Shidler Alumni Association invests $100,000 in UH entrepreneurship center

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Dolly Omiya, (808) 956-5645
Public Information Officer, College of Business-External Relations Office
Posted: Jan 8, 2015

From left are J. Au, Yanazaki, Dean Roley, Rodolfich, Yamada, Horiuchi, Nakata and M. Au.
From left are J. Au, Yanazaki, Dean Roley, Rodolfich, Yamada, Horiuchi, Nakata and M. Au.

The Shidler College of Business Alumni Association has committed $100,000 to the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) at the UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business. As part of a five-year commitment, this gift will support entrepreneurial education and help UH monetize research efforts. In recognition of this gift, the conference room at the renovated home of PACE at the College will be named in the Association’s honor.

The Association’s gift will go toward the five-year PACE Initiative that was launched in February 2014. The goal of the initiative is to raise $3 million to create new programs and expand existing ones. Funds raised through the initiative will also be used to renovate and expand the current location in the Shidler College of Business. The new center will enable PACE to create a vibrant co-working space for entrepreneurial activity at the University. Additionally, the new center will double the number of entrepreneurial programs offered, introduce an entrepreneurial curriculum to other UH colleges, train key faculty on current entrepreneurial instruction, support the commercialization of UH technology and innovation, and establish UH as a leader in entrepreneurial education.

To date, $1.9 million has been raised with investments from various donors, notably Central Pacific Bank Chairman and CEO John Dean, First Insurance Co. of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank and American Savings Bank.

Said Association President Lillian Rodolfich, controller at Queen Lili‘uokalani Trust, “We are extremely proud to support the students of the Shidler College of Business by investing in the PACE Initiative. We have a long history of supporting Shidler students, most notably via our namesake scholarship endowment. We are committed to empowering students to achieve not only their academic aspirations but also their entrepreneurial dreams.”

Under the leadership of Dean Vance Roley and Executive Director Susan Yamada, PACE has become a training ground for future entrepreneurs and global leaders. PACE has expanded to include more than 15 programs to cultivate and support entrepreneurs, encourage entrepreneurial thinking, spawn new businesses, and rekindle ties with Hawai‘i’s business community.

“The Association’s generous investment in the entrepreneurial education of students at the University of Hawai‘i PACE program will enable us to reach more students and faculty with our programs,” said Yamada. “PACE’s goal is to create more entrepreneurial thinkers; our graduates will be poised to accept the challenges of an ever-changing world.”

The Shidler College of Business Alumni Association is one of the largest and most active chapters of the UH Alumni Association (UHAA). Originally formed in 1997 and formerly known as CBA Alumni and Friends, the Shidler Alumni Association offers its members exclusive benefits such as professional development seminars, social events and networking opportunities. Its mission is to support and promote the Shidler College of Business and connect Shidler alumni worldwide.

Those wishing to learn more or contribute to PACE are invited to contact Unyong Nakata, senior director of development, at or (808) 956-3597. Donor recognition naming opportunities are still available.

(full caption) From left are Jared Au, senior accountant, Alexander & Baldwin; Heather Yanazaki, director of business services, 'Ekahi Health System; Vance Roley, dean, Shidler College of Business; Lillian Rodolfich, controller, Queen Lili‘uokalani Trust; Susan Yamada, executive director, Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship; Kirk Horiuchi, senior vice president, Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc.; Unyong Nakata, senior director of development, Shidler College of Business; and Maile Au, director of alumni relations, Shidler College of Business.

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