The LearningBiz Team

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Gregg Yamanaka, B.A., J.D.


Gregg is President of The LearningBiz Group and The Hawaii 5-0 Group. The LearningBiz Group includes LearningBiz, a training, executive coaching, and business process consulting firm; Green Era Consulting LLC and BCG BioEnergy, two Hawaii companies that specialize in community sustainability projects. All three companies focus on social impact in the areas of human and community capacity building. In addition, LearningBiz and Gregg have also been working closely with the Japan Hawaii Tourism Association and its key Japanese travel operators and agencies to support their roles in Hawaii.

The Hawaii 5-0 Group includes Hawaii 5-0 Properties, a real estate brokerage firm that specializes in luxury homes and condominiums, and Hawaii 5-0 Development Partners, a commercial and residential development consortium.

Gregg’s real estate and development experience includes being a real estate attorney, a former member of the State Real Estate Commission, and President of Hawaii’s largest real estate firm; before joining Hawaii 5-0 Properties Inc and Hawaii 5-0 Development Partners, as President.

Gregg was President and CEO of APEC 2011 Hawaii, a non-profit corporation formed for the purpose of assisting the United States in the APEC 2011 meetings of 21 Heads of State, chaired by President Obama, in Hawaii.

He is a graduate of Punahou School, Stanford University and the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. His business background has been in real estate law; banking, as head of 1st Nationwide Bank’s Hawaii operations; and the visitor industry, as president of one of North America’s six largest destination management companies.

Gregg has been long involved in business, community and social service organizations. He is was chair of the State Workforce Development Council for the past eight years; and served on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Aloha United Way, the Hawaii Executive Conference, the Young Presidents Organization, Good Beginnings Alliance, Ahahui Koa Anuenue at the University of Hawaii, Child & Family Service, the State Real Estate Commission, the Hawaii Community Redevelopment Board, the Honolulu Symphony, the Board of the Hawaii Book and Music Festival; and and the national board of Family Service America.

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Dan Herbert, B.A.I.B.

Dan Herbert, Chief Operating Officer, holds a Bachelor's degree in International Business and Economics. Over the last 10 years he has worked in Hawaii, Japan and Vietnam on hospitality, marketing and technology strategies.  His interest in Asian culture led him to Japan at a young age which triggered his fascination in learning about new cultures, languages, cross cultural communication and a desire to work overseas.  As he has returned to Hawaii he is now focusing on discovering new areas of opportunity as LearningBiz expands.

Debbi Leilani Keolanui

Debbi Leilani Keolanui, CHE

Leilani has been an adjunct instructor for the University of Hawai`i – Kapi`olani Community College for 9 years. She has over 17 years of management experience in the hospitality industry; and 14 years of experience in private and public education and training in management, hospitality, tourism, career development, and service excellence. Leilani has created and conducted many management and customer service training programs in the private sector, and for the Hawai`i State Government; and is a Certified Facilitator of Franklin Covey’s “The 7 Habits for Managers”. She currently wears many volunteer hats, and is especially proud of being a volunteer trainer for APEC Hawai`i 2011. Her style is “training, management, and service with Aloha”.

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David Asanuma, B.A.

David, a native of Tokyo, Japan, has lived in Hawaii for 24 years and has spent those years accomplishing many things creatively and productively. Since 2001, he has done volunteer work for the Bishop Museum and has an in-depth knowledge of Hawaiian culture and history, as well as the history of Japanese Americans in Hawaii. David acquired the knowledge of cultural exchange during his 45 years at JTB (Japan Travel Bureau) as Director of Community Relations, and as the executive director of Honolulu Festival since 2004.

He is a recipient of the “Foreign Minister’s Commendation 2013” from the Japanese Government for cultivating cultural exchange between the United States and Japan. He has been a lecturer at several universities in Japan for Hawaiian culture, tourism in Hawaii, cross-cultural communication, etc. Other associations include:
• Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau (Board of Director 2002~2014)

• Japan-America Society of Hawaii (Board of Director 2006~present)

• Japan Hawaii Travel Association (President 1996~1997)

• Japanese Culture Center Of Hawaii (Board of Governor 2003~present)

• Hawaii Tourism Japan (Chair, Cultural Initiatives Committee 2012~present)

Elena Yoo

Elena Yoo, B.Sc., M.Eng.

Elena Yoo, Director of Instructional Strategies and Asian Studies holds a Master's of Engineering in Technical Japanese, a Certified Nutritionist designation and a Bachelor's in Sociology. She is a native Japanese speaker with in-depth knowledge of educational technology and instructional design for adult learners. She has extended experience in international businesses both in Japan and the U.S., and has taught all levels of business Japanese courses at the Japan-America Institute of Management Science (JAIMS) for students at the Shidler College of Business at University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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Kaipo Ho, A.A.

Kaipo Ho, Hawaiian Culture Trainer, was born and raised in Honolulu, and is a 38 year veteran with Hawai‘i’s hospitality industry. He began his career as a cultural interpretive guide with the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and enjoyed the opportunity to learn from the many cultural scholars that frequented the campus. He later joined the E Noa Corporation, the present day owner/operator of the Waikiki Trolley system, and developed the company’s first formal driver-interpreter training and certification program. In 1986, Kaipo joined the Amfac Resorts operations management team in Po‘ipu, Kaua‘i as assistant guest services manager of the Waiohai Beach Resort. He was later promoted to Guest Services manager overseeing the luxury resort’s concierge, bell and valet departments. In 1990, Kaipo was appointed hotel manager of the Stouffer’s Po‘ipu Beach Hotel and oversaw its daily operations. In 1993, Kaipo returned to his O‘ahu home and joined Outrigger Enterprises. He was privileged to have worked with Dr. George Kanahele, a noted author, businessman and Hawaiian cultural expert and philosopher widely known for his vision and work in instilling Hawaiian culture and values in the hospitality industry. During his 20 years with Outrigger, Kaipo has been instrumental in planning, designing and facilitating Outrigger’s successful management-by-values process known as Ke ‘Ano Wa’a, The Outrigger Way, and ensuring that the process is aligned with the company’s business goals and objectives. As Outrigger Enterprises’ cultural experiences manager, Kaipo continues to guide the corporation on Hawaiian cultural matters, and consults Outrigger’s Asia Pacific executive teams on their initiatives to translate The Outrigger Way to the host cultures of their places. In 2011, Kaipo played a key role in the design and facilitation of the APEC 2011 Hawaii conference hospitality training for the 3,000 volunteers state-wide. Kaipo currently serves on the Kauhale O Hookipa Scenic Byway Local Byway Committee sponsored by the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA) and Ho‘okuleana, LLC. The committee is responsible for developing a Scenic Byway in Waikiki. Kaipo is also a Hawaiian Kahu and practitioner of Hawaiian cultural protocol and spiritual healing, and is a licensed wedding celebrant in the State of Hawai'i.

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Heidi Lee Arrington, B.A.

Heidi, Customer Service Trainer, brings over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry having worked for Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club in Florida as Front Office Training Coordinator, Sr. Instructor for United Airlines where she helped design, develop and facilitate curriculum for Reservations and Customer Service training programs currently used across the globe. In addition, Heidi has worked as Contract Service Manager for Hawaiian Airlines and for the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration. During her 12 year career with United, Heidi spent several years overseas supporting offshore operations in India, the Philippines, China and Canada working with third party vendor instructors to ensure continuity of the curriculum was delivered and implemented to customer satisfaction standards. In addition, she worked closely with multiple departments on Leadership Development strategies for both management and non-management (union & non-union) employees. Heidi was an instrumental part of the 2011 APEC Summit where she trained over 650 State and Federal Airport employees in the Ho’okipa (Hospitality) training program. Heidi has been lecturing at Kapi’olani Community College in the Hospitality & Tourism Department since 2010. She previously taught Travel & Tourism courses at Travel University International’s Honolulu campus from 1999 to 2005. Heidi holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Hawai’i West O’ahu and is currently working on the completion of a Master’s in Educational Psychology at the UH Manoa. Her most recent endeavor was to author a textbook for the HOST-171 Airline Reservations and Pricing course currently taught at Kapi’olani Community College. She loves to write in her “spare” time and is quite good at the ancient art of calligraphy. Heidi strives to share her passion for living the Aloha Spirit by inspiring others to maintain positive interactions with customers and colleagues alike – to help build solid internal and external foundational relationships through education and training.

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Laney Northrup, B.A., M.Ed.

Laney Northrup, Chinese Language and Culture Instructor, is a Taiwanese native who holds a Master of Education in Counselor Education degree as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Literature.  She has over 10 years of experience teaching both Chinese language as well as literature.  She has also served as an interpreter in a variety of settings and a counselor for international students in Pennsylvania.  She is currently working with LearningBiz to develop and conduct Mandarin language and Chinese/Taiwanese culture courses to enable Hawaii's employees to interact appropriately with Chinese and Taiwanese visitors.

Sang-Hee Lee

Sang-Hee Lee, B.A., M.A.

Sang-Hee, Korean Language and Culture Instructor, is originally from Korea and holds a Master's degree in Korean Language and Literature from the University of Hawaii, a Bachelor's in French Language from Ewha Womans University in Seoul and has studied English at Harvard Extension School. She works with LearningBiz to provide Korean language and culture training for employees throughout the visitor industry. Her teaching positions include, among others, the University of Hawaii, Kapiolani Community College and Roosevelt High School. She has also served in the international reservations department for Korean Air and volunteered as an interpreter for the Seoul Olympics.

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Mayumi Ishimaru, B.A.

Mayumi Ishimaru, advanced Japanese Instructor with over 15 years of instructional experience, is originally from Yokosuka, Japan and has taught Japanese to a variety of clients including Hawaiian Airline and Delta Airline flight attendants, Panasonic employees, high-end retail employees, and to individuals including engineers, doctors, military officers, businessmen and others. She worked for one of the largest banks in Japan, has taken many formal customer service training workshops, and was trained to communicate using Keigo (high level customer service Japanese) along with proper, appropriate manners and body language. In addition to Keigo instruction, Mayumi has conducted courses in various private high schools, elementary schools and language schools.