Regarded as a legend in Hawaii’s television entertainment scene, many viewers find Emme Tomimbang’s talent and drive immeasurable. For starters, she’s continued her popular hourlong show, Emme’s Island Moments, four times a year, interviewing renowned local and Hollywood stars alike, all while capturing the unique treasures of Hawaii. She also is the founder of Emme Inc., a multimedia production company that produces high quality television specials, commercials, airline and corporate videos, and takes charge of event coordination and public relations.
Most recently, Tomimbang added a new project to her long list of achievements, this time pulling together the very best of her 15 years of celebrity interviews and profiles from her hit show, calling it Emme’s Classic Island Moments. Premiering last week, the show airs Sundays from 6 to 7 p.m. on KFVE.
“Having collected memories and moments with Island celebrities and personalities, we plan to re-air the original (with some trim) to allow for updates with certain guests at the end of the show - ‘where are they now’ kind of concept,” says Tomimbang, who got her start in television news, first working for KITV and KHON before leaving in 1993 to launch her own production company and television show.
“We’ll look at the careers of promoter Tom Moffatt, actor Jason Scott Lee, Island musicians Kealii Reichel, Amy Hanaialii Gilliom and Willie K, and the original cast of Hawaii 5-0, among others.”
A proud graduate of Farrington High School, Leeward Community College and UH Manoa, Tomimbang also will take her audience across the globe, traveling on Hawaiian Airlines to Las Vegas, Seattle, San Francisco and the Philippines to experience island moments beyond our island home.
“There are so few local television programs that profile people who make a difference in Hawaii. I’m fortunate to be one of the few who have continued this all these years,” Tomimbang says. “It’s nice to look back, be nostalgic and relive moments with some very special Island people.”
Tomimbang last appeared on MidWeek‘s cover in June 2003 and since then was commissioned to do a documentary on the Hawaii Filipino Centennial in 2006, from which a DVD was released. She also has been giving lectures at Philippine universities, sharing the documentary of Hawaii Filipinos.
“The Mabuhay With Aloha documentary on Hawaii Filipinos and redis-covering my own heritage has been the most memorable point of my career to date, along with learning about my late father-in-law with the John A. Burns documentary and doing a local biography of president Barack Obama,” says Tomimbang, who received a 2009 Telly Award for that particular biography.
She’s been married for 23 years to retired Judge Jim Burns, and her soul mate, she says, is her 120-pound canine companion Rufus, whose name appears at the end of the credits on all her shows.
“I’ve always been a proponent of promoting anything of Hawaii for Hawaii and with Hawaii’s imprint. When I discover stories that give us a ‘sense of place’ culture, inspiration and encouragement, I consider it an ‘island moment,’” Tomimbang says.
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