Search Malamalama

September, 2005 Vol. 30 No. 3
Read more from this issue

2005 Distinguished Alumni

Support UH

University of Hawaiʻi Alumni Association

University of Hawaiʻi Foundation

Published September 2005

UH Alumni Profiles

Telecom executive makes time to volunteer

Nonie Toledo
BA international business ’79

Nonie Toledo

Career: Vice president and general manager, Sprint Hawaiʻi

Early jobs: Selling makeup door-to-door at 13, craft store stock girl during high school, Waikīkī cocktail waitress during college

Hobbies: Making jewelry

Roots: Kailua, Oʻahu

Family: Husband Michael, daughter Katherine, son Michael

Best thing about UH: Good international business reputation, good college of business, casual atmosphere

Best things about her job: "It's a lot of fun." Variety-managing sales, customer service and marketing. A "great staff" she can "totally rely on." Time for volunteer work.

Favorite Sprint product: The Treo 650, Dual Band Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device because it allows her to be more efficient. The device works as a PDA, calendar, phone, email and more.

A graduate of Maryknoll High School, Nonie Toledo attended Chaminade University of Honolulu and Santa Clara University in California. She returned to Hawaiʻi to attend Mānoa after her parents passed away, working as a cocktail waitress to support herself.

Working for Xerox took Toledo to the mainland, where she learned vital business skills and landed a job with Sprint in 1992. She was chosen to head regional sales for Sprint Hawaiʻi a year later and promoted to general manager in 1998.

Toledo’s innovation, hard work and outstanding business ethic earned her another promotion at Sprint and recognition as 2003 Businesswoman of the Year from Pacific Business News. The Sprint Hawaiʻi branch is one of the corporation’s most profitable in the nation.

While balancing career with family, Toledo also makes time for extensive volunteer work. She is co-chair of the education task force for the Hawaiʻi Business Roundtable and on the boards of organizations such as Kapiʻolani Medical Center, the Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America and Aloha United Way, among others.

by Karla Brown


Alumnus adapts as Honolulu’s top cop

Boisse Correa
MSW ’73, Cert. in Public Administration ’91

Boisse Correa

Career: Chief, Honolulu Police Department

Roots: Kuliʻouʻou, Oʻahu

Family: Parents Lawrence and Norma; older sister Mary Ann

Hobbies: Kayaking, yard work and playing with his dogs, Chloe and Koa

Boisse Correa’s life could have taken many routes. He was groomed early to be a labor leader, held high hopes of becoming a postal inspector, worked undercover for the FBI and signed a free agent contract to play offensive line for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.

Yet he spurned all those opportunities to join the Honolulu Police Department. In his 35 years on the force, Correa has worked in nearly every facet of the department, most recently as an assistant chief and head of homeland security.

None of Correa’s previous experience fully prepared him for the pressures of being top cop in the nation’s 12th largest city. He has adapted to the change though, just as he has all his life. In the 13 months since Correa became HPD’s ninth chief of police, some of his priorities—community policing, department accountability and a crackdown on repeat offenders—have already taken shape.

Correa says his studies in social work at UH taught him "empathy, understanding and genuineness ... to look at life, people and systems and be compassionate about them." It’s an approach he takes to work every day and one that carries out the department’s motto—"serving and protecting with aloha".

by Neal Iwamoto


Executive promotes business partnerships with Japan

Takashi Tsuchiya
MA in American studies ’79

Takashi Tsuchiya

Career: Chief executive director, Japan External Trade Organization, Chicago

Roots: Takasaki, Japan

Family: Wife Yoko, son Shu, daughter Kimi

First job: Began working for JETRO at age 22

Hobbies: Playing and watching golf and baseball, watching movies and TV comedies

Favorite Chicago Japanese restaurant: "I like Ginza because it is a down-to-earth kind of restaurant serving food suited to real Japanese taste. Ginza's chef is Japanese and the sushi is good."

After graduating from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies with a BA in American studies, Takashi Tsuchiya began working for JETRO, a government-related nonprofit organization that promotes mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.

He took leave to study at Mānoa as an East-West Center grantee, where he enjoyed the cultural fusion of East and West on campus. "I lived in Hale Mānoa, one of the East-West Center dormitories. Its international setting, which I describe as in-between ʻreal America’ and Asia or Japan, was very comfortable. The area around the dormitory was the same, and you were never conscious of your nationality, nor left feeling isolated or lonely."

Tsuchiya returned to JETRO in positions as public affairs department director in New York, vice president in Bangkok and, most recently, research planning division director at JETRO headquarters in Tokyo.

"I enjoy working both in various countries and with various peoples," Tsuchiya says. "I feel I contribute to strengthening ties between Japan and other countries through my job."

In the Chicago post, he helps Midwest companies find Japanese business partners. "Of course"" he adds quickly,"free of charge."

by Karla Brown


Airline director flies UHAA with pride

Janet Yoshida
BFA in theatre/dance ’82

Janet Yoshida

Career:Senior director, North America and Europe—marketing and sales at Hawaiian Airlines

"Other job": President, UH Alumni Association

Favorite UH classes: Logic and anatomy, where a professor’s passion for topics like the blood filtering activity of the glomerulus in the kidney made lessons unforgettable

Hobbies: Running, yoga, working out, hula, pets, gardening

Guilty pleasure: "I am a shopoholic"

At 5-foot-1, Janet Yoshida didn’t have much of a shot at a professional dance career, but her UH dance instructors prepared her well for the real world, where she danced for fun and enjoys working in the travel industry.

"Carl Wolz, Yasuki Sasa, Reiko Oda, Phyllis Haskell and so many others were not just instructors but mentors and major influences in my life," Yoshida says. "My education gave me the discipline that helped me pursue career aspirations I never knew I had!"

As her ";other fulltime job," UHAA leadership doesn’t pay in a monetary sense, but Yoshida says she reaps other rewards. First involved in 1988 (she helped form a San Diego chapter as a way to stay connected with her Hawaiʻi roots), she remained active when she returned to Honolulu.

"Involvement in UHAA is a meaningful way to express my pride. I have had the opportunity to meet some truly incredible fellow alumni along the way, which just reaffirms the fact that there is so much to be proud of." UHAA programs and membership provide continuity as students transition into careers, she says. In turn, "it is our responsibility to support our alma mater, never stop learning and communicate with graduates at all stages of their lives. We should never take UH for granted."


Inouye chair honors namesake couple

Daniel and Margaret Inouye
Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals

Daniel and Margaret Inouye

Career: His–Hawaiʻi’s senior U.S. senator; hers–former speech and education instructor

Honor: He was a 2000 UHAA Distinguished Alumni Awardee

Contributions as of August 2005: nearly $2 million with 26 donors providing $25,000 or more each

Perhaps no one symbolizes post-World War II Hawai’i’s belief in the power of education and democratic process better than UH alumni Daniel and Margaret Awamura Inouye. He became the nation’s first Japanese American senator and a tireless advocate for justice. She earned a master’s at Columbia University and taught speech and education at Mānoa during the 1950s.

So UH and UH Foundation officials were delighted when the Inouyes relaxed their long-standing reluctance for namesake tributes and lent their names to an endowed chair.

Housed jointly in Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law and the Department of American Studies in the College of Arts and Humanities, the Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals will bring visiting scholars and public figures to campus to offer courses and seminars for campus and the community that emphasize democratic processes and the importance of public life.

For information about the chair or to make a gift, contact UH Foundation President Donna Vuchinich by phone, 808 956-3711, or email.


table of contents