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Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS Hawaii

Full of Memories and Full of Thanks

The PBS Hawaii staff has re-assembled across town in our new home for storytelling and community building, a beautiful work environment created and built by the support of our fellow Islanders.

It's a cheerful place that promotes transparency – there are no cubicles, just open space with desk groupings and a lot of glass walls. It's designed, by architect Sheryl Seaman of Group 70 International, for teamwork and collaboration.

One immediate favorite spot is nicknamed Team Space – it's a long farm table where staffers can get together for lunch breaks or have work discussions, using a "writable" wall.

To get to this open environment, we had to pack up our longtime rented home on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. It was easy deciding which technology and office equipment to take. What "got" to us is the dilemma that faces almost everyone who moves: What do you do with stacks of memorabilia that are a nod to precious times and achievements?

First, our storehouses of past decades of programming, with people and places of a Hawaii gone by, held in outdated media formats: Chris Lee and Heather Giugni, co-founders of ‘Ulu‘ulu: The Henry Ku‘ualoha Giugni Archive, settled that for us by welcoming our material. They'll do their magic to make programs accessible to online viewers and researchers.

Second, the trophies, accolades, and photographs from over 50 years of public television in Hawaii: We had a display cabinet of trophies and ceremonial gifts, and walls with framed acknowledgements. And there were plaques and certificates tucked away elsewhere – just too many congratulatory items, over the five decades, to showcase. We decided to create a pictorial and written record of all of them to take with us. A number were selected to be part of our new streamlined environment.

And so here we are, full of memories and full of thanks.

Our staff serves with the knowledge that we stand on the shoulders of excellent professionals and many caring, akamai citizens who've come before us. We intend to carry that same torch of education in this collaborative new space, upholding PBS Hawaii as a community connector that reaches into homes and hearts with authentic storytelling that touches, and even changes, lives.

As Board Chair Robbie Alm says, "I am very excited at all the opportunities the new building represents and I will also carry the spirit of our Dole Street (Manoa) building with me always."

I mua! (Moving forward)

PBS Hawaii. Moving files and boxes.

A large framed Hawaiian quilt designed and sewn by Mealii Kalama.  

Television's highest industry recognition for excellence–the 1978 George S. Peabody Award, for Damien, about the struggles of the young priest (and future Saint) as he worked to overcome bureaucracy to help people with leprosy at Kalaupapa.

PBS Hawaii Board Chair Robbie Alm poses with a ceremonial canoe paddle honoring the TV station as "a canoe steersman for a stormy day," following coverage of Hokule'a's Voyage of Rediscovery, 1985-87.


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