Hans Utu recently earned an electronic engineering degree. Utu was born in Honolulu, Hawai‘i and raised in West Seattle. He recently came on board with General Biodiesel as CEO Yale Wong’s assistant. Utu is currently helping to build a website for General Biodiesel’s Juneau operation.

International Examiner: What do you do at General Biodiesel?

Hans Utu: I mainly help with the technical side. I’m currently building the Juneau website. As Yale [Wong]’s assistant, I help him with everything from what needs to be done in the office and everything he’s doing on schedule.

IE: How did you end up with General Biodiesel?

Utu: I’ve known Yale for going on a year and a half. We played basketball together. I play basketball at the church where his daughter goes to school at. That’s how we met and from there, he’s given me the opportunity to build my rep. I graduated with an electronics engineering degree and he’s kind of helping me out. The job market is tough right now. And he’s like, “I’ll bring you on and we’ll go from there.” Hopefully this builds into a great relationship for years to come.”

IE: What do you think about being an API in this business?

Utu: I think it’s tough knowing there’s not a bunch of Pacific Islanders [in the biodiesel industry]. For Pacific Islanders, there’s that stigma: “You either play football or you do nothing.” For me I want it to be better for Pacific Islanders. I want to see them do better for generations to come. Yeah, we may have grown up in the ghetto or the streets or whatever you call it, but you don’t have to end there. Do better.

Some parents struggle with 14 kids. I’m one of seven and I’ve seen the struggle and I’ve seen what families go through. For the islanders, it’s always about taking care of your parents first. Yeah, take care of your parents, but you have to take care of yourself first. You have to be able to survive on your own before you make sure your parents are surviving. Your parents are good where they’re at, but you want to make it better for yourself and your family to come.

You see with a lot of Asian Pacific Islander families, it’s a four bedroom with twenty people. People sleeping in the living room, the basement, wherever there’s space because they don’t know what it is to be like on their own. So how do you expect do it if you don’t go out there and try to make that life?

IE: What do you hope for yourself in the future?

Utu: My hope for myself in the future is basically to just be a successful person in life and in my surroundings. To have people in my life who want to be better.

IE: What have you learned about the biodiesel industry?

Utu: They’re making it green. They’re adjusting your carbon footprint. For me at home, I unplug everything. Me and my wife unplug everything. Just being more green and creating less pollution around the earth and around the city, it’s really big.

We’ve got to make our state green. You’ve got to start somewhere, why not in our home, our community.

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