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2016 NPD Awardees

A big part of NPD is the awards luncheon that honors the best in philanthropy in Hawaii. Each year, we receive many nominations for each award category. Mahalo to everyone who nominated a candidate for each of our categories. The following are our 2016 NPD Awardees. 

2016 National Philanthropy Day

Outstanding Leaders in Hawaii Philanthropy


Outstanding Corporation: First Insurance Company of Hawaii

The First Insurance Company of Hawaii (FICOH) Charitable Foundation was established in 1998 and serves the local community in four main focus areas: Education, Economic Development, Health and Social Services, and Arts & Culture. ln addition to the Foundation's yearly giving, it also matches donations made by FICOH associates to other qualified nonprofits.

ln 2015, FICOH contributed more than $600,000 to various nonprofit organizations and projects, including the Honolulu Museum of Art, the American Heart Association, the University of Hawaii Foundation, the American Red Cross, Aloha United Way, Diamond Head Theatre, and the Hawaii Public Television Foundation. FICOH's donations for 2015 included $319,140 from the FICOH Charitable Foundation and more than $216,470 in FICOH corporate donations.

Of particular note is FICOH'S support for the Shidler College of Business via the University of Hawaii Foundation. Over the past 10+ years, FICOH has been a leader on most fundraising initiatives at the College - faculty endowments, scholarship endowments, event sponsorship and the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship.


Outstanding Philanthropist:  Jim Schuler

Jim's leadership throughout the community in Hawaii can be shown through his role on many boards and organizations including the American Cancer Society, Special Olympics Hawaii and Military Aviation Museum of the Pacific. He's also been recognized with many community awards.

Jim retired in 2008 after years at the helm of Schuler Homes, lnc. and its predecessor companies, but continues to remain involved in real estate development through special projects. Jim and his wife Bets have their primary residence in Seattle, Washington, but he commutes to his Hawaii office at least once per month and maintains his charitable connections here.

ln addition to his many personal gifts to the community during his lifetime, Jim Schuler created a family foundation, The Schuler Family Foundation, to provide funding for nonprofits throughout Hawaii and Washington. The Schuler Family Foundation has supported over 100 of Hawaii’s charities with nearly $1 million in annual donations over the last 15 years.


Philanthropist in Memoriam:  Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke was a steward and philanthropist who spearheaded the protection of native habitats and inspired and mentored so many of Hawaii’s nonprofit leaders. His efforts to protect and conserve nature and lands in his role at the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii will be felt for generations. While at the Honolulu Museum of Art, Sam was one of the longest-serving and most distinguished members. 

He was the President of his family’s foundation that supported many nonprofits statewide for many years. He was the founding chairman of the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii directing campaigns that raised at least $15 million to protect more than 50,000 acres of conservation land. He also served on the international board of the Nature Conservancy securing additional funds for Hawaii. Sam was chairman of the board of trustees at the Honolulu Museum of Art for many years and led the Renaissance Campaign that funded the Luce Pavilion in 1997 for $30 million. He has dedicated his personal family home with the establishment of the Manoa Heritage Center and the restoration of the Kuka’o’o Heiau. 

Sam was instrumental in leading the Cooke Foundation in their efforts to support the nonprofit community in Hawaii. For many organizations, securing a grant from the Cooke Foundation was pivotal in their fundraising efforts allowing them at times to leverage that gift with other donors and foundations.


Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers:  Friends of Catholic Charities

Friends of Catholic Charities Hawaii (FCC) was founded almost 30 years ago by three former Catholic Charities board members: Gerry Ching, Thomas P. Huber, and Robert S. Tsushima. They had two purposes in mind: to provide financial support for special program needs that are not met by other funding sources and to make new friends for Catholic Charities Hawaii (CCH) and thus broaden its community outreach and networks. 

Each year, the founders set an achievable goal of $50,000. The funds are distributed to program needs that have been recommended by CCH staff with a percentage allocated to a reserve or investment fund. Since its inception, FCC has raised more than $740,000 that has provided direct support to CCH programs. In addition another $1 million has been accrued in a CCH investment fund.


Outstanding Youth Leader:  Lisa Kam

Lisa is a senior at Maryknoll School and a founding member of PITCH (Projects Inspired by Teens Changing Hawaii) a nonprofit organization that has effected change in our community in so many ways. Since 2010, PITCH has distributed more than 1,000 reusable bags, exchanged 3,000 incandescent light bulbs for CFLs, recycled more than 51,000 bottle caps, recycled more than 1,600 bottles and cans at various community events, educated more than 1,000 people on food sustainability, and raised more than $2,500 for the Children's Miracle Network for Kapiolani Medical Center.

Lisa also performs community service with various Chinese organizations, is a student ambassador at Maryknoll, and is a National Honor Society tutor. She received the President's Volunteer Service Award in 2014 and 2015 for volunteering a minimum of 250 community service hours each year.


Outstanding Professional Fundraiser:  Cathy Alsup, CFRE

Cathy Alsup 2015

Cathy serves as the American Cancer Society's Director, Major Gifts Campaign for Hawaii Pacific and is the lead staff for the $11.9 million Hope Lodge Hawaii Capital Campaign. She has also served as the Society's Director of institutional funding initiatives and Major Gifts Director during her tenure. Cathy received the American Cancer Society's top honor of Major Gifts National Director of the year for 2015 along with 2015's Top Performer Major Gifts. She has been with the Society since 2008.

Cathy has continuously demonstrated her commitment to sound ethical practices, following the AFP Code of Ethical Principles & Standards through everything she does both at her position at the American Cancer Society and through her volunteer work on the AFP Aloha Chapter Board of Directors as President-Elect. Colleagues from both organizations can attest to Cathy's high standards in all she does.

In December 2015, Cathy completed her certification as a Certified Fundraising Executive, CFRE. She is only one of only 22 CFREs in the State of Hawaii.


Paulette Maehara Leadership Award:  Leslie Wilcox

Leslie is a highly accomplished leader and an example that you can be successful while doing right by your community and yourself. When she left her role as one of Hawaii's top newscasters, she made a special commitment to the people of Hawaii. Leslie wanted to tell stories about our people and our land and to do so with absolute integrity and truthfulness. In living that vision for PBS Hawaii, she has worked with the community as well as her staff and volunteers to make that happen.

Upon arrival, PBS Hawaii was no longer a state agency receiving state funding. Leslie and her staff have not only raised millions for operations, but also funds to support the Hiki No program, and an astounding $30 million to build their new headquarters at the entrance to Sand lsland.

Leslie's ability to lead in the constantly changing world of television and media is significantly based on how she views PBS Hawaii's own evolving role and her skill at working with very talented people. She has also worked outside of PBS Hawaii as a member of other organizations' boards, as a volunteer for others such as emceeing the Association of Fundraising Professionals' National Philanthropy Day luncheons and in personally mentoring other leaders, especially younger leaders.


President's Award:  Hawaii Community Foundation


Earning the rare National Philanthropy Day Hawaii President’s Award this year is AFP Hawaii Chapter’s longtime collaborator in the business of philanthropy, the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF). A genuine catalyst for Hawaii philanthropy, HCF brings together donors and experts on six target areas--education, environment, socio/cultural concerns, health and social welfare, civic engagement and the economy. This significant local resource helps define needs, find solutions and actively partners with the non-profit community to improve lives in Hawaii for generations to come.