By Steven Ono
Dustin Shindo is the Chairman, President and CEO of Hoku Scientific, a Hawaii company that develops and manufactures Hoku Membrane® and Hoku MEA™, a membrane electrode assembly for fuel cells. Hoku Scientific has grown to become a multi-million dollar company, is publicly traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol HOKU and was named 2005 Innovative Company of the Year by Pacific Business News. The company is called “Hoku Scientific” because Dustin and his team were looking for a name that was easy to write, easy to say, and had a good Hawaiian meaning. In Hawaiian, “hoku” means “star” or “guiding light.” Since stars consist mostly of hydrogen, it is a good connection to the fuel cell products that Hoku Scientific makes.
Before establishing Hoku Scientific, Dustin started Mehana Brewing Company in Hilo, which manufactures the locally-produced Mehana beer label and has grown to be one of the largest brewerie s in Hawaii. In 1999, Dustin also started Activitymax, Inc., a software company that developed reservation software for the travel industry.
Dustin graduated from Waiäkea High School in 1991. In high school, he enjoyed being with his friends and being involved in sports. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1995 with a BA in Business, concentrating on Accounting. He earned his Masters in Business Administration from the Darden Business School at the University of Virginia.
Today, Dustin works in his new office building in Kapolei. He works with four other Waiäkea High graduates: Kaleo Taft (class of 1991), Chief Technology Officer; Candice Sato (class of 1993), Corporate Controller; Ryan Shindo (class of 1994), Director of Operations; and Andrea Kawabata (class of 1999), Lab Technician. Dustin chose this career because he likes to build businesses. He enjoys his job and is extremely proud of what he does.