Ron Mizutani Biography, Age, Married, Image, Net Worth, Twitter

Ron Mizutani Biography

Mr. Ron Mizutani is the Chief Executive Officer of Hawaii Foodbank, Inc. since April 30, 2018. Mr. Mizutani worked for KHON, Hawaiian Telcom and CommPac.After nearly 33 years at KHON2, he has earned the respect and trust of communities across Hawaii.

He brings many critical skills to the organization and he has a strong reputation as a community builder and a seasoned communicator. Mr. Mizutani previously served on the board of Easter Seals Hawaii and has been a volunteer with such nonprofits as Special Olympics Hawaii, the Duke Kahanamoku Foundation, Legacy of Life and the Hawaii Meth Project.

Veteran newsman Ron Mizutani is leaving television station KHON to become president and CEO of the Hawaii Food Bank.

The long-time news reporter and anchorman who started at KHON in 1985 will begin his new role at the nonprofit on Monday after finishing his last show on Friday.

“How exciting is that. I’ve actually wanted to be part of a nonprofit for some time,” said Mizutani, 52, who served for seven years as a board member of Easter Seals Hawaii. “I fell in love with nonprofits. Just the compassion and passionate people who were a part of that world.

When this opportunity came, I took a complete leap of faith and wanted to give it a shot. I’m really humbled to be a part of this organization.”

Malcolm Inamine, the foodbank’s interim president and CEO since November, will assume the role of vice president and chief operating officer.

Between his news career, Mizutani has also had stints in public relations as vice president of corporate communications for Hawaiian Telcom and senior vice president at Communications Pacific.

He said his decision to leave the news business after 33 years was based on family, as well as a desire to serve the community. He is newly remarried to wife, Paige, and became a first-time grandfather last year.

While the news is in his blood, Mizutani said he has a greater purpose.

“What’s more in my blood is serving. That’s how I approach my job at KHON every day,” he said. “I honestly felt I had a responsibility to serve the community in our newsroom and this allows me to do that in a very deep way. I can see the results and the work that we do and the impact we have on people’s lives. I really am grateful for this opportunity.”

The opportunity comes as the food bank plays a critical role in helping with disaster relief following the flooding on Kauai.

“I remember when Hurricane Iniki hit Hawaii in 1992. I saw first hand what the Hawaii Food Bank did for the people of Hawaii,” Mizutani said. “My family’s from there and we suffered greatly from the hurricane.

The food bank provided over a million pounds of food to all of us. Here we are again after an epic storm and the food bank has been there again for the people of Kauai. I want to be a part of that.”

Ron Mizutani Age

Veteran newsman Ron Mizutani is leaving television station KHON to become president and CEO of the Hawaii Food Bank. Pieces of information about his age are unknown

Reporter wins a case against KHON

A federal jury decided yesterday that KHON executives violated news reporter Mary Zanakis’ rights when they gave her a new assignment and later fired her after she returned from maternity leave. The jury awarded her $87,000 in damages.

The trial provided a glimpse into the competitive and, at times, a brutal business of local TV news and featured testimony from Channel 2 personalities like Joe Moore and Leslie Wilcox who bluntly derided Zanakis’ work as well as her professionalism.

But beyond the gossip grist stirred up by the trial, the verdict ends one of the most high-profile cases in Hawai’i involving a woman who said she was forced out of her job because she took leave to have a baby.

“I think every woman who goes out on maternity leave needs to be protected and the law says they should be,” Zanakis said after the verdict.

The station had argued during the two-week trial that Zanakis’ reassignment and later dismissal in 1999 had nothing to do with her going on maternity leave but was the result of budget cuts imposed by the station owner, Emmis Communications of Indianapolis, and a decline in the quality of her work. Zanakis had been at the station for more than 18 years.

Moore, the popular anchor of the station’s nightly newscasts, testified that he believed Zanakis was “just going through the motions” when she returned from maternity leave.

Moore said yesterday he was troubled by the verdict.

“Like an increasing number of people who view the courtroom as a legal slot machine, Mary Zanakis went in without a case, pulled the lever, got a sympathetic jury and won some money,” he said.

As Zanakis was preparing to return to the Fox affiliate from maternity leave in early 1999, she was told her position as a reporter on the health beat was eliminated and that she would be a general assignment reporter.

The jury of three men and three women deliberated Friday afternoon and yesterday morning before deciding that KHON violated Zanakis’ rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Her attorney and former husband, Thomas Pico, said it will be up to U.S. District Judge David Ezra to decide if Zanakis should be reinstated at KHON or is entitled to any or all of the $770,000 in “future lost wages” she is also seeking. That figure is based on her firing from her $71,000 job at KHON and accepting a job at KITV for about $45,000 a year.

No date has been set yet by Ezra to consider the future earnings claim.

While the jury awarded $113,500 to Zanakis, they found several mitigating circumstances in favor of KHON amounting to $26,500, reducing the amount the station must pay her to $87,000.

Pico said it may be years, however, before Zanakis receives any money primarily because he expects the station to appeal.

Attorney Bruce Voss, who represented Emmis, former news director Jim McCoy, and former station general manager Kent Baker, said he was disappointed by the verdict and said it went against “the clear testimony of everyone who testified at trial.”

In addition to Moore, those who testified included Wilcox, who said Zanakis was causing tension on the morning show, and former morning show co-anchor Ron Mizutani, who characterized Zanakis’ reporting as weak.

Voss said he would have to discuss the case with Emmis executives before deciding whether to appeal.

In response to the criticism leveled at her during the trial by former colleagues, Zanakis said: “Obviously, the jury did not find them credible.”

Zanakis began working at KITV, the ABC affiliate, in February 2000.

“I was worried all along about being labeled as a troublemaker,” Zanakis said. “My colleagues at KITV have been very supportive. They know my work, and they know my professionalism.”

Zanakis said during the trial and again yesterday that in her five years working on the morning show her supervisors and co-workers never once discussed with her any criticisms or concerns.

Zanakis’ lawsuit was the third filed against the station in recent years by former staff members. Barbara Marshall sued the station alleging age, gender, and sex discrimination while former sportscaster Bob Hogue alleged age and race discrimination. They reached out-of-court settlements

Ron Mizutani Image

Ron Mizutani Photo

Jai Cunningham leaving KHON to join HART

Jai Cunningham is leaving KHON2 after nearly 26 years with the television station.

“It’s just a different business,” Cunningham, 49, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “And, so, it just made sense for me (that) maybe it’s time to move on, for my family’s sake and for me.”

Cunningham said he will be joining the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) in the public outreach department of the business division. He will be involved with businesses along the route as the rail’s construction advances from the Salt Lake area.

Cunningham was hired as a sports reporter in 1992, the third member of a department featuring sports director/anchor Bob Hogue and weekend anchor Ron Mizutani. In 2002, he moved to the news side, where he has served as a reporter, anchor, and morning-show host. The past six years, Cunningham provided live news reports from across the state for Wake Up 2Day.

“Part of the move is I don’t have to wake up at 1:45 (in the morning) to be in at 3,” Cunningham mused. “That can get hard on the family, and just hard on a person.”

Cunningham is married, and the couple has two daughters.

Cunningham, who was born in Alabama, moved to Honolulu in 1986, when he was 17. After earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii, he worked as a sports intern under sportscaster Les “The General” Keiter.

“I got to write stuff that Les Keiter voiced,” Cunningham said. “There’s not a lot of people who start out in the business — and have been doing it for a month or two — and have a chance to work with someone who’s legendary. He was one of the legendary broadcasters ever. … That was one of the great memories.”

Ron Mizutani Net Worth

Veteran newsman Ron Mizutani is leaving television station KHON to become president and CEO of the Hawaii Food Bank. Pieces of information about his net worth are unknown

Ron Mizutani Twitter