Founders & Visionaries - November 2012
(page 3 of 4)
HPM Building Supply
Helping Hawaii Build for More Than 90 Years
HPM team members build the company’s newest and most exclusive product, woodwall panels, in the Keaau manufacturing facility. From here, the panels will travel to progressive jobsites across the state.
In business for 91 years, HPM Building Supply holds deep family roots in Hawaii. Local building contractors Kametaro Fujimoto and Sanzo Kawasaki founded Hawaii Planing Mill Ltd. in 1921 as a lumber milling operation.
“The company purchased lumber from the Pacific Northwest and shipped it to Hilo Harbor, where it was re-sawed,” says Mike Fujimoto, Kametaro’s great grandson and the company’s current president. “They also planed the timber into finished-dimension lumber for building homes in Hilo.”
Mike is one of five generations of the Fujimoto family that have helped to carry the company through its continued success. It started with Kametaro. Next, Kametaro’s son, Barney, became general manager in 1929. Barney’s son, Bobby, then took over, in 1959 and continues to serve as chairman of the board. In 1992 Mike became CEO and recently saw the appointment of his own son, Jason, as the senior vice president and CFO.
Jason, Bobby and Mike Fujimoto: three of a total of five Fujimoto generations to lead HPM Building Supply.
Through nearly a century, HPM has grown and thrived in an up-and-down economy, responding to the ever-changing needs of its customers and keeping its strong commitment to the community at the forefront. Soon after opening its location in Hilo, HPM extended to Kona, then Waimea and Keaau. Soon it began expansion statewide, adding locations to Oahu and Kauai.
“Our goal is to contribute to the success of our contractor and owner-builder customers by providing a comprehensive package of expertise, building products and services and delivery systems that they can rely on every day,” Mike says.
The company, whose main business previously centered on lumber milling and building materials, has also added a multitude of products and services. Now, HPM offers everything from metal roofing to pre-hanging doors and even packaged homes.
“The more recent and exciting additions to HPM’s products include its engineered and factory manufactured wood wall panels,” Mike says. “These have decreased the build time and cost of construction.”
But perhaps what has benefited customers most has been a move on the employee side. “HPM is 100 percent owned by its employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP),” Mike says. “Because our employees are the owners of the business, they take great pride in servicing our customers.”
They also take great pride supporting the community through the HPM Foundation. “Recently, HPM provided the roof-truss systems and wall panels for Habitat for Humanity’s Blitz Build of five homes in west Hawaii Island,” Mike says. “HPM also annually awards scholarships to local high school seniors attending University of Hawaii schools, as well as Building Future Builder scholarships to second-year carpentry school students.”
HPM Building Supply
Campbell | Lawai | Hilo | Waimea | Kona | Keaau
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