Hoku Scientific founder/entrepreneur to keynote UH Hilo fall commencement

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Posted: Dec 4, 2007

Dustin Shindo, president, chief executive officer and chair of the board of Hoku Scientific will deliver the keynote address at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo's fall commencement scheduled for Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. in the UH Hilo New Gym.

A total of 233 students representing the College of Arts and Sciences (185), College of Business and Economics (30), College of Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Resource Management (17), and Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikolani College of Hawaiian Language (1) are candidates for various degrees and certificates.

The event will also include the presentation of the Board of Regents Award for Excellence in Teaching to Dr. Raina Ivanova, associate professor of Mathematics.

Shindo, a Waiakea High School graduate, earned an MBA from the Darden School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia and a BA in Accounting from the University of Washington. He is one of Hoku Scientific's co-founders, and has held his positions since the company was established in 2001. In 2005, he led the company through an initial publicoffering. Today, Hoku Scientific is one of only two Hawaiʻi based companies to be traded on the NASDAQ Global Market. At 34, Shindo is one of the youngest CEOs of a publicly traded company in the country.

As a diversified materials science company focused on clean energy technologies, Hoku Scientific has three businesses: Hoku Materials, Hoku Solar, and Hoku Fuel Cells. Hoku Solar, an integrated solar panel installation business, offers turnkey installations of photovoltaic (PV) systems for commercial and residential markets. Hoku Materials is building a polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) manufacturing plant in Pocatello, Idaho, with an initial planned production capacity of up to 2500 metric tons per year, with shipments beginning in the first half of 2009. Hoku Fuel Cells has developed proprietary fuel cell membranes and membrane electrode assemblies for stationary and automotive proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

Prior to Hoku Scientific, Shindo founded Mehana Brewing Company in 1995. The Hilo-based microbrewery is now the largest bottling brewer in Hawaiʻi, shipping products to several states and Japan. Four years later, he established Activitymax, Inc., a software company that develops reservation software for the travel industry. As CEO, he managed development of the company's software applications and spearheaded contracts with several of Hawaiʻi's largest travel companies. Shindo also served as a business consultant with The Lucas Group, a strategic consulting firm in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Jeffrey Byrne, a communication major, will represent the graduating class as student speaker. Born in 1985 in Placentia, California, Byrne graduated with high honors from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana in 2003. An outside linebacker and special teams player on the Monarchs football squad, Byrne teamed with future University of Hawaiʻi Quarterback Colt Brennan. His teammates and coaching staff selected him for the Kodak Player of the Year award in his senior year, when the team earned a berth in the state Division I Championship.

Byrne enrolled at UH Hilo in December, 2005 after graduating with honors from California's Fullerton College where he earned an AA in Liberal Arts. At UH Hilo, he has maintained a 3.61 GPA and is a member of the Lambda Pi Eta National Honors Society.

As a new and enthused proponent of community service, Byrne participates in beach cleanups and supports skate park fundraisers. This semester, he partnered with a fellow student to facilitate a study circle at the Ola'a Community Center for children ages 10 -15. A similar project is in the works and anticipated to involve the YWCA's Teen Court.

For more information about commencement, please contact Commencement Coordinator Justina Mattos at (808) 936-1193 or email commence@hawaii.edu. For accommodations, contact Susan Shirachi at (808) 933-0816 (V) or (808) 974-7335 (TTY). Requests for special accommodations should be made at leastten business days prior to the event.