Generational Mentoring Kick-off Mixer
Friday evening marked the official start of our 2018-2019 Generational Mentoring Program. I was pleased to see all 15 student participants in attendance accompanied by their faculty advisors from our four partner educational institutions – Brigham Young University Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and University of Hawaii West Oahu.
Our Generational Mentoring Program provides students pursuing Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in tourism or hospitality industry management, the opportunity to have one-on-one personalized leadership and career development coaching from a seasoned leader in the industry.
During our Kick-off Mixer, we unveiled the pairings for this year’s class and gave all the attendees an opportunity to bond as a group. Over the next six months, mentees and mentors alike will learn and grow through a special curriculum developed by HLTA and Here and Now Consulting Founder, Art Sarkissian and we will also add some new exciting activities this year. The program will conclude on April 25th with a commencement luncheon, where I look forward to hearing the lessons that have been shared.
HIP: General Election Edition
Mahalo to everyone who joined us Monday evening at Blue Note Hawaii for our Hospitality Industry Pau Hana (HIP). This year, I have made it a priority of our association to host politically-themed mixers for our members and endorsed candidates. Prior to the Primary Election we held our first political HIP at Lucky Strike Social Honolulu, and followed up with another successful event at the Blue Note Hawai‘i for our endorsed candidates running in the General Election.
As a recap, candidates were required to submit tourism-based questionnaires which were thoroughly vetted by representatives from HLTA’s county chapters, the Endorsement Committee, and the Board of Directors. This comprehensive process was implemented to ensure that the candidate’s agendas aligned with our organization’s key pillars and that they would advocate for our industry concerns.
I would like to send a big shout out to the candidates that traveled near and far to join us that night. Mahalo to Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Senator Josh Green, who was accompanied by Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, for demonstrating his commitment to the industry as he took time out of his own fundraiser to be with us. A warm mahalo to incumbents Rep. Tom Brower, Rep. Sam Kong, Rep. Takashi Ohno, and Rep. Richard Onishi for attending. I would also like to acknowledge newly-elected Representative Scot Matayoshi, Maui mayoral candidate Mike Victorino, State candidates Kurt Fevella, Sharon Moriwaki, and Val Okimoto, and Honolulu City Council candidate Kelly Kitashima for taking time to mix and mingle with our members.
Mahalo to our partners: HLTA Board Member Barbara Campbell, VP of Retail Leasing & Property Management of Outrigger Hotel and Resorts, Martha Seroogy and her team at Blue Note Hawaii, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Duke’s Waikiki for your support of this event. The venue and entertainment were fantastic, the food was superb, and the company was delightful.
Don’t forget that Election Day is on November 6th - please go out and vote!
Queen Kapiolani Grand Opening Party
Tuesday evening, Waikiki saw the resurgence of a nostalgic property as the brand new Queen Kapiolani Hotel Waikiki Beach was unveiled. It was my genuine pleasure to attend the Grand Opening Party which featured the hotel’s new event space, food from DECK bar & grille, and a stellar aerial acrobat performance. We have been eagerly anticipating this opening since last summer’s closure and it is indeed a complete and beautiful transformation. I would like to congratulate General Manager Jeff Perkins and Kokua Hospitality on the stunning boutique hotel. We look forward to holding future events in your wonderful setting.
2018 Harvest Ag Festival
This past Sunday, the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association helped sponsor again the Family and Friends of Agriculture’s 5th Annual Kaua‘i Harvest Ag Festival out at Waimea Canyon Park. I joined our friends on the Garden Island for a day filled with ono food, games and rides for the keiki, and the proverbial pumpkin giveaway, where over 1,500 pumpkins were handed out to families and Kaua‘i’s youth. Every year, this special event brings together the Kaua‘i community in large fashion, to support the non-profit organizations on the west side of the island. This year, we had a special treat as I put in a request to longtime friend Kelly Boy Delima and his talented family group Kapena, to come out and headline the festival. After a few songs, a couple malasadas, and a shoyu chicken plate, I helped close out another wonderful harvest festival with Kapena in a special rendition of Hawai‘i Aloha Oe.
I would like to send a special shout out to HLTA Board Member Stephanie Iona of Corteva Agrosciences, as she is the heart and soul of this event. Congratulations on another successful Harvest Ag Festival.
HLTA Talks Story with Mayoral Candidates
(Above) HLTA and MHLA host Maui mayoral candidate Michael Victorino for a "lunch & learn"
(Below) HLTA and its Kauai Chapter, host Kauai mayoral candidate Councilmember Derek Kawakami at the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club.
This week, HLTA Chairperson Glenn Vergara joined me in convening “ lunch and learn “meetings on both Maui and Kaua‘i to talk story with our endorsed mayoral candidates for each respective county. On Maui, we organized a joint partnership with the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association to host mayoral candidate Michael Victorino at the Kahili restaurant, for a session that was both educational and collaborative, with leaders from Maui’s visitor industry.
Likewise on Kaua‘i, we partnered with the HLTA Kaua‘i Chapter to host mayoral candidate Councilmember Derek Kawakami at the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club with members of the Kaua‘i Chapter Board. At both meetings, we shared state and county perspectives for what we as an industry hope to accomplish legislatively in the coming years. With a mere 11 days left till the General Election, we continue to advocate on behalf of our endorsed candidates and encourage you to support the friends of our industry as well.
Ka 'Ikena Holiday Fundraiser
Please join us at our 7th annual Ka ‘Ikena Holiday reception on Thursday, November 15th at Kapiolani Community College. Students enrolled in the KCC Culinary Program host the event in the Ka ‘Ikena Dining Room on campus and are given the opportunity to showcase their talents to all of us . Funds raised through ticket sales help benefit the school’s Culinary Program and allows HLTA to award a $1,000 scholarship to a well deserving student pursuing a career in culinary arts every year. As you all know, one of HLTA’s three key pillars is education, and I’d like to encourage all of you to attend this special fundraiser to help create more opportunities for our youth.
To register for the Ka ‘Ikena Holiday reception, please click HERE.
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