Class of 1982
Class of 1985
By Natalie Pagan
Gerald and Wendy Yamada are the owners of GW Construction, a general building company. Gerald originally started his business in 1987 as Yamada Paint Contracting, Inc., which painted homes for various developers. The company quickly expanded and did large projects in the 1980’s such as the Bay Club/ Shores Condominium in Waikoloa and over eighty homes in Waikoloa Village. In 1992, the company diversified into general building under the name GW Construction. Currently, GW Construction has approximately 50 employees, with its office and baseyard located in the Shipman Business Park in Keaau.
Some of the major projects completed by GW Construction include the Hilo Hongwanji Sangha Hall, the UH Hilo Covered Study, the Toyota Showroom and Parts and Service Building, Hilo Civic Auditorium renovations, and the renovation of KTA Puainako. Some of the Yamada Paint Contracting, Inc. projects include painting of the Keck Observatory domes on Mauna Kea; painting and renovations at the Orchid at Mauna Lani & the Hilton Waikoloa Village Hotel Spa.
The company currently does site work, subdivisions, commercial and government construction and renovation. Some of their current projects include the construction of the new Volvo Showroom, the Orchidland Shopping Center and the U.S./ China development site work.
The company has done many Hawaii 3R’s projects, three of which were at Waiäkea High School. These projects included the painting of the end walls of the major buildings on campus, the painting of the front portable buildings and the recently completed painting of the exterior walls of the gymnasium. During the course of the gymnasium project, Gerald and Wendy donated all of the materials and labor to paint the gymnasium roof.
Gerald graduated from WHS in 1982, where he says his teachers and classmates were terrific. He had Mrs. Donna Tanabe as his homeroom teacher when she first started teaching at Waiäkea High. He later attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Wendy Yamada graduated from WHS in 1985, although she only attended her senior year. Wendy obtained her undergraduate and masters from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is a Certified Public Accountant. They have two daughters, Kayla and Kaitlyn, both of whom attend Waiakeawaena Elementary School.
Gerald currently serves as a Board of Director for the Boys and Girls Club in Hilo and the Hawaii Island Contractors Association.