David and Shay Kusumoto are co-founders of 9th Avenue Studio and popular music TV and Youtube show HISessions. They have three children, Evan (16), Cole (13) and Ari (11) and live in Kaimuki.
Shay is an accomplished graphic designer, web developer and video producer. She and Dave met on the job in 2000—their first date was actually a project launch meeting at Yanagi Sushi. But they were first soul mates, then business partners when she joined forces with Dave’s web company in 2003. A writer at heart, designer by trade, Shay is passionate about the relationship between words and visuals to get a clear message to a target audience. Her masters thesis was about implementing change in organizations through multimedia publicity. Following her passion and call, she has helped numerous organizations, churches and business in effective communication strategy, branding and marketing. It’s one of those rare instances where what she studied in school is exactly what she does today.
Dave is a business entrepreneur. He started one of the first Internet Service Providers in the state when the Internet was first becoming a thing in 1993. His company, Internet Advantage, helped to lead the initial wave of commercial internet users onto the super information Hawaii in the mid-90s. Dave then started a website development company with a few of his friends shortly after specializing in rich media content and Flash animation. Realizing the growing need for media content and storytelling in the marketing landscape, Dave’s company, now known as 9th Ave Studio, moved in the direction of video and marketing in 2010. The project he’s perhaps more known for, though, is HISessions — which began as a pet project making local music videos. HISessions is now a youtube channel with over 400k subscribers getting 1.5 million views a week, a TV show and household name. They film at Four Seasons Ko Olina, and have helped the careers of many talented local musicians.