The University of Hawaiʻi is saddened by the news that former Regent Barry T. Mizuno passed away on Saturday, November 26.
Mizuno was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2011 to fill the Hawaiʻi County seat, and he stepped down in 2016.
The Board of Regents passed a resolution honoring Mizuno at their September 2016 meeting.
WHEREAS, Barry Toshio Mizuno, was born and raised on the island of Kauaʻi, a son of plantation workers who instilled the value of higher education and the many opportunities for a better lifestyle;
WHEREAS, Barry, a proud alumnus of Waimea High School, made his parents proud, as they saw their dreams come true for their son when he earned scholarships and took his “rubbah slippahs” to Central Washington University and graduated with a BA in business administration and accounting;
WHEREAS, Barry returned as a certified public accountant, and in his quiet and humble way, immediately set out to help his island state, first on Oʻahu with Theo Davies and its subsidiaries in various accounting and management positions, and Hawaiian Electric Company in internal audit;
WHEREAS, Barry made Hawaiʻi county his second home from 1983, to take a post as chief financial officer, treasurer and controller of Hamakua Sugar Company, Inc., the largest, contiguous sugar plantation in Hawaiʻi, and then serve in positions within Hawaiʻi county across two administrations, including finance director and managing director;
WHEREAS, being the true visionary man that he is, Barry became the alternative energy champion when he then took on the mantle as a leader in the geothermal power business for 20 years. As onsite manager for the Puna Geothermal Venture, he oversaw the project at its infancy from 1992 to 2006, and then “retired” to form his own private energy consulting firm, BTM LLC;
WHEREAS, on his second “retirement” from BTM LLC, rather than enjoy the well-deserved rest and relaxation, he accepted a short-term appointment left vacant by resignation of a regent, by then-Governor Neil Abercrombie, and then applied and accepted the appointment to continue his service another five years;
WHEREAS, while on the board of regents, Regent Mizuno served nearly every committee, including chairman of the Planning and Facilities Committee, vice chair of the Committee on University Audits, and a member of the Committee on Community Colleges, Budget and Finance, Intercollegiate Athletics, Independent Audit, Research and Innovation, and the Maunakea Management Board;
WHEREAS, despite the demands of serving on the board, Regent Mizuno remained very active in his community, serving as co-chair of Hospice of Hilo’s community capital campaign for a $10 million construction of the only neighbor island hospice 12-bed in-patient facility to serve the Big Island community; as a member of the Big Island Mayor’s Healthcare Sustainability Taskforce and the Geothermal Energy Working Group, Hawaiʻi Society of Certified Public Accountants, Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Hawaiʻi Island Chamber of Commerce, Hawaiʻi Island Economic Development Board, Hawaiʻi Leeward Planning Conference, Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin and Hawaiʻi Island Beacon Community, a few examples of the many community and professional organizations.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaiʻi extends its appreciation to Regent Barry Toshio Mizuno for his dedicated service and invaluable contributions to the University of Hawaiʻi and the state of Hawaiʻi, with remarkable compassion and humbleness, respectful and observant wise guidance, with that familiar quiet chuckle, beaming smile, and twinkle in his eyes we will assuredly miss; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the regents extend a special, heartfelt, deep and abiding mahalo to Barry’s family, especially his wife of more than 40 years, Carolyn, and his two daughters, for supporting him in serving the university, his community, and the state of Hawaiʻi, and we wish Barry and his family our warmest Aloha.