New Members Appointed to EWC Board

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HONOLULU (April 6, 2011) – Hawai‘i Governor Neil Abercrombie has appointed four new members to three-year terms on the East-West Center’s Board of Governors and re-appointed one currently serving member. The new members are: former Hawai‘i Governor George Ariyoshi, attorney Corianne Lau, attorney R. Brian Tsujimura, and attorney Richard Turbin. Abercombie also re-appointed the board’s current chairman, Puongpun Sananikone, an international business development consultant and alumnus of the East-West Center. Outgoing board members are Eddie Flores Jr., Betty Kwong, Roland Lagareta and Gene Ward. The EWC Board of Governors consists of 18 members, including five appointed by the governor of Hawai‘i, five appointed by the U.S. secretary of state, five members from Asia and the Pacific Islands who are elected by the full board, and three ex-officio members who include the governor of Hawai‘i, the assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, and the president of the University of Hawai‘i, or their designees. Governor Abercrombie has named public affairs executive Barbara Tanabe to serve as his designee. About the Board of Governors appointees: George Ariyoshi served as Governor of Hawai‘i from 1974 to 1986. He also served in Hawai‘i’s Territorial House of Representatives and Territorial Senate, and as Lieutenant and Acting Governor under Gov. John A. Burns. He previously served on the East-West Center Board of Governors as member and Chairman from 1995 to 2003. Ariyoshi has served as President of the Bar Association of Hawai‘i and a member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, Chairman of the Western Governors’ Conference, and President and Founding Member of the Center for International Commercial Dispute Resolution. He holds honorary doctorates from six universities and has been honored with the Japanese government’s highest award, the Grand Cordon of the Sacred Treasure, along with the Emperor's Silver Cup. In 1984, the Japanese-American Citizens League named him Japanese-American of the Biennium. He has served as of-counsel attorney to the Watanabe Ing & Komeiji law firm, President of Prince Resorts Hawai‘i, and a partner in Cole, Gilbume, Goldhaber & Ariyoshi Management Inc., along with many other business leadership positions. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the President's Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations and has served on the Advisory Board of the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and the Board of Directors of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), along with other public service activities. Corianne Lau is an attorney, Director and Shareholder at Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing. She is co-chair of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education Committee and a past director of the Bar. Lau is a past President of Hawai‘i Women Lawyers and of the Hawai‘i Women’s Legal Foundation. She is a member of the National Contract Management Association, the Employment Law Committee of DRI (formerly Defense Research Institute) and the Society for Human Resource Management. Lau serves on the boards of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Honolulu. She is a former Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Lau is the author of the Hawai‘i chapter in DRI’s 2006 publication, Employment Law: A State-by-State Compendium . A graduate of Kalani High School, Lau earned her BA in Psychology and French from Lewis and Clark College and JD from Lewis and Clark College, Northwestern School of Law.

Puongpun Sananikone is an international development economist and business executive whose career has spanned many countries in the Asia-Pacific region for over two decades. His prior employment includes Operations Officer for the Asian Development Bank, Chief Economist and Director of Asian Operations for Louis Berger International and President and Chief Operating Officer of Hawaiian Agronomics International. In 2003, the UH Alumni Association awarded Sananikone the Distinguished Alumni Award. Sananikone earned a BA in economics from the University of Hawaii, and an MA in economics from University of Colorado. He previously served as a Board member of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center and is a current member of the EWC Foundation board. Sananikone, who speaks five languages, is the first EWC alumnus to serve as chair of the EWC Board of Governors.  

Barbara Tanabe is owner and partner of Ho‘akea Communications and former Chief Executive Officer of Hill & Knowlton Hawaii. She is a communications and issues management specialist with 30 years of experience in public affairs, crisis and issues management, and broadcast journalism in the U.S. and Asia. Tanabe received an Emmy award for her work on a 1971 documentary on the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. One of 56 women in American journalism history selected for the Washington Press Club Foundation oral history project on pioneer women, Tanabe was honored with the first Pioneer Award by the Hawai'i chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. She is actively involved in community and civic organizations and has served on numerous state boards and commissions, including the Japan America Society of Hawai‘i, and the University of Hawaii Travel Industry Management School Advisory board. Tanabe earned a BA in Communications from the University of Washington and an MBA at UH.

R. Brian Tsujimura is a lawyer, land developer and lobbyist for Imanaka Kudo & Fujimoto. He has worked in government as a Deputy Attorney General, and in business as Assistant General Counsel for AMFAC, Inc. As previous President of AMFAC Property Development Corp., he was responsible for the Waikele development and master planning of AMFAC’s Ka‘anapali development. Tsujimura currently serves on the boards of the Queen Emma Land Company and the Queen’s Development Corp., PBS Hawai‘i, and the Hawai‘i Family Forum. He has served as Chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals of Honolulu; Vice Chair of the Hawai‘i Community Development Authority, and President of the board of Palama Settlement. Tsujimura earned his BA from UH and his JD from Loyola University of Los Angeles, School of Law.

Richard Turbin is Senior Attorney and President of the Law Offices of Turbin Chu Smith. An attorney for over 37 years, Turbin founded the Consumer Lawyers of Hawai‘i. He served as the President of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association and chair of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association, where he also served as chair of the International Committee. He also serves as chair of ABA Asia Law Initiative Advisory Board. Turbin, who speaks three languages, is an active community member and volunteer. He serves as chairman of the Wai‘alae-Kahala Neighborhood Board, a Civil Rights Commissioner, and has been legal counsel for the Hawai‘i Jaycees, the Interscholastic League of Hawai‘i, and the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association. Turbin has received numerous awards recognizing his legal work and community involvement. He earned his BS Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University and his JD from Harvard University Law School, which recently chose Turbin as its Traphagen Distinguished Alumni.