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SBA Award Winners 2014

(page 5 of 8)

Minority Small Business Champion of the Year

Joni Redick-Yundt
Sales Manager & Financial Representative, Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America

Sponsors: Josephine Alonso, Central Pacific Bank

Photo: Mark Arbeit

Joni Redick-Yundt’s story is one of family, determination, the American dream and steadfast belief that attitude matters.

She came to Hawaii from the Philippines at 14, her parents believing that their best opportunities – and those for their children – were in America. A nurse for 20 years, she found her true calling when the unexpected death of her sister left her parents shouldering expensive bills and unfathomable grief.

“I was moved by it and I realized I could educate myself, then help educate people, help them understand why insurance matters in their lives,” she says.

For the last 16 years, Redick-Yundt has been a financial representative and sales manager at Guardian, training and mentoring a team of 35 agents while also personally managing her own portfolio of long-time clients. “I know what it’s like when families don’t have insurance, aren’t prepared,” she said. “I can help them find financial stability.”

Her day job is just part of her story, however. Redick-Yundt founded FAMES Hawaii (Filipino-America Multi-Ethnic Society) 10 years ago as a vehicle to provide mentoring, education and leadership development to entrepreneurs and business owners in Honolulu. While started for the Filipino community, FAMES brings together leaders and entrepreneurs of all backgrounds for motivational workshops and professional development events.

Her work as a professional beauty consultant focuses heavily on young women in the community, offering them tips on interview skills, dressing for success and attitude development. “I believe in having a positive attitude all the time,” Redick-Yundt says. “If you look good, you feel good!”

Josephine Alonso, business banker at Central Pacific Bank’s Kaneohe Branch, has known Redick-Yundt for 15 years and considers hers a true American success story.

“Her greatest strength is her ability to bring together people from all walks of life to work toward a common goal,” Alonso says. “Joni is a natural: motivating, inspiring, mentoring and educating those in entrepreneurial and business fields.”

Redick-Yundt released her book, “Million Dollar Attitude,” in 2007 and currently hosts “Joni Show” on Olelo, where she works to motivate and inspire her viewing audience.

She says she came by her work ethic young, watching her father make a go of it in this new country. “Hard work, dedication and commitment to reach your dream, that’s what he taught us,” she says.

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