Entrepreneurs in Residence

Launched during the 2008 – 2009 school year in support of the school's social entrepreneurship initiative, the Entrepreneurs in Residence Program pairs students and faculty with a select group of volunteer mentors from Hawai`i's business and nonprofit world. These mentors work with students and faculty to explore entrepreneurial thinking linked to social issues, and help launch projects directed at serving our communities.

EIRs have demonstrated a commitment to participating in positive community change. They willingly invest time, resources and talent in teaching and mentoring, for they believe Hawai`i's youth can and should be part of the solution to society's challenges. 


Kimberlee Bortfeld ’95 Bassford

Kimberlee Bortfeld ’95 Bassford is the owner of Making Waves Films LLC, a documentary production company whose mission is to produce social issue, cultural, historical and environmental documentaries that advance social justice, strengthen our connections to one another and deepen understanding of the world. Her most recent project, “Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority” (2008), won the Audience Award for Favorite Documentary at the Hawaii International Film Festival and aired nationally on PBS.

Primary areas of interest and expertise: Documentary filmmaking, journalism, public television, gender and racial equity, Pacific Island cultures and social justice.

Bernice Bowers ’79

Bernice Bowers ’79 has extensive local and international management experience in business and economic development. She has worked for Motorola, Toyota, and local companies including Servco Pacific and Castle & Cooke. A graduate of Princeton University and the Harvard Design School National Charrette Institute, she was the executive director of O‘ahu's economic development board, and has worked with dual-use technology companies. She is a founding partner of the Inovi Group, the first Hawai‘i business to fully adopt and incorporate design thinking processes and methodologies in its service offerings.

Primary areas of interest and expertise: Design thinking, innovation, developing community builders, career- and strengths-mapping.

Russel Cheng

Russel Cheng is a career entrepreneur with diverse international experiences. His latest venture is a consultancy designed to help small businesses foster new ideas, develop products, grow business and integrate Internet technologies into their existing operations. He spent 16 years living in Japan and other countries in Asia prior to coming home to Hawai‘i.

Primary areas of interest and expertise: Japan and China, Internet, marketing, entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, mentoring and risk-taking.

Greg Kim ’75

Greg Kim ’75 is a partner at Convergent Law Group LLP, a virtual law firm based in Silicon Valley, with partners in Hawai‘i. Previously, Greg was the founder of Vantage Counsel LLC, one of the nation’s first virtual law firms, and then a partner at Virtual Law Partners LLP. Greg also founded Business Law Corps, a legal nonprofit that provides legal services and mentoring to deserving entrepreneurs. Greg’s work focuses on building emerging companies and capital sources, with expertise in entrepreneurship, venture capital and business law.

Primary areas of interest and expertise: Supporting entrepreneurs, creating jobs by diversifying the economy, assisting small businesses and start-up companies, entrepreneurship, helping people dream big and create social value.

Phil Kimi ’97

Phil Kimi ’97 is vice president of his family business, Seaside Hotels Hawaii. He also serves as the teacher of Profit for Progress, a Punahou Summer School course on social entrepreneurship, and further inspires young entrepreneurs as a mentor for Camp Bizsmart. He has been coaching basketball at Punahou for the last 8 years.

Primary areas of interest and expertise: Education, technology, business management, turning problems into opportunities, developing creative ideas, social entrepreneurship, leadership, team-building, mentoring students and student athletes.

Darren Kimura

Darren Kimura began working in the energy efficiency sector in the early ’90s in the Pacific Northwest. In 1994 he founded Energy Industries which is today one of the largest private energy services company in the U.S. He later founded Energy Laboratories, a technology incubator; Sopogy, a solar technology manufacturer; Energy Smart News which was later sold to the Cleantech Network; Keahole Solar Power, a renewable energy developer and operator; and The Enerdigm Group, a private investment company funding clean energy ventures.

Primary areas of interest and expertise: Bringing clean energy technologies to our islands to move Hawai‘i along the path toward a clean, sustainable energy future.

James Koshiba ’91

James Koshiba ’91 is the co-founder and executive director of Kanu Hawaii, a nonprofit organization designed to launch a social movement centered in Hawai‘i that moves the world toward greater sustainability, compassion, and local economic security by bringing island approaches to global problems.

Primary areas of interest and expertise: Reducing poverty, climate change, waste management, local economic development and public education.

Nikki Love ’96

Nikki Love ’96 is the executive director of the Hawai‘i chapter of Common Cause, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to promote citizen participation in the political process and hold government accountable to the public interest. She previously worked in government and nonprofits in Hawai‘i and Washington, D.C.

Primary areas of interest and expertise: Democracy and civil society, citizen advocacy efforts, campaigns and elections, public policy, nonprofit management.

Natalie McKinney

Natalie McKinney is the director of Program Development of the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation. Her diverse experiences include serving as the vice president and general manager at LBC Advertising, production manager at 'Ohi'a Productions, Youth Theater coordinator at UH-Mānoa, and acting, writing, directing and producing in local theater.

Primary areas of interest and expertise: Caring for the ‘aina, integrating arts education across the curriculum, finding creative solutions to everyday problems.

M. Sharon Webb, M.D., Ph.D.

M. Sharon Webb, M.D., Ph.D. is a partner at Virtual Law Partners LLP, vice president of a startup specialty chemicals company and a bioethicist. She is a registered patent attorney and a former practicing surgeon.

Primary areas of interest and expertise: Helping creators and innovators protect their intellectual property; producing educational videos and documentaries; educating and consciousness-raising around women’s health issues and health-care access; enhancing awareness of bioethical aspects of medicine and science.

EIR Fellows

A Punahou EIR Fellow is a college undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated a commitment to participating in positive community change and mentoring youth. In partnership with the Luke Center for Public Service and Punahou's Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs), Fellows explore entrepreneurial thinking linked to social issues and help students and faculty launch projects directed at serving our communities. EIR Fellows are mentored, in turn, by the EIRs and the Luke Center staff.


Bronson Chang ’06

Bronson Chang ’06 is a partner at Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha, a Hawaiian treat shop on a mission of inspiring a movement of Pure Aloha – one person, one relationship, one community at a time.

Primary areas of interest: Self-discovery and passion-finding, envisioning and building social enterprises using values-driven and innovative entrepreneurial approaches.

Joel Ching ’06

Joel Ching ’06 earned his B.S. in Finance at Santa Clara University. He recently rejoined the EIR program after a year of living and teaching English in Japan through the JET program. He currently works for Inovi Group, a local business consultancy firm.

Primary areas of interest: Idea generation, program development, financing startups.

Brent Kakesako

Brent Kakesako, a cum laude graduate of Harvard College, is a student at the University of Hawai‘i’s William S. Richardson School of Law. He recently formed a start-up incubator company called C4 (Cultivating Collaboration and Collective Change).

Primary areas of interest: Mentoring youth, creating opportunities to build community capacity and viability, community organizing and creating connections.