Buyers to Keynote Spring Commencement

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Posted: May 14, 2001

J.W.A. "Doc" Buyers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of C. Brewer and Company Ltd., will be the keynote speaker at the Universityof Hawaiʻi at Hilo Spring Commencement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday,May 12 at 9:00 a.m. in the UH Hilo New Gym.

A total of 316 students representing the College of Arts and Sciences(288), College of Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Resource Management(17), and Ka Haka 'Ula O Ke'elikölani College of Hawaiian Language(11) are candidates for various degrees.

Buyers, a former Marine was a 1952 cum laude graduate of Princeton Universityand a Sloan Fellow at MIT, where he earned his MBA degree before arrivingin the islands in 1975 to assume the leadership of C. Brewer, Hawaiʻi'soldest continuous business enterprise.

Under Buyers' leadership, C. Brewer has made the transition from a primarilyagricultural enterprise to a diversified agribusiness marketing companywith a number of premium brand names, including Royal Kona Coffee, Hawaiʻi'sOwn tropical juices, Punaluʻu Sweetbread and Gaviota fertilizer. He is alsocredited with developing commercial orchards for macadamia and guava, andexpanding their consumer markets beyond Hawaiʻi to ensuring the economicviability of both crops.

In addition to his Chairman and CEO duties with C. Brewer and parentcompany, Buyco, Inc., Buyers has served as Chairman of numerous organizations,including the National Alliance of Businessmen in the Pacific, the Chamberof Commerce of Hawaiʻi, the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi,the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association, and the Hawaiʻi Visitors Bureau.He has also served on the Board of Trustees of the Lyman House MemorialMuseum, the Board of Governors of Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy and is a PastPresident of the Hawaiʻi Island Economic Development Board.

Throughout his business career, Buyers has committed a great deal oftime, talent, energy and material resources to worthwhile community endeavors.Much of that activity has been re-directed to the Big Island, since announcingin 1996 that C. Brewer would relocate its Corporate Headquarters to Hilo.Buyers chaired the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Athletic Fund Drive in1997. He has also served as Honorary Chairman of the Hawaiʻi Island FoodBank and Hospice of Hilo. Most recently, he became the first Emeritus memberof the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Advisory Board, of which he was a chartermember. His wife, Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey Buyers, is currently a member ofthat board.

Julie Hotniansky, a communications major will be the student speaker.Hotniansky was born in Hilo and attended Waiakea High School from 1993-1997,where she graduated as class valedictorian with a cumulative grade pointaverage (GPA) of 4.025. She made the honor roll during each of her fouryears at Waiakea and was a member of the National Honor Society from 1995-1997.Hotniansky continued to set high academic standards at UH Hilo, where shehas maintained a 3.89 GPA and earned a Presidential Scholarship which enabledher to travel to China, Hong Kong and Japan.

Active in local youth ministry and service activities, Hotniansky beganworking as a part-time receptionist at the St. Joseph Church Rectory Officein 1997 and has been a youth minister since 1999. She intends to continueworking with the youth in her community following graduation. Hotnianskyplans to enter UH Hilo's Teacher Education Program and seek a position teachingEnglish to secondary students on the Big Island.

The general theme of her address will be a reflection on her experienceat UH Hilo and how that experience can be used to help others.

For more information on commencement, contact Haunani Bernardino at 974-7705or email at special accommodations, contact Susan Shirachi-Gonsalves at 933-0816(V) or 974-7335 (TTY).

Requests for special accommodations should be made at least ten businessdays prior to the event.