HILO, HI (Jan. 3, 2014) — Rex Matsuno, chairman of the board of Suisan Group, Inc., Suisan Company, Ltd and Suisan Properties, Ltd., announced that the board has named Glenn Hashimoto as president of Suisan, effective January 1.
Hashimoto is Suisan’s 7th president and takes over the day-to-day leadership of Suisan, the 106-year-old food distribution company from Matsuno, who will retain his chairmanship. The board, which is comprised of members of the extended Matsuno family, has carefully considered the succession plan for a number of years.
Hashimoto, who is also Suisan’s chief executive officer, has been executive vice-president and general manager. He has been with the company for 41 years.
“Glenn understands Suisan’s values of pride, efficiency and professionalism,” said Matsuno. “He has shown himself to be a leader throughout his career and has a proven track record. I am confident that under Glenn’s leadership, Suisan will expand and be of tremendous value to the community.”
Hashimoto is a Hilo native and graduate of the University of Hawaii—Manoa in business management. He is a past president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii and of the Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association. He is a member of Board of Governors Hawaii Employers Council.
“I am deeply honored to be succeeding Rex Matsuno as Suisan’s president and CEO,” said Hashimoto. “Through hands-on experience, I learned a lot about our business and business in general because of Rex Matsuno’s style of teaching. Leadership development is a long-term process that requires building skill sets through training and mentoring. I was fortunate to have been provided that by Mr. Matsuno.”
Matsuno became president in 1967 and has been with the company since 1947; he is credited with the company’s 1950’s expansion into frozen foods, produce and other products as well as the post-tsunami re-building of the fish market on Hilo Bay. He has worked tirelessly to position Suisan as the Pacific Rim’s premier food distributor.
Suisan Company, Ltd. is Hawaii Island’s foremost fish market and food distributor. Established in 1907 as a cooperative, the century-old company boasts annual sales of $81 million and employs 175 people as fish cutters, computer analysts, administrative assistants, truck drivers and others.
Suisan’s fresh produce operation is located in Kona, while Hilo is still home to the fresh fish market and headquarters of the food distribution division. The company maintains a weekly island-wide delivery schedule and ships products to neighboring islands as well as the U.S. Mainland.