Mediation Center benefit to honor ‘peacemakers’


On Sunday, Nov. 11, the Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center (KMC) — in participation with the Hawaii County Bar Association — will host its seventh annual recognition dinner and auction in Hilo to help fund the nonprofit human services agency.

“This year we are recognizing the Honorable Greg K. Nakamura and Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi with ‘Peacemaker Awards’ for all they have done for our community,” said KMC President Andrew P. Wilson.

“I am also humbled that the Hawaii County Bar Association has chosen to honor me,” added Wilson, who is being recognized for practicing law in Hawaii for 40 years. No-host cocktails will be served at 5 p.m., with dinner served at 6 p.m. The buffet will feature a choice of shrimp scampi over fettuccini, Italian chicken and Spencer roast, as well as salads, side dishes and dessert.

Newton John Chu will emcee the event, which features a silent auction, live auction and door prizes. Items up for bid include rounds of golf, adventure tours, entrance to local attractions, overnight stays, gift cards to restaurants and retail stores, bodywork, wearing apparel, artwork, gift baskets, flower arrangements and more.

“Our annual dinner provides a significant portion of the funds that Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center needs to provide free and low-cost dispute resolution services to the East Hawaii community,” said Wilson. “Over half of our clients are at or below the poverty level, and many are not able to pay any fees for their mediation sessions.”

Judge Nakamura is an avid advocate of mediation and arbitration, and believes that these alternate dispute resolution processes are integral tools to helping resolve cases.

“The Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center has been very supportive of the judiciary’s efforts to have matters resolved out of court,” noted Nakamura. “In particular, the center’s participation in the Foreclosure Mediation Pilot Project has been instrumental in the program’s success. This has allowed many homeowners facing foreclosure to keep their homes.”

Nakamura is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law and began his legal career in private practice in 1979. In 1990, he was appointed to the bench as a District Family Court judge in Kona. In 1994 he was appointed as a Circuit Court judge in Hilo. In addition, he also is deputy chief judge for the Third Circuit Family Court, administrative judge for the Court-Annexed Arbitration Program, and Drug Court judge for East Hawaii.

Iboshi has supported mediation throughout her career as prosecutor. She initiated training for mediation for the Prosecutor’s Office staff and supported the principles embodied in victim-driven mediation in appropriate cases. She has served on the KMC board of directors, and continues to support the efforts of alternative dispute mediation within the schools and judiciary for civil matters where access to justice and quick resolution to disputes builds respect for the justice system.

Iboshi was born in Hilo and graduated from Hilo High School, the University of Hawaii and the University of Puget Sound Law School. She worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Washington state, and then was appointed as a Hawaii County deputy prosecuting attorney in 1980 and first deputy in 1992, and became the prosecuting attorney in 2011.

Tickets for the annual dinner are $85 per person (of which $50 is tax-deductible) and are available from KMC’s board of directors and from the KMC office in the Hilo Lagoon Centre at 101 Aupuni St., Suite PH 1014 B-2. For reservations, contact KMC Executive Director Julie Mitchell at 935-7844, ext. 116, or email julie@kmchilo.com.

 

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