Invited to testify about PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1995, age 38.
Gloria Borland's 6 minute testimony at 2:05:10 - 2:11:27
Independent Producer invited to testify.
Gloria Borland was invited to give testimony to the United States Congress numerous times in the 1990s. As a respected woman business owner she was invited to speak before NASA, the Small Business Administration, the Defense Department's DARPA and the Federal Communications Commission.
When Gloria Borland was a new parent she was invited to testify before the United States Senate subcommittee on the Environment about water quality and children in 2004.
June 20, 1978, was my last day getting a pay check from the US Senate. I remember walking on the grass near the Washington monument wondering if my dream of being a magazine publisher could be fulfilled? While my friends were off to law school I had found my passion in media. I was only 21 and a girl. Can I do this? I was both scared and exhilarated.
Magazine publishing in the late 1970s was labor intensive before computers. Typewriters, typesetters and my biggest expense was the printer. The previous year I had a journalism class on Magazine Layout and Design by the famous Howard Paine, then the Art Director at National Geographic Magazine. I took what I learned in the classroom into the real world of publishing.
About 95% of upper management in the travel industry were Caucasian males. Yes, my race, gender and young age surprised many in the industry. Most of my readers were white women travel agents in their 40s and 50s.
The travel industry took pride in their role of bringing cultures and people together. They often quoted Mark Twain "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." The articles in my magazines showed different people, culture and customs from around the world.
International Airlines were my customers. Our first big advertiser was Pan Am. The manager bought a full page Ad in every edition. Finnair soon followed, then China (Taiwan) Airlines. Aeroflot the Russian Airline purchased advertising, but the manager believed he had never met Gloria Borland, whom he thought had to be white. He assumed the black woman standing in front of him was Ms. Borland's assistant.
Eastern Airlines was the first to invite my magazine on a press trip, it was to the Dominican Republic. The others on this trip were old enough to be my parents and of course in those days, mainstream media covering travel were all white. In 1979, the Dominican Republic was a poor country trying to build a tourism industry. The articles I wrote covered the people, their history and culture. My stories resonated.
When airlines started a new route, travel press were usually invited on the inaugural flight. I was on Singapore Airlines inaugural flight from LA to Tokyo and World Airways first flight from Baltimore to London and Berlin.
I was at a conference in Cairo and flying back through Rome. A friendly old travel editor from New York suggested I stay at the Grand Hotel in Rome. This Ciga property was his favorite and it accommodates travel press. He even put in a good word for me with the hotel's manager. When I checked in, the front desk took a look at my appearance and placed me in a tiny room near the basement. It was a room for servants and dark skinned people. I was stunned but didn't complain. I still remember the incident 38 years later.
Another incident occurred in the Philippines. Marcos was still in power. After Manila, the travel press was taken to a new resort in Puerto Azul. Armed soldiers were on guard around the property. A soldier cursed at me, I didn't understand his language, but I knew it was derogatory. He complained that I wasn't white like the others in the group of Americans.
The soldier had a rifle. Of course I was scared and stayed very close to our group.
I was invited by the Kenya Tourist Office to help the country turn away from hunting safaris to a new concept, photo safaris. In 1981, I wrote a beautiful cover story about Kenya and described our photo safari. Forty years later, photo safaris have become the most popular tours in Africa and animal conservation has been effective. I also wrote about the different cultural regions inside Kenya. I included Mombasa on the sea coast which was influenced by India and Arabia.
The United States has many Irish-Americans, most of whom have never visited Ireland. I wrote a cover story about Ireland that touched their hearts.
One of my favorite countries is South Korea. I wrote about a place many Americans didn't understand and showed the warmth of the Korean people.
The theme throughout all my magazines were "People are a lot more alike than different."
While publishing my magazines, I was planning ahead and building a new cable TV channel based on travel content.
To learn more visit my "GLOBAL" page.
with English Subtitles
News from France
News from Japan
America had a period of "Japan Bashing" where politicians and our media treated Japan's growing economic power as a threat. The decline of the US economy was scapegoated on Japan's rise. In Detroit, two unemployed white auto-workers killed a Chinese-American man. They mistakenly thought he was Japanese and the killers did not go to prison. Many Americans fanned by media, were becoming prejudiced against Japanese.
In this environment, I founded a cable TV channel that would combat prejudice. My channel carried TV shows and movies from Japan.
One of our most popular TV shows was the comedy Que Pasa, USA? Its a humorous portrayal of a Cuban immigrant family in Miami as they struggle to adapt in their new homeland. The story is the universal saga of immigrants in America. The show was bilingual English-Spanish and a big hit when it originally aired on PBS. Our Global Village Network obtained the rights to re-broadcast the popular sitcom on our channel every Monday night. Hispanics loved the show. Non-hispanics enjoyed the humor and learned something new about the immigrant experience. People learning Spanish were able to practice while being entertained.
In 1993, only elite universities offered Japanese language classes. I made an agreement with the American Association of Community Colleges, that gave a thousand campuses satellite access to a TV program "Let's Learn Japanese" under the Global Village Network brand. The series had 26-episodes about traveling around Tokyo. More than half of US undergraduates were enrolled in community colleges. We made an impact with millions of students giving them exposure to the Japanese language.
To learn more, go to my "GLOBAL" page.
Global Village programming is needed now more than ever. GV 2.0 is the more expansive digital version. I'm partnering with my 19-year-old daughter to bring GV 2.0 to young people around the world. BLACK LIVES MATTER, STOP ASIAN HATE, END ANTI-SEMITISM are cries for change around the world. Racist attitudes have to be changed. People can be guided to a different mindset. Old beliefs can be replaced. Empathy is needed. Reinforced exposure to media that brings people together on an equal basis is needed.
Hosted by Gloria Borland and Bill Nelson in 1994
Additional PBS distribution
Sponsored Gloria Borland's TV show.
More often than not, people were stunned to discover the CEO behind Global Village Network was not a white male. Dealing with international content and films from Europe, had to come from the creative mind of someone white.
In February 1991, I created The Business Owners, a TV show that would help change the negative stereotypes of Blacks, especially on television. If an African American was shown on television as a success it was usually only in the context of singing, dancing and playing ball. We never saw Blacks on television using their intellect, especially in running a business. Television is a powerful medium that can reinforce and perpetuate negative or positive stereotypes.
The Business Owners was created not as a business 101 show, but as a personality profile of people who started with nothing and boot-strapped their vision into thriving enterprises. The motto of the television series became ... "despite the odds!"
In the 1990s, most independent productions attempting national distribution on PBS averaged about 10 stations. A good production might get shown on 30 stations. My TV series went up to the stratosphere with 150 stations, unbelievable for a first time producer.
The Wall Street Journal
A major breakthrough was getting underwriting support from the prestigious Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal ran Ads promoting my TV show in their national newspaper.
Our biggest audience were educators. We received fan mail from public school teachers and college professors across the country. Many teachers taped our programs and showed them in their classroom. A Florida teacher wrote saying the kids in his class love watching "The Business Owners" because it is not boring like many traditional education programs. After our show aired in Los Angeles, we received almost a hundred phone calls and letters from viewers in the Los Angeles area. The same thing happened in North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland.
One letter really touched me. It came from an inmate at Marion Federal Penitentiary. He wrote saying he watched "The Business Owners" every Monday night on WEIU in Illinois. Our programs inspired him. He said that because of watching the series, when he gets out of prison he wants to be a small business owner. The inmate told me he was reading and studying business topics at the prison library.
In 1994, the communications industry accurately predicted the convergence of television, telephone and computers. All three technologies would converge with digital wireless. Back then our world was analogue and we had to imagine the digital revolution. The future finally arrived in 2007 when the iPhone was released.
While living in the analogue era, I had to study the future of digital. The platform for digital would be on valuable radio frequency spectrum. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington DC planned to auction licenses for digital cellular in all 50 states. The spectrum was called PCS for Personal Communications Services. The FCC planned to auction three blocks, A and B for big telcos and the C-block was to be set-aside for small business entrepreneurs. The diagram on the right shows the C-block license (in yellow) will be just as valuable as A and B. The Unlicensed middle block is used by Wifi. Unlicensed spectrum is not secure and has interference.
Many entrepreneurs saw the opportunity. Most were focused on licenses for big markets in New York or Los Angeles. I was the only one focused on Honolulu my hometown. To let the FCC know you were a small business many companies named themselves after the owner. Stanton Communications after John Stanton, DCR Communications after Daniel C. Riker. My startup was Gloria Borland Hawaii PCS (GBH) to let the big boys know this was a woman-owned entity and to signal I was focused on the Hawaii market. That first year I made 9 roundtrips to Honolulu to put together a local team and find investors. In early 1995, three entities were invited to give a PCS license presentation to Bishop Estate seeking their investment. Our GBH team won. We beat Mr. Hee and Sandwich Isle Communications and Mr. Stanton and his Western Wireless. We were told we had given the best presentation and the trustees were impressed with our team. The following week during due diligence, I was notified that Bishop Estate just discovered a problem on their end. Bishop is an investor in Goldman Sachs and Goldman is an investor in a mainland company that is going after the A,B license. Bishop could not invest in the C-license for small Hawaii entrepreneurs because it would be competition with Goldman's mainland investment.
We learned investors in Hawaii were more comfortable with real estate and tourism projects, not technology. We merged with a larger mainland entrepreneur, DCR Communications who was backed by Westinghouse and Asian investors. DCR ended up owning 31 PCS licenses including major markets Chicago and Dallas. For the Honolulu license, GBH was the minority partner owning 5% and DCR owned 95%. With DCR we were in the beginning stages of their $172 million IPO. GBH was included in their S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 17, 1996. There was a lot of corporate drama with the big boys. GBH was in Hawaii and not aware that behind the scenes on the East Coast, the majority owners were fighting among themselves. After three years, DCR lost all 31 PCS licenses. The current owner of the Honolulu C-block license is a Boston hedge fund, operating as www.mobi.com
In 1999, our engineers in Hawaii invented a high speed data delivery method over wireless spectrum. T-1 speeds over wireless. Wireless Broadband. Netless Web Wireless, Inc. was a new Hawaii startup formed to protect the invention, build a prototype and market the new technology. I'm the CEO. I led the engineering team and we filed patents. A Provisional Patent was filed in the United States in 1999. A Patent Application was filed in 2000 and 2001.
Patent application filed for the European Union in 2001.
Invention translated into Japanese and filed. Entered National phase July 29, 2002.
Invention translated by Chinese law firm in Hong Kong and filed. National Phase in China filed July 31, 2002.
NETLESS WEB WIRELESS, INC.
CEO of tech startup, 1999-2003.
I was the first female entrepreneur elected to the board of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association in 1997 serving until 2003. On the board with me was Patent Attorney Martin Hsia from Cades Schutte. We hired Cades to file our patents world-wide.
I learned from other tech entrepreneurs that finding capital in Hawaii is extremely hard. The business culture is biased towards real estate, tourism and retail. Officials talk about wanting to diversify into tech, but technology firms need access to capital. During this period, I observed it was easy to find money in Hawaii to develop another resort. Tax credits in Act 221 had problems. I ended up raising funds from investors on the mainland to pay for our technology startup in Hawaii.
Some venture capitalists on the mainland had difficulty believing our invention could come out of Hawaii. One VC wondered, "how can a bunch of beach bums invent technology?" The stereotype people have of Hawaii is that it is an exotic paradise, not a place with innovative engineers. For many decades, Hawaii's tourism industry has spent millions of dollars selling the islands as a place to relax and enjoy the beach. It is hard to replace that picture with smart engineers solving a problem.
I made an impact giving Hawaii engineers the credibility of having their invention patented worldwide.
In 1984 at the age of 27, Gloria Borland chaired the Alaska and Hawaii Statehood: 25th Anniversary Dinner at the National Press Club in Washington DC. The event sold out.
In 2009, Gloria Borland chaired the Aloha Inaugural Ball at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC. The Inaugural Ball had the theme "Hawaii, where Barack Obama was born and raised."
A Message for Our Time
Women had power and influence in Hawaiian Kingdom.
Title IX Increased Professional Opportunities for Women.
I decided to make a film about Obama's childhood because we are both from Hawaii. During his presidency, the press mischaracterized him and the public didn't fully understand him.
It is an epic film with 55 interviews in seven different states, a dozen trips to Hawaii, including travel to China.
Production of Barack Obama Made in Hawaii is continuing. The film has a production budget of $3 million.
The Hawaiian Kingdom had women Prime Ministers and women Governors.
Recent translations of Hawaiian-language newspapers reveal a matrilineal society where women were landowners and had power and influence before foreigners took their power and land away.
2022 was the 50th Anniversary of Title IX.
We used multimedia to commemorate the 50 years since Congresswoman Patsy Mink's landmark Title IX legislation in 1972.
The Untold Story.
There were numerous battles US Rep. Patsy Mink had to fight in order to gain equal rights for women.