As we begin the final quarter of my term as your Chairman, I'd like to thank everyone for your support of our now 113 year-old Chamber. We could not have made it this long without your continued involvement and support!
During the third quarter, the 68th Annual Shinnen Enkai was sold out, as hundreds of people came out to ring in the new year and witness the debut of the 2013 Shiranami Gonin Otoko cast. Congratulations to Jason Ito, Arnold Honda, Rika Hirata, Deneen Nakashima, Nate Gyotoku, Larry Nagayama and Richard Park III; our brave members who performed this year's production of the kabuki play. A special thank you goes to the senseis Walter Saito, Ron Ushijima, Minoru Ueda and understudies Bob Nagao, Gregg Mueller and Shigeo Hone.
In February, the Small Business Advocacy (SBAC) and Governmental Affairs (GAC) Committees jointly organized a successful Business Solutions Workshop on the Hawaii Health Connector, an online exchange for getting health insurance in
. Congratulations to SBAC Chair Taylor Kirihara, GAC Chair Peter Hamasaki and the event co-chairs Dennis Wiens and Carl Takata for doing a great job! Hawaii
Also in February, the Membership Development Committee (MDC) organized a mixer with members of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC). This too was a sold out event with an equal mix of HJCC and HJJCC members. Mahalo to MDC Chair Randy Higa and his event planners Elizabeth Loomis, Becky Ogata and Brice Ueda. Good job! It was a fun event and look forward to the next one!
This month, a group of us will be going to
Japanto strengthen our relations with our Affiliated Chamber in Fukuiand our Sister Chamber in . Upon our return, we will have our last two major events of the fiscal year; the General Membership Gathering and the 36th Annual Samurai Classic Golf Tournament. For those who have not yet gotten involved, these are two great events to "GET INVOLVED". Both events will occur in May and are currently being organized. If anyone is interested, contact the HJCC Office for details on how you can "GET INVOLVED" in either or both events. Hiroshima
For the last three months of my term, I'd like all of us to concentrate on increasing our membership. Already our standing committees have begun implementing suggestions on creating more value to our members. These suggestions came out of our strategic planning survey done last year. However, in order for our Chamber to continue to grow and expand the programs we provide, we also need to increase our membership. Increasing membership is beneficial in several ways as it diversifies our membership, increases our networking base and makes us less reliant on revenue generating events. If everyone could bring in just one new member, our membership would grow to over 1,200 members! Wouldn't that be great? Let's give it a try! Ask a friend, a business associate or whoever you think might benefit from becoming a member of our organization.
Finally, I would like to introduce everyone to our new staff member, Yukiko Feder. She fills the Japan Specialist position made vacant when Margot Sakazaki took a position at member company, Y. Hata & Co., Ltd. Welcome Yukiko! We all look forward to working with you!
In closing, I'd like to once again thank everyone for their continued support of the HJCC. Our members are the key to this organization. Without you, we could not have come this far. As we grow our membership, I humbly ask that you help and encourage others to "GET INVOLVED". Getting our members involved benefits everyone and makes our organization strong.
Scott I. Higa
Chair of the Board