; Press Room Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union

OFFICE NOTICE: Our offices will be CLOSING at 12PM on Friday, December 1, 2023 for a Year-end Meeting.



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With Filipino Americans representing a significant segment of the Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union (Hawaii Central) membership and as a part of an organizational commitment to diversity, the Credit Union recently established its premier Filipino Community Relations Team to help meet needs within the Filipino community. In addition to being highly skilled and having an in-depth knowledge of Hawaii Central’s products, services and benefits, members of the Hawaii Central Filipino Community Relations Team speak Tagalog, Ilocano and Visayan.

The team recently participated in the Flores de Mayo Filipino Fiesta, held at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu on May 6, 2023. The Hawaii Central tent was frequented by visitors throughout the day, including Councilman Augie Tulba and US Representative Ed Case. Visitors to the tent received valuable information on our low rates and had a chance to try their luck at winning various prize giveaways.

“We are honored and pleased to be here, celebrating the traditions, culture and heritage of the Filipino community,” said Filipino Community Relations Officer Engie Pagaduan. Actively involved with the United Filipino Council of Hawaii, Pagaduan has attended the celebration since its advent in Hawaii. Pagaduan said the Filipino Community Relations Team “was formed to help the Filipino community realize their financial goals”. Matda Bautista-Cadiz and Janet Viray work closely with Pagaduan in the branch and said they are happy to be on the team to support her efforts in the Filipino Community on behalf of Hawaii Central.

Under the leadership of Pagaduan, along with other volunteers, the team of ten was passionate about engaging the Filipino community on Oahu. Together, they were available on Saturday to help attendees open new accounts and explain Hawaii Central’s various benefits, products, and services.

As the first financial institution in the State of Hawaii to offer video banking services, Digital Banking Specialist Riza Reyes was on hand to explain how this service helps members keep connected with Hawaii Central in real time while they are globetrotting, maybe even while visiting the Philippines. “With video banking, we can help members, and potential members, open an account, apply for a loan, e-sign certain documents, and of course we are available to answer questions.”

Mortgage Loan Processor Reyna Dallago and Real Estate Loans Administrative Assistant Kimberly Mondejar spent the day connecting with attendees. “The most rewarding thing [about] working at Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union is that helping people is the most important,” said Mondejar. “In our Real Estate Department, we offer the First-time Homebuyer Program.”

Unlike a conventional home loan that requires 20% down, through Hawaii Central FCU’s First-time Homebuyer’s program, dreams of homeownership become a reality with just 10% down. As an added benefit, there is no mortgage insurance required through this program.

Hilda Reyes-Almodova, Kryzel Valdez and Donna Badua worked to help attendees, interested in taking advantage of the benefits and services offered by Hawaii Central FCU, open new accounts on the spot.

Among the services that interested attendees was Hawaii Central’s ACH (Automated Clearing House) on demand service. “ACH on demand service allows our members to actually access pending funds, pending credit funds, that otherwise would have taken 1-2 business days to post. It’s not just payroll credits, but its for any type of credit,” said KJ Bayawa, Accountant, and accredited ACH professional.

There were lots of giveaways at the Hawaii Central booth, and visitors who spun the wheel were qualified to enter a raffle in one of four drawings for a $50 VISA gift card.

“We recognize our community is diverse in culture and needs and we are intent on providing innovative products and services,” said President Drake Tanabe. “In addition to Tagalog, Ilocano, and Visayan, we have staff who speak Samoan, Spanish, and Palauan.”




Hawaii Central FCU will sponsor a nursing scholarship at Chaminade University in the 2023-2024 school year.

On May 3rd, 2023, Hawaii Central FCU Board of Directors Chairman Neil Shimogawa, alongside fellow board members and the executive management team, visited the Chaminade University Campus to present a $5,000 check to Chaminade University President Lynn Babington. The Board also had an opportunity to take a tour of the campus with a focus on the nursing program.

“With our Harkness branch at the Queen’s Medical Center, we have become intimately and acutely aware of increasing needs in the healthcare professions,” said Hawaii Central FCU President Drake Tanabe. “The COVID-19 Pandemic was rough for our members at Queen’s, and the recent report by the Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH) confirms what we have witnessed, firsthand.”

According to the HAH report released last November, “The state’s need for healthcare professionals has grown 76 percent – from 2,200 job openings in 2019 to 3,873 openings.” Patient-facing care services are among Hawaii’s most indemand healthcare jobs, to include:

  • Registered Specialty Nurses: 999 job openings. This represents a 116 percent increase (or 536 new positions) since 2019.
  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Clinical Assistants/Nurse Aides: 744 openings. Openings increased by 78 percent (or 327 new job openings) since 2019. 
  • EntryLevel Positions: 320 total openings:
    • Personal Care Assistants: 181 openings
    • Phlebotomists: 128 openings
    • Patient Service Representatives: 11 openings
  • Medical Assistants: 278 openings. Job vacancies for this position increased by 162 percent (or 172 positions) since 2019.  
  • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). 211 openings, creating a statewide LPN job vacancy rate of 30 percent. Job openings increased by 47 percent (or 67 positions) since 2019.
  • Social Workers: 126 openings. This represents an increase of 110 percent (66 positions) since 2019.    

HAH is the nonprofit trade organization serving Hawaii’s hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, Type II adult residential care homes, home care companies, and hospices. It is the state affiliate for national organizations that include the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, and the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.

Reflecting upon the impacts of the Pandemic, Babington said, “We have embraced our kuleana–our obligation–to redouble our efforts to live our social service mission, seeking out ways to expand our reach in order to meet new needs.”

“Helping to support our community is a huge priority for Hawaii Central,” said Shimogawa.  “Hawaii Central  is always looking for ways to give back to our community, and working with Chaminade came naturally.”

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Market Opportunities for First-time Home Buyers

Market Opportunities for First-time Home Buyers

Current interest rates offer a unique opportunity for first-time home buyers, and home buyers in general, to possibly negotiate a lower asking price. According to the April report by the Honolulu Board of Realtors, the number of homes receiving full asking price or more fell 34% when compared to April of last year. The median sales price for single-family homes was down 9.5% and the median price for condos was down 2.0% when compared to April 2022. In a live broadcast with KITV 4, President of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, Fran Villarmia-Kahawai, confirmed we are now in a buyer’s market.

Mortgage Loan Officer Irene Ayling said, “Our First-time Home Buyer Program has no private mortgage insurance requirement with just 10% down, allowing us to make the dream of homeownership a reality for more people in the O`ahu Community.”

In fact, none of Hawaii Central FCU’s mortgage loan programs require private mortgage insurance. “Improving people’s lives is our goal as a credit union,” said President Drake Tanabe. “Private mortgage insurance can cost hundreds, and eliminating this payment was an important step to increasing a potential home-buyer’s borrowing power.”

“While most people will opt for a 30-year fixed rate loan like that offered by the First-time Home Buyer Program, we have a 7-year ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) with a fixed 15/30 year option that also offers lower monthly payments to borrowers interested in purchasing a home now while waiting for the rates to drop in the future,” said Ayling. “The first step is to sit down with a loan officer and get pre-qualified. That way, you’ll have an affordable price range in mind before shopping for a new home.”

“It’s important to remember that O`ahu real estate varies from neighborhood to neighborhood,” said Villarmia-Kahawai.

Lore Woodley, a Real Estate Broker with Locations Hawaii confirmed she is seeing opportunities for negotiation in certain neighborhoods. “While a first home oftentimes is not a buyer’s dream home, it is an opportunity to break into the market and is a steppingstone towards that dream home.”

For member Marshall D. who recently came into the branch to sign paperwork on his new pet-friendly home in Metro Honolulu, a highly desirable neighborhood, homeownership was a dream come true, made possible through the First-Time Home Buyer Program. “I never imagined I would be buying a home in Hawaii,” said Marshall.

Video Freedom & Safety with Hawaii Central FCU Video Banking

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Launched in 2021 to accommodate members during the pandemic and keep our kupuna and other at-risk populations safe, Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union (Hawaii Central FCU) is well into year two of the Video Banking program. Hawaii Central FCU President Drake Tanabe says, “We recognize our at-risk and kupuna populations may still feel more comfortable conducting business from home, and we are currently working on a broadcast project to continue to get the word out to those in need of these services.” The program has also seen success with members who are traveling abroad.

Available during normal business hours, Video Banking services are convenient and allow members to conduct most cashless transactions from home and across the globe. Services include opening an account, applying for a loan, e-signing certain documents and enjoying virtual in-person assistance. A link on the Hawaii Central FCU website’s homepage will connect members and those interested in becoming members to a video chat where they will be greeted by one of our video banking specialists.

“The feedback we have received is remarkable,” says Marketing Supervisor Mila Miyata. Whether the need arises from health-related issues, because members are abroad, or because members are simply unable to come into the branch, end-users are overwhelmingly satisfied with the convenience and member service. The digital services suite, along with Video Banking, includes online and mobile banking with remote check deposits. Convenience and safety are high on the list of priorities for Hawaii Central FCU with Co-op shared branching services and surcharge-free access to First Hawaiian Bank ATMs also offered as an alternative to coming into the branch.


Gary Nakata Promoted to Executive Vice President of Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union

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Controller and Legal Counsel Gary Nakata was promoted to Executive Vice President of Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union (Hawaii Central). The announcement was made by Hawaii Central on May 1.

When asked about his promotion, Nakata said, “It’s an honor and a privilege to work under the leadership of Drake [Tanabe] who has spent many years at the helm, fostering a culture still firmly based in the credit union movement. That is people helping people.”

A Hawaii local, Nakata attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance. He also graduated from the American Bankers Association’s Compliance School. Nakata has earned his Credit Union Compliance Expert designation and holds certifications as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Certified Credit Union Executive, and in Certified Financial Management (CFM).

Nakata worked as an Examiner with the National Credit Union Administration, served as Senior Vice President of Finance for Hickam Federal Credit Union, as well as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union (Aloha Pacific).

In addition to a solid foundation in finance, having received his Juris Doctor degree in 1995 from McGeorge School of Law, Nakata has been a practicing attorney for almost three decades. Early in his career as a practicing attorney, Nakata headed the Enlisted Advisory Council for his unit in the Hawaii Air National Guard. He also provided advisement on significant legal and regulatory compliance matters while serving as Chief Financial Officer of Aloha Pacific. Nakata practiced privately with the Kobayashi, Sugita and Goda law firm before his appointment with the City and County of Honolulu as a Deputy Corporation Counsel and later as the Director of the Department of Community Services.

akata also remains engaged in his community, currently serving on the Government Affairs Committee with the Hawaii Credit Union League and has served his community in several other volunteer capacities over the course of his career.

Nakata’s professional experience speaks for itself. He is a team player who has gained the trust of the community he serves many times over.

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