Pohai Ryan for OHA Trustee
One of HLTA’s longstanding members and close friends, Pohai Ryan, former Executive Director of the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association and a former State Senator, is currently running for one of three Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) statewide At-Large Trustee seats. In her past capacity as the head of NAHHA, Pohai has actively engaged with HLTA’s initiatives and programs. As a member of the HLTA Government Affairs Committee, Pohai has helped launch our Tourism Day at the Capitol event. Subsequently, she also chaired the event every year since its inception in 2016. In addition to her commitment displayed in our advocacy efforts, Pohai and her team have also been active with our Visitor Industry Charity Walk and have participated as a sponsor for our annual Citizen-Scholar Awards on multiple occasions.
We send a big mahalo to Pohai for her hard work at the helm of NAHHA, and for her participation with our association. We encourage you to seriously consider her candidacy to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and we wish her the very best in all her future endeavors!
Denny's Opens on Corner of Kuhio and Kapahulu Avenues
The Diamond Head entrance to Waikiki just gained a new gem. A beautifully-designed “Denny’s” franchise has opened its doors and kitchen to the Kapahulu concourse, adding another appealing touch to the area fronting the Honolulu Zoo. The nearly 5,000 square foot, “Hawai‘i” vibe restaurant is inserting another 120 jobs to the Waikiki district and will serve up their popular comfort food round the clock. As a valued addition to the Kuhio/Kapuhulu intersection, I am sure that we will see a resulting effect of new development in the area, as well as an increase in public safety.
I was able to attend their grand opening on Wednesday, featuring some ono and tasty specialties by Chef Chai Chaowasaree and was pleased to see many familiar visitor industry faces at the welcome event. Congratulations to my long time friend, former First Hawaiian Bank honcho, Don Horner and Medhat Bechay and his lovely wife Maria on their successful opening; we look forward to many future pancake and waffle runs.
Save the Date! HIP Wednesday, 8/1
HLTA members at the HYPE Membership Drive and Mixer at Lucky Strike Social Honolulu.
Our upcoming Hospitality Industry Pau Hana is an event you’re not going to want to miss! Besides it is very timely , as more and more people are doing absentee voting and not waiting to vote on August 11 - Primary Election Day. Mark your calendars for next Wednesday, August 1 from 5pm to 7 pm at Lucky Strike Social Honolulu (in Ala Moana Shopping Center) for our Political HIP: MEET THE CANDIDATES!
HLTA-endorsed candidates will be in attendance to meet and mingle with all of you. Please join us for an evening of networking, ono grinds, and complimentary bowling. Registration is still open, you may register for HIP HERE. I look forward to seeing you all there!
Pictorial Membership Directory
One of the many benefits that HLTA provides is our coveted Pictorial Membership Directory. This annual member exclusive, produced in partnership with Trade Publishing, is a large production, and we need your help. If you are the primary HLTA contact for your business, please update your contact information with us, either via this Google Form or submit this PDF to Melina at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, August 3rd. We appreciate your prompt assistance in this endeavor, as we aim to have these printed and available as soon as possible.
On Saturday July 21st, the Hawai'i Lodging and Tourism Association announced its endorsements for state and county candidates in the Primary Election. This is after a comprehensive endorsement review process by its endorsement committee, which included representatives from each county and a final vote of approval by the HLTA Board of Directors.
HLTA prides itself on providing its members with the utmost value and quality, in advocacy and in all that we do. Please give these candidates your serious consideration, and be sure to vote in the Primary Election on August 11th. Absentee ballots should be in your mailboxes in short order.
First Congressional District Forum
Yesterday, Thursday the 19th, marked the last in our trio of political forums. Mahalo to all who attended our First Congressional District Forum with candidates former Congressman Ed Case, Lieutenant Governor Doug Chin, Representative Beth Fukumoto, Representative Kaniela Ing, Senator Donna Mercado Kim, and Honolulu Council Chair Ernest Martin.
This debate series has been hosted by HLTA in partnership with the Retail Merchants of Hawai‘i, Waikiki Improvement Association, and the Waikiki Neighborhood Board.
I would like to send my gratitude to the candidates, our moderator, Gina Mangieri of KHON2, and panelists Ashley Nagaoka of Hawaii News Now and Allison Schaefers of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, for doing such an exemplary job sparking lively discourse among the candidates. I would also like to extend a special mahalo to our hosts, the Kyo-ya group and Sheraton Waikiki, for a successful event.
If you are eager for more opportunities to mix and mingle with your potential elected officials, HLTA is hosting a political Hospitality Industry Pau Hana: Meet the Candidates on August 1st at Lucky Strike. HLTA-endorsed candidates will be in attendance and are looking forward to meeting you! Please register here.
Hawaii Public Radio: The Future of Tourism in the Hawaiian Islands
On Monday morning, I was featured on Hawai‘i Public Radio as a guest of Chris Vandercook and Catherine Cruz on their talk show “The Conversation.” I was joined by Hawai‘i State Representative, and House Tourism Chair, Richard Onishi as we spoke to the current status and future outlook of Tourism in our state. We covered key issues relevant to the industry which included the ongoing discussion of transient vacation rentals in our communities, the allocations of the transient accommodations tax, economic diversification and its direct tie to tourism, and public safety to name a few. We also discussed the outlook of our state’s infrastructure through the perception that we are reaching a tipping point of over-tourism in our islands. Our discussions included insight from Elizabeth Churchill, Owner of Churchill Group, and a former executive at Aqua-Aston Hospitality, who weighed in on a few of these key issues.
To listen to the full show, please click on the following link: The Future of Tourism in the Hawaiian Islands.
Oahu Chapter's Back to School Drive
Mahalo to everyone who came out this past weekend to participate with our Oahu Chapter Back to School Supply Drive! This was the third year the Oahu Chapter Committee held a drive to collect much needed school supplies at Kahala Mall. Donations collected benefit students at Jefferson Elementary School and Ali’iolani Elementary School for the upcoming school year and help ease the burden for families who are facing financial hardships.
This year, the drive amassed several boxes of school supplies and $1,400 in monetary donations, which were used to purchase Longs gift cards for both schools. I’d like to send a special mahalo to Drake Biel, and all our members who generously donated materials so that students will have the tools they need to learn. Mahalo to our Oahu Chapter Chair, Bonnie Kiyabu and Jodi Uehara for coordinating the drive and the committee members who came out to volunteer that day. Your support of our keiki is truly making a difference.
HLTA Member Microfridge Continues to Donate
Tim Bales, left, presents mini fridge and microwave to Adult Friends For Youth’s Malakai “Mo” Maumalanga, Director of Redirectional Services (center), and HLTA Vice President Dean Nakasone (right).
Last week at the Hospitality and Foodservice Expo, veteran HLTA member Microfridge graciously continued their “legacy gift,” a mini refrigerator and microwave donation. For the past several years, when West Coast Key Account Manager Tim Bales flies in for the Expo, he brings units to display: and when the Expo wraps up, he charitably gives his product to a local non-profit. This year’s beneficiary is Adult Friends For Youth, a longtime youth advocate and gang prevention organization which is slated to begin an increased presence here in Waikiki later this year. Much mahalo to Tim and Microfridge for their continued generosity.
Oahu Chapter: Back to School Drive Tomorrow
Tomorrow (July 14th) our Oahu Chapter will be holding its 3rd annual Back to School Supply Drive. This year’s drive will benefit Ali‘iolani and Jefferson Elementary Schools.
Education is a key priority at HLTA, and we need your help as we continue to support our keiki. Members of HLTA’s Oahu Chapter will be collecting much needed school supplies from 9 am -2 pm at Kahala Mall (in-between Macy’s and Longs). Come and visit us as we help equip our youth to have the best school year possible!
Supplies to donate might include: Composition books (wide), composition book (journal), crayons, Crayola watercolor paint, dry erase markers (black/blue), pencil erasers, glue (6 oz), glue sticks, highlighters, addition/subtraction flashcards, multiplication flashcards, division flashcards, pens (ballpoint-blue, black & red), pencil box, pencils #2, pencils (colored), washable markers, twin pocket folders w/ fasteners, post-it notes(3"x3"), manila folders, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, boxes of tissue, & scissors.
Update Your Contact Info for the 2018-2019 Pictorial Directory
As we work on our 2018-2019 Pictorial Membership Directory, I would like to encourage all of you to please update your member information and photo (in color) with our Director of Membership & Communications, Melina Hicks.
We’ve made it easier for you to submit your updated information this year via Google Form. Through this platform, we will be able to receive your submissions right away. If you do not have a Google account, please email Melina at Mhicks@hawaiilodging.org.
The HLTA Pictorial Membership Directory is one of the most valuable tools we offer our members, so please take a few moments to update us on your new job location, your new title, or if your contact information has simply changed.
We appreciate your cooperation and we’re very excited to complete and publish the newly improved and updated Pictorial Membership Directory!
Lieutenant Governor's Forum at the Prince Waikiki
I would like to extend a sincere mahalo to all those who came to our Lieutenant Governor forum today at the Prince Waikiki with candidates State Senator Will Espero, State Senator Josh Green, State Senator Jill Tokuda, Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho, and former Board of Education member Kim Coco Iwamoto. The candidates were engaged and presented themselves very well.
Today’s debate marked the second of our 2018 political forums, hosted by HLTA in partnership with the Retail Merchants of Hawai‘i, Waikiki Improvement Association, and the Waikiki Neighborhood Board. I would like to send my gratitude to the candidates, our panelists Gina Mangieri of KHON2 and Allison Schaefers of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and our Moderator Yunji de Nies for the wonderful job they did in stimulating the conversation and discussion that took place. I would also like to extend a special mahalo to our host, Kisan Jo and the Prince Waikiki team, for another successful event.
If you missed today’s debate, not to worry, there is still one more forum in our 2018 political series: our next event will host the 1st Congressional District Race, on Friday, July 19th, at the Sheraton Waikiki, from 3 pm – 4:30 pm. Candidates vying for the 1st Congressional District seat will be discussing their views and platforms on Hawai‘i’s visitor industry.
Political Forums Continue Through July
I would like to extend a sincere mahalo to all those who came to our gubernatorial forum on Monday at the Prince Waikiki with candidates Governor Ige and Congresswoman Hanabusa. In case you missed it, our debate was featured on KITV 4 News, which can viewed here, and made the front page of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, here. It was a great way to start our week, full of scintillating discussion sparked by probing questions asked by both our audience, as well as our panelists, Diane Ako and Allison Schaefers. Mahalo to our panelists, moderator Mike Buck, and our host, Kisan Jo and the Prince Waikiki team.
If you missed it, not to worry: our next political forum will be for the Lieutenant Governor’s race, on Friday, July 13, also at the Prince Waikiki, from 10 am - 12 noon. Candidates vying for the title of Lieutenant Governor will be sharing their platform on key issues relevant to the visitor industry.
Featured candidates, moderator, and panelists:
This event is free and open to all members of HLTA. We encourage you to bring your management teams and associates; please register below.
Engineers Advisory Council (EAC) Meeting
Mark your calendars for an exciting double-header at the July EAC meeting, on July 19th at the Sheraton Waikiki. Generous co-sponsors VivoAquatics and Best Buy for Business will be making presentations and donating a dozen door prizes including a 49” outdoor TV worth over $2,500!
Please RSVP to Dean Nakasone at email@example.com by July 16th if you wish to attend. Mahalo for your support and cooperation. Note: $25 to attend if your organization is a current HLTA and EAC member. If not, you’ll be charged $75. Only attendees of bona fide EAC member organizations are eligible for door prizes, including the TV.
Hawaii Lodging, Hospitality & Foodservice Expo
e look forward to seeing you all at the 2018 Hawaii Lodging, Hospitality & Foodservice Expo on July 11th and 12th at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. We pride ourselves on giving members opportunities, such as the HLHF Expo, to showcase your products and services to other businesses, while networking and building lasting relationships.
This year, Women in Lodging is hosting their annual educational forum, CANNABIS IN THE WORKPLACE: What Employers Need to Know. I encourage you to register and attend this event, as this is a concern now facing many businesses . Last year, WIL hosted a very informative forum on human trafficking which reviewed indicators of trafficking within the industry, and covered steps that members can take to address this issue. With cannabis in the workplace as another timely subject matter, I am looking forward to hearing the discussions that ensue.
For more information about the forum or to register, see below.
Another of our committees, the Hospitality Housekeeping Council, will be hosting a meeting that coincides with the HLHF Expo on July 12th. The Council is growing both on Oahu and Hawaii Island with plans to expand statewide. They always have an outstanding turn out for their monthly meetings. Congratulations, Housekeeping Council and keep up your great work. If you are not yet a part of the Council and would like to be, please see below for more information.
“Na Hoku O’ Ka’anapali” Inaugural Recipient, Angela Nolan
Congratulations to Board Member Angela Nolan, Vice President of Resort Operations for Vistana Signature Experiences. Angela has just been named the first “Na Hoku O’ Ka’anapali,” by the Kaanapali Beach Resort Association.
The title of ‘Na Hoku O’ Ka’anapali’ is bestowed upon individuals who give back to the community, are respected by their peers, and simply put, exemplify the best of Ka’anapali.
Angela is not only a Board Member of HLTA but also a member of the Executive Board. She is also the current Maui Chapter Chairperson. Furthermore, she serves on the board of the Maui Visitors Bureau, American Resort Development Association, and the Kaanapali Beach Resort Association.
Congratulations, Angela: your leadership in the visitor industry is recognized and appreciated by us all.
What a lively discussion we had this morning between the two leading candidates for Governor in the Democratic Primary, Governor David Ige, and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa. Held at the Prince Waikiki, the forum was well-attended by a couple hundred leaders, stakeholders, and associates of the hospitality industry. The event was moderated by Mike Buck of Salem Media Group, and excellent questions were posed by Honolulu Star-Advertiser Waikiki Bureau Chief, Allison Schaefers Dubovsky, and KITV4 Weekend News Anchor, Diane Ako. The audience also asked questions pertaining to the candidate’s positions on key visitor industry issues and they also got to ask each other questions. The next forum, which once again will be co-sponsored by HLTA, the Retail Merchants of Hawai‘i, Waikiki Improvement Association, and the Waikiki Neighborhood Board, will be with the Lieutenant Governor Candidates on Friday, July 13th, at the Prince Waikiki from 10:30 am -12:00 pm. Kudos to Prince Resorts Hawai'i President Kisan Jo and his team for hosting these forums.
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