Longtime KHON-TV news reporter and anchorman Ron Mizutani begins a new career June 1 when he joins public relations firm Communications Pacific Inc. as a senior vice president.
He will remain at KHON through May.
Mizutani, 46, will be primarily involved in community-building work, collaborating with the company’s government and private sector clients on construction and development projects, for example, according to a CommPac statement. The statement noted that the projects often include cultural issues requiring intensive communication with communities involved.
"Ron brings so many assets to CommPac that it’s hard to list them all," Kitty Lagareta, CommPac CEO, said in a statement. "He is a team builder, a team player and a seasoned communicator. He has a gift for connecting with people, and he has in fact done so with a broad range of individuals, at all levels, throughout Hawaii. He is a leader, and he will bring tremendous knowledge and experience to our firm and our clients."
CommPac is best known for public relations work but also offers other services, including marketing.
KHON President and General Manager Joe McNamara praised Mizutani for being "a strong presence in the newsroom" and having "infectious" passion and "remarkable" influence upon others. McNamara said Mizutani would be missed.
Mizutani has been with KHON for nearly 28 years. He left the station in August 2007 for a position as vice president of corporate communications at Hawaiian Telcom, a position from which he resigned in January 2008. He returned to KHON in March of that year.
Concurrent with the start of Mizutani’s television career, he also served as a part-time clerk and sports writer for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin under then-Sports Editor Ted Rogers. In addition to the daily paper and the TV station, he worked at the Halekulani, Ka Leo (the University of Hawaii newspaper) and KTUH-FM 90.3 (the UH radio station). "I was a workaholic," he said.
While Mizutani enjoyed his time at Hawaiian Telcom and made new friendships there, he said it turned out that he wasn’t personally ready to make the change at that time. "I still had unfinished business to do in the media," he said.
"I told Kitty I’m not a public relations person, I’m a communicator," Mizutani told the Star-Advertiser Wednesday. "I value relationships, that’s something I developed throughout the years and I think I can bring that to the job."
Now, "I’m different, my goals are different, my family life is different, the environment is different," he said.
With one child in college — son Dane, a sports writer for the daily paper at the University of Minnesota — another in high school and another preparing to enter middle school, "it’s the right time for my family … I’m excited about it."
He is hopeful he will be able to experience "more things with my children and family and at the same time, be contributing in a different way to the community."