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Busy

The ways we miss our lives are life.
– Randall Jarrell

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Thankful

Every day, I am reminded of the memories and experiences I have shared with friends and family—I am thankful for the past.  The trials and tribulations of past let me muse in adversity present, “is this the condition I so feared?”  It’s a quote from Seneca and it reminds me of the great privilege we all share in being alive today.

Modern technology is amazing and I am inspired by it.  GMOs have allowed us to produce food and lifesaving medications, like insulin, at a fraction of the cost and provide it to communities who previously never had access.  Modern biotechnology companies are constantly finding new ways to cure cancer, prevent diseases, and help us live longer.  The future is going to be great.  Thank you for supporting capitalism and for making these advances possible.

We live in the safest, healthiest, and most interconnected community in human history—that is a real blessing.  Thank you for being the mothers, fathers, and friends who have committed to help make the next era even better.

Max Ehermann’s Desiderata is a poem I read most mornings and I would like to share it with you…

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

I am most thankful for today.  Today I woke up in my hometown, surrounded by friends, family, and colleagues who genuinely support me.  Physically healthy enough to enjoy a morning exercise and a fresh meal without assistance.  Mentally stable enough (some of you may disagree) to engage in thoughtful discussions, share candid moments, and help one another enjoy the day.  Today—right now—I am happy and I am thankful.  Thank you for making it so easy to do.

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Nonprofit Business Plan Competition

“Open to nonprofit organizations planning to start new ventures that will benefit society.”

I am currently involved in the Hogan Entrepreneurship program through Chaminade University.  The program offers one and two year certificates in entrepreneurship for juniors, seniors, and MBA students across the island.  Every two years, the program partners with American Savings Bank to run a nonprofit business plan competition in the community.  Any new venture (within the last twelve months) located in Hawaii is eligible to apply.  To apply, the nonprofit must submit a full business plan.  The business plans will then be evaluated – eight finalists are then selected to pitch a panel of judges in the final round.  Typically, the competition receives between 30-50 applicants.

AWARDS

1st Place  $12,000

2nd Place  $8,000

3rd Place   $4,000

4th Place   $2,000

Finalists      $1,000 each

BoxJelly

While working at BoxJelly last year I was able to meet a lot of really smart and interesting people in the community.  One of these people was David Aquino.  We had the opportunity to chat a bunch of times about working on a bike sharing program for Honolulu – a business plan that I was working on at the time.  The Honolulu Transportation Department is planning to implement a bike sharing program alongside the implementation of the new rail system – unrelated to our discussions. 

WEfficiency

David pitched a nonprofit, WEfficiency, at last year’s Startup Weekend (an annual competition giving entrepreneurs 54 hours to pitch an idea, recruit a team, and produce a minimum viable product).  He continued to work on the nonprofit over the course of the past couple months under Blue Planet Foundation.  Blue Planet Foundation is led by Henk Rogers – owner of The Tetris Company (yes, that tetris). 

Hogan 2014 Rich Wacker Sam Galloway Ed Hogan

David reached out to me a little while back to put together a business plan for their nonprofit.  I was happy to assist in any way possible.  The business plan was selected as a finalist, ensuring $1,000 to the organization, and the opportunity for $12,000.  The business pitch is tomorrow afternoon at the Pacific Club.  Wish us luck!

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Moving to Portland

Signed, sealed, and delivered!

I accepted an offer from Fisher Investments to work as a Client Services Associate in their Camas, Washington location – right across the river from Portland, Oregon.  I am really excited to get started in late June.  I first came across Fisher Investments on LinkedIn while evaluating finance positions.  Checked out their website and found out Ken Fisher is a redwood forester.  Growing up on our family tree farm tells me that anyone committed to forestry has a good head on their shoulders.  I dove into the research a bit more and found out they currently have 1,000+ employees and over 50 billion U.S. dollars under management – still a private company.  In an article, Ken Fisher was asked about going public, to which he replied, “shortly after hell freezes over.”  This tells me the company still is agile and is focused on their clients, employees, and growth with the ability to make changes – fostering an intra-preneurial spirit.

In mid-April, I had the opportunity to come on site and check out the surrounding area.  Wow!  From the moment we dropped from cruising altitude below the cloud line til the moment I boarded the plane to fly back to Honolulu, it was an incredible trip.  Flying in you see snow peaked Mt. Hood in the distant and a city filled with green landscape.  Not the typical highrise metropolis you would find elsewhere – not by any stretch of the imagination.


Portland is filled with local shops, food carts, and breweries.  Can’t go wrong there.  An hour and a half drive to the west is the coast, two hours to Seattle, forty-five minutes to the Columbia gorge for world class wind surfing, and an hour and a half to skiing on Mt. Hood.  Not to mention the multiple disc golf courses in the area!