Panelists share their insights into entrepreneurship
What guides you? How do you find mentors? How do you overcome failure? What advice would you give your younger self?
These questions and many more were posed to three diverse and accomplished community leaders who served as panelists during the Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program speaker series on Nov. 15 in a packed Keifer Hall Room 9. Panelists Haelee Tallett ’18, Shane Hanson ’16 and Julie Morikawa navigated the questions with ease and decorum, freely sharing their personal and professional experiences with students, alumni and faculty, all eager to soak in knowledge and insight.
Tallett is the founder, owner and lead designer of Ocean Creations, which she started as an online business and now has several brick-and mortar-locations. Alumnus Shane Hanson is founder and owner of Freedom Fiduciaries. Morikawa, a hospitality industry executive, is the president of non-profit ClimbHi, which creates bridges between high school and college students from education to career paths, and is dedicated to workforce development in Hawaii.
Hogan program director Roy Panzarella opened the discussion by asking the panel, “What is your ‘Why?’” or “Why do what you do?”
Hanson shared that being an entrepreneur is something innate, that he would rather work 80 hours for himself than 40 hours for another corporation. He also shared that he came to Chaminade to play basketball and eventually participated in a competiton in which student groups created their own products and marketing plans. The fulfilling and exciting experience has remained with him and sparked his entrepreneurial spirit.
Being an entrepreneur is more important than being a jewelry designer to Hallett. While her company’s product is jewelry, what really motivates her is bringing a sense of confidence and beautiful design to customers who wear or give jewelry as gifts. Jewelry is the means to achieving that goal of the entrepreneurial journey of ideation to product to customer satisfaction.
When asked how to create sustainable products that are not as profitable, Morikawa replied, “Why do they have to be separate, sustainability and profitablity?” She described a federal grant that ClimbHi recently received that involves partnering with local environmental and sustainability-focused organizations to maintain and improve an important ahupuaʻa (land division) on Oʻahu.
The 90-minute panel discussion served its purpose. The community leaders on the panel thoughtfully answered questions. Students respectfully asked questions. And all left the room with an understanding and insight into how following one’s dream is what it takes to be fulfilled and to have a meaningful impact.
The next Hogan Program speaker will be Gary Hogan on Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Kiefer Hall Room 9. Hogan is the CEO of Hogan Hospitality Group and Hawaiian Hotels & Resorts, as well as CEO and Board Chair of Pleasant Travel Service.