Honolulu – Rick Blangiardi has been named Hawai’i’s Distinguished Citizen for 2015 by Boy Scouts of America Aloha Council. The award, one of Hawai’i’s longest-standing honors, will be presented at the 35th annual Hawai’i’s Distinguished Citizen event on August 27 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.
This honor is awarded annually to a Hawai’i resident whose leadership in business, industry, government, education and other community endeavors has significantly contributed to the vitality of our state. Blangiardi, general manager of Hawai’i News Now (KGMB and KHNL) took the helm of the newly formed combined operation in 2009, creating Hawai’i’s most watched television news. In addition to his dedication to providing the best news programming to kama’aina locally and those watching around the world, he is an avid community contributor, providing leadership at board level for the nonprofit organizations that take care of Hawai’i’s people.
“The Boy Scouts Aloha Council helps shape the next generation of leaders and shows our young men the value and joy of giving back to their community, said Rick Blangiardi, General Manager of Hawai’i News Now. “It is truly an honor to be recognized by this organization that teaches our youth the importance of character, leadership and service.”
A dedicated supporter of Hawai’i’s nonprofits, Blangiardi currently serves on the board of directors for the Boy Scouts, Hawai’i Food Bank, Hawai’i Red Cross, Hawai’i Theater Center, YMCA of Honolulu and the Pacific Aviation Museum. He is a trustee for the Public Schools of Hawai’i Foundation, where his guidance supports the mission of strengthening the quality of public education in Hawaii by innovation from within.
“Rick’s proven leadership and commitment to the community make him one of Hawaii’s most distinguished citizens,” said Jeff Sulzbach, Scout Executive and CEO of Boy Scouts of America Aloha Council. “We are grateful for his role as a leader within our organization, and proud to bestow this honor upon him. Hawai’i is a better place as a direct result of Rick’s commitment to our community.”
Prior to starting his career in broadcast television, Blangiardi, who has a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Hawaii, spent eight years as a college football coach – six of which were for UH. Blangiardi left the coaching ranks as a Defensive Coordinator/Associate Head Football Coach.
Blangiardi has been an executive in the television industry for more than 38 years, succeeding in senior executive positions in many of the nation’s most competitive markets. Before returning home to Hawaii, Blangiardi was President of Telemundo Holdings Inc., where he was responsible for the operations of Telemundo’s 11 owned and operated stations throughout major markets in the United States and Puerto Rico. A key highlight of his tenure was leading the sale of Telemundo in 2001 to NBC for $2.7 billion, the largest deal in NBC’s history.
Blangiardi’s record of leadership is long, including former stints as President of the Aloha Council and the University of Hawai’i’s Football Booster Club, Na Koa, Executive Director of Ahahui Koa Anuenue, and Chairman of Chamber of Commerce Hawai’i. He served on the Board of Directors at Central Pacific Bank, and on the Board of Regents for Chaminade University. He has also been honored as Hawaii’s Sales Person of the Year 2010 and UH Distinguished Alumnus 2014.