Five distinguished alumni were honored on October 10 at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Shidler College of Business annual Hall of Honor Awards fundraising dinner at the Sheraton Waikiki.
The 2019 inductees are Russell J. Hata (BBA ’78, EMBA ’02), chairman, president, and CEO, Y. Hata & Co., Limited; Lance M. Inouye (EMBA ’05), president and CEO, Ralph S. Inouye Co. Ltd.; Micah A. Kāne (MBA ’95), CEO and president, Hawai‘i Community Foundation; Wendy Peterson (BBA ’82, JD ’85), general counsel, Knobbe Martens; and Wendy Tong Barnes (BBA TIM ’81), chief corporate affairs officer, CK Asset Holdings Limited, CK Infrastructure Holdings Limited and CK Life Sciences International, Inc.; and deputy CEO, Hui Xian Asset Management Limited.
Since 1992, more than 100 business professionals have been inducted into the Hall of Honor, representing a wide range of industries and exemplifying the best of business in Hawai‘i and the world. Honorees are selected for their leadership qualities and outstanding contributions to their profession, community and alma mater.
With the support of the Shidler Alumni Association, nearly 600 professionals representing over 70 companies attended this year’s event to help raise funds for the Shidler College of Business. Proceeds support student scholarships, enrichment programs, alumni outreach and special student activities.
Y. Hata & Co., Limited served as the presenting sponsor along with contributing sponsors Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Ralph S. Inouye Co. Ltd., and media sponsor Pacific Business News.
2019 Shidler College of Business Hall of Honor Award Recipients
Russell J. Hata is the chairman, president and CEO of Y. Hata & Co., Limited, a $330 million wholesale foodservice distributor with warehouses on O‘ahu, Big Island, Maui and Kaua‘i. Hata, a third-generation family member, leads the 106-year-old company, which was founded on the Big Island by his grandfather, Yoichi Hata. Under his leadership, Hata is credited with the company’s turnaround in the 1990s and its current expansion, innovations and community engagement. He is the founder of ChefZoneTM, Hawai‘i’s first foodservice club store. He has acquired Koa Trading on Kaua‘i and King Food Service on O‘ahu and Maui. Hata improved the company’s bottom line with a state-of-the-art delivery system and photovoltaic technology. He also expanded scholarship support for culinary students and the Culinary Institute of the Pacific’s programs and competitions. Prior to joining the family business, Hata worked in various management and executive positions in the manufacturing, technology, internet and consulting industries. Hata is a current board member at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and serves on its strategic planning committee. He is also involved with the Junior Achievement of Hawaii, the Honolulu Navy League and other non-profit organizations throughout Hawai‘i. Hata received both his BBA in finance and an Executive MBA from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Lance M. Inouye is president and CEO of Ralph S Inouye Co, Ltd. (RSI), a local construction company founded by his father Ralph S. Inouye in 1962. Inouye joined RSI in 1981 as an estimator and worked his way up to chief estimator and vice president, before being named president and CEO in 2002. Under his leadership, RSI increased its revenues from $17 million to $67 million in 2017. Before joining RSI, Inouye served five years as a Naval officer in Admiral Hyman Rickover’s Nuclear Submarine Refueling program in Washington, D.C. After returning home, he completed law school at the William S. Richardson School of Law and served as a deputy attorney general for the State of Hawai‘i. Inouye later joined Tamotsu Tanaka Esq. concentrating primarily on the areas of construction, real property and bankruptcy law. Inouye is licensed to practice law in the State of Hawai‘i and the U.S. 9th Circuit. He is a member of the Hawai‘i Bar, Tau Beta Pi (engineering), and Beta Gamma Sigma (business) associations. He also served as a volunteer arbitrator in the Court Annexed Arbitration Program and as a member of the Dispute Review Board during the construction of the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Over the years, Inouye has volunteered and supported various organizations including the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Easter Seals Hawaii, the Academy of the Pacific and the Shriners Hospitals for Children. He has also served as president and director of the General Contractors Association of Hawai‘i (GCA) and a board member of the Land Use Commission and is currently serving on several multi-employer trust funds for construction union members. Inouye received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in aeronautical engineering from Stanford University. He received a JD from the William S. Richardson School of Law and an Executive MBA from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Micah A. Kāne is the CEO and president of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF). HCF is the state’s largest and oldest foundation that works with individuals, families, foundations, government agencies, and organizations to transform lives and improve communities. Kāne is the third CEO and president in HCF’s 100-year history. Previously, he served as HCF’s president and chief operating officer. Kāne also served on the HCF board of governors for eight years. Before joining HCF, Kāne was the chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, chairman and executive director of the Hawai‘i Republican Party and the government affairs liaison for the Building Industry Association of Hawai‘i (BIA). He currently serves as chairman of the board of trustees for the Kamehameha Schools and as a corporate board of director with the Hawaiian Electric Company. Throughout his career, Kāne has been recognized with various awards including the Koa Anvil Award of Excellence, the Salvation Army Partners in Community Service Award, the Hawaiian Leader of the Year Award from the Ko‘olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club, Ho‘oulu Leadership Award for Government, Environmental Council Award, Spirit of the Year Award from the Aloha United Way, and the Housing Advocate of the Year Award from the BIA of Hawai‘i. Additionally, he was inducted into Menlo College Hall of Fame for football. Raised in Hawai‘i, Kāne is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools and Menlo College. He received his MBA from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Wendy Peterson is the general counsel of Knobbe Martens in Irvine, California. Knobbe Martens is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the nation, with more than 275 lawyers and patent scientists who serve a multitude of companies, institutions and universities. Since 2002, Peterson has guided her firm on internal legal matters, such as ethics, contracts, real estate, employment, loss prevention and partnership governance. Peterson began her career at O’Melveny & Myers, an international law firm, where she worked on securities and mergers and acquisitions. She was then recruited by Wynn’s International and quickly moved up to assistant general counsel and corporate secretary, and was later promoted to general counsel of Wynn Oil Company. In 2000, Peterson negotiated and closed the acquisition of Wynn’s by Parker Hannifin, which retained her as legal counsel in a division worth $2 billion. Throughout her career, Peterson has been devoted to giving back to the community. She served on the boards of the Legal Aid Society of Orange County; Human Options, a non-profit dedicated to protecting and empowering survivors of domestic violence; American Heart Association, Orange County Division; and the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) at the Shidler College of Business. In 2011, the Orange County Business Journal recognized Peterson as General Counsel of the Year and named her to the OC500 list of top 500 opinion-setters and influencers in the Orange County business community for the past three years. Peterson received a BBA in accounting from the Shidler College of Business and a JD from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa..
For a full list of past honorees, visit: shidler.hawaii.edu/hall-of-honor/past-recipients
About the Shidler Hall of Honor Awards
Each year, the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa recognizes accomplished alumni and business professionals with the college’s highest tribute—the Shidler College of Business Hall of Honor Award. Since 1992, the college has honored more than 100 individuals. This award honors an individual who has distinguished themselves through their profession, community, and commitment to higher education. In partnership with the Shidler College of Business Alumni Association, funds raised from the event benefit the Shidler Advancement Fund to support student scholarships, student enrichment programs, alumni outreach and special student activities.