Hiatus for EMME, Inc.
       Last December 2010, I finally decided to take a 'break' from TV shows and EMME, Inc. projects. It’s the first time since my company started in late 1993 and the first time ever in my adult working life I’ve spent time away from the office for this long.
       It was meant to be an 8-month hiatus to do some personal projects like: house repair, de-cluttering, cleaning closets, sending balikbayan boxes to the Philippines, cooking, visiting friends and spending time with my husband and dog! It was a wonderful grounding and fulfilling time in all ways. Life looks a lot different and priorities seem to be clearer now. I guess that comes with age. :-)
       The 8-month break turned into nearly a year because of unexpected incidents, which led to me helping my sisters care for my mom who has been hospitalized since July.
       With some care and precision planning, we reopened EMME, Inc. during the late summer and we're getting projects off the ground, which you will hear about. But for now, here's a synopsis of some of our special Island Moments and events this year.

       We gave our first Emme Tomimbang Education Fund Scholarship to
Thanh Vy Vu, a graduate of Farrington High School (my alma mater).
Originally from Vietnam, this young lady is now a Digital Arts major
at my other alma mater, Leeward Community College.
       We presented Thanh a $1000 scholarship at the Farrington Scholar-
ship event in May, which was held at the Farrington High School
Auditorium. We wish her well and look forward to our next scholarship recipient in May 2012.

       My husband Jim Burns was a seasonal park ranger at Glacier National Park in Montana back in the 50's. This was one of his first trips back to his old stomping grounds. We made the trek first to Seattle, Washington to visit old friend Nuu Faaola and his wife Roseanne. Then, we flew to Kalispell, Montana and drove to East and West Glacier. Amazing breathtaking views of snow peaked mountains – (Yes, in June!) And the natural wildlife and scenery that truly makes America the Beautiful. We saw grizzly bears and other exciting wildlife roaming freely in the wilderness.
      We also met and talked story with BlackFoot Indians and visited their casino in Browning, Montana. It was truly a memorable moment at Many Glacier Hotel and we hope to get back there again someday.

       On the first anniversary since Ka`ilila`au Lindsey's ashes were scattered off the shores of Ka`anapali Beach Hotel, we all met once again to remember him and the beginning of a special canoe. The weekend brought the Lindsey `Ohana out to the hotel for a Sunday Brunch radio event. It was wonderful to hold and hug them again – they are growing fast!
      The reunion with Lori Sablas and General Manager Mike White was touching. We also celebrated our Telly Award for "Ka`ilila`au's Canoe: A Journey of Spirit", which was awarded to us in the Travel/Tourism category. The national award was a wonderful testimonial to the beautiful story of the boy, his canoe and what Ka`anapali Beach Hotel did to make this dream come true.

      Al Harrington of Hawaii 5-0 fame and I stopped in to visit with residents at Arcadia. We replayed "Memories of Hawaii 5-0" and both Al and I reminisced those great moments with our audience. The room was capacity filled with enthusiastic 5-0 fans and a lively discussion took place between them and Ben Kokua, played by Al Harrington in the classic Hawaii Five-0 series.
      Later this month, we also had a wonderful interview with Mark Dacascos, an old friend and early guest on Island Moments. Mark is not only the Chairman on Iron Chef America and a Dancing With the Stars participant; he is now the villain WoFat on the reboot of Hawaii Five-0. Look for his wonderful interview in one of our future Island Moments specials.


      We were invited to the Hawaii Five-0 premier at Waikiki Beach. Executive Producer Peter Lenkov was kind enough to include us in the massive premier last Sept. 10th. We had a wonderful time with Mark Dacascos, and former alums Dennis Chun and Al Harrington who are now in the current 5-0 series.
      On the same day, we participated in a landmark PBS Hawaii workshop, which brought together young television reporters, producers and videographers at the UH East West Center. The day-long event sponsored by PBS Hawaii was part of their extremely successful HIKI NO television youth newscast. I had the opportunity of doing a two-hour workshop titled, "How to Make the Camera Love You." I was excited to meet young television hopefuls, including a young 12-year-old from remote Niihau. It was fascinating to see the future of our industry through the eyes of these enthusiastic youth.
      Congratulations to Vice President of Creative Services Robert Pennybacker, President and CEO Leslie Wilcox and the team of PBS Hawaii for such a wonderful event!


      At the end of the month, we joined the Hawaii Restaurant Association (HRA) as they celebrated the 20th anniversary of Hawaii Regional Cuisine on Sept. 19th at The Modern Honolulu in Waikiki. During this grand gala event, HRA honored the 12 founding chefs who paved the way of how we viewed and tasted food in Hawaii.
      I had the privilege to sit and talk with Chefs Alan Wong, Bev Gannon, George Mavro, Mark Ellman, Peter Merriman and Shep Gordon – just to name a few! Throughout the entire evening, there seemed to be a common message among the participating chefs – using ‘farm to table’, quality ingredients, sustainability and supporting the local economy.
      Thank you to the original HRC chefs for your inspiration that has truly shaped this phenomenal food movement; from where we get our ingredients to the techniques of cooking in the kitchen.


      Continuing on with the celebration, I also caught up with Chef Roy Yamaguchi for his Inaugural Hawaii Food and Wine Festival event at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. With a crowd of over 1,000 people, many gathered for a night filled with exceptional food, local food displays, entertainment and more. It was a landmark occasion celebrating Hawaii food at its best with the emphasis on sustainability. Congrats to Roy, Denise Hayashi and Chef Alan Wong for all their fine effort towards this. Such a stellar nite!
      It was a dinner under the stars featuring world-class chefs, which included:
         - John Besh, John Besh Restaurants, New Orleans
         - Celestino Drago, Celestino Drago Restaurant Group, Los Angeles
         - Dean Fearing, Fearing’s, Dallas
         - Michael Ginor, Hudson Valley Foie Gras & Lola, New York
         - Ed Kenney, Town, Hawai‘i
         - Peter Merriman, Merriman’s, Hawai‘i
         - Philippe Padovani, Padovani’s Grill, Hawai‘i
         - Jeffrey Vigilla, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Hawai‘i
         - Marcel Vigneron, Top Chef Bravo, Marcel's Quantum Kitchen TV, Los Angeles
         - Alan Wong, Alan Wong’s, Hawai‘i
         - Roy Yamaguchi, Roy’s Restaurants, Hawai‘i


      Stay tuned for an Island Moments special update in early 2012 with a tribute to the late James MacArthur of Hawaii 5-0, an update interview of Mark Dacascos, now ‘WO FAT’ of “Hawaii Five-0”, a visit with founding Hawaii Regional Cuisine chefs and more! See you in January 2012!

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