HYPE Turns Two
Wednesday evening, HLTA’s HYPE Committee commemorated its second anniversary at the newly renovated Prince Waikiki’s Muliwai Pool Deck. As we celebrated our Hospitality’s Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs, I was pleased to see a mix of both fresh and familiar faces. As a stout advocate of mentoring, I have always believed that we should be encouraging the next generation in their career development, and I was heartened to see many HLTA members who share my sentiments.
For those of you who are new to HYPE, it is a sub-committee of HLTA which I created as a nexus to bridge the gap between seasoned visitor industry veterans and the succeeding generation, to encourage participation with the association from the young professional demographic, and to engage topics that are based on the millennial work culture. I would like to send a special mahalo to the Prince Waikiki and our HYPE Board, particularly Allied Chair Marissa Ross of Standard Textile, and Active Chair Keri Brown of the Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger, for hosting such a wonderful party. The food was ono, the company was lively, and I am looking forward to HYPE’s continued progress through the remainder of 2018.
Generational Mentoring 2018 Graduation
Wednesday June 6th officially marked the close of the 2018 Generational Mentoring Program. The class’ graduation luncheon was held at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa where program co-founder, Art Sarkissian, Founder of Here & Now Consulting joined me in presenting certificates to the mentors and mentees. Art and I conceptualized this program in 2016 with the intent to provide the best and brightest of our universities’ students with invaluable exposure to current leaders in the industry.
The mentees are given the opportunity to not only learn from but grow a relationship with esteemed executives from our number one economic sector. Additionally, our General Manager participants have also expressed their gratitude for this program as they have been inspired by their time spent with these amazing students. This was the culmination of our second class of the Generational Mentoring Program; our first class, last year, included students from Brigham Young University – Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This year, we also included students from the University of Hawaii, West Oahu. I would like to sincerely thank all of our program participants; mentees, university faculty, and our exceptional member mentors (listed below) for their time, effort, and guidance.
Claudia Hanson, Ray-Anne Dela Cruz, Satoko Davidson.
As you all know, last year we introduced a few new scholarships to commemorate HLTA’s 70th anniversary, one of which was the Ho’okipa scholarship. Three students representing several counties were awarded $1,000 for their interest in travel and tourism and for their pursuit of potential careers in the business. The Ho’okipa Scholarship is granted to high school students enrolled in a hospitality program or taking hospitality courses. Last year’s recipients came from Maui High School, Kauai High School, and Kaimuki High School. This year’s recipients are:
Claudia Hanson, Kapa‘a High School
Claudia is active in her school’s Interact Club and National Honor Society, where she has been involved in many community service projects. She is the class valedictorian and graduated with honors in career and technical education. During her years at Kapa’a High School, Claudia was enrolled in Public Human Services, an introduction to Hospitality, and Culinary courses. She plans to attend the University of California at Santa Barbara to major in sociology and pursue a career in hospitality.
Ray-Anne Dela Cruz, Baldwin High School
Ray-Anne is a member of her school’s National Honor Society, president of the Baldwin Theatre Guild and treasurer of the Aloha Club, a community service group in which students volunteer for various events to improve the surrounding neighborhood and schools. She helped organize an event through her Spanish class to raise $500 for a scholarship for a fellow student going to college. She plans to major in business management at the University of San Francisco in the fall, and gain the skills necessary that will contribute to a career in the hospitality industry.
Satoko Davidson, McKinley High School
City and County of Honolulu
Satoko is a student athlete and a four-year member of the Lokahi Project, a program aimed at providing support and companionship for senior citizens in the community. She is an officer of McKinley’s Academy of Hospitality and Tourism, where she has participated in the Hawaiian Airlines Ka Ho‘okele Program, an internship that exposes students to career opportunities in the airline industry. During her years at McKinley, Satoko has challenged herself by enrolling in Advanced Placement courses. Davidson will be attending the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa in the fall and plans to pursue a career as an airline pilot.
Congratulations to these future industry leaders! I hope this recognition inspires you in your future endeavors.
HLTA Member Scholarship Recipients
Jenelle Aoki Madysen-rae Reiny
I also want to congratulate two more 2018 scholarship recipients, both of whom are daughters of current HLTA members. This was another scholarship that was introduced in 2017 in observance of the 70th anniversary milestone, as well as to reward members for their continuous support and service to our organization. A scholarship of $2,500 is granted to one Active member and one Allied member with a son or daughter who is a graduating high school senior and is planning to pursue higher education. Last year’s recipients came from ‘Iolani School and Kaua’i High School. This year’s recipients are:
ACTIVE MEMBER SCHOLARSHIP
Madysen-rae Reiny, James Campbell High School
Madysen-rae is the daughter of Vonnell Reiny. Vonnell is the Assistant Front Office Manager at Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club. Madysen-rae is a student-athlete and president of Campbell High School’s Environmental Club. Her passion for the environment sparked an interest in knowing how her school was affecting the community and the planet. She and several science classmates took the initiative of conducting a campus food audit to learn how much food waste the school generated during lunch periods. Their data was adopted by the school, which is now looking for ways to prevent food waste and for alternative options such as donating uneaten food to piggeries and for compost at community parks. Madysen-rae will be attending Dixie State University in the fall, where she plans to major in biology and pursue a career as a pediatrician.
ALLIED MEMBER SCHOLARSHIP
Jenelle Aoki, Moanalua High School
Jenelle is the daughter of Karon Aoki. Karon is the Job Planner at HONBLUE. Jenelle is a four-year member and state president of the Hawai‘i Health Occupations Students of America, an organization for students interested in careers in health and medicine. Through HOSA she leads a membership of 1,751 students from 29 high schools and five colleges, whose primary missions are leadership development, community service, and competitive events. Her dedication to health issues prompted her to collaborate with HOSA treasurer Brycen Kawamoto to compose an article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Raise Your Hand” column about diabetes awareness. Janelle is active in the Leo Club and National Honor Society, through which she participates in many community service projects. She will be attending Whitworth University in Spokane in the fall and pursuing a career in the healthcare industry.
VISITOR ALOHA SOCIETY OF HAWAII Celebrates 20 Years
One of the greatest things about visiting Hawai‘i is our stellar reputation as a safe place to travel. We remain one of the safest vacation destinations in the World which is not only backed by our beautiful beaches, but our famous island cuisine, our local culture, and our unique Spirit of Aloha. However, there are instances when unfortunate circumstances occur and our visitors are faced with moments of hardship. When these cases of misfortune strike, we want to ensure that our visitors are taken care of and truly experience the real Aloha Spirit. This is where Jessica Lani Rich and the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai‘i steps in. We owe a lot to our members in the visitor industry, our hotels and resorts, and of course our first responders, but I would like to commend the amazing work that Jessica and her team at VASH do to ensure that visitors who encounter traumatic events on Oahu are comforted and taken care of.
The Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association has always been a close partner with VASH and I have always touted the important role that they play in our visitor industry. Therefore, it is my distinct pleasure to help them celebrate their 20thAnniversary on June 20th at the Sheraton Waikiki. I would like to encourage all our members who have had the opportunity to work with VASH, or have had VASH assist with their visitors to join me in helping them celebrate this momentous milestone.
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