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June 12, 2008  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Roberts Hawaii helps with home makeover


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HONOLULU — When the television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition brought together volunteers to build a new home for a local family, Roberts Hawaii Inc. (RHI) was among those that pitched in. The company donated drivers and vehicles to transport workers between the airport, their hotels and the build site, operating shuttles 24 hours a day during the week-long project. Craftsmen from across the Hawaiian Islands convened on Oahu to construct the Akana family’s new home in the Kalihi Valley. The project had a personal connection for Neil Takekawa, president of RHI. “I remember growing up in Kalihi Valley and playing with my friends on the very property used in the Extreme Makeover television production,” Takekawa said. In addition to providing transportation for more than 1,500 volunteers, RHI gave free rides to tourists and local families who weren’t involved but wanted to visit the build site. Takekawa said that the company is “proud of Hawaii and proud of the ‘aloha spirit’ in our employees.” In other news, RHI created an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), allowing employees to be co-owners of the 66-year-old company. Chairman and CEO Robert Iwamoto Jr. and his family transferred 47 percent of the company’s stock to the ESOP last year. About 1,000 employees initially joined the ESOP, with the company’s 400 additional employees potentially becoming eligible in the coming years. “Our employees are a tremendous part of RHI’s achievements, and sharing ownership with them will not only reward their contribution but also provide incentives for their continued dedication,” Iwamoto said. In addition to school bus service, RHI provides sightseeing tours around Hawaii’s four largest islands and a variety of activities, including dinner cruises and the “Magic of Polynesia” show.


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