By Rich Figel
People ask me where I get my story leads for Career Changers TV. Sometimes they're literally right under my nose. We'll be shooting one segment, and often that subject will introduce me to another person who has agreed to be the "talent" for b-roll shots (background footage) or to be part of an onscreen demo. Interestingly, the people that volunteer to help out, usually are entrepreneurs themselves who tend to say "yes" when opportunities arise to promote a friend's business -- or their own company. They know an age-old secret of success: the more you give, the more you get in return.
For instance, on the current CCTV episode, when my cameraman (Stanford Chang) and I arrived at the office of hypnotherapist Mindy Ash, I was pleasantly surprised to see her client for the b-roll session filming was someone I had met at a Hawaii Inventors Club meeting: Kathy Custer. If her name sounds familiar, it's because she was recently selected for the Pacific Business News "Forty Under 40" special edition. Just 27-years-old, Kathy is the founder of Keiki Sitters & Ohana Helpers, which is a great story in itself. But she's one of those serial entrepreneurs who aren't content with merely launching one successful biz. When I first met her, she told me about a new venture... indoor skydiving. You may have seen those vertical wind tunnels on TV before, where people put on specially-designed jumpsuits and "fly" inside the padded enclosures. Very cool -- and very expensive to build.
Kathy had to raise $6 million to bring this new activity to Hawaii, which meant she had to nail her presentation when she went in front of investors. She credits her hypnotherapy session with Mindy as one reason she felt so confident when she made the big pitch. But it was Kathy herself they were really investing in and her "can do" attitude. I mean, here's this dynamic business owner with close to 400 employees, and she's making time for us to film her sitting on a chair in a demo session, or she's making time to attend inventor club meetings and networking events. Kathy is a great role model for anyone who wants to change their life, and we'll be doing a feature on her in an upcoming CCTV show.
Another tidbit I picked up at the Pacific Gateway Center prior to a human trafficking project meeting, is related to fashion designer Andy South -- a literal relation. Andy's mom, Nora Sisouphanthong, is a caseworker at PGC who has been helping immigrant farm workers that were victimized by recruiters in Southeast Asia, then abandoned and left to fend for themselves in Hawaii. (You can see the 808HALT.com project video that includes Nora by clicking this link.)
I asked her how Andy was doing, since I hadn't heard any news about him recently. Turns out Andy is opening a new showroom in the Downtown area, and has also been investing in equipment for a clothing manufacturing business he's starting to produce other designers' fashions, as well as his own. The showroom will give him more visibility, while the manufacturing operation will help expand his revenue stream. Smart move.
The last tidbit comes from an interesting lunch meeting I had with Andrew and Christine Lanning, the husband and wife team behind Integrated Security Technologies, based in Aiea. I met Christine while Stan and I were shooting a segment on Matt Myers, a sports massage therapist and MMA fighter, which will be in our August episode. She was the b-roll client for Matt's demos, and after explaining how she used his services because she was doing triathalons, Christine casually mentioned she was CEO of a security business that has worked with Kaiser Permanente, the City and County of Honolulu, plus other large commercial installations.
I wanted to know more, especially since high tech security is a growing field. That's the reality of life in post-9/11 America. Unfortunately, there also seems to be a rise in property-related crimes due to the recession -- break-ins, burglaries, robberies of tourists and residents alike. One area that has been largely overlooked are school campuses. Well, Andrew and Christine have been working with Punahou School on a new security system to help protect students and the campus facilities, which will be going into effect next semester. They're also hoping to win a contract for a local college that Andrew believes could become a nation-wide model for campus security. You'll be hearing more on that in a future CCTV show too.
You can watch the current episode Saturday nights at 8:30 pm on OC16. For other daily viewing times, please visit www.CareerChangers.TV or watch segments from past and present shows on the CCTV YouTube Channel. Have a great weekend!