By Timmy Wailehua
Founded in 1974, the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce (NHCC) was formed to meet the needs of Native Hawaiians struggling to gain an equal footing with other business leaders of the time.
Forty-eight years later, and the chamber has flourished into a networking organization with a social media presence that provides various seminars within the business sector, for instance, financial literacy, government contracts and support for Native Hawaiian entrepreneurs. The Native Hawaiian Chamber also continues to support education with an ongoing scholarship for future Native Hawaiian business leaders and professionals.
With so many ways to enhance and uplift our lāhui in business, this year the chamber will focus on building relationships in the community and with its members through networking.
Networking is a very important benefit for Native Hawaiians as it provides opportunities to gather and share our unique experiences. Sharing different ways to raise capital, possible partnership opportunities, learning entrepreneurship practices, creative thinking, and simply being amongst other like-minded Native Hawaiians is such a blessing.
Native Hawaiians of all ages from different generations and diverse upbringings can provide each other with such great resources. With COVID-19 fading into the past, the impact of building relationships will be essential for the community. We’ve become too dependent upon the virtual “zoom” application for communication, it’s a good time for live connecting to happen.
The first step in this process was to hire an executive director. I’d like to introduce to the community Andrew Rosen, the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s newest and first-ever executive director.
In Andrew’s new role with the chamber, he will be able to push this exact focus of building relationships through networking along with maintaining NHCC duties. Andrew is the former president of Summit Media for the last seven years. He has also served on the board of directors at multiple nonprofit organizations such as the Honolulu Zoo Society and Child and Family Services. Andrew is also a former NHCC board director, so he is very familiar with the mission of the chamber.
For years the chamber had been an organization driven by a board of directors donating their time to complete duties. As executive director, Andrew will be able to captain the chamber and help us continue the good work of our organization. Andrew’s experience with event hosting, planning, and raising sponsorship funds is vital to the success of the chamber and we are very confident he will take us to the next level. We welcome Andrew and look forward to an active and exciting future!
Timmy Kailianu Wailehua is the newly elected NHCC board president and an underwriter with Essent Guaranty Inc. For more information about the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce go to: www.nativehawaiianchamberofcommerce.org