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Hawaii Business Magazine’s 20 for the Next 20: People to Watch 2012

20 emerging leaders in local businesses, nonprofits, government, education and law

(page 15 of 21)

Photo: Courtesy of Tyler Tokioka


VP of external affairs, Island Insurance Co. Ltd.

Tyler tokioka is under tremendous pressure to succeed, much of it self-imposed.

In 1939, his grandfather, Masayuki Tokioka, founded Island Insurance, Hawaii’s only locally owned property and casualty insurance firm. His father and uncle, Lionel and Franklin, are highly respected business leaders.

“I always worry that I’m doing what’s right by my family, that I’m putting them in a proper light,” says Tokioka, a graduate of Punahou School and New York University Stern School of Business. “We need to succeed in a way that benefits the community, looking out for people who don’t have a voice.”

That mantra helps drive Tokioka, who serves on the boards of a performing arts group, Ohia Productions, the University of Hawaii athletics fundraising group, Ahahui Koa Anuenue, the Japanese Cultural Center and the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce.

“Tyler exemplifies a true leader with his action and results,” says Wayne Ishihara, president of the chamber. “He shares new ideas and is never afraid to be part of the group that makes sure it is implemented.”

As part of his job at Island Insurance, Tokioka manages the company’s foundation, which last year gave local nonprofits a half-million dollars in grants. He is also corporate secretary for Island Insurance’s parent company, Island Holdings, which owns Atlas Insurance, IT specialist Framework 21, insurance broker IC International and the investment group Tradewind Insurance. 

Despite his lineage, there is no expectation that Tokioka one day must lead the firm. “My family is of the belief that we need to earn our stripes,” he says. “I will always give the best effort I can. I don’t want to shortchange what I’m doing, or whoever I’m doing it for.”

That includes his “extremely loving and understanding” wife, Jody, and their daughter, Ally, 9, who are aware of the “commitments that may take time away from them.”


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