Honolulu Community College celebrates distinguished alumni at Celebrate! 2016

Honolulu Community College
Billie K T Lueder, (808) 845-9187
Dir of Communications & External Affairs, Chancellor's Office
Posted: Mar 7, 2016

Honolulu CC honored seven alumni and two community partners.
Honolulu CC honored seven alumni and two community partners.

The Pōmaika‘i Ballrooms were filled with energy and excitement on Thursday, February 25, 2016 as Honolulu Community College honored outstanding community partners the Building Industry Association of Hawai‘i, the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, and seven distinguished alumni: Jayne Arasaki, Reg Baker, Karen Kamahele, Norman Loui, Ernie Martin, Kimberly Matunis, and Jason Suapaia for their professional achievements and contributions to the community. 

A proclamation from the Honorable Governor David Ige proclaimed February 25, 2016 “Celebrate! 2016 Day” in the state of Hawai‘i.  Certificates of achievement were given to each honoree from Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s office and the Honolulu City Council made a special on-stage presentation to all of the honorees.

Through the college’s reverse transfer efforts Chancellor Erika Lacro made a special surprise presentation to honoree Reg Baker.  During his time at Honolulu CC he had accumalated sufficient credits that qualified him to receive an associate in applied science degree in Applied Trades.  

The room was filled with the sweet Hawaiian sounds of the Waimānalo Sunset Band, and the evening was hosted by local entertainer, Braddah Sam.  Proceeds from ticket sales and the silent auction benefits the Honolulu Community College General Scholarship Endowment fund. 

View the photo gallery from the evening: https://flic.kr/s/aHskv2hkE6


Jayne Y. Arasaki (’79 Associate in Science, Human Services)

Jayne Arasaki is a proud graduate of Honolulu Community College with an associate degree in human services, early childhood education.  She received a bachelors degree in psychology and holds a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in early childhood from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Ms. Arasaki currently oversees the programs for the five nationally accredited Seagull schools on O‘ahu as the Director of Operations.

Reginald E. Baker, Jr. (’78 – ’79)

Reg Baker owns a locally based CPA firm that provides accounting consulting, tax and wealth management services to the small and mid-sized business market. Mr. Baker has over 30 years experience providing service to and managing small and mid-sized companies. Mr. Baker is the former Executive VP for the Hawai‘i Medical Assurance Association (HMAA), one of the largest health insurance companies in Hawai‘i.

Karen Kamahele (’78 Associate in Science, Fashion Technology)

Karen Kamahele has successfully worked in many fashion design and manufacturing positions at Kala Kids, Hilo Hattie and currently, Reyn Spooner, Inc.  She graduated with her undergraduate degree in Fashion, Design and Merchandising from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2007. In 1993, she started as a lecturer at Honolulu Community College while still managing the Design Department at Hilo Hattie, and she continues to share her knowledge of the industry with students today.

Norman W.H. Loui (’61 Honolulu Technical School, Carpentry)

After winning the grand prize for a carpentry cabinet he built in high school, Norman W. H. Loui was inspired to study carpentry at Honolulu Community College, then Honolulu Technical School. He furthered his studies in Chicago at DeVry Electronics Institute. Mr. Loui and his brother Gordon later opened Hawaiian Rent-All. Shortly before Mr. Loui passed away in 2006, he created a gift of hope for future generations of students at his alma mater, Honolulu Community College. Today, his generosity provides financial support for students enrolled in the college’s technical and trades programs.

Ernest Y. Martin (‘81 Associate in Arts, Liberal Arts)

Ernest Y. Martin is a proud product of Hawai‘i’s public school system. After graduating from Honolulu Community College he went on to graduate with distinction from the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa in 1983 with a bachelors of arts degree in sociology. He later went on to obtain a master of arts degree in sociology in 1985 and a Juris doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 1995. He currently holds the position of Chair and Presiding Officer of the Honolulu City Council.

Kimberly A. Matunis (’03 Associate in Applied Science, Administration of Justice)

While stationed at Schofield Barracks Kimberly Matunis applied to Honolulu CC to study Criminal Justice.   Upon graduation she was accepted into the Army’s criminal investigations unit. In 2004, she deployed to Afghanistan to work the POW camp to process enemy combatant detainees. Currently, Ms. Matunis serves as the Campus Police Chief for the Department of Mental Health Police Department at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain Boston, Massachusetts.

Jason Suapaia (’93 Associates of Science, Communication Services)

Jason Suapaia has been heading up a team of creative professionals as President and Executive Producer at the Hawai‘i based 1013 Integrated (formally Pacific Focus, Inc.) Mr. Suapaia is a member of the Pacific Century Fellows Class of 2012, and was selected as one of 40 professionals of the Pacific Business News’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2011. He spends time as a volunteer professional advisor for several high schools and colleges, including his alma mater, Honolulu Community College.



Building Industry Association of Hawai‘i (BIA) 

The Building Industry Association of Hawai‘i (BIA) is The VOICE of the Construction Industry. The BIA is a not-for-profit trade organization chartered in 1955 and affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). BIA-Hawai‘i is extremely proud of their National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) student chapter at Honolulu Community College and of all of their accomplishments.

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard

Since 1975, Honolulu Community College has been an educational partner with the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. The Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility defends our nation by repairing, maintaining and modernizing the U.S. Navy’s Pacific FleetThe men and women of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard continue to build on their remarkable legacy of keeping the fleet ‘Fit to Fight.’