AIL Hawaii - Meet the Team

Blake Higuchi

AIL Regional General Agent - Honolulu

About Blake Higuchi

>Blake Higuchi was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. With his sights set on a medical profession, he attended Oregon State University to earn his degree in Health Care Administration. After graduating, Higuchi realized that the medical path he was heading down was full of inflexible hours, no room for growth, and not enough compensation. He moved back to Hawaii to become a pharmaceutical sales representative, but needed sales experience before pursuing it more seriously. He found American Income Life (AIL) Honolulu in December of 2006, and excitedly joined the company that promised to set him up for success.

Success came quickly as Higuchi was placed on a fast track to management. Within his first four months, Higuchi was promoted to Supervising Agent. Four months later, he achieved his General Agent contract. In 2010, Higuchi was appointed to Master General Agent and moved to Maui to open a new office. He built the Maui office from the ground up, earning his office recognition as AIL-Altig’s Top Office in 2010. He credits leading by example, building personal relationships and learning from mistakes to his success in Maui. With Higuchi as their leader, the Maui office continued receiving AIL-Altig’s Top Office recognition in 2011 and 2013. After setting up the Maui office with strong leaders in his stead, Higuchi moved back to Honolulu in 2013 to lead an office closer to home. Three years later, Higuchi received his promotion to Regional General Agent.

Higuchi’s strong leadership is constantly recognized and awarded at AIL-Altig. He has been appointed to the AIL-Altig Board of Directors four times, won AIL-Altig’s Top Award of Leader of the Year, was their #1 Master General Agent in 2015, and their #1 Regional General Agent in 2016. Additionally, in December of 2015, Higuchi was the 17th recipient of the distinguished gift of AIL-Altig’s favorite Rolex watch. The Rolex, gifted to Higuchi by AIL-Altig’s CEO Ilija Orlovic and Chairman Rick Altig, symbolizes gratitude, loyalty, and respect. Higuchi recalls feeling surprised and grateful knowing Ilija and Rick believed in him so much, “It was an amazing feeling,” he said. It is recognition like this, along with AIL-Altig’s motto of “Opportunity Unlimited” and their commitment to the Platinum Rule—Do more for others than you expect them to do for you— that Higuchi appreciates. He also credits the family-first culture of people loving and caring for each other and the mentorship programs as some of the most important and rewarding characteristics of AIL-Altig.

Looking forward, Higuchi is excited to inspire members on his team grow towards becoming future leaders of the company, saying “seeing the new people rise up in the company—seeing the next me—is exciting.” He plans to maintain his legacy on the AIL-Altig Board of Directors by continuously growing himself and his organization.

In his free time, Higuchi likes spending time with his friends and family, cooking, enjoying the beautiful scenery of Honolulu, attending concerts, and getting in an occasional round of golf. Outside of work, Higuchi takes any opportunity he can to travel around the world. His favorite destination is Japan, where he enjoys seeing the sights and sampling local cuisine.

Kimo Collins

AIL Regional General Agent - Honolulu

About Kimo Collins

Dan Ikei

AIL Regional General Agent - Honolulu

About Dan Ikei

Dan Ikei was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii with his parents and younger brother and sister. After attending the University of Hawaii, Ikei started working at his father’s start-up waste management company. After over a decade of learning first-hand the value of entrepreneurial spirit, Ikei was ready to challenge himself and see what else he could accomplish. It was at American Income Life (AIL) at the end of 2013 that Ikei found the opportunity he was looking for.

Ikei was most drawn to AIL after seeing the tight-knit family culture and possibility for unlimited growth. With the empowering mentorship of Blake Higuchi, AIL-Altig’s 2016 Leader of the Year, Ikei was put on the fast track to management and was promoted two times in the same year. At the beginning of 2016, Ikei was appointed to Master General Agent and earned both his seat on AIL-Altig’s Board of Directors and became AIL-Altig’s #1 Master General Agent by the end of that same year. Soon after, he was promoted to Regional General Agent in January of 2017.

Ikei believes that he has grown immensely as an individual since he was hired. Personally, he has gained a more positive outlook on life and professionally, he has transformed his mindset from “managing” to “leading” a team. As a leader, he knows his success is “not because of me, it’s because of the team.” That is why he has such a strong focus on recruiting quality people, training his managers to be more successful than he ever was, and expanding AIL to new locations. Moving forward, Ikei is working towards being appointed the Vice President of Sales. “AIL continually shows me that whatever I plan to be, I can be even bigger.”

Ikei currently lives in Honolulu with his wife and two sons. He loves to spend time surfing and golfing with his family and cheering on his kids at their martial arts tournaments.

Jon Emura

AIL Regional General Agent - Waipahu

About Jon Emura

Kevin Appasamy

AIL Regional General Agent - Waipahu

Cleo Sola

AIL Regional General Agent - Maui

About Cleo Sola

Originally from the Philippines, Cleo Sola moved with her family to Maryland when she was 16. She attended college at the University of Maryland to pursue her interest in accounting. Demonstrating her strong work ethic and determination early on, Sola balanced school and work while earning both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business Administration.

It was after a much-needed vacation to Maui with her husband in August of 2012 that first sparked Cleo Sola’s love for the island and its people. After returning from her trip, Sola learned that the company she had been working for for 17 years was re-locating to Iowa. Rather than move to a place she did not want to live, Sola’s mind drifted back to her time spent on Maui. After a bit of research, Sola discovered she could pursue her dream of living in Maui by working at American Income Life (AIL). Sola was sold, “I want to do this,” she said. In January of 2013, Sola joined AIL-Altig and started her new life with on the beautiful island of Maui.

Sola quickly rose through the ranks of the company utilizing her characteristic strong work ethic and determination. She surpassed major milestones including being promoted to Supervising Agent, followed by being appointed to General Agent within her first year, and by August of 2015 she earned her Master General Agent contract. Almost one year later, Sola rose to the status of Regional General Agent (RGA), running the Maui office with exemplary leadership and principle driven growth. “Being an RGA on a small island is challenging,” Sola says. She relies on recruiting trips off the island to ensure her organization continues to grow. She says the most rewarding part about being an RGA is being a part of an organization that enriches lives. “To see someone being raised to the next level is so rewarding, so exciting. It truly is Opportunity Unlimited,” said Sola.

Like many at AIL, Sola finds the open communication and authentic relationships within her organization as some of the most incredible principles of the company. “I don’t have to hunt my mentors down to get help. You are equipped with so many resources to help you learn how to do this job and be good at it,” she says. Looking forward, Sola is excited to continue pursuing professional development for herself and her team. She is enthusiastic about empowering those in her organization to grow towards their own personal objectives. The flexibility and opportunity within the company has enabled Sola achieve some of her life goals, including owning a home in Maui—a dream come true. Helping others realize their full potential is what energizes Sola about the future with AIL.

It is easy for Sola to find fun and excitement outside of work living on Maui. In her free time, she and her husband enjoy spending time at the beach, hiking, and traveling. She volunteers her time helping preserve the reefs and sea life by cleaning the ocean shores. Moving to Maui and launching her successful career has been one of Sola’s biggest accomplishments, saying, “If it wasn’t for AIL, I would not have gotten this opportunity. I’m living my dream.”