Hookin’ Up

With Global Pau Hana, you’re never far from Hawai‘i

When I called
Dave Kozuki at his San Francisco home to talk about his new Web site, www.globalpauhana.org,
he quickly cut in, “Wait, wait, before we start this interview, let’s get the
Hawai’i stuff out of the way. You graduated from Sacred Hearts, right? My sisters
graduated from there, and I went to St. Louis.”

If you’ve lived in Hawai’i,
you know the “What high school you went?” drill. It usually leads to more questions.
“You know so-and-so then? She grad one year after you.” It’s how locals establish
ties with someone new.

Kozuki’s Web site is just like that-an Internet
icebreaker for Hawai’i folks, wherever they live. Global Pau Hana started in 1999
as a way for Hawai’i expatriates in the Bay Area to network personally and professionally.

Pau Hana’s Web site keeps Hawai‘i folks in touch.

I first moved to Silicon Valley from Hawai’i, I wanted to meet new people,” explains
Kozuki, who’s worked for companies such as IBM and Sprint. “I figured out which
Hawai’i people I knew in the area, and we organized the Bay Area Pau Hana by sending
out e-mails, Evites, doing a database-nothing really high-tech-to organize get-togethers.”

those events began drawing up to 500 people, expats in other cities-New York,
Los Angeles, Vegas and so on-bugged Kozuki to do something similar in their towns.
That’s when he created Global Pau Hana.

While it’s a lot like other networking
sites, such as Friendster, Global Pau Hana is strictly for people who live in,
have lived in or just love Hawai’i. “There are other small cities across the country,
but because Hawai’i is so isolated, it’s really different, like its own community,”
Kozuki says. “When you live on the Mainland and find out someone else in the office
is from Hawai’i, it’s like a little party. Hawai’i people get so excited, and
everyone else in the office doesn’t know why. You don’t see people from Minnesota
getting that excited. That’s why there’s so much excitement for this site.”

than a month after www.globalpauhana.org
launched in May, it had drawn nearly 2,000 registered users. While the site is
a good way to socialize, it’s also a great business tool. Even the Hawai’i state
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and High-Tech Development
Corp. have recognized the site’s possibilities, often partnering with Global Pau
Hana on various events.

“People put a lot of professional information about
themselves in their online profiles-what their skill sets and backgrounds are,
like biotech or programming,” says Kozuki. “It helps expatriates find jobs in
the cities they’re living in, and it also helps Hawai’i companies find expatriates
who might want to move back to the state, if given a good job opportunity. It
helps people make friends and do business with people they feel they can trust,
people who have that tie to Hawai’i.”


“Nice Try,” by Michael Maiello, a May 24, 2004 Forbes article reviewing Hawai’i
Gov. Linda Lingle’s progress in improving the Islands’ business climate.

These are the dog days
of Linda Lingle’s administration. In 2003, her inaugural year, Hawai’i’s first
Republican governor in four decades managed to alter Hawai’i’s pet-quarantine
laws so that a visiting canine can roam free after just five days in a kennel,
instead of three months. Oprah Winfrey, ecstatic that she can now pack her pooch
on vacation, called the governor to congratulate her.

about it for improvements in Hawai’i’s business climate. When she looks out the
window of the governor’s mansion each morning, Lingle … sees a capitol building
where she has few friends. In Hawai’i’s two-house legislature Democrats outnumber
Republicans 56-to-20. Her opponents have blocked efforts to create local school
boards, curtail the islands’ growing methamphetamine trade and lower a battery
of taxes. “It’s obvious that some in the majority have not gotten over losing
the governorship,” Lingle says. …

may be governor, but she’s not running the place yet.