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Alumni Businesses Provide Resources to Improve Campus Safety
Ryan Su

This story is from the Spring edition of the Soaring Eagle. To read more stories from this issue, click here.

Providing a safe learning environment is important for students to thrive, especially during a pandemic. To ensure our students and facilities were receiving the highest quality of care, our administrators reached out to several alumni businesses for support. Here are three that played an important role in allowing our school to reopen its doors to our students. 

Daniel Kawika Arita ’03 

Vice President of American Carpet One Floor and Home 

“We are not only locally owned but employee owned. My dad, David, started the business in 1974 and he sold it to the employees so everyone you work with in our company is an owner of the company.” - Daniel Arita '03

American Carpet One Floor and Home is a one-stop-shop offering a full array of flooring options as well as home remodeling needs. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the company began offering services and products to help disinfect and clean surfaces of the virus. One of those items is the AirDog, an air sanitizer that uses ionic technology which is proven to kill the influenza virus and COVID-19. The AirDogs have been set up in all classrooms, offices and meeting spaces, adding another layer of protection to keep our students and teachers safe. 

American Carpet One is family owned and operated. The owner, David Arita, is a former HBA parent. His son, Daniel ’03, is the vice president. When reflecting on his time at HBA, Daniel says he is grateful for the relationships he developed as a student with the school and his peers. 

“The alumni support each other really well and we have worked with a bunch of them on their home projects. I am very thankful for these connections,” said Daniel. 

He’s also thankful for the teachers who supported him and encouraged him as he tried new experiences. 

“One of my favorite memories at HBA was choir with Mr. Yo. A bunch of my friends were in that class and we all couldn’t sing, but Mr. Yo put up with us. Every day he would try to make us better. I appreciate him for having patience with us and always having a great attitude.” 

Jarrett Walters ’00 

President and Chief Operating Officer for Hawaiian Building Maintenance 

“HBA gave me a number of skills and values that have truly helped me throughout my career. The Christian values that I learned at HBA have also been key at HBM, including integrity, honesty and hard work.” - Jarrett Walters '00

Hawaiian Building Maintenance (HBM) is Hawaii’s largest full service facility maintenance provider, specializing in janitorial, maintenance and building engineering services. They also provide LED lighting upgrades, heating, ventilating and air conditioning installation and maintenance, handyman and contracting services and pressure washing. They now offer both preventive COVID-19 cleaning and confirmed COVID-19 cleaning services. 

“We have converted all of our cleaning products for surfaces to products approved by the EPA that are capable of killing COVID-19. We also can perform some of the following maintenance-related services: installing ultraviolet lighting in air conditioning systems to sanitize the air that circulates, upgrade installed filters to block COVID-19 from being transmitted through, and provide portable ultraviolet light sanitizing systems. Our COVID response team can completely sanitize an impacted area using electrostatic sprayers dispensing EPA approved products designed to fight the virus.” 

Should HBA ever have a positive COVID case, HBM is ready to provide the school with the services necessary to sanitize the affected areas. 

Some of Walters’ best memories at HBA are of playing basketball. 

“I learned so much from working with the team, as we all did our best to get better every day. The whole experience was enriching, from the time we spent in study hall before practice to our neighbor island trips for basketball games. I’ve always felt that the game isn’t won during the game, it’s won during everything leading up to the game. That mentality has really helped me to work harder and be more successful in my life outside of HBA as well.” 

Von Kenric Kaneshiro ’83 

Owner of Von Kenric Brushes 

“HBA helped to shape me into who I am and who I’ve yet to become. I still have a lot of room to grow.” - Von Kenric Kaneshiro ’83 

Von Kenric Brushes was started by Von Kaneshiro’s parents when he was just six months old. It has been in business now for 55 years, the last 15 years led by Kaneshiro. 

“We specialize in commercial janitorial cleaning supplies and equipment, selling commercial products for disinfecting and cleaning, as well as personal protective equipment (PPE). We have supplied HBA with disinfectant products, and foggers that are used in the gym, classrooms and other large areas,” said Kaneshiro. 

Kaneshiro credits HBA for teaching him to trust in God, and to believe that anything can be accomplished if it is in His plan, and through hard work. 

“The challenge of operating a small, ‘mom and pop’ business is the uncertainty from competition and the economy. Yet each time I feel the anxiety of uncertainty I am reminded of Matthew 11:28, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.’” 

Kaneshiro is also thankful for the mentorship that he received while at HBA. 

“If I were to adapt a famous phrase from Harry Potter, ‘Help will always be given at Hawaii Baptist Academy to those who ask for it.’ I always knew I could count on the many adults that shaped me at HBA. I had over a dozen mentors ready and willing to help me out on almost any topic.”