Lifetime Achievement Award
Founder & President
Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering
Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering, located in the heart of Waipahu, is a family-run business founded by Mel Tanioka in 1978.
An avid recreational fisherman, Mel knew he wanted to open a business and decided upon poke as his niche. With the support of family and friends, Mel has grown Tanioka’s from a modest fish market with four employees to owning two commercial buildings with more than 100 hard working and dedicated employees.
Mel credits his success to long hours, a faith in Christian values and an unwavering commitment to the core business ethic and motto, “Quality Foods with a Friendly Smile.” Mel had a hand in all aspects of the business over the years, and now oversees the entire operation with a focus on quality control.
Charity is the cornerstone of Mel’s community outreach through his non-profit organization, The Tanioka’s Charity Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit division of Tanioka’s, which supports organizations such as The American
Cancer Society, American Liver Foundation, Kapiolani Medical Center, Honolulu Police Department, The Hawaii Food Bank and many other schools, churches and non-profit organizations in need.
Reflecting Mel’s penchant for golf, the non-profit holds a popular annual charity golf tournament, and has raised upward of $10,000 for the Kapiolani Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Kapiolani Children’s Cancer Center.
Young Professional of the Year Award
President, Aloha Data Services
Ina Chang is the president of Aloha Data Services. In her early thirties, Ina strengthened her business by incorporating one of Aloha Data’s newest services, eDiscovery, allowing the exchange of information in electronic format in civil litigation, reducing legal costs, risks and time.
Ina Chang happily shares her entrepreneurial spirit, knowledge and passions regularly as a speaker for business groups, schools and community centers.
Business Executive of the Year Award
President & CEO, Wilson Care Group
As President/CEO, Shelley Wilson provides the visionary and strategic framework for the Group. This hands-on business executive leads and directs each and every facet of Wilson Homecare and Wilson Senior Living.
Shelley’s unwavering drive has led her company from truly humble beginnings to Oahu’s most respected private home health care service provider. Shelley has spearheaded Wilson Homecare’s financial growth – realizing a nearly 400% increase over the last 6 years. Her dedication to her clientele and her staff drove her to expand the company’s offerings, culminating in the Care Group’s first long-term care facility, Wilson Senior Living.
Excellence and innovation are at the forefront of Shelley’s initiatives and her impact on the community is noteworthy. She served as the 2010-2011 Chair for The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, and past chair of its Small Business and Health Issues Committees. She serves on Chaminade University’s Board of Regents, and is a Board Member of: Pacific Aviation Museum, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, the East-West Center Foundation, and the YWCA. She is also a member of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii’s Advisory Panel for Homecare and Hospice, the Better Business Bureau of Hawaii, and is a past President of the Organization of
Commitment to Green Award
Oceanit is one of Hawaii’s largest, most diversified science and engineering companies with a focus on aerospace/defense, life science/biotechnology, information systems, and consulting engineering services. They are also committed to sustainable, green living and providing the community with innovative services and products, promotion of education and training in its community outreach and leading the green endeavor in its own organization.
Oceanit has received accolades for its sustainable projects, including developing a sustainable Master Plan for the 70-acre Pouhala Marsh State Wildlife Sanctuary for native waterfowl habitat. And for using an innovative electronic- monitoring system (powered by solar panels) to monitor the outfall at Oceanit’s Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant. Oceanit also develops innovative technologies that support alternative/sustainable energy and energy-reduction. Technologies include wave-energy capturing devices, flexible batteries, high-density energy storage, and novel fuel cells.
Oceanit is a green office, too. Student interns and a project engineers designed and built an aquaponics system on the office lanai to grow vegetables and herbs. Oceanit has also been vermicomposting since 2008; and Oceanit no longer uses disposable paper goods and doesn’t offer water bottles to guests, but instead uses reusable cups for water.
Educator of the Year Award
Teacher, Waikiki Elementary School
Matt Lawrence has worked at Waikiki Elementary School for the past 12 years. He is a “natural born” teacher, an educator in the truest sense of the word, capable of eliciting the best from all those with whom he works.
Mr. Lawrence’s thinking and teaching are progressive and cutting edge. Actively utilizing the Philosophy for Children (P4C) model, he shapes his classrooms into “communities of thinkers”, where discussions routinely expand beyond the superficial and students become empowered to trust the power of their minds.
Matt structures a “creativity” block during the last period of each school day. At this time, students are encouraged to dream, innovate, and create…resulting in the emergence of amazing ideas and projects. Most importantly, they learn to believe in their capacities to create.
Recently, Matt received the honor of becoming a Nationally Board Certified Teacher and is the 2014 Honolulu District Teacher of the Year. He has been an invited speaker at conferences in Australia, Japan and New Zealand, and at new principal academies and various state and district workshops. He has written a Master’s thesis on the transformative culture of Waikiki school and has served as the chair of the School’s Community Council for more than 7 years, mentoring numerous student teachers throughout his tenure.
Corporate Social Responsibility Award
Pop-A-Lock of Honolulu
Above and beyond Pop-A-Lock of Honolulu’s core services as a locksmith, this local company reaches out to the community to educate parents about the dangers of leaving children in unattended cars and provides a free door-unlock program when children are accidentally locked in automobiles through their Emergency Door Unlocking (EDU) Program.
Since the program’s inception in 2009, KHON2 has partnered with Pop-A-Lock of Honolulu and aired public service announcements as a sponsor of the program. Pop-A-Lock has also distributed flyers to public schools and daycare facilities throughout Hawai’i to build awareness of the program. As a result, Pop-A-Lock of Honolulu rescues one child from a locked automobile approximately every six-to- eight weeks. Since the program’s launch, over 250,000 children have been saved from locked cars by Pop-A-Lock representatives nationwide.
Aimed to support local police and firefighters, the program educates parents to first call 9-1-1 and then call 1-800-Pop- A-Lock. The Pop-A-Lock technician nearest to the scene will leave all other priorities aside to arrive as soon as possible to unlock the child from the automobile. In most cases, Pop- A-Lock will be on site within ten minutes of receiving the phone call from a parent, guardian or bystander.
Best Social Media Campaign Award
W.M. Keck Observatory
This past March marked the 20th Anniversary of the W.M. Keck Observatory. To celebrate the Observatory’s incredible achievements, Friends of Keck organized Keck Week 2013 – a week long series of festivities located at Kohala Coast resort venues as well as in the town of Kamuela. The event marked a distinctive confluence of the brightest minds in astronomy alongside our country’s most significant scientific philanthropists.
To encourage supporters of the Keck Observatory to attend Keck Week 2013, an integrated marketing approach was strategically enacted heavily involving social media. The following social media tactics were used throughout the campaign: a Facebook contest to select Keck Week’s Theme Song; the Keck Nation Blog.
All media articles were posted to Facebook and Twitter attracting new followers and likes throughout the campaign; and During Keck Week, photos of events, a live streamed press conference, the summit, the live satellite feed and interviews were posted to Facebook and Twitter.
Most importantly, this translated into over 500 guests attending Keck Week 2013 and nearly $1 million raised that week to further the Observatory’s technology.
Best Family-Run Business Award
The Kamakas illustrates how the age-old values of hard work, fortitude, honesty and creativity from a distinctly Hawaiian point of view can transcend time and be a formula for a successful business.
Of all the early Hawaiian ukulele manufacturers at the start of the 20th century, only Kamaka Hawaii remains in business today. Rooted in such concepts as aloha, malama and Pono, the Kamakas have worked together to preserve the family tradition of success and artistry as knowledge and values are passed from one generation to the next are indelibly connected by strings of history and affection.
From the founder’s apprenticeship with Manuel Nunes, the Portuguese man who first introduced the instrument to the Islands, to creating ”The Jake” ukulele model for virtuosos Jake Shimabukuro, Kamaka Hawaii has been at the forefront of the ukulele’s presence in the world.
Today, third generation Kamakas have taken over control and manage the day-to-day operations. They continue this fine manufacturing legacy of ukulele-making and even the founder’s great grandsons are also chipping in with the business, carrying on the tradition well into the fourth generation.
Kamaka Hawaii, Inc. especially exemplified these values when they took a chance and first hired disabled employees in 1955, at a time when physically-challenged individuals were virtually unemployable and were viewed as liabilities. The company believed that the hearing-impaired craftsmen were conscientious, dedicated, and highly motivated toward perfection. Their instincts paid off when these craftsmen’s “disability” turned out to be a tremendous asset with their heightened sense of touch.
Best New Business Award
Marian Lee earned an M.B.A. from Portland State University and spent 3 years as a successful investment consultant and stock analyst in Oregon before needing to return home to care for her parents. Returning to Hawaii in 2009 and facing a tough job market, Marian bravely decided to become an entrepreneur. She spent a year planning and seeking advice of family, friends, and business mentors from SCORE Hawaii. From conception, management, marketing, and P.R., Marian executed her comprehensive business plan qualifying for a business loan to launch Mojo Barbershop.
Marian obtained a liquor license for the barbershop, unprecedented in Hawaii. She recruited the best barbers, who also believed in her vision. They are no longer barbers, but artists. Mojo Barbershop’s innovative concept of “barbershop/ social club for men” provides a better, more enjoyable option for men who want to look and feel good. Nowhere else in Hawaii, can gentleman get a great haircut and old fashioned shave while they enjoy an ice cold beer and watch the latest sports on TV.
Mojo Barbershop’s monthly revenue grew an average of 150% year over year. This dynamic growth is a result of her innovative marketing and business strategy and more importantly, the leadership, dedication, and creative vision of Marian Lee.
Best Non-Profit Impact
The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery
The Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS) is Hawaii’s only nonprofit solely focused on serving both male and female who may be adults or children that are victims of human trafficking for either sex or labor. Since 2009, PASS has served over 98 victims of trafficking.
The organization’s purpose is to provide, assist with, and facilitate the many requirements that contribute to the holistic healing of human-trafficking victims and their reintegration into society. These requirements include providing services and basic needs support to holistically heal victims, conducting street outreach, educating the public about the growing problem of human trafficking and advocating for policy change to protect victims of human- trafficking.
Among many noteworthy accomplishments, In 2012, PASS created a uniform identification system for services who are members of the federally funded anti-trafficking task force, the Hawaii Coalition Against Human Trafficking, to help with coordinating statistics among Hawaii’s first responders. They also Introduced and passed the nation’s sixth vacating convictions state law allowing victims of sex trafficking to vacate their criminal records of prostitution charges if they were held in servitude at the time of their conviction.