The Hawaii region was finally able to hold its first in-person networking event in two years this past week. (Though the initial planning started early summer, with the second and third wave of COVID numbers increasing, the region delayed the event.) The “pau hana” (after-work party) was hosted by Central Pacific Bank at the heart of downtown Honolulu where over 30 USJC members gathered. Despite the months-long delay of the event, the timing was perfect as the Hawaii regional members were able to meet with USJC President & CEO Suzanne Basalla, who was in town to attend the commissioning of USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118) (Read more here.)
In Suzanne’s remarks, she reflected on her career, starting in the U.S. Navy and ultimately leading to her current role leading the Council. She remarked that seeing the USS Daniel Inouye, and seeing the ways our Founding President Irene Hirano Inouye left her mark on the ship as its sponsor, is a true honor. Paul Yonamine (Executive Chairman of Central Pacific Bank and Chair of USJC’s Board of Directors) provided the welcoming speech and kanpai toast where he shared how Senator Inouye was also the founding member of Central Pacific Bank. Familiar faces and new faces of the Hawaii region had the opportunity to network and also be part of the legacy that Senator wanted us to build.