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Allen Uyeda to Retire as President and CEO on July 31, 2014: COO Jeff Shonka Will Succeed Uyeda as CEO

First Insurance Company of Hawaii (FICOH) announced today that Allen B. Uyeda, president and CEO, will be retiring on July 31, 2014 after nearly 20 years at the helm of Hawaii’s largest and oldest insurance company. As part of the company’s succession plan, COO Jeff Shonka will become FICOH’s president effective January 1, 2014. The transition plan will be completed with Shonka’s appointment to CEO effective August 1, 2014.


Steve Tabussi
Senior Vice President
First Insurance Co. of Hawaii
(808) 527-7695

“We have been organizing an orderly transition over many months as part of our strategic succession planning process,” said Uyeda. “Jeff is an excellent leader and a very talented insurance professional who has been instrumental in FICOH’s success over the past 11 years. I am confident he will continue to provide strong leadership for FICOH’s future.”

Uyeda started his insurance career with Continental Insurance – a former FICOH parent company – in 1986 as a senior project leader in Corporate Finance, and was named vice president and chief financial officer of the company’s Agency and Brokerage Group one year later. He came to FICOH after Hurricane Iniki and was appointed president and CEO in 1995.

A strong community supporter, Uyeda currently serves as vice chair/treasurer of the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation and chair of the Hawaii Business Roundtable. He serves on the board of First Hawaiian Bank and the Board of Governors of the Japanese American National Museum and is also a member of Enterprise Honolulu, Hawaii Asia Pacific Association, Japan-America Society of Hawaii and U.S.-Japan Council.

“I am excited to continue serving Hawaii through my involvement in these and other nonprofit organizations before and after my retirement,” added Uyeda.

“Allen has had a remarkable career and no one can replace him,” said Shonka. “He’s steered FICOH through key chapters in its 102-year history, starting with his arrival shortly after Hurricane Iniki, when he helped the company rebuild and become stronger than before. He has earned the respect of our associates and the larger community with his drive, passion, and integrity. I look forward to working with him over the next seven months to prepare for a seamless transition.”

Shonka joined FICOH in 2002 as its chief financial officer. He became senior vice president, chief operating officer (COO) of FICOH in January 2013. Prior to joining FICOH, he worked at Amwest Insurance Group, Inc., a property and casualty insurer in Calabasas, Calif., for 13 years. While with Amwest, he served as a senior financial analyst and corporate controller before eventually being named chief operating officer and president.

In addition to his leadership responsibilities at FICOH, Shonka plays an important role in the local insurance community, including as current president of the Hawaii Insurers Council. He is also a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), regarded as one of the premier designations in the property and casualty insurance industry.