Vilitati Bikai was a beloved manager at Harrington Group, as well as a cherished husband, father, son, and friend. His recent and unexpected passing sent a ripple effect of sorrow throughout our team and we are still searching for our footing, as to how we will move forward, lacking his presence.
Vilitati was an exceptional man who became the light of every room that he entered, spreading kindness and cultivating genuine connections. His trademark smile, coupled with his humble demeanor, made Vili (for short) a magnet for friendships and uplifting conversations. His presence in our offices, in his family and among his friend group will be greatly missed and is irreplaceable.
In remembering our dearest Vilitati, we are honored to share some words from those who were closest to him. His father, Simione Bikai, shared with us that Vilitati “was a very humble and obedient child during his young days. He was a very good and intent listener and a meticulous follower of instructions.” “He was always hardworking, in all areas of life”. This description captures many of the qualities that made him such an impactful part of the Harrington Group team. His strong communication skills were a constant asset to both clients and fellow employees. His work ethic shone through in every task that he took on, as he worked hard to ensure that all his clients were served well, which consistently upheld his reputation of being both trustworthy and reliable. Vilitati was known to strive for nothing short of excellence and for going above and beyond what was expected of him.
His life-long friend Fr. Leronio Vodivodi, who knew Vilitati for over 30 years, described him as “a leader who consistently looked out for others”, explaining that he was “his brother’s keeper”. This is the Vilitati that we know and love. The big brother of our Harrington Group family, constantly looking out for our team, our clients and truly for any being with whom he could make a connection. Vilitati welcomed you with his heart-warming smile and truly embodied everything we cherish about the nonprofit community.
Inoke Qarau, who works alongside Vilitati’s father Simione as one of the Fijian representatives on the Pacific Islanders Study Committee of the United Methodist Church, a cause very near and dear to the Bikai family, migrated to the United States from the Fiji Islands. Inoke explains that the committee was tasked with the study and writing of a comprehensive plan of the Pacific Islanders community nationwide, in which “Vilitati assisted in logistics to begin his selfless and unrivaled service to the community, until his untimely passing”.
Vilitati’s commitment to his community is clear. This is a big reason why he thrived as an accountant in the nonprofit sector, as a teammate, as a family member and as an overall compassionate human being. Vili put others before himself.
Vilitati was heavily involved with his church and with the community at large. To give an idea of the scope of his commitment to the service of others, as well as his overall work ethic, we would like to share a glimpse of his service here:
• Steward & Treasurer of Palo Alto United Methodist Church Fijian Ministry
• Treasurer of the Fijian Caucus of the United Methodist Church of the California & Nevada Annual Conference
• Treasurer of the Fijian National Caucus of the United Methodist Church
• Treasurer of the Pacific Islanders Ministry of the United Methodist Church of the California & Nevada Annual Conference
• Treasurer of the First Fijian Fellowship of the United Methodist Church Inc. (Youth Ministry)
• Served as a Board of Trustees member of the California & Nevada Annual Conference
• Advisor to Fijian communities of faith as they explored ways of legitimizing their fellowship (forming 501C3 status) or acquiring properties
• Treasurer of the Province of Tailevu USA, Inc. (scholarship program for tertiary education in Fiji that began in 2013 with 25 helped and 5 graduates, and awarded $110K FJD in scholarships)
• Treasurer of Home Island of Gau USA.
• Financial advisor to various community groups and alumni organizations (Marist Brothers High School Alumni, Duavata Club, etc.)
Words cannot truly explain what a special person Vilitati was, nor can they accurately convey the deep loss that is felt without his presence. He was a man who wore many hats and impacted many lives in positive ways. He is an ongoing inspiration for those in the nonprofit community, for members of our team and for his own circle of loved ones. Although we cannot physically work with him anymore, his spirit will live on within our company, as we will always remember to strive for the same level of excellence that Vilitati pushed himself towards day to day.
Our deepest love to Vilitati Bikai,
The Harrington Group Family