Hawaii Nui Brewing Announces Andy Baker as New President and CEO

The board of Hawai‘i Nui Brewing LLC announces the appointment of Andy Baker as president and chief executive officer of Hawai‘i Nui Brewing.

Andy Baker has been appointed president and CEO of Hilo-based Hawai‘i Nui Brewing. One of the largest independent brewers in the state, it is currently the only bottler of craft beer in Hawai‘i .

“Andy Baker brings a wealth of experience and vital relationships in the beer industry to the position and is poised to expand the brewery and its market share in Hawai‘i,” said Nina Lytton, co-founder and chair of Hawai‘i Nui Brewing LLC.

Hawai‘i Nui Brewing’s board of directors appointed Baker to the position after accepting the resignation of co-founder Keith Kinsey, who is stepping down as the brewery’s president due to personal reasons. “Andy Baker has been an integral part of the Hawai‘i Nui Brewing’s foundation and growth and is well-qualified to lead the company into further growth and expansion,” Kinsey said.

Hawai‘i Nui Brewing is one of the largest independent brewers in the state and is currently the only bottler of craft beer in Hawai‘i, with 100% of its beers brewed and bottled in Hawai‘i. Baker is a company co-founder and has been the brewery’s vice president of sales since its inception in 2007. Under Baker’s leadership, Hawai‘i Nui Brewing has experienced significant sales growth in five years. He has managed statewide distributor operations, including shipping, warehousing inventory and sales efforts in conjunction with Paradise Beverages; handled all new Hawai‘i business development primarily in the restaurant and hospitality industries; executed new brand roll-outs with distributor, sales personnel and retailers; and coordinated legislative efforts and Hawai‘i State liquor law issues.

Baker has almost 30 years of experience in marketing, promotions and sales in the beer industry in Hawai‘i and has forged an invaluable number of business relationships in the state and across the nation. His experience includes working at Eagle Distributors for twelve years, Anheuser-Busch Sales of Hawai‘i, and as director of sales & marketing at Kona Brewing Company. Over the decades, Baker has directed media advertising, handled corporate sponsorship and community relations activities, managed point-of-sale inventory and oversaw financial aspects of marketing. Among his accomplishments is the creation of in house promotional programs that resulted in record growth. One of Baker’s programs was adopted by Anheuser-Busch nationally for its O’Doul’s brand.

Baker, a Honolulu resident, ran his own marketing company with several past craft beer clients, including Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Deschutes Brewery, Gordon Biersch, and Blue Moon Brewing. To promote craft beers, he started beer tasting events such as “Hops & Grinds” in 2004 and “House of Brews” in 2006. He also started beer dinners such as “The Brewer’s Table,” working with various restaurants and executive chefs in creating a menu of food and beer pairings. As the host of these events, Baker would educate guests about the nuances of craft beer and the art of beer tasting.

His community service includes being on the board of directors for Trinity Christian School and a past president of the Hawai‘i Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Baker is a graduate of Kalani High School in Honolulu and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Studies – Business Management from the University of Hawai‘i – West O‘ahu.

Hawai‘i Nui Brewing, LLC

Hawai‘i Nui Brewing LLC was formed in May 2007 with the purchase of Keoki Brewing of Lihue, Kaua‘i. With the re-branding of the company’s flagship brands – Kaua‘i Golden Ale and Sunset Amber Ale – the brewery has enjoyed significant sales growth over the past five years. In January 2009, Hawai‘i Nui Brewing joined forces with Mehana Brewing in Hilo, merging the two companies into one operation with unified brand management. The brewery operates out of a 6,700-square-foot facility in Hilo, Hawai‘i, and offers the most diverse year-round portfolio of beer styles of any major beer brand sold in the state. Hawai‘i Nui Brewing has won seven national and international awards for its beer over the last two years.

Renowned Budhist Scholar to Speak in Waimea

Author and esteemed religious scholar Dr. Mark Unno returns to Hawai’i for a two-part presentation series Monday, June 25 at Puna Hongwanji Mission and Tuesday, June 25 at the Kamuela Hongwanji Mission.  Admission is free and the general public is enthusiastically welcome.

Dr. Mark Unno

“Everybody will be able to understand, regardless of age, regardless of religious background,” said Unno.  “It is applicable more broadly to life itself – without a lot of technical jargon.”  According to Unno, the core of Shin Buddhism deals less with the monastic life, and more with the “lay path” of everyday people, much of which is unexpected and unplanned.   “It is not just intellectual; it applies to the whole being: body, heart and mind,” said Unno.

On Monday, June 25 at 6 p.m., Dr. Unno will speak on the “Buddhist Path of Peace: Inner and Outer Transformation” at the Puna Hongwanji in Keaau.  “How you approach peace is just as important as what you do,” said Unno. “It’s like surfing in a way.  It’s not the concept of surfing – it’s the feeling:  feeling for the waves, the thoughts, the emotions, shapes sounds and sights… We are of the ocean; we come from the ocean.  We want to connect, blend with the ocean – dive down deep, and feel the deeper flow.”

“The Crooked Path of Life – Unfolding of Boundless Compassion” will be discussed by Dr. Unno on Tuesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. at the Kamuela Hongwanji on Church Row.  “We would like to be able to take a straight path to success, but life often takes unexpected pathways that lead us in different directions,” he said. “Yet, we often find that the most unexpected turns in life bear the most remarkable treasures, treasures of the heart, of boundless compassion.”

Mark Unno is Associate Professor of Japanese Buddhism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Oregon and received his Ph.D. from Stanford University, and his B.A. from Oberlin College. His research is in Classical Japanese Buddhism, in particular Zen Buddhism and Pure Land Buddhism. He is the author of Shingon Refractions: Myoe and the Mantra of Light (2004) and the editor of Buddhism and Psychotherapy Across Cultures (2006). He teaches courses on Asian Religions, Classical Japanese Buddhism, and Comparative Religion. He lives in Eugene with his wife Megumi and their two cats, Onyx and Taata.

“Cats in many ways are just like people,” said Unno, “They have many of the same foibles and hang-ups, but also wisdom and humor.”

Unno has visited Hawai’i many times and spoken in at least 20 temples since 1989, always very well-received.  “There is a great response in Hawai’i,” said Unno.  “People in Hawai’i have the aloha spirit – their hearts are open.”

Admission is free and open to everyone regardless of religious or spiritual background.  Programs begin at 7 p.m., followed by time for questions and answer, and light refreshments.

For information about Dr. Unno’s presentations, please call the Kamuela Hongwanji Mission at 885-4481 or the Puna Hongwanji Mission, 966-9981.  The presentations are made possible by the Buddhist Study Center of Honolulu, Hawai’i with support of the Peace Committee of the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, producers of the annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace. (www.peacedayparade.org)

Meet Food Network Star Contestant Philip “Ippy” Aiona From the Big Island

Philip “Ippy” Aiona, 23, from Kamuela, Hawaii, is one of the remaining contestants on Season 8 of Food Network’s wildly popular “Food Network Star,” airing Sundays 9E/8C, and locally on Oceanic Channel 321 at 6 p.m., with a repeat at 9 p.m. (Channel 60 on the East Side of the Big Island).  The winner of the show will have his/her own program on the Food Network.  The winner will be decided later this summer.


Known as “mellow” and “low-key,” Ippy doesn’t think he needs to compete in an aggressive or negative way, and feels his skills in the kitchen, as well as his own style make him a viable contestant.  Pretty mature attitude for the youngest contestant to ever be on the show.  As part of “Team Giada” (De Laurentiis), Ippy brings his culinary talents to the table with a definite sense of aloha.  The Hawaiian-Italian Aiona knows he is representing Hawaii, and tries to incorporate the Pacific into his dishes whenever possible.

Aiona’s “day job” is as Executive Chef for his parents’ Italian restaurant, Solimene, in Waimea. (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Solimenes-Restaurant/214104856251)

Ippy will be in Honolulu from Sunday, June 10th through Wednesday, June 13th, and will be at the following events.  He is also available for media interviews at the Dave & Buster’s event tonight, and by appointment via Mona Wood-Sword or Sam Aiona (Cell. 808-306-2444).

SHRINERS HOSPITAL – SUNDAY, JUNE 10 (PRIVATE EVENT*)
WHO:  Private Event (*Media who wish to cover this event should contact Shriners Hospital, directly, at (808) 941-4466.)
WHAT:  Ippy Aiona will be serving lunch to the patients at Shriner’s Hospital.
WHEN:  Sunday, June 10, 2012 • 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Shriners Hospital of the Pacific – Family Center, 1310 Punahou Street, Honolulu

“FOOD NETWORK STAR” VIEWING PARTY – SUNDAY, JUNE 10
WHO: Public welcome.
 WHAT:  “FOOD NETWORK STAR” Viewing Party with local contestant, Ippy Aiona.
WHEN:  Sunday, June 10, 2012 • 5:00-8:00 p.m. (show starts at 6:00 p.m.)
WHERE:  Dave and Buster’s Showroom, Ward Entertainment Center, 1030 Auahi Street, 2nd floor
 WHY:  Meet & greet with Ippy Aiona.
 HOW:  Free admission.  No-host bar and food.

AND PLEASE VOTE FOR “IPPY” at http://www.foodnetwork.com/the-next-food-network-star-fan-vote-results/package/index.html?cid=3314.  MAHALO!!!

Find out more about Ippy at http://www.foodnetwork.com/philip-ippy-aiona/index.html <http://www.foodnetwork.com/philip-ippy-aiona/index.html>.

Find out more about “Food Network Star” at http://www.foodnetwork.com/the-next-food-network-star/index.html.