Forging Relationships with Mentors Makes Good Business Sense for Hogan Students

Hogan mentor Rob Kinslow

Mentor-in-residence Rob Kinslow believed that entrepreneurs are the artists of the business world.

The Hogan Entrepreneurs program launched its first Hogan Mentors Night to rave reviews and a packed house. Held Feb. 22, the event introduced the Hogan mentorship offerings to its students and alumni in an innovative way. Divided into five per table, the students eagerly waited for the opportunity to ask their questions from the Hogan in-residence mentors, entrepreneurs, and leadership coach. The mentors switched tables every 10 minutes, speed-dating style. 

“Everyone was engaged in the conversations--not one shy student in the room,” said Eloisa Rising, Hogan Entrepreneurs program specialist. “Students showed interest in each mentor. I overheard at one table success stories, at another table students sharing their future career plans, and at another table, a mentor was giving advice.” 

Hogan student Lena Farden, who was on track for her MBA with a nonprofit focus by 2018, was grateful to meet the mentors. “As a grad student and driven professional, access to mentors is a key growth strategy for moving your ideas, your goals or your career onto a successful trajectory. With a mentor, you have someone who has been through the hard lessons to help guide you -- someone who can believe in your project and, more importantly, in you.  After that, you have no excuse not to get started with building your success,” Farden shared.

Drumming up excitement at the event were the Mentors-in-Residence  Mike Herb, Rob Kay, John Gleeson, Rob Kinslow and Gen. Dwight Kealoha; Entrepreneurs-in-Residence  Rechung Fujihira and Russel Cheng; and Leadership Coach-in-Residence Scott Simon. The in-house cadre of experienced business people has proven to be an invaluable resource for many a budding Hogan entrepreneur.  These outstanding business people give their time, energy and advice freely to those willing to take advantage of the venue.  Be it encouragement or cautionary flags, practical advice or strategizing on the big picture, they make it a point to serve the Hogan students one-on-one.

“Although entrepreneurs are known as independent workaholics, having a mentor is something that you will eventually need-- someone to talk to when producing your upcoming product or service,” said Gabe Torno, a December 2016 MBA graduate from Chaminade and a Hogan alumni. “I learned that as an entrepreneur, it is very helpful to have a few mentors -- not just one -- to keep in your circle of networks.  As an entrepreneur, you can't do everything by yourself.”

The interactive event forged new relationships between students and mentors. Rising noted that after the event, students contacted her to set up one-on-one meetings with the mentors. “The event was very effective, and we will definitely do this again next year,” said Rising.

Hogan mentor Mike Herb with years of experience in consulting, financial planning, networking and business plan reviewing discussed business opportunities with students.

Mentor Rob Kay with more than 30 years of public relations experience reminded students to include public relations strategies in their plans.

Gen. Dwight Kealoha, the former CEO of Better Business Hawaii and retired commander of the 15th Air Base Wing at Hickam, fielded questions as a Hogan mentor.

Scott Simon, a professional executive coach and business consultant who focuses on emerging leaders and their teams, is the leadership coach-in-residence for the Hogan program.

Mentor John Gleeson grew his business successfully and then retired to work tirelessly as a volunteer on the passions of his life.

Entrepreneur-in-residence Russel Cheng, co-founder of DevLeague, pressed Hogan students to think innovatively.

Entrepreneur-in-residence Rechung Fujihira, co-founder and CEO of Box Jelly, Hawaii's first co-working space, encouraged young entrepreneurs that if he can do it, so can they.

The room was packed at the first Hogan Mentors Night event.

About the Hogan Entrepreneurs Program

Learning the Life and Culture of the Entrepreneur

In the Hogan Entrepreneurs program, students learn first-hand from experienced Hawai'i business leaders and entrepreneurs about the business of getting a new idea up and running.
For more information, go to 

For bios on in-residence mentors, entrepreneurs and leadership coach, visit:

Mentors-In-Residence   at

Entrepreneurs-In-Residence at

Leadership Coach-In-Residence at



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Kapono Ryan
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Hogan Entrepreneurs