Leadership Development Through Community Service


Year-End Convention & Three Outstanding Young Persons Banquet


The Hawaii Jaycees Year-End Convention and Three Outstanding Young Persons Banquet were held earlier this month on February 8-10. The RPJ Hawaii Chapter was honored to serve as the host chapter for the convention.
The convention was a success with a Friday night social, Saturday training workshops, competitions, awards luncheon, and the Three Outstanding Young Persons and Year-End Convention Banquet.
All of this kicked off at Mai Tai’s on Friday, February 8 at Ala Moana Center with a great turnout of members from the various Hawaii Jaycees chapters, and other distinguished and out-of-town guests.

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Hawaii Jaycees members socialize at the Friday night event of the Year-End Convention.

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Speaker and Trainer Matt Booth and State President Jay Raymundo.

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Eve Epitome (Hawaii Junior Chamber, 2012 President), Katherine Cheng-Arif (JCI National VP), and Karen Nakagawa (RPJ Management VP) on Friday night.

The Saturday training took place at the Ala Moana Hotel. Training workshops were held in the Ilima Room, and the individual competitions and memorial award interviews were conducted in the Gardenia Room. A special thank you to members Anna Wong Lee, Ryan Lee, Jenny Migita, and Adina Wakayama for assisting with registration. The first competition held during the convention was Write-Up. The competitors who participated all advanced out of district competitions held last month at Moiliili Community Center and in Hilo.
Competitions for Speak-Up and the first training workshop with Jaycees speaker and trainer Matt Booth on the Value of Your Attitude followed.
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RPJ Board members Karen Nakagawa, Jarvis Graham, and Nate Martin before a Saturday training session.

There are two rounds to Speak-Up: a prepared speech and an impromptu round. Three competitors move on to the impromptu round, which was held after the awards luncheon. The John H. Armbruster Memorial and C. William Brownfield Memorial award interviews were conducted, too. The Armbruster goes to the outstanding veteran member of the year, and the Brownfield goes to the outstanding new member of the year. Other awards include the Edward Nakano given to the most outstanding chapter officers, and the R. Allen Watkins Award, which goes to the chapter presidents of the year.

The Awards Luncheon was held at the Plantation Café at Ala Moana Hotel. During the luncheon, year-end project winners in the various programs were awarded. The keynote speaker was U.S. Junior Chamber National VP Katherine Cheng-Arif, a former Texas Junior Chamber state president and Junior Chamber International VP. Jaycee Jeopardy, a trivia contest that tests members on their knowledge of the junior chamber, followed the formal program of the luncheon. Speak-Up finalists were announced at the luncheon, too: Hawaii Jaycees members Nate Martin, Adalberto Rios, and Joshua Javier.

Photos from the luncheon:
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Following the luncheon was the Speak-Off, the impromptu round of the Speak-Up competition. The Master’s Speak-Up competition followed that with two competitors: Jed Kay (Hilo Jaycees 2012 President) and Elvin Berzabal (RPJ Chairman). Both competitions were held in the Ilima Room before a full house of members and judges.
Katherine Cheng-Arif’s workshop followed the competitions. Her workshop was a condensed presentation of JCI Impact, the introductory primer for all junior chamber members. The Jaycee movement was founded in the United States, and its impact is worldwide now with over 200,000 members in over 100 countries. The basic message of JCI Impact and the junior chamber movement is that in order to create lasting positive change, we must seek to improve ourselves and the world around us. We seek targeted solutions to the unique problems in each of our communities to build a better world, creating global impact. The third workshop was led by Yvette Lee, 2011 Hawaii Junior Chamber state president, who went over the benefits of the Linx2Funds program.
The 42nd Presentation of the Three Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) Award and Year-End Convention Banquet were held in the Hibiscus Ballroom II on Saturday evening. RPJ members Adina Wakayama and Dawn Martin were the registration leads for the banquet portion – thanks Adina and Dawn! The six TOYP finalists were:

  1. Devin Nakasone, musician and founder of Prayers on Wings
  2. Brent Limos, admissions director, Damien Memorial School
  3. Nicole Velasco, community advocate
  4. Julius Soria, PhD, cultural consultant, instructor at University of Hawaii at Manoa
  5. Jodi Nozoe Chang, VP of Investments, UBS, community advocate
  6. Jay Dee “B.J.” Penn, Mix Martial Arts fighter, entrepreneur, philanthropist

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TOYP Finalists.

The profiles of all six finalists were read, and each was honored on stage with certificates of achievement from the Hawaii Junior Chamber. The JCI Senate donated a video of Senator Daniel Inouye’s keynote speech from the Hawaii Jaycees’ 50th Anniversary Banquet in 1993, and the video was shown prior to the announcement of the top three honorees. Inouye spoke about his roots, and the impact of the Jaycees during World War II and leading up to statehood. He spoke about the Jaycees events and projects that became local institutions: the Blood Bank of Hawaii, Aloha Week, and the 50th State Fair. He called for the Jaycees to remember the impact of their predecessors and to reach for new heights.
The top three honorees of the TOYP Banquet were Devin Nakasone, Julius Soria and B.J. Penn. Each honoree received a clear acrylic award and a $500 donation to a children’s charity of their choice. The money for the donation came from our Spikes for Tykes Tournament, which is why the charity had to be for children. Devin’s charity was the Make-A-Wish Foundation; Dr. Soria’s was Big Brothers Big Sisters; B.J. donated to his Penn Hawaii Youth Foundation.
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B.J. Penn accepts his TOYP award.

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Devin Nakasone accepts his TOYP award.

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Julius Soria accepts his TOYP award.

For some background, last year’s Spikes for Tykes fielded 32 teams total and generated the most sponsorship and player income in its five-year history, allowing RPJ to donate $4,000 to six different schools and organizations:

  1. Kalakaua Middle School ($1,000)
  2. Moanalua High School ($1,000)
  3. Ka Ulu Koa Volleyball Institute ($500)
  4. Make-A-Wish Foundation ($500)
  5. Big Brothers Big Sisters ($500)
  6. Penn Hawaii Youth Foundation ($500)

The rest of the banquet announced the winners of the various individual and memorial award competitions held during the day:

  • Joshua Javier (Filipino Junior Chamber) won the Speak-Up competition.
  • Jed Kay (Hilo Jaycees) won Master’s Speak-Up.
  • Blaise DeLima (Hilo Jaycees) won Write-Up.
  • Nate Martin (RPJ) won Jaycee Jeopardy and the Armbruster Award.
  • Kristine Duong (Honolulu Chinese Jaycees) captured the Brownfield Award.
  • Krystal Wu (Honolulu Chinese Jaycees) and Elvin Berzabal (RPJ) earned R. Allen Watkins awards.
  • Patrick Taw and Brandon Sugiura (Honolulu Chinese Jaycees) took home Edward Nakano awards.
  • Honolulu Chinese Jaycees won first place in the Parade of Chapters, and was the top chapter of 2012.

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Kristine Duong (Honolulu Chinese Jaycees) captured the Brownfield Award.

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Write-Up winners (left) and Speak-Up winners (right).
Kevin Nitta of the Hawaii Kai Jaycees was awarded a JCI Senatorship, the top award from Junior Chamber International. Eve Epitome gave several presentations, including presidential merit awards. Merit awards were given to Nate Martin, Anna Wong Lee, and Jenny Migita. Eve along with JCI National VP Katherine Cheng-Arif officially swore in the Asian-American Junior Chamber chapter. There was also the ceremonial passing of the leadership chain from Eve Epitome (2012 President) to 2013 President Jay Raymundo. The chain has the names of past Hawaii Jaycees presidents engraved on it, symbolizing that the president stands on the shoulders of the great men and women who came before.
The convention ended with a Sunday Board of Directors meeting at Moiliili Community Center.
That’s a wrap folks! Thank you to all who contributed and participated in this year’s convention and banquet! Congratulations to all award winners! We are already looking forward to next year’s convention!