My Job

Family Tradition of Feather Work

Name: Paulette Kahalepuna Job: Feather artist and owner of Na Lima Mili Hulu Noeau, a store where Hawaiian feather work is taught, and supplies and finished pieces are sold. Experience: 21 years. START: In 1991, Kahalepuna helped her feather-expert mother Mary Lou and father…

Making a living underwater

Name: Rob Hemsher Job: Scuba diving instructor and owner of Ocean Eco Tours Years of Experience: 17 years as a certified dive instructor   Background:  Hemsher made his first pool dive when he was 6 while growing up in Boynton…

My Job: “Eyes and Ears” of the Store

Name: Doug Jago Job: Visual presentation manager, Neiman Marcus at Ala Moana Center Years of Experience: 40 Starting out: After graduating from the University of Tampa in Florida, Jago worked in the visual merchandising department at Bloomingdale’s in Woodbridge, N.J.,…

My Job: Entomologist

Name: John David Nelson Job: Entomologist Years of experience: 14 STARTING OUT: Growing up on an Eastern Tennessee farm, Nelson says, insects were part of his daily life. But it wasn’t until he took an entomology class in college, then…

My Job: Being Paid to Have Fun

Name: Steve VanDermyden Job: Artisan bread baker and new owner of Coffees N Epicurea, a bakery and coffee shop in Captain Cook on Hawaii Island. Experience: Two years.   STARTING OUT: Two years ago, VanDermyden was thinking about opening a…

My Job: Archaeologist

Name: Windy Keala McElroy Job: Archaeologist Years of experience: More than 10   STARTING OUT: When Windy Keala McElroy enrolled at Windward Community College, she quickly discovered a passion for anthropology, and went on to get bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate…

50 years on the Job at First Hawaiian Bank

Name: Nelson Nakagawa Current Position: Assistant VP, Card Services Division Started:  Feb. 19, 1962 Total Jobs  at FHB: 12 Why did you join? “It was a stable company, something I thought would provide me with a springboard to better things.” First day: “I was…

My Job: Professional Cupid

Misconceptions: With TV shows like “The Millionnaire Matchmaker” creating false impressions, it’s easy to misunderstand what professional matchmakers do. At Matchmaking Introductions Hawaii, owner and president Reiko Keifert says singles don’t come to her because they can’t find partners on…

My Job: Recreating Elvis on Stage

Name: Johnny Fortuno Job: Performer and Elvis impersonator Experience: 13 years as Elvis; winner of the Las Vegas Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in 2011. Current Gig: Legends in Concert show at the Royal Hawaiian Theatre, Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center,…

My Job: Tattoo Artist

Name: Steve Looney Job: Tattoo artist; owner, Pacific Soul Tattoo Experience: 12 years professionally Start: “I took an interest in tattooing as a 15-year-old growing up in Anaheim, California,” Looney says. He studied graphic design in college but couldn’t find…

My Job: Magician

Name: John Hirokawa Job: Master illusionist, Magic of Polynesia Experience: 39 years as a performing magician Starting out: When he was about 8, Hirokawa saw the 1953 movie, “Houdini,” starring Tony Curtis, and was entranced. “My mom borrowed magic books…

Fast and Accurate

NAME: Sharon Mujtabaa JOB: President, Hawaii Court Reporters and Captioners Association; owner, The Caption Co. EXPERIENCE: 15 years in captioning, nine years as a court reporter STARTING OUT: When Mujtabaa went to court-reporting school in Chicago, she loved it all,…

My Job: Helping Animals Fight Cancer

Name: Shoko Watanabe, VMD Job: Veterinarian, trained in oncology, at the VCA Family Animal Hospital in Pearl City. Years on the job: 3 Toughest part: It’s hard telling pet owners that their companions have cancer and that chemotherapy could cost…

My Job: Ringmaster and Marketer

Name: Joseph Everitt Teipel, aka Surfer Joe the Auctioneer Job: Owner, AuctionAction LLC Experience: 27 years Start: Teipel got his first taste of auctioneering in 1984: Jewelry and watch broker Hingkie Han hired him to conduct her popular fashion auctions…

My Job: Not As Seen On TV

Name: James Waldron Lindblad Job: Certified bail agent and president of the Professional Bail Agents Association of Hawaii, director of the Hawaii State Sheriff Association and occasional bounty hunter Years of experience: 34 Toughest part: Lindblad has bailed out more…