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  • September is Associate Appreciation Month
    Meet BIA-Hawaii President and Associate Member: 
    Dean Uchida

    We took a few minutes to get to know current BIA-Hawaii President and Associate Member, Dean Uchida of SSFM International. 

    The photo on the left is from a family vacation. Dean is posing with the Heismann Trophy that Marcus Mariota won while at the University of Oregon (Dean went there too). On the right, well that is related to the most famous person Dean has ever met. . .read the full interview below the photos. 

    Dean Uchida Heismann   


    Q: How did you find out about BIA-Hawaii and how long have you been involved? 
    A: I've been involved with BIA-Hawaii since 2003. I started getting involved when Craig Watase was President. He asked me to attend a Government Relations Committee meeting to let BIA know about land use and other laws impacting development in the State of Hawaii. At the time, I was the Executive Director of the Land Use Research Foundation (LURF).

    Q: Tell us something about your role at work that people may not know about or would find surprising.
    A: SSFM is primarily an engineering firm. We have civil and structural engineering services, but we also provide project management, planning, and construction management services. Recently, I moved from the Project Management Group to a new group that we call the Strategic Services Group. While we continue to focus on some of the up-front needs of our clients such as environmental planning, traffic engineering and public outreach, we also assist our clients with more strategic decisions like what to do with their real estate assets. 

    Q: Who is the most famous person you have ever met? How did it happen? 
    A: President Barack Obama. We were getting ready to play golf at Mid-Pacific Country Club the day after Christmas and about a half hour before our tee time the club makes an announcement that there will be a delay because President Obama will be playing. His security checked everyone in or around the club house and set up barricades. We watched President Obama at the driving range from afar. Then, he gets closer practicing on the putting green. Just prior to teeing off, the President turns around and shakes everyone's hand who is watching him tee off. That was the end of 2016 and we all told him how much we would miss having a guy from Hawaii as President. 

    Q: What was the very first job you had and how much did it pay? 
    A; My first job was at the Del Monte Pineapple Cannery in the mechanic shop. We fixed all of the trucks, vehicles and small equipment. I think I made $1.35 per hour. 

    Q: What is the best advice you ever received? 
    A: The best advice I've ever received came from my former boss, Mr. Bill Paty. He told me that: "As a gentleman, you're only as good as your word."

    Thanks Dean!

    Read more from other BIA-Hawaii Associate members

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    The Building Industry Association of Hawaii (BIA) is The VOICE of the Construction Industry. The BIA promotes our members through advocacy and education, and provides community outreach programs to enhance the quality of life for the people of Hawaii. The BIA is a not-for-profit trade organization chartered in 1955, affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).


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