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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 19, 2006

Kapolei salutes its super achievers

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Central O'ahu Writer

The co-founder of a company developing a "next generation power source," a community-oriented educator, and a dedicated youth soccer volunteer were honored last night with Kapolei Outstanding Achievement awards at Ko Olina Resort.

Hilo native Dustin Shindo, co-founder of Hoku Scientific Inc., Island Pacific Academy headmaster Daniel E. White and local American Youth Soccer Organization Leeward Region Commissioner Obed Donlin received KOA awards for entrepreneurship, education and community service, respectively.

KOA awards were also presented to 'Ewa Beach 'Ohana for environmental service and the Kapolei High School Interact Club for group community service.

The Estate of James Campbell, which has recognized outstanding Kapolei achievers for 17 years, also presented a $115,000 grant last night to nine area schools to support their technology needs.

  • Shindo is chairman of the board, president and CEO of Hoku Scientific Inc., which employs 30 people and had earnings of $2.9 million in the last fiscal year.

    Shindo founded the company in March 2001 with his former Waiakea High classmate Kaleo Taft and Michael Gardner to develop and manufacture membrane electrode assemblies for hydrogen fuel cells, a renewable technology seen as a cost-effective power source.

    The Kapolei-based company has contracts with Nissan Motor Co., Sanyo Electric and the U.S. Navy.

    Success is nothing new to Shindo, who at age 21 founded Mehana Brewing in Hilo, the largest locally owned brewery in Hawai'i.

  • White is the founding headmaster of Island Pacific Academy, a nonprofit college preparatory school for children ages preschool through grade 12 that opened its door to 190 students in September 2004. Enrollment rose to 380 in its second year and is at 560 this year.

    White was cited for promoting "strength of character, based on such core values as respect for others, generosity of spirit and the power of human kindness" at IPA. Students have done projects such as car washes for tsunami relief, recycling and fundraising for an African orphanage school to obtain technology.

  • Donlin, an AYSO soccer volunteer since 1992, devotes countless hours in representing the Leeward region's 1,000 players, ages 5 to 18, at night meetings and overseeing matches Saturdays at Kapolei Regional Park.

  • The 140 members of Kapolei High School Interact Club are committed to participating in one project per quarter while maintaining a 2.0 grade-point average.

    Their 2005 projects included raising more than $750 for tsunami victims in Southeast Asia, assembling and installing benches donated by the Rotary Club of Kapolei near Kapolei High's gymnasium and coordinating a Easter mini-carnival for senior citizens at Kapolei's Ka Punawai Ola.

    Faculty advisers are Merry Ifuku and Diana Okamura.

  • 'Ewa Beach 'Ohana, organized in 1990, does regular beach cleanups at One'ula Beach Park, also known as Hau Bush. Volunteers not only clean the park but the coastline up to the Kalaeloa fenceline where heavy dumping occurs in unimproved areas.

    Reach Rod Ohira at rohira@honoluluadvertiser.com.