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SBA Award Winners 2014

(page 7 of 8)

Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year

Raymond Jardine Jr.
Chairman and CEO, Native Hawaiian Veterans LLC

Sponsor: Puni Akana of Native Hawaiian Veterans LLC

Photo: Courtesy of Raymond Jardine Jr.

When Raymond Jardine Jr. retired after 33 years in the U.S. Army, someone suggested he work for himself for a change. The next year, 2005, Jardine and two colleagues began Native Hawaiian Veterans, a Native Hawaiian-owned company with the designation of Service Disabled Veterans Owned Small Business. The company does work in Homeland Security, emergency management, unexploded ordnance cleanup and other areas.

“We have a moral and ethical obligation to those that serve in our Armed Forces,” says Jardine. Many veterans return disabled – as did Jardine – and “are not looking for handouts, but rather a hand up.”

The federal government provides this opportunity by setting a goal that at least 3 percent of prime contracts and subcontracts go to small businesses owned by veterans disabled during their service to their country.

“In Hawaii, the federal government has not met those goals and advocacy is needed to put pressure on federal agencies to meet or even exceed those goals,” Jardine says.

Puni Akana, COO at Native Hawaiian Veterans, shares an email Jardine recently sent to the company’s managers as an example of his leadership: “Stability, trust, compassion and hope. These are the qualities that people look for in great leaders and they are crucial to leading through changing times.”



Financial Services Champion of the Year

Naomi Masuno
VP, Channel Sales Manager for Retail Lending Division, Bank of Hawaii

Sponsor: Julie Percell of 21st Century Marketing

Photo: Courtesy of Bank of Hawaii

Naomi Masuno may work at Bank of Hawaii, but her name is also well known outside the bank, because she does a lot of work on her own time to help small businesses. In fact, two SBA winners in other categories named Masuno as a primary influence.

One thing that takes a lot of Masuno’s time is the Hawaii Small Business Fair, which is free to the public and tackles topics such as taxes, marketing and copyright.

“I enjoy working with small businesses and seeing them grow – to help people realize their dreams,” says Masuno, a 28-year veteran at Bank of Hawaii.

Julie Percell, owner of 21st Century Business Marketing, sponsored Masuno for the award. “Naomi has been my rock,” Percell says, describing how she has relied on the banking veteran (and her contacts) to find experts to advise Percell’s entrepreneurship students.

Then, during the federal government shutdown of 2013, when the SBA was closed, Masuno helped Percell relocate her entrepreneurship class to a Bank of Hawaii conference room.

“She really saved the day.”

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