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2012 Corporate Anniversaries

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Reaching a major milestone - whether it’s 5 years or 50 - is no overnight success. Hear the Hawaii companies who have marked their years successfully say how they did it. They include one of Hawaii’s oldest and largest title and escrow companies, an ever-expanding food manufacturer and a rapidly-growing retirement care service, among others.




Hawaii Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company (HEMIC)

Starting a business with no money and no employees doesn’t necessarily fit the typical beginning of a success story. But HEMIC’s story is anything but typical.        

Left to right, Faye Bueno, Bob Dove and Margo Makanani.

In 1997, HEMIC (Hawaii Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company) was formed as a result of legislation that reformed workers’ compensation. “It’s a credit to the legislature,” says Bob Dove, CEO of HEMIC. “What they were able to do was enable the creation of a private company that solved a public problem without the expenditure of any tax money.”  

Now, as the company celebrates its 15th anniversary, HEMIC has grown from a company with next to nothing to one with more than $180 million in surplus. “When we were first founded, we had almost no money to write compensation,” Dove says. “Today, HEMIC has a surplus … and employers can be sure that we will be there to pay their claims.”

How did they get there? Dove credits the company’s strong adherence to a strong value system, which includes the values of integrity, excellence, professionalism and belief. “Virtually every policy or decision that we make is based on those values,” Dove says.  HEMIC also keeps its motto at the forefront: “Our policy is taking care of Hawaii.”

This genuine approach to serving Hawaii’s community has resonated with others and ensured HEMIC’s continued success. “Today we serve well over 5,000 businesses,” Dove says. “For at least half of the time we’ve been in business, HEMIC has been the largest writer of workers’ comp insurance in the state, and we attribute that to people that work really hard and operate with absolute integrity.”  

A.M. Best Company, a credit-rating organization serving the insurance industry, rated HEMIC as A (Excellent) for its financial strength. “That rating is key. It tells employers and injured workers that the insurance company is stable and has the ability to take care of them,” Dove says. Pair that with the incredible amount of value-added services HEMIC offers, such as safety seminars, programs and videos, and it becomes a bit clearer to see how HEMIC has thrived over the years.

Left to right, Mike Redman, Paula Okano, Paul Naso, Emily Lee, Lani Pendola and Jason Yoshimi.

Moving forward, HEMIC also remains dedicated to adapting and changing within the industry. “We are always putting new things in place from a technology standpoint and from a service standpoint. There is an old saying that we talk about all the time, ‘You are either getting better, or you’re getting worse,’” Dove says.

“Change is a constant at HEMIC. Our competitors are pushing us constantly, and our goal is to continually strive to be the best.”

“Our policy is taking care of Hawaii”


1100 Alakea Street, Suite 1400
Honolulu, HI 96813

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