Speaker Bios (2013)
Eddie Flores Jr.
Eddie Flores Jr., president of the L&L restaurant chain, educator and philanthropist, has distinguished himself as a successful entrepreneur and community leader. Shortly after his graduation from the University of Hawai‘i, he formed his own real estate company and in 1976, purchased his first L&L restaurant as a gift to his mother. Since then, Flores has expanded the L&L restaurant chain to 200 locations worldwide.
Flores has been a strong supporter of education. In 2007, Flores established a $1 million endowed scholarship at the Shidler College of Business. To date, his scholarship has impacted the lives of many students. This year alone, his scholarship has helped 52 students from the Freshman Direct Admit Program.
As an educator, Flores has authored several books and articles on real estate, investment, and business appraisal, and taught courses on these subjects throughout the State. Even today, Flores continues to teach and mentor minority business professionals and entrepreneurs.
Over the years, Flores has also contributed to the community. In 1993, he established the Filipino Fiesta and Parade in Hawai‘i, played a pivotal role in establishing the Filipino Community Center in 2002 by raising $14.2 million and established the Chinatown Community Development Center this year.
For his accomplishments, Flores has received over 20 awards including the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii Entrepreneur of the Year, the University of Hawai‘i Distinguished Alumni Award, Junior Achievement Hall of Fame, Ernst and Young and the Small Business Administration’s Entrepreneur of the Year, the Hawaii Association of Realtors Educator of the Year, and the Shidler College of Business Hall of Honor.
Flores received a BBA from the UH Shidler College of Business and a Masters from the University of Oklahoma. He was the first Asian American to receive the designation of Certified Business Intermediary and Designated Real Estate Instructor.
Kaili Taniguchi is an undergraduate student born and raised on Oahu, majoring in Entrepreneurship and International Business. She is a 2010 graduate of ‘Iolani High School.
In 2012, Taniguchi was awarded the Oscar and Rosetta Fish Scholarship for Excellence. The Fish Scholarship gave her the opportunity to study abroad in Denmark this past spring, after having studied the previous spring in Spain.
Taniguchi helped create Bring Home Aloha, a student-run business that was located at the Ilikai Hotel. She also founded 5,000 Reasons, an organization that seeks to raise $5,000 in scholarships for young girls and provide 5,000 books for children in Zambia, Africa. She is currently the Director of Discovery for the Hawaii Student Entrepreneurs (HSE) student club.
One of Taniguchi’s passions in life is traveling. She enjoys immersing herself in new cultures and learning new languages. One of her life goals is to live in Africa and through a business she creates in the future, have the chance to build schools and continue to provide scholarships.
Jaime Uota is a full-time MBA student in the class of 2014 and is a recipient of the Shidler Jumpstart MBA Program Scholarship.
Uota graduated from the Shidler College of Business in 2008 with a BBA in marketing and minor in Japanese. He was an Executive Account Manager at Hewlett-Packard, as well as an assistant manager at Walgreens. Uota also spent two years teaching English in Nagasaki, Japan.
In 2004, during his senior year at Punahou School, Uota was awarded the Sony-Morita Scholarship, which enabled him to spend his first year of college studying in Nagoya, Japan. During his undergraduate career, Uota was awarded the Oscar and Rosetta Fish Scholarship for Excellence. He also won the Special Senior in Marketing Award for Business Night in 2008.
In his free time, Uota enjoys playing tennis, going to the gym, and running. He currently plans to build a career in Hawaii.