Erika Engle

Quiet, successful
and finally available

A sort-of-new nonprofit business group is kicking off its public life with a very private person.

The Young Business Council, which broke away from the Young Business Roundtable and its parent, the Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, over the summer, will stage its first leadership series event and launch a membership drive this week.

The YBC was formed to be a "professional development organization consisting of young professionals working to learn and promote successful business practices and strategy as well as providing venues for the discussion of current business and community topics," according to its Web site at

Duane Kurisu is a partner in the San Francisco Giants and minority owner of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

In a rare featured appearance, businessman Duane Kurisu will be the keynote speaker at a pau-hana function from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Bronson's at the Executive Centre.

He will share a bit about how he got his start, what it means to be an entrepreneur and requirements for dream achievement.

Kurisu is chairman of AIO, registered in 2001 and established as a limited liability corporation last December. AIO serves as the overall trade name for a group of companies he owns and operates.

Kurisu is a partner in Kurisu & Fergus and the San Francisco Giants, chairman of PacificBasin Communications LLC, owner of KKEA-AM 1460 and Hawaii Sports Network and minority owner of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

To call Kurisu elusive would imply that he hides out or runs away and that's not the case. He's just very low-key.

He rarely accepts speaking engagements (or returns business reporter phone calls, but that's another story).

Part of the connection between Kurisu and the YBC is that two PacificBasin employees are on its board. Hawaii Business, a PacificBasin publication, supports the group, according to Dara Higa, YBC vice chairwoman and senior account executive at Communications-Pacific Inc.

The magazine is the presenting sponsor for the gathering titled, "Make a life. Make a difference. An evening with Duane Kurisu." Admission of $25 at the door includes heavy pupu, punch and the ever-popular networking.

The breakaway from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce's Young Business Roundtable "came at a time when we needed to offer an organization for professional development and networking for people of all industries regardless of ethnicity," Higa said.

"We have no age restriction. Our primary target is under 40, but if someone who is 45 or 50 would like to join us, we welcome them because we also want to learn from those who have been in their careers for a long time."

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at:


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