BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN – Small Business Hawaii Enterpreneurial Education Foundation will honor Joseph Nicolai, founder of JN Automotive Group, with its highest award at its September 16, 2011 annual dinner.
Nicolai, who has operated car franchises for Chevrolet, Mazda and Audi; exotic car franchises for Maserati, Lotus, Ferrari, and Lamborghini; and motorcycle franchises for Kawasaki, Vespa, Honda, Yamaha, Aprilia, Iron Horse, and Harley-Davidson, will be presented with the SBH Lex Brodie Business Person of the Year award. (Lex Brodie founded SBH in 1976 and the SBH Foundation was established in 2009.)
A successful business man who has ranked 47th in Hawaii’s Top 250 businesses, Nicolai has helped countless people in the community. During his many years in business, he has promoted countless military events, and made education of Hawaii’s youth a major focus.
After being drafted into the U.S. Army, and serving as a “cryptologist” in conjunction with the Italian Navy based at Pearl Harbor, he started his own car business in 1961 with just $2,500 in capital. Just 5 years later, he launched his Harley-Davidson distribution business for the Pacific.
Nicolai was awarded the title “Cavaliere” or (Knight) on May 31, 2002 by the Italian government for work his family has done through their Italian-American Foundation.
Other prominent members of the community also will be presented with awards during the September 16 SBH awards dinner.
Win Schoneman, owner of Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts in Koko Marina Shopping Center in Hawaii Kai, will receive the SBH Jean Fukuda Civic Leadership Award. Schoneman is heavily involved in bettering public education in Hawaii.
Tyler Roukema, owner of the Outback Steakhouse in Hawaii Kai, will receive the SBH Young Entrepreneur of the Year. The 29-year-old operates one of the most successful restaurants in the chain. Part of his success comes from his well established involvement in the community and his support of many good causes, including school and community fundraisers.
Hawaii Reporter’s own investigative reporter Jim Dooley will receive the SBH George Mason Outstanding Reporting award. Earlier this year, he received Society of Professional Journalism Awards for his business and government reporting.
Glenn Muranaka of Meadow Gold Dairies will be presented with the SBH Business Booster award. Muranaka and Meadow Gold Dairies have been a major supporter of countless community and educational activities and events in Hawaii.
Other SBH members will be recognized for their accomplishments by being named “SBH Success All Stars:”
They include Marissa Capelouto of Oahu Express, Inc., Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser of Mikilua Poultry Farm and Joe Teipel of Auction Action.
All three of the SBH all stars are active in bettering the business community and climate in Hawaii, whether through testifying at the legislature, participating in business activities and events, and volunteering in their communities.
To attend the SBH Foundation dinner, contact Darlyn Evangelista or Sam Slom at 396-1724 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $100; $50 is tax deductible; The event includes a buffet dinner at the Waialae Country Club, entertainment, and a silent auction.