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2013 Founders & Visionaries - Hawaii's Best

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Businesses are founded with a vision.

Hawaii's rich culture and strong, diverse community have been shaped and influenced by the many businesses established in the islands. From Hawaii's longest-running solar installer to one of the premier shipping lines of the Pacific, see how they started, thrived and became houshold names in providing Kamaʻāina with the BEST quality products and services.


Coming January 2014!

Look for the Founders & Visionaries: Hawaii's Best Premiere Special on:
For airing dates and times, visit www.hawaiibusiness.com/resources.


Group 70 International, Inc.

Sustainable Management

GROUP 70 "Consensus Driven Leadership with an Ohana Spirit". Principals of Group 70 (From bottom to top, left to right): Tom Young, Hitoshi Hida, Jeff Overton, Roy Nihei, Katie MacNeil, Jim Stone, Sheryl Seaman (Vice Chair), Norman Hong (CEO/Vice Chair), Steve Yuen, Jim Nishimoto (Vice Chair), Charles Kaneshiro (Exec. VP), Christine Ruotola, Linda Miki (President/ COO), Francis Oda (Chairman) & Paul Matsuda

Group 70 International was skillfully designing sustainable buildings and land planning concepts before sustainability became an industry trend. Their integrated services of architecture, planning, civil engineering and interior design have these core values: to design projects that serve the community, respect the land, and enhance the environment with cutting edge sustainable strategies.

Conceived in 1970, founders Gus Ishihara, Gordon Tyau and Francis Oda named the firm Group 70 in an era when owner’s last names were the typical namesake.  “Group 70’s name represents the firm’s consensus driven leadership with a spirit of ohana,” says Linda Miki, current president and COO.” Our clients benefit tremendously from our collaborative approach and diversified talents.” Group 70 is a multi-generational company, envisioned as an ever growing banyan tree, planting new aerial roots as services grow that bring strength to the ecosystem and stability through economic ups and downs.  Recognized as one of the largest architectural and planning firms in Hawaii, Group 70 has also started one of the fastest growing Civil engineering practices.

Group 70’s visionary leaders; Chairman Francis Oda, CEO/Vice Chair Norman Hong, and Vice Chair Sheryl Seaman, advocated an open office concept to cultivate a creative collaborative environment and implemented Group 70’s  unique rotating presidency which cultivates sustainable management for generations to come.

Having walked its talk for 43 years, the design practice continually challenges the status quo with innovative and creative concepts that are both culturally sensitive and honor kama'aina values. “Living on an island creates even more incentive to execute the best design possible,” says Charles Kaneshiro, incoming 2014 president of the company. “We are thoughtful about our opportunities.  If a proposed project would not be a good fit for Hawaii as a whole, it would not be something we are willing to take on.” 

Architecture • Civil Engineering • Interior Design
Planning & Environmental Services
Sustainable Development • Technology Services

925 Bethel Street, 5th Floor
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 523-5866 
Fax: (808) 523-5874



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