Hongwanji Mission School


When Hongwanji Mission School, the first Buddhist school outside of Japan, was established in 1949, its mission was clear: to develop their children academically, physically, socially & spiritually through programs guided by Buddhist values. With small, personalized, and safe classrooms, every eighth grade graduate is prepared to enroll and excel in any private or public high school.

Hongwanji Mission School

The best thing about ProService Hawaii is that it is truly a one-stop shop. Partnering with a local PEO saves you time, money, and they make sure you’re always in compliance.

– Teddi Yagi, Admissions Director and Vice Principal

The Challenge

As Head of School, it was extremely important to Dave Randall to take care of his employees. He quickly began to see that managing payroll in-house as well as providing health care benefits was becoming expensive and his team didn’t have the knowledge or resources to adequately support school administration.

“You need to make your employees feel valued and that they have a place in the decision-making process in your company,” said Dave. “It’s all about collaboration.” After listening to the concerns from his employees, he realized it was time to hire an outside vendor to manage their HR needs for an affordable price.

Hongwanji Mission School surveyed the landscape and chose ProService Hawaii. They were satisfied with the service, but when a national PEO offered them a lower cost, they switched providers to save money. Soon after signing the contract with the nationally recognized payroll company, however, the school made some painful discoveries.

“It was extremely frustrating to deal with a call center model and getting somebody new on the line each time I called for support,” says Theadora Yagi, Admissions Director and Vice Principal. “I was  wasting time re-explaining issues every time because we didn’t have a dedicated customer representative who knew us.”

Besides poor support and low service level, Theadora discovered numerous issues with their national PEO. The lack of local knowledge, different time zones, and lack of value-added services made her question if they were actually saving money.


Theadora consulted with Hongwanji leadership and they reached back out to ProService Hawaii to discuss their frustrations with the broker model employed by their national payroll vendor. ProService Hawaii provided guidance on how to terminate their two-year contract with the national PEO. Even after paying early termination fees, they knew coming back to ProService Hawaii was the right move.

Instead of being a number in a call queue, Yagi has a dedicated Account Manager who knew her by her first name and had a wealth of knowledge about Hawaii-specific HR solutions. Furthermore, ProService took the time necessary to understand the problem, provided a targeted solution, and delivered a custom implementation based on Hongwanji Mission School’s needs.


Switching from a national payroll company to a ProService has made all the difference for Hongwanji Mission School. Now instead of a large faceless organization managing their payroll, the school has a local partner that provides a full-suite of HR services and provides unparalleled customer service.

The school is now able to provide their employees with value added services such as safety and CPR training, that will continuously save the school money, train their employees, and provide an HR solution that empowers them to succeed in Hawaii.

Rick notes that they are also now taking advantage of ProService’s employee onboarding tool to elevate hiring and management processes.

“The onboarding tool makes getting our employees up to speed so simple and streamlined. More and more, and as we continue to grow, it’s about efficiency. ProService just makes life easier.”

A partnership with ProService empowered Rick and Ted to realize their vision, and continue to build their empire of quality restaurants across Hawaii.

“The best thing about ProService Hawaii is that it is truly a one-stop shop. Partnering with a local PEO saves you time, money, and they make sure you’re always in compliance,” says Teddi Yagi, Admissions Director and Vice Principal at Hongwanji School. “It is so convenient to have someone you trust proactively managing your HR needs.”