlene Iboshi

Michael Kaleikini

Ka'iu Kimura

Kimo Lee
Barry Mizuno

Steve Ueda

Nico Verissimo

Oshirase Newsletter  

Chantee Poepoe-Vigil, Intern

Amanda Lee, Editor 
Lei Momi Fujiyama Pillers, Executive Assistant 







Welcome New Members!



Ross Birch

Big Island Visitors Bureau

Executive Director

961-5797, 961-2126


 Carol Gristock

The Computer Store



 Gregg Hirata

Hawaii National Bank

VP Regional Manager

935-8551, 935-8554


 Brian Ikawa

Yamada Diversified Corp.


933-8410, 933-8415


Tyler Kaneshiro

C & S Construction, Inc.

Vice President

959-5848, 959-3324


Kathleen McGilvray



935-6067, 934-7179


Jon Miyata

Royal Hawaiian Orchards, LP

VP & Chief Accounting Officer

747-8471, 969-8123


Barbara Moir

Lyman Museum

Executive Director

935-5021, 969-7685


Brian Ninomoto

Hawaii Sheet Metal & Mechanical Inc.

961-1199, 961-1188


Clarysse Nunokawa

C of H, Office of the Mayor

Executive Assistant

961-8507, 345-7760


Francis Rickard

Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Operations Manager

935-9361, 961-9642


Eric Tanouye

Green Point Nurseries

Vice President

959-3535, 959-7780








Kama'aina Motors




Imiloa Astronomy Center
click here to go to website



Big Island Toyota
click here to go to website





Kama'aina Nissan




Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home




KTA Super Stores





Hawaii Island Adult Care 2012-2013







HELCO - New Logo 


click here to go to website







DeLuz Chevrolet 

click here to go to website





click here to go to website






click here to go to website

creative arts




CU Hawaii
click here to go to website




Hospice of Hilo
click here to go to website


HPM Better Builder 2012-2013
Click here to go to website










Bank of Hawaii
click here to go to website




Hawaii National Bank









Kama'aina Motors




Imiloa Astronomy Center
click here to go to website



Big Island Toyota
click here to go to website





Kama'aina Nissan




KTA Super Stores





Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home



Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai'i


714 Kanoelehua Avenue
Hilo, Hawai'i 96720-4565
Phone: 808-934-0177
Fax: 808-934-0178 


Visit us at: