Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

At work with Mommy

April 17th, 2015

This is why my daughter likes coming to work with me. Here is a pictorial essay of a day we spent at KHON when there was no school due to a holiday.

We very quietly watch Uncle Taizo and Auntie Trini at work on Living 808.

We very quietly watch Uncle Taizo and Auntie Trini at work on Living 808.

We help greet the Living 808 guests.

We help greet the Living 808 guests.

After Mommy's work, we swing on banyan tree roots at Ala Moana Beach Park across KHON.

After Mommy's work, we swing on banyan tree roots at Ala Moana Beach Park across KHON.

We watch a boy catch tilapia and squeal when it comes too close.

We watch a boy catch tilapia and squeal when it comes too close.

We impress Mommy by getting easily across the monkey bars. Then again, someone is a little monkey.

We impress Mommy by getting easily across the monkey bars. Then again, someone is a little monkey.

Now that I think about it, this is why I like Olivia to visit me at work!

S & M and sewing

April 6th, 2015

As I mentioned in the previous blog, I committed to sewing Olivia curtains for her room, because she asked me to. I'm not a great seamstress, but I can do straight lines (somewhat!)


One Saturday, my friend Kalei came over, so I asked her to help me with the curtains. She is about as undomesticated as they come (What's the opposite of that? Feral?) so she did the following whenever I asked for help:

-Take photos

-Need to respond to a text

-Need to post something work-related on Facebook

-Laugh at me

All this, while I slave over the sewing machine.


Probably the funniest moment was when she said she couldn't help me because she had to look up the number for a sado masochist.

If needing to find a bondage professional has never come up in your casual conversations, this is how it sounds:

Me: "Can you hold the other end of this material so it doesn't move?"

Kalei: "Hang on. I just need to find the number for a dominatrix for an interview." <two text alert ringtones later> "Shoot. She can't go on air. Who was that other dominatrix? Think, think."

I should clarify, Kalei is a media person. The angle here was a tie-in to the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon.


So it goes on like this for many minutes and I, being a liberal media person as well, am also not fazed by the topic. It's just another conversation in my crazy household.

We debate why a professional dominatrix would not want to go on air to advertise her business (I mean, if this is her living, right?), we brainstorm other leads for S&M services, we discuss the attractiveness of the subject matter in general.

I have a lot of contacts in my address book but because I'm a news person, a lot of them are politicians, agency directors, and business executives. She's in music radio, so her sphere of influence is, well - alternative.

"You would make a good dominatrix," she muses. "You're bossy."


FYI this is purely conjecture. S&M is not in my life experiences. Not that there's anything wrong with it!

This, because I've bossed her around (or tried to) all morning with the curtain sewing. She's one of my best friends and so it's easy to slip into the familiar / command form.

Like, thanks? I've never thought about that before?

She continued on. Continued! This is so bizzare! "I also can't see you as the subject. You're too strong willed. You'd be like, 'No. I don't feel like doing that. I'm not going to.'"

Truth be told, she's probably right. That sounds exactly like my personality. Bossy Chinese lady. Spun for political correctness: Confident career professional!

Here's what bossy Chinese lady did accomplish, though, while non-domesticated friend found a zillion ways to not have to help: I whipped up that set of curtains.

Catching up with KONG-FM's Ron Wiley

March 9th, 2015

Cuando era nino, Ron Wiley hablo español mejor que ingles. It seems fitting to start this story in Spanish, because at the start of Wiley's life, he spoke Spanish better than he did English.

"I grew up in a barrio (Latino neighborhood) in Tucson, Arizona, and because all my classmates were Mexican, I spoke fluent Spanish. In fact, I was enrolled in correctional classes in English for a while, even though my family members are all native-English speaking Caucasians," backgrounds the man many know best today as a well-known Kauai personality.

It's a skill he's always found handy in his career. His first radio job in 1967 was at KXEW in Tucson, at a Spanish language station. From there, he's dabbled as a VJ for a TV station playing music videos, as well as worked in television on Oahu, but largely, has pursued his first love, radio.

In 1975, Wiley found his way to Hawaii. "I was gallivanting around the country with a girlfriend, and we came here. I loved it. When she said she was ready to leave, I said I wanted to stay," reflects Wiley. "I just knew this was my new home. The sun and heat remind me of Arizona, but the ocean was a new thing! I had never seen the ocean and I loved it!"

Ron Wiley. Courtesy: Ron Riley

Ron Wiley. Courtesy: Ron Riley

Wiley has certainly made a name for himself in the state, particularly on the Garden Isle, where he has been broadcasting in the mornings on KONG-FM for more than a quarter century. He says he considers it his job to serve the people of Kauai by acting as an information conduit. You can also catch his Kauai updates on KHON2's Wake Up 2day morning newscast several times a week.

Ron Wiley on Wake Up 2day

Ron Wiley on Wake Up 2day

"I love it. I give the traffic updates, celebrity gossip, find lost pets, announce garage sales - whatever people need. I'm the guy next door who helps you when you need something," he describes. "Senator Daniel Akaka put it best. I interviewed him in 2012 and he jokingly gave me my Hawaiian name, Pipeline - for pipeline of information." Wiley pronounces Pipeline in a faux-Hawaiian fashion, Pee-pay-lee-nay.

He is extremely active in the community in other ways, as well, currently on the board of the Kauai Blood Bank, Kauai United Way, Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club of Kauai, and the Kauai Humane Society. "I take the wellness of our community seriously. I want to help people through public service," says Wiley.

Ron and Laura were married on a bluff overlooking Kealia at Kaiakea at 6pm on Feb 14, 1997. We celebrate our week-aversary every Friday at 6 p.m. Our dog was the ring bearer! Courtesy: Ron Wiley

Ron and Laura were married on a bluff overlooking Kealia at Kaiakea at 6pm on Feb 14, 1997. We celebrate our week-aversary every Friday at 6 p.m. Our dog was the ring bearer! Courtesy: Ron Wiley

In fact, that's part of what he admires about his wife Laura. "I would see her around town at various non-profit events and we'd say hello. One day, I saw her on television talking about pet adoptions, and I called her to congratulate her on a nice job. It was my way of flirting," admits the self-described former cad.

This was in the mid-nineties. The two started chatting casually. Wiley continues, "She came to the station to loan me a U2 CD and I asked her out. We went to a movie, and ended up talking all night. It was the first time in ages I had asked a woman out! We were married a year later - Valentine's Day 1997."

Wiley is so romantic, he celebrates not just their anniversary, but their "week-aversary." When I commented that I'd seen his many Facebook posts declaring his love for his wife, he pointed out that he always writes it as "Laura, I love you"- "because I always put her first."

The Wileys with their dogs Priscilla, Jet, and Honey Girl. Courtesy: Ron Wiley

The Wileys with their dogs Priscilla, Jet, and Honey Girl. Courtesy: Ron Wiley

He did caution her that she'd be entering a marriage of three. "It will always be Ron, Laura, and the radio," he warned. The happy couple share their home with three dogs, and their lives with many, many loyal listeners.

More on Wiley at

Posted in Career | 2 Comments »

The Faith of Leadership Shares Useful Insights from Hawai‘i’s Leaders

February 27th, 2015

As a well-respected executive at some of Hawai‘i’s top companies, Robbie Alm has had plenty of opportunity to observe and document the best practices of great leaders. From the story of the “Live Aloha” program—which he helped launch—to instructive anecdotes of humility and integrity in business, he now shares what he has learned in a new book, The Faith of Leadership: Insights from Hawai‘i’s Leaders released by Watermark Publishing.


Currently president of the Collaborative Leaders Network, a problem-solving initiative of The Omidyar Group, Alm offers a thoughtful—and useful—study of just what makes an effective leader. Engaging and straightforward, The Faith of Leadership is a distillation of Alm’s eight keys to great leadership: listening, humility, working with resistance to change, remembering whose change we are talking about, walking the talk and integrity, making certain we always hear independent voices, understanding how others see the world and, finally, the faith that underlies leadership.

Alm views himself as both a student and practitioner of leadership. During more than three decades spent with the Hawai‘i State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, First Hawaiian Bank and the Hawaiian Electric Company, he has come to see that leadership boils down to three basic fundamentals: “First, work as hard or harder than anyone else. Second, live right in your relationships with others. And finally, remember that for all our planning and working and living right, some of it seems to come down to pure luck.”

Robbie Alm. Courtesy: Watermark Publishing

Robbie Alm. Courtesy: Watermark Publishing

Real-life lessons and key examples from local companies and individuals provide a simple foundation for Alm’s discussion of the qualities of excellent leadership. “With Robbie, it’s not about understanding systems or complicated layers of this or that,” observes PBS Hawai‘i’s Leslie Wilcox. “It’s just, ‘What’s the right thing to do here, and how do we do it?’”

Alm puts it another way. “This is not a cookbook on leadership,” he says. “There really is no such thing.” Rather, The Faith of Leadership offers a series of guideposts for mapping a life path to becoming a good leader. Excellence in leadership, Alm believes, is less about wealth and power and more about positivity and serving as a good model.

The faith of leadership lies in setting a course that will accomplish what is right—and accepting the challenge of working on a problem that may not be solved in the near future. “I’ve always found it important to believe that while I may not be there to see it, things I do will ultimately make a difference,” he says.

Robbie Alm is a University of Hawai‘i and University of Iowa College of Law graduate with degrees in political science and administrative law. Following a ten-year stint at the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Alm ran the Financial Management Group of First Hawaiian Bank and worked in senior management at the Hawaiian Electric Company from 2001 to 2013, finally as the utility’s Executive Vice President.

A book signing with Alm will be held on Saturday, February 28 at Barnes & Noble, Ala Moana, from 1 PM to 2 PM. A portion of the day’s sales will benefit PBS Hawai‘i.

The Faith of Leadership: Insights from Hawai‘i’s Leaders (ISBN 978-1-935690-62-7), priced at $15.95, is available at bookstores, other retail outlets and online booksellers, and can be ordered direct from the publisher at Contact Watermark Publishing, 1000 Bishop St., Suite 806, Honolulu, HI 96813; (808) 587-7766; toll-free (866) 900-BOOK; fax (808) 521-3461;

More on this

February 25th, 2015

I should really listen before I speak. Recently, I faux-offended my coworker Jai Cunningham because I was only half-listening to his question and commentary to me, and I misheard him.

There was an email thread circulating, and Jai came over to my desk to ask me for clarification. Important part of the set up: I was clearly listening to my phone messages because I pointed to the speaker and said, "Hang on a minute."

He started talking to Ron Mizutani while he was waiting, and I overheard Jai saying something about "...more on this..." I hung up the phone and chimed in, "Yeah, I know."

Jai, offended.

Jai, offended.

He and Ron stopped in their conversation and looked at me in shock. "Did you just agree with Jai that he's a moron?" gasped Ron.

"Dude! She didn't even let me finish the sentence!" huffed Jai.

"What are you talking about?" I said, confused.

Apparently, Jai said, "I know I'm a moron about these things..." but as I said earlier, I heard he needed to know "more on this."

I apologized and corrected myself, to which they say they didn't believe me. "Right, good save," they said in their most patronizing tone. Hey, how did this go from offending one guy to apologizing to two guys?

I want you to know that the other week on the morning show when I was chatting up Jai in his live shot, I did mention how exceedingly brilliant he is; for example, he skipped two grades and graduated from high school at age 16! I weakly protested this in my defense but was strongly overridden by snorts of derision and pseudo-hurt.

So I don't know if Jai's talking to me this week. Stay tuned. I'll have moron this.

Posted in Career | 5 Comments »