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February 2018 Oshirase

President’s Message

Happy February everyone! The first quarter of 2018 is flying by! Many local businesses are still staying busy and our unemployment rate is at one of the lowest. There’s a lot going on with your Chamber.

We are happy to announce that we have a new addition to our Chamber ‘ohana! Please welcome Doreen Canario! Give her a call at the Chamber office [(808) 934-0177] and find a good time to stop by to meet her.

On January 11th, we rang in the New Year with a celebration and Goji Kara at Creative Arts Hawaii. A big mahalo to Randy Kurohara and the staff at Creative Arts Hawaii along with Gina Tanouye and Josie Kiyan from our Social & Cultural committee for planning this great event! This year marks the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.

We are proud to be a part of the year- long celebration which will include various cultural activities throughout the year. The first Gannenmono event on the Big Island was the arrival of the Nippon Maru training ship from Japan.

On January 17th, our membership committee led by Carol VanCamp and Linda Iwata held a
New Member reception at WikiFresh. We encourage you to come out to our New Member
reception which we hold twice a year. This is a great opportunity to see what the Chamber is all about.

Also, in January, I had the opportunity to attend The Hilo Urasenke Association’s Hatsudate (First Tea Gathering of the Year) at the Lili‘uokalani Gardens Tea House. County officials as well as other Japanese organizations attended the ceremony.

Our education committee led by Debbie Shigehara and Susie Dill is in full swing! In the month of January, we had (2) Lunch & Learn workshops held at Hilo Intermediate School. Thank you Heather Dansdill and the staff and students at Hilo Intermediate School for hosting us at your school.

Please join us this month for an after-hours event at Subaru Telescope. Included in the festivities, is a tour of its state of the art facility. Also coming up on March 7, is our 19th Annual Golf Classic at the Hilo Municipal Golf Course. Golf chairperson Layne Funai and his committee have been working hard to plan this tournament. Please come out and support this fun event!

Thank you for your commitment to the Chamber and we look forward to seeing you at future events!

Audrey Takamine
President, 2017-2018





19th Annual Golf Classic Tournament

The 19th Annual JCCIH Golf Classic is March 7, 2018 at the Hilo Municipal Golf Course. Slots are filling up quickly, so please get your entries in as soon as possible! Click here for more information.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Hilo Municipal Golf Course
10:00 AM Check in
11:00 AM Shotgun start
2-team scramble





Education Committee
Susie Dill and Debbie Shigehara, Co-Chairs

The Education Committee has been very active! We’ve hosted Lunch and Learn workshops and have an upcoming event pau hana at Subaru later this month.  

Bob Bowman, Hilo Intermediate School instructor, assisted by 7th grade student Hoku,  helped JCCIH members create, edit and share a Google document in the “All About Google” Lunch and Learn session on January 18th.  Within that short hour, participants ate lunch plus had practice in learning the world of Google’s apps and docs.

On January 25th the “Social Media” Lunch and Learn workshop with Ashley Kierkiewicz included practical tips on posting advice, etiquette, and future trends.  Ashley, with her years of marketing experience,  shared  a comprehensive overview of the various social media platforms.  It seemed that one hour was too short for all of the information about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Yelp and LinkedIn!  This session was very helpful for businesses as well as individuals wanting to understand the basics of social media.

Subaru is hosting an after hours event for JCCIH members on February 21st.  Please mark your calendars for that date as Yuko Kakazu and the Subaru staff are planning an exciting evening with prize giveaways and pupus.   Look for the flyer to be posted soon.

Education Committee members, Heather Dansdill and Laina Torres, are still accepting guest speaker volunteers who can share with 7th-8th graders about their career.   This annual Community and Career Day is set for March 29 at Hilo Intermediate School from 8 -12 noon; however speakers are only needed for 45 minutes.  Please contact Laina at (808) 313-5300 or let Susie or Debbie know that you are interested in volunteering.

The next Education Committee meeting is on February 21 at 12 noon at Hilo Intermediate School. Please feel free to join the Committee!






JCCIH Hosts Newest Chamber Members at Reception

Thirty-six new Chamber members since July 2017 were invited as guests at the JCCIH semi-annual New Member Reception on January 17 at Wiki-Fresh in Hilo.  A total of 27 people attended, including Chamber leadership and our various committee chairs.

The event aimed to provide new members an overview of Chamber programs, activities and committee service opportunities so that they can make the most of their Chamber membership.  

Attendees enjoyed  great food, beverages and door prizes (donated by KTA, Dale Tokuuke, and the Chamber office). They also had the chance to network with both other new members and long-time Chamber members.

We encourage all of our members to help us in welcoming new members and also in encouraging non-members to join our Chamber!

Carol VanCamp
JCCIH Membership Chair






Continuing the Journey Through the Universe
Alexis Acohido and Janice Harvey, Gemini Observatory  

For well over the past decade astronomy educators from the Mauna Kea Observatories and the University of Hawaii as well as scientists from across the United States have converged on the Big Island to participate in Gemini Observatoryʻs flagship outreach program, Journey through the Universe (Journey). This year marks the 14th anniversary of the Journey program, where over 70 astronomy educators will visit over 8,000 students from Kaʻū-Keaʻau-Pāhoa, Hilo-Waiākea, Laupahoehoe, Paʻauilo, and Waimea. Over the years, Journey has evolved to include, not only classroom visits, but career panels, StarLab shows for all K-1 students in Hilo-Waiākea, workshops for teachers, as well as public colloquia by NASA scientists and our Mauna Kea Astronomers and Engineers.

The immense success of the Journey program is due in no small part to the Japanese and Hawaiʻi Island Chambers of Commerce. Hawaiʻi Island businesses and community leaders have proven time and again over the past 14 years of the Journey program that they are dedicated to supporting our keiki in pursuing their dreams. The annual AstronomyEducatorʻs Reception put on by JCCIH and HICC, gives members of the astronomy community, business community, and the Department of Education a unique opportunity to strengthen existing bonds and establish new ones.

Programs like Journey through the Universe are community-driven and are only possible with support from all of you. On behalf of Gemini Observatories and the Maunakea Observatories, thank you, for helping our keiki reach to infinity and beyond!





Social & Cultural Committee Update
Gina Tanouye, Chair

 Randy Kurohara and the team at Creative Arts Hawaii hosted JCCIH members Jan. 11 for not only a Goji-Kara, but the Chamber’s New Year’s celebration, and what a way to kick off 2018!

 As we entered the front doors, we were instantly greeted with a Creative Arts Hawaii goody bag and a plain black shirt in our size.  

We began the tour by meeting some of the creative geniuses that come up with the concepts and designs on their computers, the first step in creating any merchandise.  In this case, it was the design for the 2018 Merrie Monarch shirt.  We were taken to see printers of all shapes and sizes that make colorful and same day shirts and banners; a machine that embroiders hats six at a time. Next station, we were able to see the final Merrie Monarch shirt with its beautiful, layered design.  I think a treat for many of us was witnessing the black plain tee we got when we first entered, screened, treated and ready for wear with a special “Okagesame De” design right before our eyes.

After exiting the warehouse, the friendly aloha spirit of the Parker Ranch Store and Aloha Grown teams greeted us with merchandise at a special price for Chamber members that evening.  Many shirts and hats were snatched up, I know I’ve got quite a few hanging in my closet ready for weekend wear. 

The fun didn’t stop as we moved into an area set up just for our New Year’s Celebration with ono food from AJ & Sons, live entertainment by Jennie Kaneshiro (did you know she’s Tommy Goya’s niece?) and Kanoa, beverages served by Ryan Kadota and more and more prize giveaways.  The night was an unforgettable one filled with food, laughter, fellowship and a greater appreciation of Creative Arts Hawaii/Aloha Grown/Parker Ranch Store.  For all of your merchandising needs from shirts, hats, banners, vinyl or whatever you can think of, Creative Arts Hawaii can help you!  Screen printing, embroidery, promotional products, graphic design, banner printing and DTG printing…don’t hesitate to contact Randy and the Creative Arts Hawaii team!


Words of Wisdom
Selected by Tommy Goya
“Don’t just save the building. Save the story, too.”
Yoshihiko Oshima, Architect, Japan









New Members
Click photo to view new member information

Roy Takemoto
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