Seeking a District Manager

We’re looking for a District Manager to help us manage and grow our Junior Achievement programs here in East Hawaii Island. This is a permanent, part-time, hourly position for up to 19 hours per week. A successful District Manager will have great communication skills, be organized, understand small business concepts and have a proven ability to work independently with minimal direction. Especially given the current Covid-19 circumstance, it is also important for our JA District Manager to be knowledgeable and comfortable with business computer tools including social media and online meeting and content sharing platforms.

To learn more about this opportunity and to apply, please visit

Shelter in Place, Learn in Place

JA Project Tomorrow bring JA Hawaii to your Home!

School might be out of session but Junior Achievement of Hawaii is still committed to inspiring tomorrows for our keiki!

Visit JA’s Project Tomorrow page to access programming that you can implement from home while sheltering in place. Learning can continue and JA is providing access to learning experiences that students can do on their own, with a parent or other caring adult, or with teachers via a digital/virtual environment. Resources are organized by school level and can be used whether or not you’ve engaged in a JA program in the past.

JA USA is continuing to add to the content in the coming days so check back often. We are working hard to adapt more programs for online and home usage as we all move through these challenging times.

Please visit

JA Honors Mike Fujimoto, Jackie De Luz and Susan Labrenz


We will communicate the new date when available. Mahalo.


Join us in honoring this year’s Big Island inductee to the

Junior Achievement of Hawaii’s Business Hall of Fame

Mike Fujimoto of HPM Building Supply

along with JA of Hawaii Island’s Distinguished Supporter Award Recipients

Jackie Deluz Watanabe of Big Island Toyota

& Susan Labrenz



Nani Mau Gardens

Featuring a Delicious Prime Rib Buffet

Tickets are $100 or $800 for a Reserved Table of Eight.

Please complete the enclosed RSVP form and return it by April 10th.

For more information please call 989-5788 or email Your support of this event will assist Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island to continue to provide financial literacy programs to nearly 4,000 K-12 students annually. Ninety percent of funds raised stay on-island and go directly to pay for classroom materials and program support.

About this year’s remarkable award recipients…

Mike Fujimoto is the Executive Chairman of HPM Building Supply and the fourth generation of the Fujimoto family to lead the 99-year-old company. Mike has dedicated the last 44 years to HPM and stewarded the company through a period of significant growth and modernization. Under his leadership, HPM expanded from three Big Island locations to eight locations across Hawaii Island, Kauai and Oahu. Today, HPM is more than 300 employees strong and is a 100 percent employee-owned company.

Mike cares deeply about our community and has served in chair and director positions with for-profit and charity organizations for decades. Mike, along with several others from our Hilo business community, was instrumental in the formation of Junior Achievement on Hawaii Island more than 40 years ago. He served on the Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island Board of Directors for 24 years and was bestowed Emeritus status in 2002.

Behind the sweet smile, Jackie De Luz, is all business. She is the President of Big Island Toyota and De Luz Chevrolet, an automotive dealership with three locations on Hawaii Island. Jackie feels strongly about building financial literacy within our youth, as evidenced by her continued support of Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island. Jackie started volunteering in our middle school program more than 20 years ago and also taught the JA Elementary program for her daughter Grace’s classes from kindergarten through 6th grade. Big Island Toyota has sponsored JA high school Company Program teams since 1995. Jackie has been a lead advisor of those teams throughout, and both of her daughters also have become JA volunteers.

Susan Labrenz has been a long-time treasure for Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island. Her passion and commitment to help achieve the mission and purposes of the program is evident through her twenty plus years of service as District Manager. No one loves Junior Achievement more than Susan. Even in retirement, without prompting, she continues presenting programs in the classroom to our keiki, urges students to participate in our high school program and helps to recruit volunteers. JA of Hawaii Island could not have grown and impacted so many students without Susan.

Hawaii Island JA Business Hall of Fame Laureates
Robert M. Fujimoto, HPM Building Supply, 1990
Allan K. Ikawa, Big Island Candies, 1995
Jack Miyashiro, Jack’s Tours of Hilo, 1997
Tony Taniguchi, KTA Super Stores, 1998
Edward T. Fukuda Kandi’s Drive Inn, 2001
Richard S. Miyashiro, Café 100, 2002
David S. De Luz, Sr., David S. De Luz, Sr. Enterprises, 2004
Harold Tanouye, Green Point Nurseries, 2007
Richard Ha, Hamakua Springs Country Farms, 2008
Herbert Monty Richards Jr. Kahua Ranch, 2009
Barry K. Taniguchi, KTA Super Stores, 2010
Richard Henderson Entrepreneur & former State Senator, 2011
Ric Maiava & Debra Ching-Maiava, Restaurateurs, 2012
Russell Oda, Architect, 2013
Wayne & Guy Kamitaki, Lynn Ushijima, and Paul Mizoguchi, HouseMart, 2014
Brian Kitagawa, I. Kitagawa & Company, 2015
Mike Tokunaga & Peggy Konanui-Tokunaga, S. Tokunaga Store, 2016
Sig Zane & Nalani Kanakaole, Sig Zane Designs, 2017
Sharon Scheele, Inoue*Hawaii Realty, 2019

JA of Hawaii Island’s Distinguished Supporter Award Recipients
Art Taniguchi, 2019

Aspiring Hawai‘i Island Entrepreneurs Recognized

Junior Achievement of Hawai‘i Island applauded more than 70 outstanding young entrepreneurs and awarded $4,500 in scholarships at its 40th Annual “Futures Unlimited” awards banquet on January 28, 2020 at Sangha Hall.

The Junior Achievement company program encourages high school students to develop leadership and entrepreneurship skills by guiding them in the creation of a small business. The awards recognize the hard work of the students and their advisors over the 15-week program.

The three student companies participating this season were Ohana Products sponsored and advised by Big Island Toyota and Central Pacific Bank, Eco-Aloha supported by HFS Federal Credit Union, and Aspire sponsored and advised by HPM Building Supply and Bank of Hawaii.

Over the course of the program, the three companies in total manufactured, marketed and sold over $40,000 in merchandise. The top-selling company this year was Ohana Products with nearly $19,000 in total receipts. Tristen Cullio was the top individual salesperson with $3,173 in sales, and Savannah Christensen won for Best Sales Presentation. Ohana Products also received the coveted Company of the Year recognition, posting an impressive return on their stock value of $119 per share.

Much of the sales happen during the JA Trade Fair each Black Friday weekend when the community comes out to support the JA companies and find unique holiday gifts. Mystery shoppers also drop by to score the students on their product displays and salesmanship. This year Aspire was recognized for having the most compelling Trade Fair presence.

In addition to learning about sales, manufacturing, finance and human resource management, the companies also are introduced to public relations and encouraged to perform community service projects. This year Eco-Aloha won the outstanding community service company award.

Funded from the “profits tax” charged to the JA high school companies, seven participating Seniors were awarded scholarships. This year’s scholarship recipients were: Mikaela Durch – $250, Iain Klegner – $250, Wilmer Agpaoa – $600, Savannah Christensen – $600, Dayci Oshiro – $600, Jaylen Mae Arzaga – $1,100 and Corbin Warmbier – $1,100.

During the event local entrepreneur Kris Speegle of Nakoa Kai Insurance Professionals and Aloha Pawz, shared advice on writing down dreams, putting in extra effort and the importance of giving back to the community. Through a song on the ukulele, Speegle also shared his experience of finding ways of remaining connected to Hawaii, such as when he was away from the islands during his military service.

Support Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island

Boost Your Aloha to JA of Hawaii Island

Foodland/Sack-n-Save is again holding their “Give Aloha” campaign this September.  It makes this month a great time to donate to JA of Hawaii Island, and have your donations boosted by Foodland.

It’s easy to do: At Foodland and Sack-n-Save stores, present your Maika’i card at checkout and inform the cashier you would like to make a “Give Aloha” donation. Then select “Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island” CODE 78722.

You may donate up to $249 per organization (any amount in excess will not be matched).  The name of our organization and the amount you donate will appear on your receipt.  Please make sure to present your Maika’i card so your gift can be matched.

Since donor names will not be released to our organization, if you would like us to know of your gift, please email our JAHI district manager Alan Shiraishi at

Thank you in advance for supporting financial literacy in our Big Island elementary, intermediate and high schools.

Send Your High School Students to Start a Business

We’re gearing-up for the start of the fall 2019 JA Company Program. From September through December, East Hawaii high school students will meet on Tuesday nights to create their company, manufacture and market products, give back to their community, make friends, and hopefully also make some money.

If you know of high school students who may be interested in the program please have them contact their social studies teacher or school office for a JA application, or signup online here. The deadline to apply is (EXTENDED TO) Friday, August 23rd and Application Night is Tuesday, August 27th from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at Waiakea High School. The program itself is held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at Waiakea High School from September 3rd through December 10th.

If you have questions about the program, or if you are a business professional interested in helping to advise one of the teams, please contact JAHI district manager, Alan Shiraishi at or 808-292-0570.

177 Volunteers Help JAHI Reach Its 2018-’19 Goals

Summer is a great time between the school years to take a break and “sharpen the saw,” but also to give thanks to those who made this past school year such a success.

Junior Achievement programs are completely volunteer led, so without volunteers there are no programs. Volunteers teach “needs and wants” to first grade sponges, help 4th graders run “hot dog stands” and advise high school company program teams on the marketing, manufacturing, finance, HR and leadership issues.

During the 2018-’19 school year, 177 JAHI volunteers spent a total of nearly 20,000 contact hours helping over 3,500 students in 165 classrooms in East Hawaii Island!  We send our sincere thanks to each and every one:

Continue reading “177 Volunteers Help JAHI Reach Its 2018-’19 Goals”

Who’s Next in the Hawaii Business Hall of Fame?

Please join us for a reception honoring Sharon Scheele, our 2019 Big Island Inductee to the JA Hawai`i Business Hall of Fame, and Art Taniguchi, the inaugural recipient of JA of Hawai`i Island’s Distinguished Supporter Award.

Saturday, March 2, 2019
5:00 – 8:00pm
Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku`ola Ballroom

Tickets are $100 individually or $800 for a Reserved Table of Eight. Please complete the RSVP form and return by February 19th.
For more information call 936-4798 or email

Continue reading “Who’s Next in the Hawaii Business Hall of Fame?”

JA Company Program Events

Please join us for two great events at the end of our JA high school Company Program 2018 season:

ANNUAL REPORT PRESENTATIONS Tuesday, January 15, 2019 from 6:00-8:00 PM at Na Leo TV, 91 Mohouli St.  – During this time each company’s officers will present their company results and learnings. Seating is limited. If you are a family member of an achiever, after your student’s company has presented please make your seat available for family members of other companies. No charge.

FUTURE UNLIMITED BANQUETTuesday, January 29, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:30 PM at Sangha Hall – The Future Unlimited Banquet is the fantastic conclusion to our 15-week JA high school Company Program. In addition to the delicious buffet dinner catered by KTA Super Stores, attendees will also enjoy an inspiring key-note speech (speaker to be announced) and of course the recognition of the outstanding effort of the individuals employees, officers and advisors, as well as the incredible results of our four JA high school companies. Parents and supporters of these young entrepreneurs are invited and encouraged to attend.Student and Advisor participant attendance is paid for by their sponsoring company. Cost for family and supporters is $16.00 when pre-paid by 1/15/2019 (using online link), or you can pay $20.00 (cash or check only) at the door.

Exciting Gifts at JA Trade Fair 2019

It’s JA Trade Fair Time!
Fri. Nov. 23rd & Sat. Nov. 24th
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
at Prince Kuhilo Plaza – Old Navy Wing

You’ll find unique gifts, including…

  • Locally-sourced potted succulents and metal cuff bracelets
    from United Youth, sponsored by HFS FCU
  • Gold and pearl necklaces and bracelets
    from Hanauna Hou, sponsored by Na Leo TV
  • Silk screened kitchen towels and scrunchies
    from Chosen 2 Achieve, advised by HPM and Bank of Hawaii, and
  • Handmade cork coasters and trendy shoelace bracelets from Maika`i Productions, sponsored by Big Island Toyota

Please come by and show your support for these enterprising young companies comprised of high school students from across East Hawaii Island!