Sharon Weiner gives $150,000 to develop entrepreneurial programs at Shidler

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Oct 14, 2010

L-R: Director of PACE Susan Yamada, Sharon Weiner, Vance Roley and Virginia Hinshaw.
L-R: Director of PACE Susan Yamada, Sharon Weiner, Vance Roley and Virginia Hinshaw.
Honolulu business executive Sharon Weiner hopes to encourage entrepreneurial activity at the University of Hawai‘i through the establishment of The Sharon Weiner Startsmart Entrepreneurship Endowment at the UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE).  Of the $150,000 gift from Weiner, $50,000 will be used to support PACE programs, and an additional $100,000 will go toward her endowment to develop entrepreneurial programs for students and faculty.
Weiner has included a substantial gift to the Shidler College of Business from her estate so the program will be perpetuated. “Helping those in the University community start their own enterprises reflects my personal interests: encouraging the development of entrepreneurs and, at the same time, supporting the University that gave me my own start in my career in Hawai‘i,” said Weiner. “I cannot imagine that I could have started a successful consultancy in Hawai‘i without my UH MBA, and the personal contacts it gave me over the years. Hawai‘i has been very generous to me and, in this small way, I hope to repay that generosity.”
Weiner came to Hawai‘i in 1973 and enrolled in the UH Executive MBA program at Mānoa campus, graduating in 1975. She began her career in the islands at C. Brewer & Co. working as a public relations manager.  In 1979, she ventured out on her own to form Stryker Weiner Associates Inc., which became one of the largest independent public relations agencies in the state.
In 2000, Weiner sold her firm and joined DFS Hawaii as group vice president in charge of DFS’ international global communications and government relations in Hawai‘i.
Weiner has a distinguished record of public service in Hawai‘i.  She served on the boards of Catholic Charities, the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Boy Scouts Aloha Council, Chaminade University and Aloha United Way. She was a UH regent from 1999-2002. She currently is vice chair of the Japan America Society of Hawaii and the Hawaii Tourism Authority, and a director of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii and Friends of Hawaii Public Libraries.
“Sharon continues to be a staunch supporter of the College’s entrepreneurial and alumni activities,” said V. Vance Roley, dean of the Shidler College of Business. “As a member of the College’s Hall of Honor, she volunteers as a UH Business Plan coach and judge and a guest lecturer. We are extremely fortunate that she continues to share her experience, leadership and generosity with the College.”
“We are grateful to Sharon Weiner for her contribution and commitment to developing entrepreneurship programs for our students and faculty,” said UH Mānoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw. “This endowment at UH Mānoa will have a lasting impact in developing new entrepreneurs to stimulate Hawai‘i’s economy.”