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Five Star Aloha Gala

& Kūlia I Ka Nu‘u Awards

Thursday, May 22, 2014

5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Westin St. Francis Hotel - Alexandria Room

5:30 pm: Cocktails with complimentary artisan beer, wine, and sake from local makers
      6:30 pm: Food stations featuring a taste of the finest restaurants in San Francisco
5:30 to 7:30 pm: Raffle and Silent Auction
7:30 pm: 12th Annual Five Star Aloha Program
 8:00 pm: 2014 Kūlia I Ka Nu‘u Scholarship Awards Winners Presentation



2014 Recipient of the HCCNC's Kūlia I Ka Nuʻu Award: Jan Yanehiro

We are very pleased to honor long-time HCCNC supporter, entrepreneur, author and Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist Jan Yanehiro with our 2014 Kūlia I Ka Nu‘u Award. A graduate of Farrington High School in Honolulu, Yanehiro has left an indelible mark in television broadcasting as the founding co-host of KPIX TV’s “Evening Magazine” from 1976 to 1990, a program that pioneered the magazine format on television. We recognize Jan Yanehiro for blazing a trail for API youth, especially young women, and for also demonstrating that there are truly no limits to what you can accomplish. Yet, despite her numerous awards and accomplishments, Yanehiro is quick to note that her proudest achievements are her three children, Jaclyn, Jenna and JB Zimmerman. The HCCNC proudly salutes Jan Yanehiro for her perpetual Aloha Spirit, and for never forgetting her humble Kalihi roots.


The HCCNC's Kūlia I Ka Nuʻu Award is presented to trailblazers, leaders, and innovators who have spread the Aloha Spirit beyond the Islands’ borders; the only award of its kind from the only organization of its kind outside of Hawaiʻi. Past awardees include Chefs Alan Wong, Sam Choy, and Roy Yamaguchi; Allan Ikawa of Big Island Candies; Hawaiian Airlines; Brothers Cazimero; former University of Hawaiʻi Coach June Jones; the late Wally Yonamine (a former 49er and the first Asian American to play professional football); the Bay Area’s very own Mary Bitterman, Kumu Patrick Makuakāne, and others.


Introducing Jan Yanehiro: Sydnie Kohara and Emerald Yeh

A native of Louisiana, Sydnie Kohara has spent more than two decades as an award-winning anchor with CBS, CNBC and others, she currently develops media strategies for a wide range of companies and individuals, taking their stories from script to screen and beyond.  While technology has dramatically changed the way that news is gathered and reported, Kohara states, “I still use the same method of fact-gathering that I learned – growing up around storytellers in Central Louisiana, and then, starting out as a reported in Alabama – to craft compelling narratives.  I listen, and I listen carefully for the gems that make stories come alive and make audiences care.”

Emerald Yeh is an award-winning television journalist who served as an anchor for 19 years at KRON4 in San Francisco. During her tenure at KRON4, she received numerous national and local awards for her reporting, including nine Emmys. Emerald also led KRON4's Contact 4 unit with reports that examined consumer issues and provided problem-solving information. Her Contact 4 team received the Consumer Excellence Award from advocacy organization Consumer Action.

Emerald also received three awards from Radio and Television News Directors Association for "Summer Camp: Children of Alcoholics," Best 30-Minute Newscast and "Holocaust Heroes." She also won an award from the Associated Press Television and Radio Association for the week-long series "Sudden Wealth."

A graduate of the University of Hawaii, Emerald majored in journalism and minored in political science. She earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.


2014 Emcee: Rick Quan

Rick Quan is a two time Emmy award winner. He currently works part time at ABC7 San Francisco as a fill in sports anchor and as the field reporter for the station's "After the Game" college football show. He also runs his own video production service and operates, a website devoted to profiling Asian American athletes. Before coming to ABC7, Rick worked at the CBS affiliate in San Francisco and KITV, the ABC affiliate in Honolulu.




Traditional/Contemporary Hawaiian Artist: Faith Ako

Being the Bay Area’s Premier Female Artist in Traditional/Contemporary Hawaiian Music for over a decade, Faith Ako ( has established her versatile voice along the West Coast. Not only has she won two Hawaiian Music Awards, but has made special guest appearances on Pakele Live! in Honolulu and The Maui Prince Hotel in Kīhei. In addition to sold out shows in California at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, Yoshi’s in San Francisco and Oakland, The de Young Museum in San Francisco, Whittier College in Los Angeles, and Dougherty Performing Arts Center in San Ramon. Faith’s genuine character has astonished crowds with her sultry tones and innate passion for Hawaiian music. Listening to Faith’s voice will conjure the essence of aloha from the Hawaiian islands, without the involvement of a plane ride.





Music by Steven Espaniola

It’s rare when an artist arrives on the scene offering a refreshing new spin on a traditional genre of music. Steven Espaniola (www.stevenespaniola.comis that artist. Raised in Aliamanu, Hawai‘i  and now residing in the California Bay Area, Steven is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in kī hōʻalu (Hawaiian slack key guitar), ‘ukulele, upright bass, and leo kiʻekiʻe (traditional Hawaiian falsetto). Of Hawaiian, Filipino, and Spanish decent, his ethnicity is as diverse as his unique sound which preserves the integrity of the traditional with a flourish of the modern.  His debut recording entitled Ho‘omaka, “to begin”, features a mesmerizing collection of traditional and original Hawaiian mele recorded by Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning producer Dave Tucciarone. Ho‘omaka will be sure to transport the listener to the Hawai‘i of yesterday with soaring falsetto vocals, nahenahe slack key guitar and rhythmic ‘ukulele. Steven Espaniola’s highly anticipated debut album will carry you on a musical journey you won’t soon forget.



Music by Ben Ahn

Fans have described Ben's style as a mix between diverse vocals and ʻukulele virtuosity. He plays just about every type of music out there, and he doesn't hesitate to mix in a few stories between songs.

Born and raised on the island of Kauaʻi, Ben studied the piano, trumpet, and baritone before falling in love with the four-stringed ʻukulele. In 1999, he began his studies at Southern Oregon University where he would eventually graduate with an MA in Teaching, a BA in English Writing, and a minor in Human Communication. During that time, he also recorded two independent albums with his band Melemana.

Since college, Ben has been invited to play and speak all around the world, including a 2012 World Musician selection by the American School in Japan. He has accumulated thousands of hours of stage-time, and is continually redefining his performances to ones that both new and returning fans love. In 2013, he made San Francisco, California his new home, but he will always remain connected to the island of Kauaʻi, where his musical journey began. (


Opening Chant and Hula by Kumu Patrick Makuakāne
and Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu

Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu's dynamic SF-based dance company presents hula as a full theatrical experience that blends traditional and contemporary forms of Hawaiian Dance.  Founded in 1985 by Director/Kumu Hula Patrick Makuakāne, the company is known for its unique contemporary style called hula mua, or "hula that evolves."  The style blends traditional movements with non-Hawaiian music like opera, electronic, dance, alternative, and pop.  Both hula mua and authentic, traditional pieces are showcased in the company's visually captivating stage productions.  The dance company has performed in locations throughout California, and has also presented its work on Honolulu, Washington D.C., New Orleans, New York, Las Vegas, and Japan.  Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu's annual home season is held in October at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco.  (


Fundraiser for College Scholarships and
HCCNC Business Events

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Kūlia I Ka Nuʻu College Scholarship Program. Each year, the HCCNC Foundation grants scholarships to deserving students from Hawai‘i pursuing their college education in Northern California. It is our way to help develop the 50th State’s future leaders and to further strengthen the bridges between Hawai‘i and Northern California. Also, proceeds will also be dedicated to assisting HCCNC in carrying out its business-related events throughout the year.


Major Silent Auction Prizes

  • Hawai‘i Package: Two roundtrip tickets on Hawaiian Airlines & 1 week stay at Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu, Hawai‘i
  • Two roundtrip tickets on Hawaiian Airlines from the U.S. Mainland to Beijing, China

Grand Raffle Prize

Two Southwest Airlines roundtrip tickets anywhere in the 48 states.


For questions, please email


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Discounts at Hawaiian Airlines

HCCNC members receiving discounts on airfare between California and Hawaii.Use HCCNC's Preferred Affiliate Program Code: AMWEBHCCNC


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