Business

Executive Networking Center Offers Virtual Office

November 27, 2013, 12:54 PM HST
* Updated November 27, 1:54 PM
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Exploring an empty niche in the local business community, a retired public school principal and her attorney husband have transformed his family’s former Hilo home into a modern virtual business center.

Andrew and Joyce Iwashita opened the Executive Networking Center — a high-tech virtual office — on Nov. 8 in the newly refurbished former family home at 77 Mohouli St., which was built by Andrew’s grandfather in 1937.

Joyce, former principal at Kalanianaole Elementary School in Papaikou, had just retired from the Department of Education in July when their long-time tenant at 77 Mohouli decided to move out.

All of a sudden the question was, “what do we do with the building?” she said. A friend suggested the virtual office idea and the Iwashitas were off and running. Remarkably, they refurbished, upgraded and were ready for business in three months.

Many start-ups don’t rely on a traditional office, but occasionally they still need what a traditional office provides — a comfortable, convenient place to meet clients, stage a conference or make a formal presentation with all of the up-to-date business technology that help make a modern business meeting successful.

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The virtual approach of the ENC “pushes the boundaries of the traditional office by remotely managing the needs of entrepreneurs, business owners and executives,” says a promotional brochure designed by Executive Assistant Rochelle Heidenfeldt. The kanji characters on the front of the brochure translate to seiko, or success, Iwashita noted.

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Conference rooms seat up to 18 people with smart TV capabilities for networking with other businesses and access to the center’s VoIP phone system, internet, copy, scan and fax machines. Members also have access to a kitchen and common areas.

enc-conf-room

One of six conference rooms available at the Executive Networking Center in Hilo. Courtesy photo.

The center offers “ala-carte” pricing for the use of conference rooms and services and various levels of membership to suit clients’ specific needs, including a live assistant to answer phone calls with a client’s business name and personal greeting.

You also get Joyce Iwashita’s professional expertise. “From an educator’s perspective, I can teach people to be successful,” she said.

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“Andrew still practices upstairs,” she added, but the Hilo Law Center sign out front will be coming down soon.

Joyce had visited a virtual office center on the mainland before opening ENC to learn what it was about and was wowed by its sheer size compared to the ENC. “This has real local flavor,” she said. “It has an office feel but it’s cozy.”

Call Joyce or Rochelle at the Executive Networking Center, 333-3577, for more information.

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