Robbie Alm

Welcome to Our New Board Chair!

Welcome to Our New Board Chair, Jason Fujimoto

PBS Hawai‘i’s new Board Chair Jason Fujimoto

 

He’s the first Neighbor Islander to head the Board of Directors of statewide PBS Hawaiʻi; he is by far our youngest Board Chair; and he’s the fifth generation of a successful family company, founded by an immigrant.

 

Meet Jason Fujimoto of Hilo, 36, husband of Tobie and father of two children. This summer, he succeeded longtime PBS Hawai‘i Board Chair Robbie Alm.

 

In Jason’s “day job,” he serves as President and Chief Operating Officer of HPM Building Supply, overseeing company business on Hawai‘i Island, Maui and Kauaʻi. His role with nonprofit PBS Hawai‘i is unpaid, and he knows what he’s getting into, as he is our Board’s former Vice Chair.

 

“PBS Hawai‘i is really special because it’s not controlled by big media; it’s really Hawai‘i’s TV station, it’s our station,” Jason says.

 

“When you look at the opportunity we have here as an organization, and it goes beyond media, it’s… bringing people of all cultures and professions together and really looking toward the future and solving some of the key issues and problems that we have as a state,” he said.

 

Jason will tell you that he spent his childhood in Hilo, but that he really grew up on Sesame Street. Public television was on the screen in his family home. His parents, Mike and Thuy Fujimoto, and grandparents Robert and Alice Fujimoto, highly value education. They did everything they could to help Jason deepen his knowledge and broaden his horizons.

 

The horizons he chose included the renowned Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. After earning a degree in corporate finance and strategic management, Jason became an investment banker in New York City, working on mergers and acquisitions for J.P. Morgan.

 

Jason had grown wings but he hadn’t forgotten his roots. In 2004, he was ready to return to Hawai‘i, for the chance to do work that was more entrepreneurial and more fulfilling than what Wall Street offered. He found it at his family’s employee-owned company. HPM Building Supply may be best known for its “package home” program, which makes homeownership more affordable.

 

In 2013, Hawaii Business Magazine named Jason Fujimoto as a business person to watch over the years, one of the “20 for the Next 20.”

 

Earlier this year, Jason led our Board and Staff and other stakeholders in envisioning new strategic goals for PBS Hawai‘i. Everyone felt free to speak and share their different ideas. There was civility and humor and, later, a clear consensus. We’re making our video content more accessible, more quickly, in different forms, on different media platforms; and we’re
taking new steps to address financial sustainability in changing times.

 

As CEO, I look forward to working closely with Jason. He places a high value on lifelong learning and integrity, has that old-time Hilo knack for building relationships, and leads from the heart.

 

Leslie signature

 

Glorious New Home – and Soon, Bright New Ways to Enjoy Content

Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS HawaiiIt’s one thing to see a building on a blueprint or in construction infancy. It’s another thing to finally enter the real deal.

 

So how is it?

 

In a word, glorious.

 

It feels great to walk in the PBS Hawai‘i’s The Clarence T.C. Ching Campus and get to work. Open space, glass walls, cheerful colors, creative shapes, lots of natural light, a sense of whimsy. It’s an environment that promotes collaboration and teamwork by providing a range of contemporary meeting places. The building also is designed to keep everyone informed, with monitors throughout the building showing current programming and ongoing social media. PBS children’s characters have their own little neighborhood. With all of the vantage points, everyone can keep an eye on what’s going on in the beating heart of the new home – the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Multimedia Studio and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Learning Zone.

 

We were fortunate to have top professionals fleshing out the vision of an open, collaborative workplace. Kudos to our architect, Group 70 International’s Sheryl Seaman, and her team; Justin Izumi from general contractor Allied Builders System, an employee-owned company; and our owner’s reps, Andrew Tanton from Cumming, with Jennifer Camp.

 

The project has been built, on time and on budget, but there’s more to do. We’ll spend the summer troubleshooting major new technology systems; adding a photovoltaic system; and creating donor signage to acknowledge givers who made the building possible. We’re offering small group tours of the building to interested donors who made this new home possible.

 

As our Board Chair Robbie Alm pointed out, many individuals and families wanted to help and to have their names associated with this place for integrity and civility in public affairs, education and the arts. PBS Hawai‘i heard from a stunning number of grassroots givers – 1,500 donors. Thank you so much!

 

You can see our terrific donors’ names online, and many of the names also will be inscribed on the walls of the new home. We look forward to acknowledging them.

 

Next time, I’d like to tell you about two highly regarded content executives here, Linda Brock and Jason Suapaia. They will lead our charge in producing more content focusing on this place we call home – and they will bring you more ways to enjoy the content.

 

Home is here! Mahalo piha…
Leslie signature

 

Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation grants $2 million for PBS Hawai‘i’s new home

PBS Hawaii

 

HONOLULU, HI – A large grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation has propelled PBS Hawai‘i to within $200,000 of its $30 million goal for its new home at 315 Sand Island Access Road.

 

The $2 million grant to Hawai‘i’s statewide public television station will provide facilities for education through storytelling, and workforce development. The foundation’s focus is helping those who are vulnerable and at-risk.

 

From left: Ben Nishimoto, PBS Hawai‘i Vice President of Advancement; Corbett Kalama, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Vice President of Real Estate Investments and Community Affairs; Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO; Gailene Wong, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Grant Director; Robbie Alm, PBS Hawai‘i Board Chair; Bettina Mehnert, PBS Hawai‘i Board Secretary; Jason Fujimoto, PBS Hawai‘i Board Vice Chair.

 

“Harry Weinberg was thoughtful and considerate of those in our community who are less fortunate,” said Corbett Kalama, Vice President of Real Estate Investments and Community Affairs at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. “PBS Hawai‘i provides opportunities for youngsters in Hawaii to be creative and be a part of something that helps them be better people.”

 

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is naming the building’s two largest areas: its main Multimedia Studio, where PBS Hawai‘i productions will be produced; and the Learning Zone, the open area at the heart of the second floor built for collaborative projects with filmmakers, students, teachers and others in the community.

 

PBS Hawai‘i staff reported to work at the new building at the beginning of the month, and is currently troubleshooting its new technological systems.

 

PBS Hawai‘i Board Chair Robbie Alm stated: “We share with [the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation] a deep and abiding desire to see those who begin life with less have the greatest opportunities possible to change their lives. At PBS Hawai‘i’s new home, every person and especially every young person can find their own future based on their own talents, dreams and ambitions. Their opportunities are, thanks to this gift, without limit.”

 

Naming opportunities, including spots on our two donor walls, are still available. More information is online at PBSHawaii.org/newhome.

 

Download this Press Release

 

For questions regarding this press release:

 

Contact: Liberty Peralta
Email: lperalta@pbshawaii.org
Phone: 808.973.1383

 

PBS Hawai‘i is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Hawai‘i’s sole member of the trusted Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). We advance learning and discovery through storytelling that profoundly touches people’s lives. We bring the world to Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i to the world. PBSHawaii.org | facebook.com/pbshawaii | @pbshawaii