First Insurance sponsors College's 'Business Night' for eleventh year in a row

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Dolly Omiya, (808) 956-5645
Public Information Officer, College of Business-External Relations Office
Posted: May 6, 2016

Joann Yang, Bobby Senaha, Jeffrey Shonka, Susan Eichor, Vance Roley and Unyong Nakata.
Joann Yang, Bobby Senaha, Jeffrey Shonka, Susan Eichor, Vance Roley and Unyong Nakata.

More than 550 Hawaiʻi business professionals and students attended the UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business' 55th annual “Business Night” on Thursday, May 5, at the Sheraton Waikīkī. Once again, First Insurance Company of Hawaiʻi returned as the event’s title sponsor for an unprecedented 11th year.

In addition to the title sponsorship, First Insurance also sponsored the “Dean’s Spirit Award” at Business Night. In 2007, it established a $1 million First Insurance Co. Distinguished Professorship to support the college’s effort to recruit and retain faculty of the highest caliber. It also established a $35,000 endowed scholarship, increasing it to $100,000 in 2013, and donated $130,000 to the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship in 2014.

“For us, supporting Shidler College and its students is an easy choice,” said Jeff Shonka, president and CEO of First Insurance. “Having a world-class business school in our backyard directly benefits our company, the larger business community, and Hawai‘i’s economy as a whole.”

For 55 years, Business Night has connected students with mentors for an evening of learning and sharing. This year, over 275 students were matched one-to-one with some of the most successful and talented professionals from Hawai‘i’s business community. The college presented $61,000 in awards to 34 top business students for their academic and leadership achievements. In addition, Susan Eichor, president and COO of aio, delivered the keynote speech. Eichor is an alumna of the Shidler MBA program and sits on the college’s advisory council. Hawaiʻi Business Magazine joined in, starting this year, as the media sponsor and an award sponsor in the leadership category.

Since 1961, Business Night has impacted well-over 16,000 students and presented more than $1 million in student awards. This year, Business Night attracted mentors from nearly 70 companies.

For a list of awardees, sponsors and participating companies, see:

(Full caption, from left) Joann Yang, Business Night executive director, Shidler College of Business; Bobby Senaha, vice president and publisher, Hawaiʻi Business Magazine; Jeffrey Shonka, president and CEO, First Insurance Company of Hawaiʻi; Susan Eichor, president and COO, aio; Vance Roley, dean, Shidler College of Business; and Unyong Nakata, senior director of development, Shidler College of Business.

For more information, visit: