I sat down in my 9am Intro to Marketing class and looked at my watch: 8:55am. As I looked up, I noticed a man next to our teacher. “Nice!” I thought, “No lecture today. We got a guest speaker!” His name was Darren Kimura and his presentation was what sparked my entrepreneurial plug. Here was living proof that, with just an idea and the right work ethic, success is really up to you.

As he talked about being a slacker who used to skip school to surf, I began to realize how down-to-earth Kimura was. He saw an unmet need and went with it. He was not the straight A student, but simply a guy with initiative and a vision:
[su_pullquote]“He began by helping his parents, Big Island contractors working in the family business. It was here that he noticed new buildings were being built but electrical generation was not matching the growth. Concerned about the future, he began offering and selling energy conservation projects to customers to help them save energy. He later moved to Portland State University in Oregon and got a Hawaii fax, pager and cellular phone. With the communication tools in place, his customers did not realize that they were dealing with a college student attending school on the mainland.”
Kimura told a story of dedication: cold calling, 60+ hour work weeks, and gaining credibility through getting shocked. Kimura was in his own words, “The Jack of All Trades, but the master of none.” He was the accountant, marketer, manager, installer, and salesman all-in-one. Through dedicated work ethic and his true story of getting shocked, Kimura was able to edge out the competition by positioning Energy Industries on a more personal level with the customer.

Twelve years later, Kimura’s vision, Energy Industries, has grown to twelve offices worldwide and saved their customers millions of dollars in energy expenses. Kimura credits his success to his company’s hard work and commitment to community service. Kimura says,

At the core of our company is helping community. When we help people save money by saving energy, this helps the environment, the economy and the community.”

Getting my education in Hawaii, I understand how hard it is to break out of the island mentality. Here at Storymanager, we salute Darren Kimura for making the world a greener place and helping put Hawaii business on the map.