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RAM Honors its 2023 Affiliate of the Year


Photo Caption: Paula Kobayashi with her award at the 2023 RAM installation luncheon.

by Alma Tassi

At the RAM installation luncheon this past November, Paula Kobayashi of Finance Factors was honored with the 2023 Affiliate of the Year award for her contributions to the real estate industry and community.

Kobayashi got her start in 1986 as a teller, then a loan clerk. In 1986, she became a loan officer working at places such as American Savings Bank, Bank of America, Countrywide Home Loans, CitiFinancial, and others. She has over 30 years of experience in the state of Hawai’i and has now been with Finance Factors for the last 10 years. Throughout her entire career, giving back to the community has been fundamental. She says, “I joined RAM in the early 2000s. Our company has supported many of its community projects through the years.”

One of those projects is the Wishing Well…for Maui Students, a program of the REALTORS® Association of Maui Community Foundation (RAMCF), a 501c3 non-profit organization. Since 2007, the Wishing Well has donated countless goods, supplies, and services to Maui’s public schools. She says, “I represent Wailuku Elementary, and my coworker Michele Crozier represents Makawao Elementary. We both have been part of Wishing Well for four to five years now.”

In 2022, Kobayashi and Crozier decided to do more for schools and approached Finance Factors to support a slipper drive. “I learned that rubber slippers are the number one thing public schools ask for.” The company-wide drive collected 546 rubber slippers and 103 backpacks and school supplies. The following year, they collected 443 slippers and numerous supplies so far.

Founder of the Wishing Well Sarah Sorenson says, “Paula is an ‘ideal volunteer’ in that she always is thinking of ways to assist her school and other charities she is involved with to make a difference. If I need help in any way, like all of my coordinators, she is always there. The Wishing Well isn’t the only community non-profit Paula assists throughout the year.”

One of those nonprofits is the Maui Food Bank. As part of the Hawaii Bankers Association Food Drive in April and May, Kobayashi coordinates a bake sale. “We come up with a menu and do preorders. Between the three of us and a couple of helpers, we usually raise between $1,000-$1,300.” She says baking so many orders in a home kitchen requires an entire weekend, but she thinks it’s all worth it.

She says, “For any organization if you can be creative, it makes it fun. My company has supported us in the bake sales and rubber slipper drives. And so our branch, for 3 people, we’ve done wonders!”

If you’d like to contribute to the Wishing Well program, visit www.ILoveMauiSchools or call 808-283-3969. The Maui Food Bank welcomes donations at any time at

Realtor means a member of the National Association of Realtors. Do you know a Realtors Association of Maui member who should be recognized for their contributions to the community? If so, send your story idea to Alma Tassi at

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