Join Us in Honoring Sig Zane & Nalani Kanakaole to the Business Hall of Fame

Join Us in Honoring Sig Zane & Nalani Kanakaole to the Business Hall of Fame


Honoring our Big Island Inductee

Sig Zane and Nalani Kanakaole of Sig Zane Designs

Saturday, August 26, 2017, 5:00 pm Nani Mau Gardens

Tickets: $75.00 individually or $600 for a Reserved Table of Eight.

For reservations, please complete the RSVP Card by August 18th

For more information please call 989-5788 or email scheele4ihrc@yahoo.com.


Sig Zane has lived his entire life in Hawaii, raised in Kaneohe and graduated from Roosevelt High. Surfer, fisherman, designer, retailer, Hawaiian cultural artist and practitioner, Zane
moved to Hilo for college and never really returned to Honolulu. Nalani Kanakaole, raised in a traditional Hawaiian manner, is a fifth generation hula teacher. Art history major, teacher, and cultural leader, Nalani has lived her entire life in Hilo, raised on homestead lands in Keaukaha.

Sig Zane Designs opened their doors in 1985 in downtown Hilo, when other shops wouldn’t carry their work. The first twenty years was spent quietly in Hilo, building a library of art focused on native plants important to hula and to the culture. Hand cutting his designs and hand-screening the fabric, Zane uses the aloha shirt as a canvas to express stories of our islands and its culture. His works spans more than three decades, first beginning with the simple two-yard pareu, a sarong made as gifts for friends. Besides aloha shirts, his art has been used on airplane livery, in hotel rooms and on the sides of buildings. The company also designs logos. Hawaiian Electric is one of his most visible brand identities.

The company and their work has always involved the ohana. As a team, they continue to share their insights to art and culture in their work with corporations, the visitor industry, and especially for the next generation of islanders. His son Kuhao has been working for the company for the past fifteen years and runs the design department, leading its growth both in Hilo and Honolulu.

Through story, they believe they can help perpetuate the teachings of their forefathers, ensuring that the next several generations will have a strong connection to our island’s roots and traditions.

We hope you will join us as we honor the contributions of this family to our island business community. Mahalo.

Past Big Island recipients of this prestigious award include:

  • 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, Cafe 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, Ltd., 2015
  • Michael Tokunaga & Peggy Konanui-Tokunaga, S. Tokunaga Store, 2016
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Young Hawai‘i Island Entrepreneurs Recognized

Young Hawai‘i Island Entrepreneurs Recognized

Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island congratulated 48 outstanding young entrepreneurs and awarded $3,500 in scholarships Jan. 24 during its 37th annual Futures Unlimited awards banquet at Sangha Hall.

The Junior Achievement company program helps high school students develop leadership and entrepreneurship skills by guiding them through the creation of a small business, from product development to marketing and sales. The awards recognize the hard work of the students and advisers from local businesses.

The three student companies participating in this cycle were Aloha Co. sponsored by HFS Federal Credit Union, P.O.N.O. sponsored by Big Island Toyota and Synergy sponsored by Bank of Hawaii. Company members sold their products to friends and family, and to the public during a trade fair in November at Prince Kuhio Plaza. During the course of the cycle, the companies sold more than $27,000 in merchandise.

Bank of Hawaii sponsored JA Company “Synergy”

Aloha Co. was named Outstanding Company of the Year and had the highest company sales at $9,900. P.O.N.O. was noted for having the most compelling presence at the trade fair and Synergy’s Eric Tejada was awarded Outstanding President.


The top three salespeople of the year were Brittney Williams of P.O.N.O. with $1,431 in sales, Kilar Fujimoto of Synergy with $1,335 and Ruby Galapon of Aloha Co. with $1,274.

The Junior Achievement sponsoring businesses instill the value of community service in their own employees and set examples for the participants. Companies collaborated with KTA Super Stores to put on their haunted house, shared random acts of kindness and collected food for The Food Basket, Hawaii Island’s food bank. Synergy received this year’s Community Service award.

2017 Scholarship Recipients (L-R): Ruby Galapon, Maria Calso, Eric Tejada, Breena Bratt and Joy Galvez

In addition to achievement awards, $3,500 in scholarships were awarded to five seniors who excelled in the program and other aspects of scholastic life: Maria Calso, Joy Galvez and Tejada of Synergy and Galapon of Aloha Co., all Keaau High School students, and Breena Pratt of Synergy (Hilo High).

“The growth we see in our students is obvious at the culmination of our company program with the Futures Unlimited banquet,” said Jeanine Acia, district manager for Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island. “We are so proud of their efforts and know that they have bright futures. Our program would not be a success if it weren’t for our volunteer mentors who give so generously.”

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Get Powered Up for the JA Company Program

Get Powered Up for the JA Company Program

Please share this great opportunity with all East Hawaii high school students:

From September through December over 100 budding entrepreneurs from East Hawaii high schools will form and operate mini-companies. With guidance from local business people, for over 12 weeks these students will experience business hands-on by analyzing markets and product opportunities, manufacturing and marketing their products, accounting for all revenues and expenses, and managing their company resources.

Companies meet every Tuesday night from 6:30 to 9:00pm at Waiakea High School. The Application Night is Tuesday, September 1st starting at 6:30pm. To be invited to the Application Night students must complete the sign up forms available from their school or available online at

2015 Company Program Application Night Sign-up Form

If you’re not quite sure but would like to learn more, send us an email at jahawaii@gmail.com. We are also looking for adults from the business community to serve as advisors to our student companies.

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Hilo Reception for Brian Kitagawa

Hilo Reception for Brian Kitagawa

Join us in honoring this year’s Big Island inductee to Junior Achievement of Hawaii’s Business Hall of Fame: Brian Kitagawa of I. Kitagawa & Company Ltd.

Saturday, March 28th, 5:00 pm
Nani Mau Gardens

Tickets are $75 individually or $600 for a Reserved Table of Eight.
Please complete the RSVP form and return it by March 18th.

We are also appreciative of donations to cover the cost of high school students to attend the event, and also items for our silent auction.

For more information please call 989-5788 or email scheele4ihrc(a)yahoo.com.

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Company Program Annual Report 2015

Company Program Annual Report 2015


_DSC3654 _DSC3667

On January 13, 2015, our three high school Company Program teams presented their earnings and learnings to a panel of five judges. Company Presidents and Vice Presidents of Production, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance and Public Relations wowed the audience with smiles and PowerPoint presentations. [See more pictures from the event]

Overall the three teams’ total sales were down significantly from prior years; however, their net profit was equal or better than prior years.

“You’ve learned to work smarter,” complimented Susan Labrenz, JAHI’s District Manager.

All achievements will be celebrated during the Futures Unlimited Banquet at Sangha Hall on January 27th where the JAHI Company of the Year and senior scholarships will be announced. To attend the banquet or more more information about the JAHI Company Program, please contact Susan at JA-Susan@hawaii.rr.com.

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