Jennifer Kem has a soft spot for folks on the Leeward side.
The 41-year-old global marketing strategist and owner of KemComm Media Group grew up in Waialua on the North Shore, graduated from Mid-Pacific Institute and then went to college in California.
But despite having advised companies as large and well-known as Oracle, Microsoft and Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kem still identifies with her family’s sugar plantation background.
So when Christiane Bolosan-Yee, executive director of the Ewa Beach Community-Based Development Organization, asked her to volunteer by teaching a small-business class, “it was an absolute ‘yes,’ “ Kem recalls.
The eight-week course called Momentum Pro explains how to start or maintain a business. Kem has been teaching it for three years and has helped train others to teach it.
Kem says she has coached almost 100 people and has many small-business success stories.
“I tell them in class, ‘I can teach you all the strategies in the world, but you have to take action.’ ”