Pono Shim

Pono Shim

  • Gifted storyteller
  • One of Hawai’i’s 20 Break Out Leaders for the next 20 years
  • President and CEO of Oahu Economic Development Board

Travels from Oahu, Hawaii

Keynote Fee: Contact Forte Speakers


Pono Shim is a gifted storyteller, known for using illustrations to connect with his audiences. Shim advocates that the majority of social issues facing individuals, organizations, local, national and international communities are symptoms of deeper problems that can and must be addressed today. In 2009, he was asked to take over the leadership of Enterprise Honolulu. At the time, the organization was in serious financial distress and had lost favor with the local community. Shim deployed a strategy and lifestyle that he learned at a young age.  Today, the organization is financially stable and considered an influential leadership hub in the state. He considers his exposure, as child, to Hawai`i leadership philosophies to be the backbone of his ideas, actions and words.

Shim currently serves on numerous boards of directors and is an advisor for nonprofits, private companies and task forces. He is an inspiring leader who works to bridge the members of the community. He was selected as one of Hawaii Business Magazine’s 2010-20 for 20 –  Hawai`i’s Top 20 Break Out Leaders for the Next 20 Years. In 2012, Shim successfully led the efforts of Punawai O Puuhonua’s new market tax credit application and was awarded a $40 million allocation for economic development in low-income communities for Hawai`i.

Pono once visited with a high-ranking state official who asked him how to transform the culture of organizations.  He expressed that Hawaii has an IT infrastructure venture to transform the hardware and software foundations of our state, but that the area where most of these types of initiatives fail is in the transformation of the people.  Since then Shim has been sharing the techniques that he lives to assist others to build healthy individuals, organizations, and communities.

In December 2013 Pono donated a kidney to a friend. Subsequently he was asked and now serves on a national committee developing policies affecting living organ donation in the United States.

Pono shares this experience and the focus behind it of setting a goal, persevering, and eventually collaborating on this unique and life-changing event. He also shares his insights into his friend’s initial response, and our resistance, as humans, to accept support at such a high level.



Aloha Leadership: Restoring Personal and Professional Health for Individuals, Relationships and Organizations

What does it mean to define your organization, department, and your family with Aloha? How do you bring a healthy initiative forward to get a healthy outcome? It is through Aloha Leadership.

When Pono Shim speaks of Aloha, he clarifies that he’s not only referring to the Aloha Spirit, but rather the practical applications of the values within the word aloha working in concert.

Additional Topic:

Civility and Incivility in Our Communities