Welcome to Our New Board Chair!
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.