THE BUZZ – Greater Good Radio marks a milestone

THE BUZZ by Erika Engle
Star Bulletin Article Link

GREATER GOOD Radio is one year old and celebrated its birthday at the new Pearl nightclub on Friday.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann was traveling, but his proclamation declaring September 2006 Greater Good month was presented.

Greater Good Radio first hit the air on KKEA-AM 1420 Sept. 3 of last year because of a conversation between a pole-vaulting coach and local businessman Duane Kurisu, who is also a minority investor in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

The show has featured interviews of more than 120 business leaders from Hawaii and elsewhere, with the goals of inspiring a new generation of leaders and of conveying the importance of serving the community, not as an aside, but as part of the business plan.

Evan Leong was the coach who sought Kurisu’s counsel on how to take his Bubble Tea Supply business to the next level.

“I left that conversation trying to figure out how I was going to help the community,” Leong said.

Kurisu told Leong how his Punalu’u Bakery on the Big Island has extended second-chance opportunities to people in recovery from drug abuse and about the good will that has engendered in the community.

Kurisu also shared a leverage lesson with Leong, noting that to fund a $10,000 scholarship costs $10,000 and the student only gets $10,000. However, for every $5,000 Kurisu puts into his Hawaii Sports Network Foundation, students can derive full-ride scholarships worth $100,000 to $160,000, Leong said.

The leverage lesson is being played out at Greater Good Radio, hosted by Leong and his wife Kari.

The radio shows and transcripts are archived on the show’s Web site.

Since episode 115, the Leongs have been taping the show, not at the radio station, but at KGMB-TV, for the launch of Greater Good TV in January.

Rick Blangiardi, senior vice president and general manager of the TV station, announced Friday night that the TV version of Greater Good will air at 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays beginning Jan. 6 and will serve as a lead-in to its 5 p.m. local newscast.

The tapings are an hour long for radio, but the video will be edited to 30 minutes for television.

You probably know where this is going, a la the leverage lesson.

Once the TV show airs, it will be available on Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s video on demand. Minute-long vignettes from the shows will air on PBS Hawaii, and “all of it gets repurposed to the Internet for podcasting via computer, mobile phone,” or other platform, Evan said.

Transcripts become “the basis for different columns and then we’re going to be collaborating (to put) all of that into a book series,” he said.

There also will be a DVD series.

It’s not just about making money, however.

Leong and Greater Good supporters hope to establish the Kokua Project, a hands-on program in which college students in various fields of study collaborate to create and market a business to the outside world, in order to gain real-life business experience.

Central Pacific Bank has been the show’s sponsor since the beginning, which helped underwrite the cost of air time and lent credence to the effort, helping to attract the business leaders who have been interviewed.

Their stories of successes, failures and their own service to the community, have led to some startling listener feedback.

“We know for a fact that the show has impacted hundreds of people around the world,” Kari Leong said. Business owners have sought advice on implementing a community service plan, “and they always follow up and let us know the nonprofit they have chosen to give back to or get involved with as a company,” she said.

Greater Good Radio airs at 8 a.m. Saturdays on KKEA-AM 1420, with rebroadcasts at 8 p.m. Wednesdays.

Further reading

Keeping life in perspective

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