On the evening of May 13, 2016 at NextDoor in Honolulu’s Chinatown, Hawaii VA Loans Branch Manager, Gabe Amey, teamed up with Aria Studios Founder, Kolby Moser, and Marichris Diga-Lazo of Co-Curate Hawaii to bring together some of the islands’ most inspiring voices for a night of storytelling.
The event, called Rise Hawaii (RISEHI), grew from Amey’s vision and belief that giving voice to the personal journeys of Hawaii’s successful “creators and doers” will motivate the next generation to push their own goals and limits.
The invited speakers emphasized the importance of making the choice to forge through internal and external obstacles while developing one’s skill and passion.
Ticket holders dined on modern Vietnamese pupus from The Pig & The Lady – brought directly to them by Chef Andrew Le with his brother, Restaurant Manager, Alex Le. The duo kicked off the night with their story of business growth from pop-up eatery to a Hale ‘Aina award-winning restaurant.
Next up was surf-photographer, Zak Noyle.
Noyle took the reigns as the official photographer for the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau in 2009 and 2016. Interwoven between the images he shared of his work was Noyle’s powerful message of seizing opportunities amidst any self-doubt or anxiety associated with increased challenges.
The night then transitioned into a panel discussion during which Keola Rapoza of FITTED, Tana Dang of Eden in Love, and Kapu Gaison of the Makahiki Challenge shared their knowledge about the organizational and networking elements needed to turn entrepreneurial ideas into successful business ventures. One audience member asked, “How do you handle friends and family who are naysayers?” Keola Rapoza responded, “Prove them wrong.”
Legendary waterman and stuntman, Brian Keaulana, closed out the night by sharing personal photos and stories from a lifetime spent working in and around the ocean.
Keaulana’s extensive water experience created an effective oratory that was especially resonating to audience members seeking a diverse perspective on how to approach personal and professional obstacles. Keaulana accentuated the idea that understanding the small details of life – like the elements of the ocean – will make things that appear complicated, simple.
Throughout the evening, post-pop artist Aaron Kai from Hilo quietly delighted the audience by performing a live painting.
Upon completion, Kai’s work of art was auctioned off to the night’s guests at the final bid of $1,000. A step in RISEHI’s mission of helping Hawaii’s youth explore their goals was met when it was announced that the money would be donated to young Kama`aina fashion designer, Keanuenue DeSoto of Anu Style.
There’s more to come with RISEHI.
Their next event with new speakers and new stories will be held in October 2016. Share Rise Hawaii’s speaker bios, interviews, and videos with the people in your life: HERE.