From left, Jared Au, Alexander & Baldwin; Heather Yanazaki, ʻEkahi Health System; Vance Roley, Shidler College of Business; Lillian Rodolfich, Queen Liliʻuokalani Trust; Susan Yamada, Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship; Kirk Horiuchi, Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc.; Unyong Nakata, Shidler College of Business and Maile Au, Shidler College of Business

The Shidler College of Business Alumni Association has committed $100,000 to the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business. As part of a five-year commitment, this gift will support entrepreneurial education and help UH monetize research efforts. In recognition of this gift, the conference room at the renovated home of PACE at the college will be named in the association’s honor.

The association’s gift will go toward the five-year PACE initiative that was launched in February 2014. The goal of the initiative is to raise $3 million to create new programs and expand existing ones. Funds raised through the initiative will also be used to renovate and expand PACE’s current location in the Shidler College of Business. The new center will enable PACE to create a vibrant co-working space for entrepreneurial activity at the university. Additionally, the new center will double the number of entrepreneurial programs offered, introduce an entrepreneurial curriculum to other UH colleges, train key faculty on current entrepreneurial instruction, support the commercialization of UH technology and innovation and establish UH as a leader in entrepreneurial education.

To date, $1.9 million has been raised with investments from various donors, notably Central Pacific Bank Chairman and CEO John Dean, First Insurance Co. of Hawaiʻi, Central Pacific Bank and American Savings Bank.

“We are extremely proud to support the students of the Shidler College of Business by investing in the PACE Initiative,” said Shidler College of Business Alumni Association President Lillian Rodolfich, controller at Queen Liliʻuokalani Trust. “We have a long history of supporting Shidler students, most notably via our namesake scholarship endowment. We are committed to empowering students to achieve not only their academic aspirations but also their entrepreneurial dreams.”

Under the leadership of Dean Vance Roley and Executive Director Susan Yamada, PACE has become a training ground for future entrepreneurs and global leaders. PACE has expanded to include more than 15 programs to cultivate and support entrepreneurs, encourage entrepreneurial thinking, spawn new businesses and rekindle ties with Hawaiʻi’s business community.

“The association’s generous investment in the entrepreneurial education of students at the University of Hawaiʻi PACE program will enable us to reach more students and faculty with our programs,” said Yamada. “PACE’s goal is to create more entrepreneurial thinkers; our graduates will be poised to accept the challenges of an ever-changing world.”

—By Dolly Omiya