commitment

After Data and Despair, What’s it Going to Take?

 

CEO Message

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO

Live television is known for surprises – and we certainly experienced stunning moments during the very first of our What’s it Going to Take? forums.

 

What we learned is that key data – compiled by Hawai‘i Community Foundation in its CHANGE Framework and emblazoned across the PBS Hawaiʻi screen – struck a very deep chord in many viewers. They viscerally reacted, seeing that their longtime personal silent struggle with Hawaiʻi’s affordability had officially crossed the line into a state crisis.

 

As emotional calls jammed our phone bank during the live telecast, staff members heard crying, yelling and swearing. Never before, in our decades of live television programming, had we heard this level of sustained viewer pain and angst.

 

The statistics seemed to crystallize for many Hawai‘i residents that they just can’t count on things getting better, especially in the area of affordable housing.

 

One of the sobbing viewers, who works as an administrative assistant, said she had just realized that “I’ve been the frog in the pot for 30 years, trying to maintain my life, as the water heated up. Now the water’s boiling and nobody in charge did anything for us frogs.”

 

Besides the stark data, that first live What’s it Going to Take? forum featured a remarkable gathering of top Hawai‘i business leaders from the Hawai‘i Executive Conference. Chair and business magnate Duane Kurisu brought them together to outline what execs have committed to do – step in, analyze and attack entrenched, complex issues. They plan to work collaboratively with government, unions and communities.

 

“…If we work side by
side, we’ll find a lot of our
answers a lot easier.”

Jack Wong
CEO, Kamehameha Schools

 

Left riser, from left: Colbert Matsumoto, Chairman, Tradewind Capital Group; Leslie Wilcox; Robert Nobriga, President, Island Holdings; Bob Harrison, Chairman and CEO, First Hawaiian Bank Center riser, from left: Micah Kāne, CEO and President, Hawai‘i Community Foundation; Duane Kurisu, aio Founder, Hawai‘i Executive Conference Chairman; Catherine Ngo, President and CEO, Central Pacific Bank; Jack Wong, CEO, Kamehameha Schools Right riser, from left: Ann Botticelli, Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, Hawaiian Airlines; Rich Wacker, President and CEO, American Savings Bank; Elliott Mills, Vice President and General Manager, Aulani, Disney Resort and Spa

Left riser, from left:
Colbert Matsumoto, Chairman,
Tradewind Capital Group; Leslie
Wilcox; Robert Nobriga, President,
Island Holdings; Bob Harrison,
Chairman and CEO, First Hawaiian
Bank

Center riser, from left:
Micah Kāne, CEO and President,
Hawai‘i Community Foundation;
Duane Kurisu, aio Founder, Hawai‘i
Executive Conference Chairman;
Catherine Ngo, President and CEO,
Central Pacific Bank; Jack Wong,
CEO, Kamehameha Schools

Right riser, from left:
Ann Botticelli, Senior Vice President,
Communications and Public Affairs,
Hawaiian Airlines; Rich Wacker,
President and CEO, American Savings
Bank; Elliott Mills, Vice President and
General Manager, Aulani, Disney
Resort and Spa

 

I’m impressed that these executives appeared before the live cameras for two hours without the safety of scripts, canned speeches or handy public relations officers. In past years, this initiative of resolve from leaders with resources and influence might have been a rallying cry.

 

But seeing those deteriorating quality-of-life numbers had catalyzed residents’ already growing feelings of despair.

 

Callers weren’t much interested in talk about future relief. They asked urgently for bold measures NOW. This as the CEOs, familiar in business with complex issues and long-term planning, were training their efforts on serious, messy problems and medium and long-term solutions – not “band-aid fixes.”

 

It was a disconnect.

 

I believe that over the course of the forum, struggling citizens and earnest senior executives reached across the gulf that separated them and were hearing each other.

 

“I got a little hot under the collar but now I want to thank the business leaders for stepping up. Nobody’s making them do it,” a caller from West Oʻahu said.

 

“We are not okay with the status quo,” said Jack Wong, CEO of the Kamehameha Schools. “…If we work side by side, we’ll find a lot of our answers a lot easier.”

 

Said Micah Kāne, who heads the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation: “There needs to be a civic movement around this.”

 

This executive forum is available online on demand at www.pbshawaii.org/wigttforum

 

The quality of life data is available at www.changeforhawaii.org

 

So far, we’ve held the exec forum and three community-based forums. Our What’s it Going to Take? discussions continue next year, seeking needed change.

Leslie signature

 

 

 

Board Chair Jason Fujimoto Steps Down, But Not Away

 

CEO Message

 

Board Chair Jason Fujimoto Steps Down, But Not Away

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEOBecause of time constraints in assuming a new business role, PBS Hawai‘i’s Board Chair Jason Fujimoto of Hawai‘i Island has elected to step down from our nonprofit’s chairmanship, while continuing to serve on our Board.

 

At age 38, Jason is the new President and CEO of Hilo-based HPM Building Supply, supporting residential building statewide. He’s the fifth-generation President of the family-founded, employee-owned business.

 

Jason will be succeeded as Board Chair July 1 by current Vice Chair Joanne Lo Grimes, an attorney and Co-Chair of the law firm Carlsmith Ball.

 

Before Jason turns over the reins, I want to honor him for his integrity, skills and steadfastness in supporting and governing this nonprofit through rapid evolution.

 

Board Chair Jason Fujimoto with Leslie WilcoxHe’s had two tours of duty, amounting to a decade of unpaid service, most of them on the Board Executive Committee, including three years as Chair. He joined the first time in 2008, just before the state felt the impact of the Great Recession. In succession came the big switch from analog to digital broadcast transmission; the television equivalent of a heart transplant – high-definition TV; expanded local programming; the birth of HIKI NŌ: The Nation’s First Statewide Student News Network; the rise of social media as a new platform for engagement and video programming; and the successful capital campaign to buy land and build a replacement multimedia home in Kalihi Kai.

 

Jason returned to the Board just after we moved into our new facility. He led the organization in adopting a new three-year strategic plan. In cloudy times for media enterprises and nonprofits, the plan is clear.

 

There’s a feeling we’re all on the same path and same page, in part because different perspectives and ideas can be argued and adopted safely and productively.

 

“As Chair, my style is to create the conditions that foster the greatest amount of collaboration and discussion, and support the CEO,” Jason said.

 

A former Wall Street analyst, Jason is a member of the Omidyar Forum of Fellows and the leadership group Hawai‘i Asia Pacific Association (HAPA).

 

“I really enjoy being with everyone on the PBS Hawai‘i Board. We have a lot to learn from each other,” he said.

 

For me personally, I’ve internalized much of the guidance Jason gave me, and I’m grateful for this lifelong gift.

 

Overall, Jason, thank you from the heart for continuing to strengthen and polish this community treasure that is PBS Hawai‘i.

 

Aloha Nui,

Leslie signature


 

Going To War

Going To War

 

What is it really like to go to war? This documentary takes us inside the experience of battle and reveals the soldier’s experiences as never before. Leading the exploration are Sebastian Junger, bestselling author and director of the Academy Award-nominated film Restrepo, and Karl Marlantes, decorated Marine officer and author of the memoir What It is Like to Go to War. Both men bring firsthand experience, hard-won wisdom and abiding commitment to telling the warrior’s story with insight and unflinching candor.

 

Preview

 

 

 

Bank of Hawaii Foundation Renews Major Support for PBS Hawaiʻi’s HIKI NŌ

PBS HAWAI‘I – News Release

315 Sand Island Access Rd.| p: 808.462.5000| pbshawaii.org
Honolulu, HI 96819-2295| f: 808.462.5090

 

For questions regarding this press release, contact:
Jody Shiroma
jshiroma@pbshawaii.org
808.462.5026­

 

May 14, 2019

 

Download this Press Release

 

Bank of Hawaii Foundation major supporter of HIKI NŌ

(HONOLULU, HI) –– Bank of Hawaii Foundation has renewed its major support of PBS Hawaiʻiʻs youth learning initiative:  HIKI NŌ: The Nation’s First Statewide Student News Network, with a $100,000 grant. Bank of Hawaii Foundation’s investment dates back to the launch of HIKI NŌ in 2011.

 

Since then, Hawaii’s HIKI NŌ schools have gained the reputation of being formidable competitors at rigorous national journalism contests, including bringing home nearly 20% of the awards at the prestigious Student Television Network Convention held March 28-31 in Seattle, Washington and which involved over 3,000 students and teachers.

 

“Bank of Hawaii Foundation is honored to be a significant contributor to HIKI NŌ since inception,” said Momi Akimseu, president of Bank of Hawaii Foundation. “Our ongoing commitment helps local students across the islands continue the meaningful work of sharing their unique voices and perspectives in a very powerful way. We are proud to support a program of this caliber, which provides students the opportunity to develop digital storytelling skills and the means to connect their relevant stories and experience with our local community.”

 

PBS Hawaiʻi President and CEO Leslie Wilcox said the Foundation’s belief in Hawaiʻi’s youth is fueling a statewide “launch pad” for student achievement in real-world life skills such as perseverance, critical thinking, oral and written communications, teamwork and technology.

 

Under their teachers’ guidance, middle and high school students from more than 90 public, private and charter schools from across the islands use digital media to report from their communities.

 

Bank of Hawaii Foundation is HIKI NŌ’s trailblazing lead sponsor, with other major sponsors Kamehameha Schools and ABC Stores.

 

HIKI NŌ airs on PBS Hawaiʻi at 7:30 pm Thursdays, and is rebroadcast at 3:00 pm on Sundays. The student newscasts are always available to view on demand at www.pbshawaii.org.

 

 

 

Fact-Based Reporting, Without Fear or Favor

 

CEO Message

Fact-Based Reporting, Without Fear or Favor

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEOI first took note of war correspondent Christiane Amanpour back in the early 1990s when I saw her on cable channel CNN, running across a crowded street in Bosnia with sniper fire ringing out.

 

It wasn’t only her risk-taking that arrested me; it was her unflinching reports on a different kind of war. This wasn’t an army versus an army. It was a war against civilians.

 

More than two decades later, she would say: “I learned…when I was covering genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, never to equate victim and aggressor, never to create a false moral or factual equivalence.”

 

“When lies become mixed up with the truth, it’s a very dangerous world.” – Christiane Amanpour“Because then, if you do, particularly in situations like that,” she said, “you are party and accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences.”

 

“So,” she concluded, “I believe in being truthful, not neutral.”

 

Amanpour, who is now CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, interviews global leaders and decision-makers on PBS every weeknight at 11:00. Her program, Amanpour on PBS, joined the programming line-up after PBS stopped distributing programs with Charlie Rose, following multiple women’s allegations of sexual harassment.

 

Amanpour, who turns 59 this month, is a British citizen who spent her early years in Tehran. She is the product of a Muslim father from Iran and a Christian mother from England – and she’s married to a Jewish American, former U.S. diplomat Jamie Rubin. They live in London with their teenage son, Darius.

 

“I’ve lived in a completely multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious environment, in some of the most difficult places in the world,” Amanpour has said.

 

“I’ve seen firsthand that you can bridge differences, you can have tolerance between groups. The trick is to minimize the extremes, whether it’s in politics or in religion or in any kind of relationship, and to stick to the sensible center, which is where the vast majority, not only of this country but the world, lies,” she says.

 

Amanpour also has a knack for bridging between television networks and countries. She will remain with CNN in Britain while sharing her interviews with PBS in America.

 

She urges all journalists to re-commit to robust, fact-based reporting on the issues – without fear and without favor.

 

“When lies become mixed up with the truth,” she said, “it’s a very dangerous world.”

 

Almost three decades after Christiane dodged bullets in the Balkans, she’s sitting down in the studio with world power players. I still find her coverage arresting. And the truth is worth staying up for. See you at 11:00 weeknights, “Amanpour on PBS.”

 

Aloha nui,

 

Leslie signature

PACIFIC HEARTBEAT
Sons of Hālawa

 

Feel the pulse of the pacific – the stories of its people, cultures, languages, music and contemporary issues – in Season 5 of PACIFIC HEARTBEAT, the nationally distributed series from Pacific Islanders in Communications and PBS Hawai‘i. The five films in this season highlight struggles, values and victories that draw us together and make our Pacific cultures unique.

 

Sons of Hālawa
Pilipo Solatorio of Molokai is the last to hold the cultural traditions, music and stories of a sacred valley that has been home to his family for hundreds of years. This is an intimate portrait of Solatorio’s search for a successor – before generations of knowledge will be lost forever.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
Billie Jean King

 

This biographical profile first aired in 2013 to commemorate the 40th anniversaries of the famous Billie Jean King v. Bobby Riggs “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match and the launch of the Women’s Tennis Association. King presents her own story, with perspective from Serena and Venus Williams, Hillary Clinton, Sir Elton John, Maria Sharapova, Gloria Steinem, Chris Evert and Bobby Riggs’ son Larry.

 

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAI‘I
What Did Our Lawmakers Do This Session to Make Hawai‘i Better?

 

The last week of the 2015 legislative session included a flurry of final votes on many of the session’s biggest bills, including a $26 billion budget, a commitment to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, a five-year extension on the rail tax for Honolulu residents, the creation of a statewide medical marijuana dispensary system, and a modified plan to protect more than 600 acres of undeveloped land on Oahu’s North Shore. Did the Legislature decide to spend taxpayer money wisely? If signed by the governor, how will the new laws impact Hawai‘i residents?