The Kamitaki family, which operates the HouseMart family of Ace Hardware and Ben Franklin Crafts Stores, has established a $35,000 endowed scholarship in honor of their parents, Tadami and Kimei Kamitaki. The Tadami and Kimei Kamitaki Endowed Memorial Scholarship will provide support to undergraduate students attending the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Shikano Kamitaki, mother of Tadami Kamitaki, started the company with a small dry goods store in Kahului, Maui. With the help of his sister Matsuko Mizoguchi, Tadami acquired the franchise rights to Ben Franklin stores in 1951 and grew the business into a chain of stores. The first Ace Hardware Store was added in 1984. Now in its 3rd generation, HouseMart operates 31 Ben Franklin Crafts and ACE Hardware Stores across Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Hawai‘i.
“We created this scholarship to honor our mom and dad, who were both graduates of the UH Mānoa Shidler College of Business,” says Guy Kamitaki, co-owner and treasurer of Maui Varieties, Ltd. “They appreciated the education they received at UH and strived to give all five of their children a good education.”
“Our father had a great drive and will to succeed,” Guy continues. “He created a profit sharing program for our employees over 60 years ago and laid the groundwork and culture for this company. It’s a testament to his leadership and vision that our company continues on today.”
“We are grateful that the Kamitaki family has chosen to establish an endowed memorial scholarship in honor of their parents,” says Vance Roley, dean of the Shidler College of Business. “This family has such a strong tradition of community involvement. They are a long time member of the Family Business Center of Hawai‘i and continue to share their business philosophy with other local family businesses.”
Donna Vuchinich, president and CEO of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation concluded, “We are honored to partner with the Kamitaki family in creating this meaningful philanthropic legacy that honors Tadami and Kimei Kamitaki.”