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Toby Taniguchi Named to Hawaiian Electric Board

May 10, 2021, 6:24 AM HST
* Updated May 9, 10:29 AM
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Toby Taniguchi, president and chief operating officer of KTA Super Stores and a longtime business and community leader on Hawaiʻi Island, has been appointed to the board of directors of Hawaiian Electric.

Taniguchi, of Hilo, oversees the operations of the island’s largest supermarket chain, which was established in 1916 in Waiakea by the Taniguchi family and today has seven stores and more than 800 employees. He began his career with the company in 1997 as a store director and was named president and chief operating officer in 2014.

Active as a director and volunteer for a number of community organizations and nonprofits, Taniguchi is a director of Parker Ranch, Inc., Hawaiʻi Employers Mutual Insurance Co. (HEMIC) and on the board of governors of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. He also leads Community First, a nonprofit founded by his late father, Barry Taniguchi, a forum for finding ideas to improve health and reduce medical costs on Hawaiʻi Island.

“Hawaiian Electric and KTA Super Stores have been fortunate to serve our communities for over 100 years. Our common goal is to keep providing outstanding value and service to our customers,” Taniguchi said. “We look forward to be able to work together to achieve a clean energy future for generations to come.”

Taniguchi, a graduate of the University of Portland, begins his term on the board May 7, 2021. Other recent additions to the Hawaiian Electric board are Alana Kobayashi Pakkala, partner and chief operating officer, The Kobayashi Group, and James Ajello, chief financial officer of Portland General Electric and former chief financial officer of Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI).

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“As a business owner, commercial customer and Neighbor Island community leader, Toby brings an important voice to our board,” said Tim Johns, president and CEO of Zephyr Insurance Co. and chairman of the Hawaiian Electric board of directors. “One of our strengths is the different experiences our directors bring to their work, and the additions of Toby, Alana and Jim really help broaden our perspectives.”

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The Hawaiian Electric board is separate from the board of the utility company’s parent, HEI. In addition to Johns, Ajello and Pakkala, members of the Hawaiian Electric board are Scott Seu, president and CEO, Hawaiian Electric; Kelvin Taketa, senior fellow, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation; and Kevin Burke, former chief marketing officer, Square, Inc.

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