Aloha Kakou!

As the 66th President of this fantastic organization, I would like to say thank you to everyone on the Board of Directors for your dedication to this chamber. Without your tireless volunteer hours, what we have today would not have been possible. Mahalo to all of you.

Russell M. ArikawaOur sister chamber, Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry, sent 12 members and made the long trek from Japan to participate in our June installation. Special thanks to Audrey Takamine, 1st Vice-President, who chaired the installation committee, along with Gina Tanouye, chair of the always busy Social and Cultural committee, and of course, Lei Momi Fujiyama-Pillers, Executive Assistant.
On July 14, the JCCIH was one of the many organizations that sponsored the Mayoral Forum at Sangha Hall. Over 200 people attended and heard four of the 13 candidates answer questions that were posed by Sherry Bracken. Thank you to all of our volunteers that helped with the setup and cleanup.

This year will be as challenging as last year. The Thirty Meter Telescope is still the top issue that we have today. Also the issue of bioenergy here on the Island of Hawai’i is still being negotiated. Both of these project will provide much needed employment for our community and with that, our economy will surely improve.

Big mahalo goes out to Immediate Past President Darren Nishioka who paved the way for some of the changes that we are making at the chamber. We are constantly trying to improving community service, our own efficiency and making it more simple to communicate with everyone. Darren spent many hours burning the midnight oil and I thank him for making it easier (or harder, depends on which way you look at it) for me.

Coming up in October is the chamber’s 18th annual Taste of Hilo. Tickets can be purchased at our office or by contacting any of the committee members. This year the chairpersons are Ryan Kajikawa and Craig Shiroma. I urge every one of you to attend this event and our future events.

I humbly ask for your support and encourage all of you to continue helping the chamber grow and become one of the strongest organizations on the island of Hawai‘i as well as in the state. Together we can make our community a better one.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!
Russell M. Arikawa
2016-2017 President
Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawai'i