About Us

Our Vision

The United States is at a crucial inflection point in its ability to ensure our national defense.  The pendulum has clearly swung to the commercial industry leading the pace of innovation, domestically and globally. 

 We believe the way forward is to reinvent the relationships between the Department of Defense, with domestic and international commercial industry.  Partnering, collaboration, and an order of magnitude acceleration in technology transition, is the only way forward.

 Hawaii’s long-standing multi-cultural mixing pot, strategic positioning in the Pacific, and strong defense spending make a compelling case for being a model example of defense collaboration in the Pacific.

Our Mission

We are on a mission to elevate Hawaii’s role as a national defense asset in the Pacific.

Pacific Impact Zone simultaneously serves the nation and the local Hawaii community with a symbiotic set of missions:

Local impact: Identify and plug the systemic gaps so the dual use sector can become a significant contributor to Hawaii’s economy

National defense impact: Position Hawaii to be the tip of the spear for US–Pacific strategic relations

The Pacific Impact Zone Origin Story

Pacific Impact Zone’s founding members and board members have been working in Hawaii’s defense sector for decades.

We have come together based on a shared belief that defense and innovation economies can be a significant contributor to diversifying Hawaii’s economy. Our individual career journeys have educated, shaped, and inspired us towards the strategy we are carrying out.

  • Founded and managed the Hawaii Technology Development Venture, the state’s largest and longest running defense and dual use incubator, converting $5M of Navy research and development funding  into over $100M in follow-on research funding and product sales
  • Founder of TeraSys Technologies, a defense dual use small business developing electronic warfare products for joint services and enterprise customers. TeraSys was acquired in 2019.
  • Former Executive Director for the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii, a 501(c)(3) non profit that created some of Hawaii’s first industry clusters, many of which are still in operation today.

In 2021, it became obvious that Hawaii must play a pivotal role towards the United State’s goal of maintaining peace and stability in the Pacific. With the creation of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative by the Department of Defense, combined with the growing chorus of voices calling for the acute need to accelerate the fielding of innovations to the field, our path was set, and Pacific Impact Zone was born.

In surfing, the impact zone is the last few seconds when a wave is at its most powerful right before the barrel closes, forcing the surfer to focus on successfully finishing the ride.  We chose the name Pacific Impact Zone to impart the sense of urgency we know is needed for the tasks ahead. Technology and innovation is crucial for peace and security in the Pacific yet the rate of technology transition is an order of magnitude slower than needed. Our team is committed to doing everything possible to strengthen Hawaii’s ability to be the significant contributor in the Pacific we’ve always dreamed it could be.  

 

Key Personnel

Kevin Miyashiro

Kevin Miyashiro

Executive Director

24 years in engineering, executive management, and entrepreneurship including a successful exit of his dual use business, TeraSys Technologies.

  • Startups, dual use technologies, venture funds and private equity
  • BSEE Univ of Hawaii, MSEE UCLA
Bernice Kissinger

Bernice Kissinger

Executive Vice President

35 years in non-profit, state, and business executive management including founding Hawaii’s first Industry Clusters that are still in operation today.

  • Business ecosystem design, Asia-Pacific strategic alliances
  • BA East Asian Studies, Princeton
Shannon Francis

Shannon Francis

Chief of Staff

22 years in financial, operations, and technology project management including serving as Finance Operations Director for the $2B WMATA annual budget.

  • Finance system management, business management
  • BA Gonzaga, MBA Creighton University
Yoh Kawanami

Yoh Kawanami

Director

20 years in project and executive management, awarded 2022 “20 for the next 20” from Hawaii Business Magazine.  Currently Director of Customer Energy Resources at HECO.

  • Project Management, US-Japan relations, defense, renewable energy
  • D. Eng., Engineering Management George Washington University
Sandra Fujiyama

Sandra Fujiyama

Director

22 years in legal, intellectual property, and technology transfer roles, currently Executive Director at University of Hawaii Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreuership. Awarded 2022 “20 for the next 20” from Hawaii Business Magazine.

  • Patent law, technology transfer
  • BS Biochemistry UCLA, JD UCLA School of Law
Harold Masumoto

Harold Masumoto

Senior Advisor

Over 30 years in non-profit, state, and business executive management including managing Hawaii’s largest dual use incubator, the High Technology Development Venture portfolio which generated over $100M in federal contracts.

James Gerard

James Gerard

Advisor

Over 30 year career spanning software entrepreneurship to senior executive business development at Northrop Grumman. Recognized expert in electronic warfare and spectrum operations.

Our Core Values

workforce-development

Sucess Through Teamwork

Just like any organization, we need strong individual talent. But we face grand challenges that can only be solved as a team.

We win or lose based on individual effort amplified and aligned through interactions and handoffs.

execution-matters

Focus on Outcomes

“Ideas are good, but execution is what matters.”

Even with execution, effort is a necessary but not sufficient condition for success.  We insist on quality work and accountability for outcomes.

capitalism-with-a-conscience

Philanthropy Through Capitalism

A growing tool to align traditional capitalism with philanthropy is called the “double bottom line,” often referred to as impact investing.

We will return part of the unlocked wealth created in the Dual Use Sector back to the community through philanthropy and the power of capitalism focused on the greater good.

 

 

Contact Us Today

Please reach out to us via our contact page to discuss any of our programs or services.