At Bank of Hawaii, our commitment to our customers is a shared trust — one that springs from the confidence placed in us, and our determination to honor that trust in every aspect of our service. A passion for helping customers is what motivates our teams. Because our clients say it better than anyone, a few of them share how our services have improved their lives and/or businesses through the following profiles and videos.
Lyndsey Haraguchi-Nakayama: Our farm is a six-generation working family farm that’s over 100 years old. We have been mainly growing taro for several generations, but we grow diversified crops.
Hanalei Taro & Juice Co. are our food trucks. They serve the value-added food portion of our family farm where we specialize in fresh taro dishes. We serve our Hanalei taro veggie burger, taro hummus, and kūlolo (a traditional Hawaiian dessert). Our menu provides a variety of items, including vegan and gluten- and dairy-free dishes, all the way to traditional Hawaiian food, like laulau and kalua pork.
We also care for the Ho‘opulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill, a 501 c(3) nonprofit agrarian museum that was started by my parents in the early 1980s. I am the educational administrator, and my parents, Rodney and Karol Haraguchi, oversee it along with the help of a community-led board of directors.
From our family’s viewpoint, we don’t think our life as farmers is interesting. However, my mother is a teacher and she realized that nowhere else in the state could children come and see agricultural artifacts that have been preserved from the 1800s and early 1900s. She also saw the museum as an opportunity to preserve local oral history while informing visitors about current challenges. We educate about the local ecosystem, about endangered and invasive species, and instill the importance of farming because that’s needed for future generations to survive.
In April 2018, the North Shore community, Koloa, and other areas of Kauai and Oahu were affected by historic flooding, and everybody is still rebuilding.
On our farm not only did we need to salvage artifacts that were washed out of the museum, but five foundational pillars from the farmhouse and office were knocked out by the flood, so the floors are collapsing. Toward the end of 2019, we received permission to begin demolishing and start rebuilding. The museum is still closed to the public as we continue with taro field flood recovery and eco-farm education tours. It’s taking a lot longer than we’d like, and we continue to work daily on the farm and at the food trucks, but it’s probably going to take us at least two to three years to complete rebuilding.
I look for trustworthiness, dependability and understanding in a banking relationship. After the floods, BOH was very empathetic; they listened to our situation, and they wanted to know how they could help.
Brandon Sassone, the Princeville Branch manager, came to a Hanalei Business Co-Operative meeting where I told him that I would like to make more deposits using the mobile app. Brandon helped to extend the limit so I could deposit many work checks at one time online. That really helped.
It was heartwarming to see how the community pulled together after the flooding, and some reached out by donating online at HaraguchiRiceMill.org. Thanks to BOH SVP and Kauai Market Manager Sonia Topenio, a special account was set up to accept donations and acknowledge them with receipts for tax deductions.
Even when we face disasters, we have to be able to move forward. Working from my farm truck was the quickest way that I could get things back up and running on a day-to-day basis. Mobile banking is what I utilize the most, and I also use online banking for bill paying and payroll transfers. I have a wooden desk that fits over the steering wheel in my truck to hold my laptop, and I can pay invoices or make deposits within a few minutes.
We also worked to quickly reopen our Hanalei food truck because we wanted the community to have a place to get food, and we wanted our staff to have jobs. All of our electrical equipment in the food truck got washed in the flood. Chris Kashiwagi, our senior relationship banker at BOH, has always been very helpful with anything we need. She spearheaded my getting two new credit cards to purchase replacement equipment so we could reopen the food truck and our staff could stay employed.
BOH is definitely a bank with Hawaii people in mind. Whether it’s personal, or business or nonprofit, they stand for the local community. They understand the challenges. That makes all the difference.
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