Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) has appointed Gwen Fujie as its new Hawaii regional manager.

Fujie, a long-time supporter of the Nisei soldier legacy, has chaired both the 65th and 70th national anniversary celebrations of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Honolulu. She has also served as a volunteer, lending support to the 100th Infantry Battalion and Military Intelligence Service functions.

Gwen Fujie
Gwen Fujie

“My father, Toshio ‘Bulldog’ Nishizawa, served with the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, Battery B, and I grew up with many ‘uncles’ from my dad’s unit,” recalls Fujie. “But it wasn’t until much later in life that I came to fully appreciate the extraordinary military service record of the Nisei soldiers and the life lessons we can all learn from their persistence and sacrifice.

“That’s an important message to pass on – especially to our youth – and I am excited about the educational mission of GFBNEC to reach out to people of all races and creeds to share the Nisei soldier story.”

Fujie will work closely with chairman of the GFBNEC Hawaii Regional Advisory Board, Brig. Gen. (ret.) James Hirai, deputy director, Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies. Serving with Hirai on the Hawaii regional board and the national GFBNEC board are Douglas Goto, executive vice president, Pacific Guardian Life; Alan Hayashi, director of public relations and policy advocacy, BAE Systems; Stephen Kagawa, president and CEO, The Pacific Bridge Companies Inc.; and Chef Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s Restaurants Worldwide.

Since 1999, Fujie has run Gwen Fujie Keynotes & Seminars, a consultancy that helps individuals and organizations improve the effectiveness of their communications. Clients include Hawaii Pacific Health, State of Hawaii Department of Health, Catholic Charities, and Hawaii Pacific University College of Nursing and Health Sciences faculty. Prior to that, she was director of guest relations and volunteer services at St. Francis Healthcare Systems. She has also served as director of volunteer services at The Queen’s Medical Center.

Fujie takes over from Barbara Watanabe, who relocated with her family to the San Francisco area.Watanabe will continue in her role as GFBNEC vice president for strategic advancement, where she is responsible for defining and launching the organization’s national initiatives, including opening the new GFBNEC exhibition and education center in Los Angeles and the launch of the National Digital Archives of Japanese American Military Service. The archive will be the largest online resource of oral histories, photos and documents about the Nisei soldier legacy.

Fujie will be based in the Honolulu office, and may be contacted at gwen@goforbroke.org, via phone at (808) 585-8484 or via mail at PO Box 2554 Honolulu, HI 96804.

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