Cox Elected Chairman of the Board at Hawai'i Pacific University

June 27, 2014

Joachim P. Cox
Joachim P. Cox

HONOLULU — Joachim P. Cox has been elected chairman of Hawai'i Pacific University's Board of Trustees. A noted Honolulu attorney, Cox will succeed Michael J. Chun, Ph.D., whose three-year term as chairman concludes June 30. Chun, who has devoted 25 years of service as an HPU Trustee, will continue on the board for one more year.

Chun, a former headmaster and president of Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama, joined the HPU Board of Trustees in 1989. A well-known and respected educational leader in Hawai'i, he was instrumental during a transformational chapter in HPU's history.

"I am thankful to Mike for the wisdom and leadership he provided HPU these last three years as chair. From developing the university strategic plan and campus master plan to completing the Aloha Tower Marketplace acquisition and Oceanic Institute and HPU merger, much has been accomplished," said HPU President Geoffrey Bannister, Ph.D. "Diligently stewarding the HPU mission, Mike deserves significant credit for helping make the university what it is today. He exemplifies our values of aloha, pono and kuleana."

In recognition of his 25 years of service, Chun will be honored at the HPU Trustees' Dinner scheduled on October 2.

Cox, a founding partner of the Honolulu law firm Cox Fricke LLP, has been an HPU trustee since 2011 and was a member of the Oceanic Institute Board of Trustees. He is an experienced commercial litigator and was previously a partner at law firm Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel LLP, where he practiced for 10 years. He also was a defense counsel in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps, a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Hawai'i, and completed two tours with the Special Operations community.

A 1990 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Cox earned a J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1997. More than 20 years ago, he met his wife, Catherine, on his first day in Hawai'i. Cox's service to Hawai'i has been steady ever since. In addition to his HPU trusteeship, Cox is a director at both Pacific Historic Parks and Volunteer Legal Services Hawai'i and is a Master of American Inns of Court, Aloha Inn.

Cox's term comes at a historic time for HPU as it invests in Downtown Honolulu's economic future and furthers sustainability for the entire state.

"Joachim believes in HPU's mission, vision and values," said Bannister. "I look forward to working with him in his new role as chair, guiding the university to realize the ambitious and transformative goals we have set in our strategic plan."

Cox, Chun and Bannister, along with Governor Neil Abercrombie and Mayor Kirk Caldwell, recently took part in the groundbreaking for the landmark $40-million Aloha Tower Marketplace revitalization project, which combines commercial, community and educational space. Through its Oceanic Institute, HPU is also building a prototype feed mill to be constructed on Hawai'i Island. In partnership with Ulupono Initiative, which is investing $1 million, and others, this feed mill will contribute to Hawai'i's local food production efforts.

Cox said he looks forward to building upon the successes at HPU, working closely with university leadership and the community.

"I am excited about the opportunities ahead in this next phase of development for the university, solidifying its position in Hawai'i and the Pacific region," said Cox. "The HPU Board is a dynamic and collegial group of people committed to the success of our university and most importantly its students. I am honored to be elected chairman, continuing the visionary work of Mike Chun and other long-tenured trustees."

This term also marks the election of Karen Huffman, President of QSR Hawaii, as an HPU trustee. In addition, re-elected to the board are James A. Ajello, Senior Financial Vice President and Treasurer and CFO, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.; James C. Polk, Senior Executive Vice President and Manager, Bank of Hawaii, Hawaii Commercial Banking Division; and Raymond P. Vara, Jr., President and CEO Hawaii Pacific Health.