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