ABOUT


Sharing Our Islands’ Spirit Allows Us to Return the Favor

Our History

The origins of Hawaiian Host Group can be traced back to almost a century. Mamoru Takitani along with his wife, Aiko, had hopes of producing a world-famous confection. Through hard work and dedication, they were able to create their one-of-a-kind recipe.

Today, we still use that very same formula and continue to come up with a variety of macadamia delights to share with the world through our brands, Hawaiian Host®, Mauna Loa®, and KOHO®.

The Takitani Foundation

The Takitani Foundation

The Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships and educational opportunities for underserved populations of Hawai‘i students.

More than just providers of educational grants, The Takitani Foundation also strives to spur innovative improvements in education in Hawai‘i. The Foundation was created in 1993 to express the Takitanis’ appreciation to the local community for its continual support of their products.

Visit takitanifoundation.org

Our Corporate Brand

Hawaiian Host Group is the leading manufacturer of premium chocolate and macadamia nut snacks, headquartered in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

PURPOSE

We are the hosts of Hawai‘i. It is our job to make the Islands’ future flourish.

  • We aim to be local
  • We are sustainable when possible
  • We always lead with the Spirit of Hawai‘i

VISION

We inspire more people to live better with the Spirit of Hawaiʻi – a spirit of warmth, openness, human connection, and well-being.

MISSION

We create Hawai‘i-inspired experiences through our uncompromising focus on excellence, ethics, and our desire to delight.

Our Culture

Our Culture

While we do make products intended to share the Spirit of Hawai‘i with the world or across the Islands — at Hawaiian Host Group, we aim to create exceptional experiences alongside our unique line of products.

We seek to set the highest standards without settling and continue to innovate so we can stay relevant and exciting for our consumers.

Executive Leadership

#ED SCHULTZ
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ED SCHULTZLinkedIn

PRESIDENT & CEO

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Ed Schultz has been President of Hawaiian Host Group since 2018. In 2020, he became President and CEO. Prior to joining HHG, he was President and Owner of Honolulu Coffee. Mr. Schultz’s career started in New York working on growth equity investments and leveraged buyouts for BNP Paribas Merchant Banking Group and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He is currently on the board of the Hawaii Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i. Mr. Schultz is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee with a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

ED SCHULTZ LinkedIn

PRESIDENT & CEO

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Ed Schultz has been President of Hawaiian Host Group since 2018. In 2020, he became President and CEO. Prior to joining HHG, he was President and Owner of Honolulu Coffee. Mr. Schultz’s career started in New York working on growth equity investments and leveraged buyouts for BNP Paribas Merchant Banking Group and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He is currently on the board of the Hawaii Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i. Mr. Schultz is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee with a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

#MICHELLE LEON-GUERRERO
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CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

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Michelle Leon-Guerrero joined Hawaiian Host Group in 2019 and serves as Chief Administrative Officer. Prior to joining HHG, Mrs. Leon-Guerrero was Director of Benefits for ProService Hawaii, the largest Professional Employer Organization (PEO) in the state. Under her leadership, the benefits and insurance programs grew to serve more than 35,000 employees. Mrs. Leon-Guerrero is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a Bachelor of Science in Travel Industry Management and also holds an MBA in Human Resources.

MICHELLE LEON-GUERRERO LinkedIn

CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

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Michelle Leon-Guerrero joined Hawaiian Host Group in 2019 and serves as Chief Administrative Officer. Prior to joining HHG, Mrs. Leon-Guerrero was Director of Benefits for ProService Hawaii, the largest Professional Employer Organization (PEO) in the state. Under her leadership, the benefits and insurance programs grew to serve more than 35,000 employees. Mrs. Leon-Guerrero is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a Bachelor of Science in Travel Industry Management and also holds an MBA in Human Resources.

#AMIR ZAHEDI
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CHIEF SALES OFFICER

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Amir Zahedi has been Senior VP of Sales at Hawaiian Host Group since April 2021. Prior to joining HHG, Mr. Zahedi served as SVP of Sales at Truco Enterprises. He has held various roles throughout his career including Category Management, Trade Marketing, and progressive sales roles at Mars Inc., Unilever, and Pinnacle Foods. Mr. Zahedi earned his MBA from Pepperdine University and has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from UC Riverside.

AMIR ZAHEDI LinkedIn

CHIEF SALES OFFICER

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Amir Zahedi has been Senior VP of Sales at Hawaiian Host Group since April 2021. Prior to joining HHG, Mr. Zahedi served as SVP of Sales at Truco Enterprises. He has held various roles throughout his career including Category Management, Trade Marketing, and progressive sales roles at Mars Inc., Unilever, and Pinnacle Foods. Mr. Zahedi earned his MBA from Pepperdine University and has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from UC Riverside.

#SHANNON CASTELLANOS
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CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

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Shannon Castellanos joined Hawaiian Host Group as Chief Financial Officer in 2022. Mrs. Castellanos comes to HHG with over 20 years of Finance and Accounting experience in the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) and Retail industry. Prior to joining HHG, Mrs. Castellanos served as VP of Accounting and Finance at The Wonderful Company. Mrs. Castellanos began her career in public accounting at Deloitte, where she focused on consumer products and technology companies. Mrs. Castellanos holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Boston College and is a CPA in the state of California.

SHANNON CASTELLANOS LinkedIn

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

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Shannon Castellanos joined Hawaiian Host Group as Chief Financial Officer in 2022. Mrs. Castellanos comes to HHG with over 20 years of Finance and Accounting experience in the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) and Retail industry. Prior to joining HHG, Mrs. Castellanos served as VP of Accounting and Finance at The Wonderful Company. Mrs. Castellanos began her career in public accounting at Deloitte, where she focused on consumer products and technology companies. Mrs. Castellanos holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Boston College and is a CPA in the state of California.

Senior Leadership

#Brandon Tanaka
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Director of Technology

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Brandon Tanaka serves as Director of Technology for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Brandon held several roles at Hawaii National Bank and Bank of Hawaii, including Vice President of Information Security Operations. He holds a bachelor's degree from University of Nevada-Las Vegas in Computer Science.

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Director of Technology

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Brandon Tanaka serves as Director of Technology for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Brandon held several roles at Hawaii National Bank and Bank of Hawaii, including Vice President of Information Security Operations. He holds a bachelor's degree from University of Nevada-Las Vegas in Computer Science.

#Chris Rabago
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Director of Manufacturing

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Chris Rabago serves as Director of Manufacturing for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Chris founded a Hawai‘i coffee company based in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Prior to Hawai‘i, Chris spent 17 years overseeing operations at a specialty food contract manufacturer in California. Chris is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a bachelor's degree in Food Science.

Chris Rabago LinkedIn

Director of Manufacturing

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Chris Rabago serves as Director of Manufacturing for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Chris founded a Hawai‘i coffee company based in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Prior to Hawai‘i, Chris spent 17 years overseeing operations at a specialty food contract manufacturer in California. Chris is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a bachelor's degree in Food Science.

#Danielle Laubenstein
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Director of Global Marketing, Mauna Loa

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Danielle Laubenstein serves as Director of Global Marketing, Mauna Loa. Prior to Hawaiian Host Group, Danielle was at Godiva on the Global Travel Retail team as well as Chocolove, where she served as Director of Marketing, gaining experience in the naturals channel. She holds a degree in Business from the University of Washington with a concentration in Marketing.

Danielle Laubenstein LinkedIn

Director of Global Marketing, Mauna Loa

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Danielle Laubenstein serves as Director of Global Marketing, Mauna Loa. Prior to Hawaiian Host Group, Danielle was at Godiva on the Global Travel Retail team as well as Chocolove, where she served as Director of Marketing, gaining experience in the naturals channel. She holds a degree in Business from the University of Washington with a concentration in Marketing.

#Earl Kurisu
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Senior Director of International Sales

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Earl Kurisu serves as Sr. Director of International Sales for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Earl held positions as International Sales Manager at Hawaiian Sun products and General Manager at Ed & Don’s of Hawaii. Earl has served as a board member for the Hawaii Food Manufacturer’s Association (HFMA) for the past 8 years, holding seats as both Vice President and President of the board.

Earl Kurisu LinkedIn

Senior Director of International Sales

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Earl Kurisu serves as Sr. Director of International Sales for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Earl held positions as International Sales Manager at Hawaiian Sun products and General Manager at Ed & Don’s of Hawaii. Earl has served as a board member for the Hawaii Food Manufacturer’s Association (HFMA) for the past 8 years, holding seats as both Vice President and President of the board.

#Jannie Bouchard
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Corporate Controller

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Jannie Bouchard serves as Corporate Controller for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Jannie worked in various industries including retail (Gap Inc.), video games (Activision), and CPG (The Wonderful Company). Through her extensive experience, Jannie specialized in helping teams build accounting and operational processes and implementing systems, as well as mentoring and developing team members. Jannie began her career as an auditor at KPMG before pivoting to corporate accounting. Jannie is a CPA and a graduate of Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce.

Jannie Bouchard LinkedIn

Corporate Controller

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Jannie Bouchard serves as Corporate Controller for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Jannie worked in various industries including retail (Gap Inc.), video games (Activision), and CPG (The Wonderful Company). Through her extensive experience, Jannie specialized in helping teams build accounting and operational processes and implementing systems, as well as mentoring and developing team members. Jannie began her career as an auditor at KPMG before pivoting to corporate accounting. Jannie is a CPA and a graduate of Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce.

#Jeff Lam
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Director of Sales, Hawai‘i

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Jeff Lam serves as the Director of Sales for the Hawai‘i region for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Jeff held positions with Anheuser-Busch and Young’s Market as a District Manager gaining 15 years of CPG experience. He holds a degree in Business from the University of Hawai‘i with a concentration in Finance and Marketing.

Jeff Lam LinkedIn

Director of Sales, Hawai‘i

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Jeff Lam serves as the Director of Sales for the Hawai‘i region for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Jeff held positions with Anheuser-Busch and Young’s Market as a District Manager gaining 15 years of CPG experience. He holds a degree in Business from the University of Hawai‘i with a concentration in Finance and Marketing.

#Jon Iwaoka
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Plant Manager, Honolulu

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Jon Iwaoka is the Plant Manager of Hawaiian Host Group's facility in Honolulu. Prior to joining HHG, he served as the Technical Director for The Waikiki Show Band, as well as Sound Engineer & Lights Operator at The Society of Seven. Jon started working at Hawaiian Host in 2002 as a Production Supervisor. Today he oversees the production of Hawaiian Host, KOHO, and a fair share of Mauna Loa products. Jon also serves as the President on the Cannery Row board.

Jon Iwaoka LinkedIn

Plant Manager, Honolulu

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Jon Iwaoka is the Plant Manager of Hawaiian Host Group's facility in Honolulu. Prior to joining HHG, he served as the Technical Director for The Waikiki Show Band, as well as Sound Engineer & Lights Operator at The Society of Seven. Jon started working at Hawaiian Host in 2002 as a Production Supervisor. Today he oversees the production of Hawaiian Host, KOHO, and a fair share of Mauna Loa products. Jon also serves as the President on the Cannery Row board.

#Joy Takanishi
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Director of Talent Management Services

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Joy Takanishi joined Hawaiian Host Group in 2016 and serves as Director of Talent Management Services. Her extensive experience in leading both HR and accounting teams spans more than 30 years in Hawai‘i and California. Prior to joining HHG, Joy was the Hawaii Market Unit HR Manager for Coca-Cola Enterprises and Vice President and Controller for ITO-EN (USA) INC. Joy is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.

Joy Takanishi LinkedIn

Director of Talent Management Services

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Joy Takanishi joined Hawaiian Host Group in 2016 and serves as Director of Talent Management Services. Her extensive experience in leading both HR and accounting teams spans more than 30 years in Hawai‘i and California. Prior to joining HHG, Joy was the Hawaii Market Unit HR Manager for Coca-Cola Enterprises and Vice President and Controller for ITO-EN (USA) INC. Joy is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.

#Natalie Herr
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Director of Sales, North America

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Natalie Herr joined Hawaiian Host Group in January 2020 and currently serves as Director of Sales – North America. Prior to joining HHG, Natalie worked for five years at Russell Stover Chocolates and in 2019 was honored as one of five Future Leaders in the Industry by the National Confectioners Association (NCA). Natalie is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science, Marketing degree and a concentration in International Business.

Natalie Herr LinkedIn

Director of Sales, North America

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Natalie Herr joined Hawaiian Host Group in January 2020 and currently serves as Director of Sales – North America. Prior to joining HHG, Natalie worked for five years at Russell Stover Chocolates and in 2019 was honored as one of five Future Leaders in the Industry by the National Confectioners Association (NCA). Natalie is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science, Marketing degree and a concentration in International Business.

#Rhiannan Shippen
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Director of Supply Chain

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Rhiannan Shippen serves as Director of Supply Chain, overseeing procurement, warehousing, and logistics. Prior to joining HHG, Rhiannan held several roles at Y. Hata & Co. in Honolulu including Director of Purchasing and Director of Operations. She holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Hawai‘i in Travel Industry Management.

Rhiannan Shippen LinkedIn

Director of Supply Chain

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Rhiannan Shippen serves as Director of Supply Chain, overseeing procurement, warehousing, and logistics. Prior to joining HHG, Rhiannan held several roles at Y. Hata & Co. in Honolulu including Director of Purchasing and Director of Operations. She holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Hawai‘i in Travel Industry Management.

#Steven Lim
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Director of Finance, Operations

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Steven joined HHG in January 2022 as Director of Finance, Operations. He began his career in the financial services industry working for Zacks Investment Management and Bank of America. Later, Steven spent 11 years with Barry Callebaut in a wide variety of management roles – most recently as the Operations and Supply Chain Controller, overseeing the US West and Mexico. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Chicago, majoring in both Finance and Business Management.

Steven Lim LinkedIn

Director of Finance, Operations

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Steven joined HHG in January 2022 as Director of Finance, Operations. He began his career in the financial services industry working for Zacks Investment Management and Bank of America. Later, Steven spent 11 years with Barry Callebaut in a wide variety of management roles – most recently as the Operations and Supply Chain Controller, overseeing the US West and Mexico. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Chicago, majoring in both Finance and Business Management.

#Stijn Spaas
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Director of Corporate Brand Strategy

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Stijn Spaas serves as Director of Corporate Brand Strategy for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Stijn worked as a brand strategist for consulting firm Innovation Protocol in Los Angeles. He gained international experience as consultant and speaker for organizations including Universal Studios, NXP, PayPal, and TEDx. Stijn graduated from University PXL in Belgium with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and served as MBA Teaching Assistant at the University of Southern California.

Stijn Spaas LinkedIn

Director of Corporate Brand Strategy

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Stijn Spaas serves as Director of Corporate Brand Strategy for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Stijn worked as a brand strategist for consulting firm Innovation Protocol in Los Angeles. He gained international experience as consultant and speaker for organizations including Universal Studios, NXP, PayPal, and TEDx. Stijn graduated from University PXL in Belgium with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and served as MBA Teaching Assistant at the University of Southern California.

#Stu Haack
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Director of E-Commerce

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Stu Haack serves as Director of E-Commerce for Hawaiian Host Group. Stu brings experience in marketing leadership from retail, hospitality, gaming, and telecommunications industries. Prior to joining HHG, Stu led advertising, marketing, and technology initiatives at Mars Wrigley, DIRECTV, and Caesars Entertainment. Stu holds a Master’s Degree in Communication Management from University of Southern California, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising from Northern Arizona University.

Stu Haack LinkedIn

Director of E-Commerce

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Stu Haack serves as Director of E-Commerce for Hawaiian Host Group. Stu brings experience in marketing leadership from retail, hospitality, gaming, and telecommunications industries. Prior to joining HHG, Stu led advertising, marketing, and technology initiatives at Mars Wrigley, DIRECTV, and Caesars Entertainment. Stu holds a Master’s Degree in Communication Management from University of Southern California, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising from Northern Arizona University.

#Theresa Tuxhorn
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Director of Global Marketing, Hawaiian Host

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Theresa Tuxhorn joins Hawaiian Host Group from working in San Francisco for Williams Sonoma Inc. Prior to Williams Sonoma, Theresa built up a decade of global travel retail experience working at DFS, where she lead the global and regional category strategies, marketing campaigns, and growth initiatives across North America, Mid-Pacific, South East Asia, Middle East and Europe. Theresa graduated from California State University, Chico with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a minor in International Business.

Theresa Tuxhorn LinkedIn

Director of Global Marketing, Hawaiian Host

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Theresa Tuxhorn joins Hawaiian Host Group from working in San Francisco for Williams Sonoma Inc. Prior to Williams Sonoma, Theresa built up a decade of global travel retail experience working at DFS, where she lead the global and regional category strategies, marketing campaigns, and growth initiatives across North America, Mid-Pacific, South East Asia, Middle East and Europe. Theresa graduated from California State University, Chico with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a minor in International Business.

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