What does it mean to be recognized three times? Ask Brian Nagamine, Employee of the Month for April.
Brian’s first award was as a Therapeutic Recreation Assistant with Kuakini Geriatric Care, his first position when he joined the Kuakini Health Care Team in 1991. In 2000, he became a Volunteer Coordinator and received another nomination within a few years. For April 2014, as the Manager of Volunteer Services (since 2005), Brian is again being recognized for his hard work and dedication.
“I was surprised that I was recognized and that I was even nominated,” he said. “I am humbled, and I feel like I’m just doing my job.”
As manager, Brian oversees Kuakini’s volunteer program. He is responsible for the recruitment, assessment, and training of volunteers. He makes sure that they are recognized for their efforts through special events, luncheons, birthday greetings, and daily acknowledgements.
“I enjoy working with the volunteers and seeing them gratified with what they do,” he said. “I enjoy working with all sorts of people, which makes my job fun and rewarding.”
Brian thrives in the challenges and complexity of his work. In 2013, the Volunteer Services staff took over the operation of the Convenience Store, which was previously managed by Kuakini Plaza Pharmacy. With no experience in the food and beverage business, he quickly learned through experience, by asking questions, and learning from others.
“The first challenge (then) was learning how to run it. The second is finding volunteers who can and are willing to staff the store,” he said. “I am still learning… I always like to be challenged. The constant changes and new responsibilities keep me growing.”
“Brian exemplifies what Kuakini is all about,” said his nominator. “He’s a hands-on manager who has the respect of the volunteers and (members of the) Auxiliary. Brian has done a great job assuming responsibility, management and operations of the Kuakini Snack Shop.”
He continues to operate a department with two fulltime employees who manage 400 plus volunteers. Brian also volunteers at many Kuakini events on his personal time, noted his nominator.
For Brian, fulfillment in his job and the “feeling of ohana” make Kuakini a special place. “…and I think that’s what made it easy to stay as long as I have,” he said.
Brian likes to watch movies, eat dinner or do any outdoor activity, as long as it is with good company. He also likes trying out new things like canoeing or standup paddling. Recently, he picked up running again to keep himself healthy.