Class of 1989
By Brian Tada
Toby Taniguchi is the Vice President of Store Operations at KTA Super Stores. He has been working there since 1995. This was not a surprise job for him. He always knew that he wanted to be a businessman, but didn’t know exactly what field he wanted to get into, until half way through college. His dream job is to become a CEO, which he sees as extremely challenging, yet rewarding.
Toby graduated from Waiäkea High School in 1989. He attended the University of Portland in Oregon where he studied business administration, communications and marketing. Although college helped him prepare for his career, he said that actually working for various companies both here and on the mainland prepared him more. While in high school, he worked at the Fiascos Restaurant as well as at KTA. He credits the caring and compassionate educators such as Deborah Miyao and Paula DeMorales as being instrumental in teaching him these four principles: “Always have a vision or a dream; Always work hard and do your best. Never give up; and Have a strong moral compass.” He has also kept another important thing in mind and that is to find and maintain a relationship with a mentor. He says “Mentors are important in a person’s development and success.”
KTA Super Stores have at least 300 employees who are alumni or current students from Waiäkea High. At least 60 employees at the KTA Puainako store have WHS ties. Since they employ approximately 850 people island wide, this makes them one of the largest employers of Waiäkea High students and alumni.