Congratulations to Barry Taniguchi and Derek Kurisu of KTA Superstores, who were recognized by the Hawai‘i State 4-H program at its recent Ali‘i Ceremony.
Ali‘i Barry Taniguchi was the chairman and CEO of KTA Superstores on the Big Island. He cared greatly for the community, creating community funds and endowments to support community-based programs, and was a strong supporter of UH and its programs. Sadly, he passed away in September 2019, but his son represented him at the ceremony.
Ali‘i Derek Kurisu is the executive vice president of KTA Superstores and a CTAHR graduate. He has been honored as both the college’s Outstanding Alumnus and its Ka Lei Hano award winner for his advocacy of local products to help strengthen and diversify agriculture and the economy.
‘Aha‘ōlelo Ali‘i are chosen based on the 4-H program values of leadership and community service. ‘Aha‘ōlelo is a Hawaiian word denoting coming together for a meeting or congress, and the ‘Aha‘ōlelo event has been a traditional gathering of Hawai‘i 4-H’ers for learning and sharing since the 1930s. This year, the 4‑H ‘Aha‘ōlelo Ali‘i ceremony was held virtually through video conferencing.
The ceremony included a “Gifts to the Ali‘i” presentation of locally significant items from each county and a short video highlighting county activities during the 4-H program year.
KTA has long been a supporter of the Hawai‘i 4-H program, purchasing steers from livestock 4-H club members and selling the beef in the stores with the cloverleaf symbol on the package to identify it as produced by a 4-H student. The company has also worked as a partner for 4-H group fundraising activities.
Read more about the ceremony and biographies of the recipients here, and more about ‘Aha‘ōlelo, including past recipients, here. Watch a video of the ceremony here.