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.
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