2021 Bridge Awards Event & Silent Auction

Each year, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii hosts an annual event during which we award an individual, company, or organization with the Bridge Award for promoting understanding and friendship between Hawaii and Japan. In years past, the award has been a component of our Annual Dinner, or as in the case of last year, our televised Annual Gala. In the spirit of building bridges and friendship, it was our pleasure to present Dr. James Barahal, President/CEO of the Honolulu Marathon, and Japan Airlines (JAL) as this year's Bridge Award recipients.

Congratulations to Dr. Barahal and Japan Airlines, this year’s Bridge Awardees.


For 2021, our Bridge Awards Event transformed yet again due to the coronavirus pandemic. With everyone’s health and safety our top priority, on December 14, JASH held a small, intimate luncheon and dinner at the Halekulani Hotel’s Hau Terrace to celebrate Dr. Barahal and JAL. Although we saw only a fraction of our JASH friends and family at the day’s event, it was wonderful to greet and catch up with new and familiar faces in person.


Revealed at our Bridge Awards events was the launch of our newly titled NICHI BEI LEADERS educational program. Linking our JASH educational, cultural, and young professional leadership and development programs together in a cohesive pipeline, it is our goal to cultivate the upcoming generations of NICHI BEI LEADERS to be thoughtful, innovative, and proactive global citizens, who will go on to fortify relationships between the U.S. and Japan through the unique perspective of Hawaii.


To close the program, JASH Chair Steve Sombrero shared a few of his memories from his time as chairman and introduced Chair-Elect and current Vice Chair, Mr. Alex Jampel. During his tenure as chair, Mr. Sombrero’s enthusiastic leadership guided JASH through all of the ups and downs brought by the coronavirus pandemic. Domo Arigato Gozaimasu—Ippee Nifee Deebiru—A Big THANK YOU to Mr. Sombrero for all you’ve done for JASH!


L-R: Lt. Gov. Josh Green, JASH Chair Steve Sombrero, JASH Chair-Elect Alex Jampel


We also extend our warmest gratitude to all of our supporters who donated to and bid in this year’s Silent Auction, which was again held online. Online auctions have their own kind of charm, and as the clock ticked down, we held our breath as we watched the last-second bids come flying into our system. The proceeds from this auction will go directly to JASH so we may continue