University of Hawai'i
(808) 956-8856 Telephone
For Immediate Release:
April 23, 2001
Haunani Bernardino, 974-7705
J.W.A. "Doc" Buyers
|Buyers to keynote Spring Commencement|
J.W.A. "Doc" Buyers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of C. Brewer and Company Ltd., will be the keynote speaker at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo Spring Commencement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, May 12 at 9:00 a.m. in the UH Hilo New Gym.
A total of 316 students representing the College of Arts and Sciences (288), College of Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Resource Management (17), and Ka Haka 'Ula O Ke'elikölani College of Hawaiian Language (11) are candidates for various degrees.
Buyers, a former Marine was a 1952 cum laude graduate of Princeton University and a Sloan Fellow at MIT, where he earned his MBA degree before arriving in the islands in 1975 to assume the leadership of C. Brewer, Hawai`i's oldest continuous business enterprise.
Under Buyers' leadership, C. Brewer has made the transition from a primarily agricultural enterprise to a diversified agribusiness marketing company with a number of premium brand names, including Royal Kona Coffee, Hawai`i's Own tropical juices, Punalu`u Sweetbread and Gaviota fertilizer. He is also credited with developing commercial orchards for macadamia and guava, and expanding their consumer markets beyond Hawai`i to ensuring the economic viability of both crops.
In addition to his Chairman and CEO duties with C. Brewer and parent company, Buyco, Inc., Buyers has served as Chairman of numerous organizations, including the National Alliance of Businessmen in the Pacific, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai`i, the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai`i, the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association, and the Hawai`i Visitors Bureau. He has also served on the Board of Trustees of the Lyman House Memorial Museum, the Board of Governors of Hawai`i Preparatory Academy and is a Past President of the Hawai`i Island Economic Development Board.
Throughout his business career, Buyers has committed a great deal of time, talent, energy and material resources to worthwhile community endeavors. Much of that activity has been re-directed to the Big Island, since announcing in 1996 that C. Brewer would relocate its Corporate Headquarters to Hilo. Buyers chaired the University of Hawai`i at Hilo Athletic Fund Drive in 1997. He has also served as Honorary Chairman of the Hawai`i Island Food Bank and Hospice of Hilo. Most recently, he became the first Emeritus member of the University of Hawai`i at Hilo Advisory Board, of which he was a charter member. His wife, Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey Buyers, is currently a member of that board.
Julie Hotniansky, a communications major will be the student speaker. Hotniansky was born in Hilo and attended Waiakea High School from 1993-1997, where she graduated as class valedictorian with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 4.025. She made the honor roll during each of her four years at Waiakea and was a member of the National Honor Society from 1995-1997. Hotniansky continued to set high academic standards at UH Hilo, where she has maintained a 3.89 GPA and earned a Presidential Scholarship which enabled her to travel to China, Hong Kong and Japan.
Active in local youth ministry and service activities, Hotniansky began working as a part-time receptionist at the St. Joseph Church Rectory Office in 1997 and has been a youth minister since 1999. She intends to continue working with the youth in her community following graduation. Hotniansky plans to enter UH Hilo's Teacher Education Program and seek a position teaching English to secondary students on the Big Island.
The general theme of her address will be a reflection on her experience at UH Hilo and how that experience can be used to help others.
For more information on commencement, contact Haunani Bernardino at 974-7705 or email at email@example.com. For special accommodations, contact Susan Shirachi-Gonsalves at 933-0816 (V) or 974-7335 (TTY).
Requests for special accommodations should be made at least ten business days prior to the event.