Posts Tagged ‘university of hawaii’

It’s been quite some time since my last blog post. I blame it on work, quality family time, and the pending arrival of our second child any day now. Exciting stuff! But this being Good Friday and a holiday for me, I thought I’d take some time to give thanks and praise to a few of my favorite things that took place this past month…

(1) University of Hawaii Baseball Games – It’s hard to beat a lazy weekend afternoon at the ballpark and Les Murakami Stadium is no exception. As University of Hawaii alumni, Kelly and I have enjoyed coming to cheer on the UH Rainbows for years, usually sipping on a couple of ice cold beers, chowing down on ballpark food, and the just kicking-back and taking in the atmosphere. And now Ensen loves it too. For $5/person, we sit in the upper deck and soak up the action. Give it a shot if you’re looking for something fun to do the next time the Rainbows are in town.

(2) Golfing – Those who knew me a few years ago know that every chance I got, I was usually on the golf course…though that has changed significantly since Ensen was born. I’ve chosen to cut back on my golf game to spend more time with family, watching Little E grow up, and doing as much family activities on the weekends as possible. It’s the way life should be. But don’t get me wrong, every now and then, I need to be on a golf course, hack it around with friends, and enjoy some friendly competition. In fact, a couple friends – John Garcia and Shawn Nakamoto – and I recently started a new “social media golf club” of sorts – It’s our humble attempt to mix social networking with one of our favorite sports. Here’s a few photos from our first get together at Hawaii Kai Golf Course’s Executive Course on March 6. Hope you’ll come out and join us for our next…stay tuned.

@TherapyGrill @johngarcia @surfchik4jesus @shawnnakamoto

@beradical @annie_lee

@gypsyraven @kaeok


(3) Kuru Kuru Sushi – The Kam family loves sushi and Kuru Kuri Sushi in Pearl Kai Shopping Center is our go-to place when we have a craving. As “conveyor belt sushi joints” go, this place is superior to all the others in my opinion. The quality of the fish and portions are always great, service is consistently awesome, and the prices are right. Plus the diversity of raw and cooked items on the menu means there something to please everyone’s palate. However, be prepared to wait for a seat as this place is extremely popular. We’ve waited for up to 45, but I will tell you it’s worth it. If you get there, let me know what you think.

(4) Chef Ed Kenney and Downtown/Town – One of the great things about working in downtown Honolulu is all of the great places to eat. One of my favorites is Downtown at the Hawaii State Art Museum (HiSAM). This is one of Chef Ed Kenney’s two great restaurants in Honolulu (the other being Town in Kaimuki on Waialae which we love too!) where his motto is “local first, organic whenever possible, and with aloha always.” And this shines on his beautiful plates of food. Fresh, simple, clean, and ono is the way I like to sum up the menu.  For a true taste of local farm-to-table cooking, this is the place. I recently had lunch there with PR colleagues Melissa Malahoff-Kamei and Robin Carr and enjoyed the Kulana Ribeye with Ho’s Farms Long Beans, Roasted Tomato, Chimichurri. Talk about one tasty steak!

(5) Blarney Burger at Murphy’s Bar and Grill – Just ask my pal and co-worker Dan Zelikman and he’ll echo the same sentiments about the Blarney Burger at Murphy’s Bar and Grill. What exactly is a Blarney Burger you ask? Well it’s a juicy  and delicious burger topped with imported white cheddar and Guinness cheese and served with a good helping of fries. It’s even more heavenly if you add bacon (as shown below). Murphy’s is a favorite lunchtime spot of ours for good food and inspiring conversation. It’s also a great place to run into the “who’s who” of downtown Honolulu.

(6) Student Tours of Anthology Marketing Group – One of the rewarding things about working at Anthology Marketing Group is being able to share our company’s story, expertise, and values with college students.  The latest group to visit us a few days ago was the young men and women of the University of Hawaii’s Business Executive Society of Tomorrow (or B.E.S.T.). One of my best buddies, Brad Araki, was one of the original founders of the club back in the day and this group has kept the momentum going. I’ve always been impressed with the leadership and activities this club organizes for its members. Mahalo to president Cody Momohara and his board for coming by to visit the agency.

So now I ask you. What’s on your list of favorite things to do? I actually should have put photography on the list, but I’ll save that for the next one. Happy Good Friday to all!


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From left: Dean Richard Dubanoski, me, David Wilson, Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw, David McNeil, and Amy Hennessey.

As a University of Hawaii alumni, it was an honor to accompany my boss David McNeil and his partner David Wilson, founders of McNeil Wilson Communications, to a special ceremony at UH to thank them for their generous donation of $35,000 to the University of Hawaii Foundation. The gift will be used to establish an endowed scholarship fund on behalf of the School of Communications benefiting students majoring in communications with an emphasis on public relations.

My fellow colleague Amy Hennessey (like I a UH alum, fellow Big Islander, and graduate of the School of Communications…formerly the School of Journalism) was there as well. It was a proud moment for the both of us as University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw and College of Social Sciences Dean Richard Dubanoski praised McNeil and Wilson for their philanthropy.

It’s these kinds of good acts that make me proud to work at McNeil Wilson. And I’m sure a few others around the office too, since more than half our staff in the public relations division alone are graduates of UH.

Read the photo release our firm issued yesterday.


[Photo courtesy of University of Hawaii Foundation]

Regan and me at Aloha Stadium cheering on the Warriors as they defeat the Washington Huskies in the final game of the season.

Okay, I’ve got a confession to make. Even though I booked the travel for me, my family, and my friends for the Sugar Bowl, I really never stopped to add up all the time it would take to get there. I’m not quite sure why I never did, but it probably has something to with the fact that I knew deep down inside that it was going to take “a while” to get from Hawaii to New Orleans. A little case of denial.

So when I saw my buddy Regan quoted today in a Sugar Bowl story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune titled “Cultural Shift” by Stewart Yerton, reality settled in. It’s going to take almost 20 hours to get from here to there and another 20 hours to get from there back to here. HOLY COW! Quoting from the story (sweet…second story in the paper we’ve been included in):

Regan Onikama is typical. A Honolulu mortgage broker, Onikama plans to leave Honolulu on Saturday at 9 a.m. on a four-hour flight to Los Angeles. In L.A. he will switch planes for a two-hour flight to Phoenix, where he has another connection to Houston. After arriving in Houston at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, Onikama plans to rent a car and drive to New Orleans, where he hopes to arrive by 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

Factoring in the five-hour time difference between Honolulu and New Orleans, that’s more than 19 hours of travel time. Onikama’s return flight leaves Houston at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 3 so he will have to leave New Orleans on Wednesday night to drive back.

Altogether, that’s about 40 hours of travel time for the chance to spend about 80 hours in New Orleans, where Onikama says he plans to hit Harrah’s New Orleans Casino and Bourbon Street and enjoy some good food.

But his final quote in the story sums up our attitude about this trip:

As for the travel hardships, Onikama shrugged it off.

“I figure this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said. “Win or lose, everybody’s just excited to go.”

Well said my man! Three days until departure…




Reading a story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today titled Ten esoteric Hawaii facts UGA fans should know reinforced just how special and exciting this University of Hawaii Warriors football team has been this year. Sports Writer Chip Towers does an excellent job highlighting some of the things that really sets this team apart and paints a great picture of what this football team has achieved this season.

From other Sugar Bowl reports throughout the week, it’s obvious that the University of Georgia Bulldogs are not going to that the Warriors lightly. What it means to me is that college football fans across the county, especially those from Hawaii, are in for one hell of an exciting game.




Even these mice at Honolulu Hale are getting excited about the Sugar Bowl. I just hope they aren’t sitting next to me on any of our flights from Honolulu to New Orleans.

Speaking of getting to The Big Easy, we were just talking to Sarah (Kelly’s brother Jonathan’s girlfriend) who is also making the trip to cheer on the Warriors. Come to find out, there is someone that I know taking a “crazier” route to NOLA. If you thought two stops from Honolulu to Houston, then a five hour drive to NOLA was insane, think again.

Her trip starts on Friday when she leaves Honolulu for Maui. From there, she takes the red-eye to Los Angeles and has a nine hour layover. From LAX she heads to Dallas where she’ll spend the night before jumping in a car and driving nine hours to NOLA. She gets there on Sunday. WOW!

Now that’s a die hard fan…or so I though…until Sarah told me about a couple of her friends that are flying into Indiana, then driving 20 hours to NOLA. I wish them all the luck in getting there on time and hope weather in the midwest treats them kindly.

If you’ve got a story to share about your travels to the Sugar Bowl, let’s hear about it.




I have to constantly remind myself that there is still Christmas to be celebrated before we head off to New Orleans…not to mention New Year’s Eve to enjoy before the big game between the UH Warriors and Georgia Bulldogs! Everyone is getting really excited to leave Honolulu to head to NOLA!

My pal Regan just received our game tickets in the mail the and we’ll be cheering on the Warriors in section 616, row 15. Pretty solid seats considering the price we paid. I’d much rather be along the sideline than stuck in the end zone.

Everyday I’m finding out there’s more and more Hawaii people I know going up for the game. There’s going to be a real feel of Aloha Spirit injected into NOLA that week. With all of the hype, people are even contacting me via this blog to share in the excitement. A guy by the name of Lester S. who will also be traveling to the game left the following post today:

Hi! Came across your website while searching for people going to the Sugar Bowl. I’ll be there as well. I’ll be blogging my journey. I’ll try to keep an eye out for you and say I if we run into each other. See my blog at

Have a safe and fun trip and see you in New Orleans! Go Warriors!

The countdown to kick-off continues. If you happen to be heading to the game, I’d love to hear from you.



What a remarkable end to an unbelievable season for the University of Hawaii Warriors football team! Congratulations to June Jones and the rest of the guys on their undefeated (12-0) season, WAC championship, and BCS bowl game appearance. We’re going to the 2008 Allstate Sugar Bowl baby and I mean literally…we’re going!

Me, my mom and sister, and buddies Regan and Lorne are heading to New Orleans to cheer on the Warriors as they do battle against the Georgia Bulldogs on January 1 at the Louisiana Superdome. But getting there isn’t going to be that easy.

Let me just put it this way. It’s going to require two stops from Honolulu to Houston and a six hour drive from Houston to New Orleans. That’s right…we’re flying to Houston and driving the rest of the way…but there’s a good reason why…keep reading. Throw in three nights accommodations in the city and some game tickets and we’re getting there for about $1,300 per person. Sound like a lot? You’re wrong! Most people are paying upwards of $3,000/person to get to New Orleans on charter packages. But not us. The Chinese in me kicked in and got us a great deal. Sure it’s going to take some time to get there, but if there’s a will, there’s a way…and I found a way to do it on a budget without sacrificing any of the experience. YESSSSSS!

The Louisiana Superdome at night. (Photo courtesy of

I must confess that I have a new found love and respect for, for without it none of this would have been possible. We all spent hours online checking rates, double checking and triple checking until we finally found something that met everyone’s budget. And we found it on by some stroke of luck.

To those who are flying down from Hawaii to cheer on the Warriors in New Orleans, we’ll see you there! And don’t forget to bring your white UH football shirt. A black and red one would be bad.