Meet Jason Kama, Marketplace Manager in Hawaii. Kama's role is to foster the development of Better Business Bureau's presence in the Hawaii area through various engagement activities. When he isn't out in the community giving presentations or promoting BBB, he's available to visit your business to discuss various services of your accreditation.
Keep reading to learn more about Jason:
1. Where were you born?
I was born in Honolulu at Tripler since my dad is retired from the Marines. In 1990 we moved to Hilo and built a house in Leilani Estates in Puna; it’s basically in the middle of a rainforest. My parents ran a small agricultural farm while I was growing up and helping to work that kept me out of trouble, mostly. I went to High School at St. Joseph’s in Hilo, returned to Honolulu to go to college at UH Manoa for a degree in Sociology, and have been here since!
2. What other places have you lived?
I haven't lived outside of Hawaii but have travelled a lot for fun and on humanitarian missions with Rotary International. My involvement with Rotary has taken me all over the US and to a lot of different countries like Portugal, Australia, South Korea, India, Myanmar and Taiwan. My favorite cities, by far, are San Francisco, Vancouver and Atlanta mostly due to their diverse backgrounds and FOOD!
3. What do you like/love about Hawaii?
Hawaii is definitely a special place and itʻll always be home. Being part Hawaiian links me to the roots and culture of the islands in a way that I keep learning more about each day. The best part about Hawaii, though, is definitely the culture, not just the Hawaiian culture, but also the “local culture” that came to be because of the melting pot of ethnicities and backgrounds that now call these islands home.
4. Where’s your favorite place to visit?
My favorite place to visit is probably San Francisco. We have a lot of friends and family that have moved there so get a chance to visit several different groups all at once and the city always has a ton of things to do.
5. What was your first job? Any big lessons you took away from that occupation?
My first job (outside of working on the farm) was with Borders Books & Music. Iʻve always been a big book nerd and l enjoyed the events that brought authors and performers into the store for signings. I think that the biggest take away that I had from that job was time management as I was juggling school and work and ultimately responsible for both. I remember thinking that life would be “so easy” once I was done with school and only had to focus on work. There was a lot of wishful thinking at that time!
6. What brought you to BBB?
I started working for Hawaii's BBB a little over 2 years ago when I was approached for the Marketing position by our CEO at that time, Greg Dunn. I was really drawn to the mission and values of the organization and was excited about getting back into a marketing role again.
7. What do you love most about your job?
The best part about working with the BBB Northwest + Pacific is the collaboration aspect. I appreciate the opportunity to work with a team of great colleagues that I can bounce ideas off of at the drop of a hat. I also get to work in the community outreach to help educate and inform the public. And finally working with the Accredited Businesses of all industries has built an appreciation for the different jobs and functions that make our community run.
8. What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about BBB?
When I talk about the BBB, I think the most surprising thing that people learn is that we are a non-profit. The common misconception is that we are in some way related to the government, probably due to our close work with various agencies like the SBA (Small Business Administration), DCCA, and FBI, just to name a few. As a non-profit, it’s important to note that as we support the community at-large, that same community supports us and our mission to provide a trustworthy marketplace. It’s a cyclical relationship which helps us grow and thrive.
9. Do you have any special talents?
I seem to be somewhat of an “animal whisperer” and am oddly proficient at making eggs benedict.
10. If you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Hmm. That would be tough, I love a ton of different food, but I never ever seem to tire of Thai food!
11. Other than email, what app do you use on your phone the most? Why?
Besides all our “healthy” fixations with Social Media Apps (I “have” to use it for work, right?), I’d have to say that lately it’s the Texture app which allows you to get articles from over 200 magazines. As someone with background in design and print, it’s most interesting to me because the articles still retain the editorial design and layout as they were in magazine!