191st General Membership Meeting Begins Today
We are eagerly anticipating your arrival at the Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina this weekend for our 191st General Membership Meeting.
We have a full agenda with a wide range of content awaiting upon your check-in later today or tomorrow.
During our Friday “Lunch and Learn” segment, I am looking forward to hearing from HLTA-endorsed candidates Maui Mayoral Candidate Mike Victorino and Representative Richard Onishi, Chair of the House Committee on Tourism. We will also hear from Honolulu City and County Council Budget Chair Trevor Ozawa, and newcomer Sharon Moriwaki, who albeit is no stranger to the Capitol, and is running for the 12th Senatorial District seat encompassing the areas between Waikiki and Kakaako.
This plenary session will also host a special Hawaiian culture panel, featuring Kumu Hula Robert Cazimero, Kumu Hula Michael Pili Pang, and Kumu Hula Vicky Holt Takamine who will be speaking about the increasing importance of bothunderstanding and conveying the deep significance of the Hawaiian culture. One of Hawai'i's greatest strengths is the spirit of aloha, a unique quality that has been enriched through our islands’ history and people, and one of the best ways we can serve our guests is to illustrate, educate, and exemplify that during their time here.
The Friday Lunch and Learn, is but one of the many events we will be holding this weekend during our annual meeting. As we kick off our 191st GMM today with our golf scramble and HYPE Emotional Intelligence networking seminar, I would like to welcome you all to the Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina. See you soon!
HIP: General Election Edition, Monday 10/22
Please do not forget to register for our upcoming Hospitality Industry Pau Hana (HIP): General Election Edition on Monday, October 22nd at Blue Note Hawaii for an opportunity to mix and mingle with Senator Josh Green, who is runing for Lieutenant Governor, and other industry champions. If you have not yet done so, you may register here. Endorsed candidates and members alike enjoyed a wonderful evening for our Primary Election mixer held at Lucky Strike Social Honolulu in August, and as a result of the rave reviews, we are back again by popular demand. I hope that you can join us: you will not want to miss this chance to chat with your potential future policy makers about key issues face-to-face.
Generational Mentoring Kick-Off Next Friday, 10/19
Looking ahead to next week, I am eager to commence our Generational Mentoring Program, Class of 2019. This program, which Art Sarkissian (Here and Now Consulting) and I conceptualized back in 2016, is intended to give 15 of the best and brightest students in tourism-based degree programs from Brigham Young University - Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and University of Hawaii West Oahu a unique chance to develop a one-on-one relationship with a hotel General Manager. We have had two successful classes already, and I am anxious to begin our new class next Friday, the 19th, where our general manager mentors will meet their "paired" student mentees. Stay tuned for more updates on their journey, which will culminate in a graduation luncheon in April 2019.
Ho'ola Na Pua
This past Saturday, I had the distinct pleasure of attending Ho’ola Na Pua’s annual Pearl Gala at the beautiful Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. Ho’ola Na Pua, formally established in 2013, has been on a mission to support female victims of sex trafficking, and helping them on a path to restoration and healing. President and Co-Founder, Jessica Munoz, and her team have been hard at work on the educational, mentoring, and advocacy fronts, while seeking appropriate funding for their grand project Pearl Haven. Her nonprofit has been an ongoing grant recipient of our Visitor Industry Charity Walk funding, and an adopted cause of HLTA’s Women in Lodging & Tourism committee. This year, Jessica is also part of the current class of Pacific Century Fellows (many of whom were there that evening), which brings together some of the brightest, and most talented young professionals in Hawai‘i. We have all borne witness to her organization’s undeniable progress as they broke ground this year on Pearl Haven, which will be Hawai‘i’s first long-term licensed residential treatment campus for girls ages 11-17 who have been victims of sexual abuse and/or trafficking. Congratulations to Jessica and her board for a wonderful event, and I wish them continued success as they set their eyes on Pearl Haven’sopening in 2019. For more information on Ho’ola Na Pua, or to donate to their cause, visit their website here.
On an additional note, I ran into the Four Seasons General Manager, Charlie Parker, that night, and expressed the incredible impression I had of the delectable food and luxurious ambiance provided by his property. I let him know that we look forward to a Hana Hou performance at our upcoming General Membership Meeting taking place out there next week.
HYPE Hypes Emotional Intelligence Panel as HLTA Ramps Up for Upcoming General Membership Meeting
As our General Membership Meeting rapidly approaches, we look forward to seeing many of our members gathered together. Thursday will kick off our pre-meeting activities, with an HLTA members-exclusive Golf Scramble and an Emotional Intelligence panel presented by our HYPE (Hospitality Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs) Committee. Panelists Cynthia Yamasaki, Anisah Ahakuelo, and Corey Campbell will be joined by Moderator Joe Bock to discuss the roles that “EQ” and “IQ” play in the workplace. This networking opportunity feature a cocktail hour following the educational seminar, which will be held at the ‘AMA ‘AMA patio, overlooking Ko Olina’s Lagoon. All in all, a great excuse to head out a little earlier and enjoy an evening at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.
If you’re interested in registering for this seminar, or registering to join us for any of our upcoming GMM events, please click here.
Cybersecurity with the Hospitality IT Council
Tuesday afternoon, our HLTA Hospitality IT Council (HITC) hosted a gourmet buffet and educational seminar in partnership with Hawaiian Telcom at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. It was a fabulous venue, accompanied by a waterfall view as attendees enjoyed delicious food and engaged in spirited conversation. HITC Chair Ty Tynan and the IT Council board members did a wonderful job facilitating a cybersecurity symposium which catered to the issues and topics pertinent to our hospitality industry.
Guest speaker Carlos Villalba, Vice President of Terra Verde, provided insight on strategies to stay ahead of threats jeopardizing our networking systems. With over two decades of experience under his belt, Villalba bridged the gap between past and present concerns, as well as gave his recommendations on best practices. This luncheon illustrated real-world examples and lessons learned to further emphasize the importance of network protection. The event concluded with a Q&A and the exchange of business cards between attendees, marking the third successful gathering for our IT Council. A big mahalo to everyone who made it out, and we look forward to seeing you at the next event.
2nd annual aio Media Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Awards
Nominations for the 2nd annual aio Media Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Awards are still open. If you haven’t already done so, please make your nominations for the following six categories: accommodations, food & beverage, events, activities, agritourism, and leadership in the industry.
HLTA prides itself on recognizing the individuals, businesses, and organizations that help our industry thrive. Therefore, in partnership with aio Media, HLTA is proud to offer this additional avenue to recognize the exceptional leaders and their invaluable contributions to tourism. Nominations are open to the public and can be made at www.hawaiimagazine.com/hlta from now until Tuesday, October 16th.
After the submission period, a blue-ribbon selection committee will then review all nominees and vote on the finalists in each category. Mark your calendars as winners will be recognized at the aio Media Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Awards on March 1, 2019. Stay tuned as we release further event details and information on ticket/table sales.
Get HIP with HLTA! Meet the Candidates: General Election Edition
Please join us on Monday, October 22nd between 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, at Blue Note Hawaii for our Political HIP, and talk story with HLTA-endorsed candidates for the General Election. We have partnered with members, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts and Blue Note Hawaii, to bring this event to you as an opportunity to mix and mingle with champions. HIP is always a fun way to meet fellow HLTA members, representing the different sectors of our economy and community. We are proud to offer this ever-popular event to our membership as a chance to network and build relationships. We look forward to seeing you on October 22nd. For more information or to register, click here.
Lynette Eastman, Hotel Management’s 2018 GM to Watch
On behalf of the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association, I would like to send a heartfelt congratulations to Lynette Eastman, General Manager of Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club. She has just been named to the “2018 GM to Watch” list by Hotel Management magazine. The title of “2018 GM to Watch” is bestowed upon individuals who demonstrate commitment to their guests, their company, and their industry. In 2016, Lynette was the HLTA Woman of the Year. She is heavily involved in our Visitor Industry Charity Walk, has been a mentor in our Generational Mentoring program, has continuously nominated outstanding finalists for the Na Po’e Pa’ahana Awards, and often helps to provide rooms for our Return Victim Program in partnership with the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Lynette’s compassion and creative thinking have helped her to integrate sustainability programs, such as their plastic-free initiative and Aqua-Aston Hospitality’s #ForOurReef Program, which entails educating her guests and associates alike about the ramifications and impacts of single-use plastic and safe reef practices. As a proud Waipahu High School graduate, she has worked hard to provide a venue to showcase live Hawaiian entertainment in the heart of Waikiki. Congratulations Lynette for winning this prestigious award!
IT Council: Cybersecurity Luncheon, Tuesday 10/2
HLTA’s Hospitality IT Council is proud to present “Strategies to Stay Ahead of Malicious Threats & Sharing Hospitality Industry Lessons Learned.” This luncheon and educational seminar will be held at the Kahala Hotel and Resort on Tuesday, October 2nd, and is free of charge, thanks to sponsor Hawaiian Telcom. Cybersecurity is of the utmost importance, especially in the hospitality industry, and this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from a seasoned expert.
HIP: General Election Edition 10/22 Tickets Now Available
Please join us at our next Hospitality Industry Pau Hana (HIP) at Blue Note Hawaii on Monday, October 22nd from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. We invite you to meet HLTA’s endorsed General Election Candidates in an evening of fellowship, ono food, and live music. Hosted parking will be available at the OHANA Waikiki East by Outrigger. We are excited to host our HIP events at different locations, giving our members the opportunity to experience the diversity of venues within our industry. A big mahalo to Outrigger Hotels & Resorts as well as Blue Note Hawaii and Duke’s Waikiki for co- sponsoring our upcoming HIP. I look forward to seeing you all there!
Waikiki Parc Renovation
October 1, 2018 will mark a new chapter for the Waikiki Parc Hotel, Halekulani’s boutique sister property, as they start their complete renovation project. Built in 1987, the Waikiki Parc celebrated their 31st birthday yesterday on their pool deck, in anticipation of their exciting new look. I would like to send a heartfelt congratulations to the Waikiki Parc’s General Manger, Julie Arigo, who chaired the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association in 2013 and was one of the driving forces behind the formation of WIL - Women in Lodging of HLTA. For many years, Julie, a distinguished UH TIM School alum has continued to be an integral member of Halekulani and Hawai‘i’s hospitality industry. Julie’s dedication and care is characterized by her 25-year commitment to both her hotel and her associates, a characteristic that will surely carry over through the hotel’s renovations. As we open the pages of a new chapter of the “ Waikiki Parc,” we wish Julie and her cohorts our best wishes for continued success in the years ahead!
Nominations Now Open for the 2019 Na Po'e Pa'ahana Awards
For those of you who may have missed our email blast earlier this week, I would like to send out a reminder that the 2019 Na Po’e Pa’ahana Awards nominations are officially open. The Na Po’e Pa’ahana Awards, now in its 29th year, honor exceptional individuals within the visitor industry who have excelled in their workplace, have displayed a commitment to the community, and continuously cultivate the spirit of aloha in all that they do.
Last year, we introduced a new format for the awards which recognized finalists in small, medium, and large sized properties. We will continue this new tradition in the categories of:
In addition to the hotel category awards, we will continue to present our exclusive individual and company awards which include: Allied Member of the Year, Hospitality Educator of the Year, Leader in Sustainability, Restaurateur of the Year, Women in Lodging & Tourism's Woman of the Year, and the Na Po‘e Pa‘ahana Legacy award.
This year, at the behest of our chairman Gregg Nelson, we will be introducing the Individual Allied Member of the Year award, which will recognize a person from our allied membership who has gone above and beyond the call for our association and our industry.
This event, which we often dub “The Oscars of Hospitality,” is one of our flagship events of the year and certainly not one to miss. The awards luncheon will be held on January 10, 2018 at the Sheraton Waikiki from 11 am – 2 pm. Stay tuned for more details on the nominations as well as table and ticket sales. If you have any questions about the Na Po‘e Pa‘ahana Awards, feel free to contact Jared Higashi of my staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are You Registered for GMM?
As the end of September nears, October is right around the corner: and that means it is almost time for our 191st General Membership Meeting. HLTA is excited to be heading out to the Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina Resort from October 11-13th.
If you have not registered yet, I would urge you to do so now. Next Friday, September 28th will be the last day to register at the $375 rate; after that, it will go up to $500 per person.
Purchase of GMM Registration includes attendance at our Friday evening reception, our Saturday General Membership Meeting, Saturday Lunch & Learn, and our Saturday evening reception. GMM also provides an opportunity to golf, learn, and network with optional add-on events like our Friday Hawaiian Culture Panel with Kumu Hulas Robert Cazimero, Michael Pili Pang, and Vicky Holt Takamine, or our HYPE Committee’s “EQ & IQ: The Rise of Workplace-Valued Emotional Intelligence.” All these options can be found on our GMM Registration link. We hope we will see you there.
Announcing the 2nd Annual aio Media HLTA Awards
Nominations for the 2nd annual aio Media Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Awards are now open to the general public. This year, there will be 18 awards in 6 overall categories: accommodations, food and beverage, events, activities, leadership in the industry and agritourism. This celebration is dedicated to recognizing the individuals and businesses that contribute to the success of tourism in Hawaii. HLTA, in partnership with aio Media, want to reward those who make such invaluable contributions and continue to make our islands a premier destination. Please take the time to nominate your hospitality leaders.
Nominations can be made online at www.hawaiimagazine.com/hlta from now until October 16th, after which a blue-ribbon selection committee will review the nominations and vote on the winners of each category. The 2018 winners will be announced at an awards banquet to be held on March 1, 2019. Stay tuned for more details.
Na Po'e Pa'ahana: Nomination Forms Coming Monday
In keeping with the theme of recognition, we are rapidly approaching that time of year again. Many of you have been inquiring, and HLTA is excited to announce that Na Po’e Pa’ahana nominations are being released on Monday, September 24th. Nominations for our perennial luncheon will be due on Friday, November 2nd. Recognizing hospitality’s hard-working people is of vital importance to me, and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing all the finalists and awardees on Thurday, January 10th. Please mark your calendars now and be sure to join us at the Sheraton Waikiki for our 29th Annual Na Po’e Pa’ahana Awards.
HLTA Kauai Chapter Welcomes New Executive Director, Morgan Lopez
I would like to officially welcome Morgan Lopez to the HLTA Ohana as she steps into the role of Executive Director for our HLTA Kaua‘i Chapter. As a former employee of major brands such as Marriott International, Radisson, HMSHost, and most recently the Koloa Landing Resort (Azul Hospitality), Morgan has accrued a breadth of experience working in Kaua‘i’s visitor industry. Her skill set will bolster an already active Kaua‘i Chapter. Through her acquired acumen in the field of hospitality, Morgan will help elevate the chapter’s events, educational opportunities, advocacy efforts, and of course to its philanthropic endeavors such as the Visitor Industry Charity Walk. On behalf of the HLTA and its members statewide, we send a warm Aloha to you Morgan; we look forward to seeing to the continued growth of HLTA on the Garden Isle.
Oahu Charity Walk Allocations
Yesterday, HLTA distributed monies raised from this year’s Charity Walk to 135 O’ahu non-profits. Grant recipients joined us for the allocation ceremony held at Roy’s Eating House 1849 International Marketplace, where they were awarded their highly-anticipated funds and partook in the evening’s festivities. The 40th Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk broke another record this year, raising a total of $2.6 million statewide. That’s a cumulative total of $34.5 million since its inception; and it all benefits local charities across our islands who are working tirelessly to help our community.
I’d like to give a special shout-out to Youth for Christ USA for again finishing as the highest-raising O’ahu County nonprofit. This is their second year in a row, and they began participating in 2017. The admirable organization works with troubled youth via programs offered at public high schools throughout the island. Kudos for setting the bar and leading by example as you continue to work with and nurture our future generations.
Mahalo to Chef Roy and his team for hosting our allocation ceremony at Eating House 1849 and a special thanks to our emcee duo, Bulla and Lynette Eastman, for always bringing the aloha spirit to our Charity Walk festivities. And of course, a huge mahalo to all of our participants: walkers, volunteers, fundraisers, donors, and nonprofits alike, for your enthusiasm and participation year after year. Charity Walk would not be a success without your continued support; after all, we are all in this together. Here’s to next year: we’ll see you May 18th, 2019!
Tourism 101: Next Date, 9/18!
For those who may have missed my previous message a few weeks ago, I have recently launched a new broadcast endeavor to highlight the importance of our exceptional industry. Like our ever-popular HLTA-sponsored radio show Tourism Tuesday, Tourism 101 showcases the diversity found in hospitality, and I invite guests to reflect this breadth. My first Tourism 101 guest was Senator Glenn Wakai, Chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology, on September 1st. If you did not get the chance to watch it, you may find it here.
Next on Tourism 101 will be guest Cha Thompson of Tihati Productions. Tihati is the longest-running entertainment company in the state, and will be celebrating 50 years of business in 2019. Cha and her husband Jack own Tihati together, and have an exceptional reputation for providing professional entertainment and quality stage productions. Tune in at 10am on Tuesday the 18th to watch live via ThinkTech Hawaii’s website or Facebook page.
Congratulations to 2018 Clem Judd Scholarship Recipient Eden Te'o
As we wrap up the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association 2018 scholarship season, we are excited to announce that our 2018 Clem Judd scholarship went to Punahou alum Eden Te’o of Brigham Young University-Hawaii. Born and raised on Oahu, Eden, the sister of New Orleans Saints star linebacker Manti Te’o, is pursuing her degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and is scheduled to graduate this May from BYU-Hawai’i.
Eden’s passion and commitment to her faith led her to successfully complete an LDS mission in Japan, where she continued to improve her verbal and written abilities in Japanese, a valued skill in the tourism industry. She adds that the importance of attentive listening and effective communication can help improve the visitor experience, which will enhance their stay.
With such great determination and bright futures, we are proud of our 2018 scholarship recipients. Not only have they exceeded our expectations, but we are gratified to see these students strive to gain and diversify their experience in the workforce. Congratulations to all our deserving scholarship recipients, and a warm mahalo to all the contributors and donors who make our scholarship program such a resounding success.
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