Honolulu CC honors distinguished alumni and outstanding community partners

January 6, 2016  |   |  1 Comment
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Honolulu Community College will honor the Building Industry Association of Hawaiʻi, the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. The college will also celebrate seven distinguished alumni—Jayne Arasaki, Reg Baker, Karen Kamahele, Norman Loui, Ernie Martin, Kimberly Matunis and Jason Suapaia—for their professional achievements and contributions to the community and the college.

An awards dinner will be held on Thursday, February 25, 5:30 p.m. in the Pōmaikaʻi Ballroom at Dole Cannery and will include food, a silent auction and live entertainment by emcees Braddah Sam and Lena Girl as well as music by the talented students of the Music and Entertainment Learning Experience program. All proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Honolulu Community College General Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Tickets for the awards dinner can be purchased online at https://honcc2016.eventbrite.com or by calling (808) 845-9429.

Distinguished alumni

Jayne Y. Arasaki (᾿79 Associate in Science, Human Services)

Jayne Arasaki is a proud graduate of Honolulu CC with an associate degree in human services, early childhood education. As a lifelong learner she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and holds a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in early childhood from UH Mānoa. Arasaki currently oversees the programs for the five nationally accredited Seagull schools on Oʻahu as the director of operations. She has over 25 years of professional experience working with young children, their families, staff and the community.

Reginald E. Baker, Jr. (’78–’79)

Reg Baker owns a locally based CPA firm that provides accounting consulting, tax and wealth management services to the small and mid-sized business market. He has more than 30 years experience providing service to and managing small and mid-sized companies. He is the former executive VP for the Hawaiʻi Medical Assurance Association, one of the largest health insurance companies in Hawaiʻi. Baker has taught graduate and undergraduate finance, accounting, tax and auditing at UH Mānoa and the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and Hawaiʻi Pacific University.

Karen Kamahele (’78 Associate in Science, Fashion Technology)

Karen Kamahele is proud to say that her family has attended Honolulu CC for four generations. She credits her success in the fashion industry to Honolulu CC where she completed the program in one and a half years and graduated with honors. Kamahele successfully worked in many fashion design and manufacturing positions at Kala Kids, Hilo Hattie and currently, Reyn Spooner, Inc. She graduated with her undergraduate degree in fashion, design and merchandising from UH Mānoa in 2007. In 1993, she started as a lecturer at Honolulu CC while still managing the design department at Hilo Hattie.

Norman W.H. Loui (’61 Honolulu Technical School, Carpentry)

After winning the grand prize for a carpentry cabinet he built in school, Norman W. H. Loui was inspired to study carpentry at Honolulu CC, then Honolulu Technical School. He furthered his studies in Chicago at DeVry Electronics Institute. Upon his return home, Loui and his brother Gordon later opened United Rent-All, which subsequently became Hawaiian Rent-All, the largest rental equipment company in the islands for more than 40 years. Shortly before Loui passed away in 2006, his last wish was to create a gift of hope for future generations of students at his alma mater, Honolulu CC. Today, his generosity provides financial support for students enrolled in the college’s technical and trades programs.

Ernest Y. Martin (’81 Associate in Arts, Liberal Arts)

Ernest Yorihiko Martin is a proud product of Hawaiʻi’s public school system attending Kauluwela and Lanakila Elementary, Central Middle and McKinley High Schools. Martin received an associate of art degree from Honolulu CC, a bachelor and masters of arts degree from UH Mānoa and a juris doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law. He has won numerous awards including being named as one of three “Outstanding Young Persons of the Year” by the Hawaiʻi Jaycees in 1999. When first elected to the Honolulu City Council, Martin served as the chairman of the budget committee. He is currently the chair and presiding officer of the City Council.

Kimberly A. Matunis (’03 Associate in Applied Science, Administration of Justice)

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Kimberly Matunis joined the U.S. Army and was stationed at Schofield Barracks. She applied to Honolulu CC and began working on an associate degree in criminal justice. Upon graduation she was accepted into the Army’s criminal investigations unit. In 2004, she deployed to Afghanistan to work the POW camp to process enemy combatant detainees. After returning from Afghanistan, she worked for the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C. and the Massachusetts Port Authority Police. Currently, Matunis serves as the campus police chief for the Department of Mental Health Police Department at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain Boston, Massachusetts.

Jason Suapaia (’93 Associates of Science, Communication Services)

Jason Suapaia has been heading up a team of creative professionals as president and executive producer at the Hawaiʻi based 1013 Integrated (formally Pacific Focus, Inc.) He has personally produced projects for a wide range of clientele including the Hawaiʻi Visitor and Conventions Bureau, Hilton Hotels in Hawaiʻi, Disney Aulani Resort, National Geographic, ABC Entertainment, HBO Productions and Revolutions Studios. Suapaia was selected as one of 40 professionals of the Pacific Business News’ Forty Under 40 Class of 2011. He also spends time as a volunteer professional advisor for several high schools and colleges, including his alma mater, Honolulu CC.

Outstanding community partners

Building Industry Association of Hawai’i

The Building Industry Association of Hawaiʻi (BIA) is the voice of the Construction Industry. BIA promotes its members through advocacy and education and provides community outreach programs to enhance the quality of life for the people of Hawaiʻi. The association is a not-for-profit trade organization chartered in 1955 and affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders. BIA-Hawaiʻi is extremely proud of their National Association of Home Builders student chapter at Honolulu CC and of all of their accomplishments.

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard

Since 1975, Honolulu CC has been an educational partner with the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. The Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility defends the nation by repairing, maintaining and modernizing the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet. The command was officially established as a strategically-critical ship coaling and repair station on May 13, 1908. The shipyard remains a vital factor in U.S. national security and in Hawaiʻi’s economic and social health. The shipyard infuses more than $1 billion dollars into Hawaiʻi’s economy each year. As the state’s largest industrial employer with more than 4,818 Navy civilians and 505 Navy military personnel, the shipyard provides well-paying careers for the youth of Hawaiʻi with strong apprentice and engineer hiring programs and other student programs.

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