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SUSAN YAMADA

For the last 23 years, Susan Yamada has made it a life’s goal to aid in the diversification of Hawaii’s economy through the creation of new companies; and positioned herself as a pioneer, champion and leader in Hawaii’s entrepreneurial and educational landscape. Since moving back to Hawaii from California in 2001, Yamada has dedicated her life to building a robust startup ecosystem in Hawaii and providing young talent the opportunities to build, develop and thrive as entrepreneurs.

Yamada is the current Chair of the PACE Board of Directors. Previously, Yamada served as Director of UH Ventures when she spearheaded a groundbreaking effort to campaign for and open an entirely new building dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation called the Walter Dods, Jr. RISE Center. Before her transition to this position, Yamada was the Executive Director of PACE from 2008 to 2017. During her time leading PACE, Yamada quadrupled the number of programs and fundraised and opened a coworking space at the Shidler College of Business.

Prior to assuming her positions at PACE and UH, Yamada spent 17 years working in, transforming, and investing in various startup companies in the high tech, health care and travel industries.Yamada served as Vice Chairman of Get2Hawaii, which she launched as CEO in 2000.  Get2Hawaii is a web-based, private-label booking engine for the travel industry. While in Silicon Valley, Yamada served as the founding CEO of TRUSTe, the first globally recognized, online privacy seal program dedicated to protecting users’ personal information on the Internet. Yamada led the launch of the standard-setting TRUSTe program in 1997 resulting in the licensing of over 600 sites during her tenure including all major portals and close to half of the Top 100 most visited sites on the Internet. At TRUSTe, Yamada served as part of the founding management team for VEO Systems, a business-to-business software developer, which was subsequently sold to Commerce One in 1999.  Commerce One had one of the most successful initial public offerings of 1999. Prior to founding TRUSTe, she led technology publisher Upside Magazine where she spent five years as the CEO and Publisher.  Upside magazine was the first business magazine focusing exclusively on serving the information needs of technology executives.  At Upside, she oversaw the strategic direction and financial turnaround of the company as it diversified its interests from magazine publishing to online and book publishing, and the production of executive conferences.

She was a founding member of the Hawaii Angels, a network of high net worth individuals who invest in startup companies.  She is also an active mentor and investor in Hawaii-based, start-up companies.

Yamada serves as the Board of Trustees Secretary with KCAA Preschools of Hawaii, and on the Board of Directors for Pacific Guardian Life.  She also heads the Yamada Scott Family Foundation, founded in 2000, whose mission is to inspire and support Hawaii’s students in maximizing their potential via educational grants and scholarships.

Yamada grew up in Hawaii, graduated from James B. Castle High School, and earned a BBA degree from the University of Hawaii and an MBA degree from San Jose State University. She resides in Honolulu with her two children and enjoys golfing, traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Fall 2024・3 Appointments per date

September 26・October 24・November 21
3:00 to 5:00 PM・3:00 to 5:00 PM・3:00 to 5:00 PM

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phone: (808) 956-5083
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University of Hawaiʻi
An Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Institution.
© 2020 Shidler College of Business. All rights reserved.
2404 Maile Way, Room E-402, Honolulu, HI 96822
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uhm logo@2x
University of Hawaiʻi
An Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Institution.
© 2020 Shidler College of Business. All rights reserved.
Website by Blue Logic Labs
2404 Maile Way, Room E-402, Honolulu, HI 96822
Intranet • Credits