New members join Board of Governors

July 5, 2016 - The following is a letter from Board of Governors Chair Jenai S. Wall, announcing changes to the membership of the board.

Dear Members of the ‘Iolani Community,

On behalf of the ‘Iolani School Board of Governors, I would like to update you on some recent changes to the membership of our board. With the end of our school's 2015-16 fiscal year on June 30, we bid farewell to three valued members of our board and welcomed three distinguished alumni to board service.

The board extends its heartfelt congratulations to retiring governors Earl Ching '80, Cathy Bell '87 and Peter Tomozawa and thanks them for their service and leadership. Each has been devoted to 'Iolani School and its mission and we applaud their many contributions.

A member of the board since 1996, Earl Ching has served on numerous committees and played a role in bringing several important projects to completion including the disposition of the Castle land grants, the purchase of Date-Laau, and the development of the Weinberg Building, Kozuki Stadium, and the Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership. Earl and his wife, Sandra, are proud parents of Adam ‘11 and Megan ‘16. Earl has been both a school volunteer and donor and also served as coach of our varsity boys golf team for many years.

Cathy Bell joined the board in 2009 and was the first alumna to serve as a full member. With a background in child psychiatry, she brought a passion for our students and families to the board and actively supported the Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership, the ‘Io Society, the Albert H. Stone Memorial Scholarship, and ‘Iolani’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. Cathy's retirement from the board will enable her to devote more time to supporting 'Iolani students and their families through her professional work at the Kahala Clinic for Children and Family. In addition, she and her husband Kimo will remain involved in the school community as active parents of three children: KC ‘21, Tori ‘23, and Colbie ‘26.

Since joining our board in 2013, Peter Tomozawa has drawn upon the knowledge of financial markets and investment strategy gained during his successful career as managing director and partner of Goldman Sachs. Not only has he helped guide our finance committee, but he has also been a generous benefactor, supporting the Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership, the KA’I program, and ‘Iolani’s educational technology plan. Peter and his wife Donna LeDuc are also supportive and active parents for their five children: Malia ’10, Hana ’11, Taichi ’13, Kaz (’15) and Kei (’17). Peter is retiring from the Board to devote more time to his many projects, including the City of Los Angeles bid to host the Olympic Games.

With the help of our committee on governors, chaired by Mel Kaneshige '66, the board unanimously elected three new members whose terms began on July 1, 2016. The committee reviewed nominations from the entire board, taking into consideration the characteristics, qualities, and skills needed to help guide the school. All of our new board members are 'Iolani graduates who love their alma mater and embrace the One Team sprit. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Takeshi Saeki ‘82, Jodi Shin Yamamoto ‘89, and Russell Yamamoto ‘69.

Takeshi Saeki is Chief Information Officer, Senior Vice President, and Chief Representative, Japan for BBAM LLC, the world’s third largest manager/lessor of modern passenger and freighter aircraft. A member of ‘Iolani’s Class of 1982, Takeshi graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science. An active supporter of 'Iolani, he has organized the ‘Iolani Alumni Association Golf Tournament, hosted alumni dinners in Tokyo, and consistently volunteers at the ‘Iolani School Fair. Takeshi was awarded the ‘Iolani Alumni Service Award in 2015. He and his wife Naoko live in Tokyo and have a six-year-old son Kengo.

Jodi Shin Yamamoto is an attorney at Yamamoto Caliboso, focusing on energy, regulatory, telecommunications, real estate, and utilities law. She was previously vice president and general counsel for Bishop Museum. Active in the community, Jodi serves as board president of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, co-president of the Brown Club of Hawaii, member of the board of trustees of Hanahau'oli School, and board member of the Jarrett Middle School Foundation. She also is co-chair of the ‘Io Society at ‘Iolani. A member of ‘Iolani’s Class of 1989, Jodi received her bachelor of arts in public policy and sociology with honors from Brown University. She earned her J.D. Cum Laude from Boston University School of Law. She and husband Dean have three sons: Sean ‘18, Scott ‘21, and Spencer, a third grader at Hanahau'oli. Jodi’s two brothers and sister also graduated from ‘Iolani.

Russell Yamamoto is the founder and owner of RMY Construction, Inc., a 30-year-old company. He began his career at Okada Trucking, moved to Koga Engineering, and then started Mega Construction before founding RMY. Russell is a partner in Kona Pa'akai, a company that produces and harvests Kona sea salt and is also part-owner of Izakaya Nonbei, a Japanese restaurant in Kapahulu. Russell volunteers with several charitable organizations including Catholic Charities of Hawaii, American Heart Association, Palama Settlement, American Diabetes Association, Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, University of Hawaii and the Hawaii High School Athletic Association. A member of ‘Iolani’s Class of 1969, Russell was honored with the ‘Iolani Alumni Service Award in 1998. Russell and his wife Pat have three sons and daughters-in-law and five young grandchildren: Ryan ’97 and Mandy ’98 (daughter Rylie ’27 and son Ty), Erik ’99 and Kelli ’95 (son Leif and daughter Vida), and Corey ’01 and Sara ’01 (son Bennett).

Takeshi, Jodi, and Russell are excited to serve their alma mater as members of the board and we look forward to working with them. We are truly honored to have them joining our board and know they will make many contributions to our school community in the years ahead.

On behalf of all of us on the board of governors, mahalo for all you do for 'Iolani School. Best wishes to all of you for a great rest of the summer.


Jenai S. Wall
Chair, Board of Governors
‘Iolani School



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