Project Vision Executive Director Annie Valentin, left, and Hawai'i County Councilmember-elect Ashley Kierkiewicz, right, with HLTA President Mufi Hannemann.
When the news first spread that the Puna area was experiencing significant lava flow from the fissures in the area, everyone was concerned. And while donation drives and financial contributions are always helpful, we wanted to help in a different way: a more long-term solution to a long-term situation.
Though the lava flows have subsided since August, we know that the families who have been displaced by this event are still experiencing major challenges. Shelters are overcrowded, and everyday conveniences are easily taken for granted.
Project Vision Hawaii, which operates Project HiEHiE, dispatched their first trailer to Hawaii Island on June 12th, to support the Puna temporary micro-housing units, managed by HOPE Services Hawaii, which do not have plumbing. Through HLTA’s charitable arm, the Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation, we contributed an initial $5,000 to fund the unit’s operation and maintenance during this period.
The HiEHiE mobile hygiene center contains private units, each with a shower and toilet; one unit is ADA-accessible, and even includes a diaper-changing station.
But that trailer is still needed on Oahu, to serve its original, intended purpose: to provide a hot shower and personal sanitation resources to those who are experiencing homelessness. So, another hygiene unit was commissioned, and I was pleased to be present for the blessing. HLTA was proud to present an additional $15,000 towards the operation and maintenance of Project HiEHiE’s new sanitation center on Hawai‘i island as part of its disaster relief efforts.
Kudos to Project Vision Executive Director Annie Valentin, as well as HOPE Services Hawai’i CEO Brandee Menino, and newly elected Hawaii County Councilmember Ashley Kierkiewicz for their outstanding efforts in making Project HiEHiE a success
Hawaii Ecotourism Association
Hawaii Ecotourism Association Board Member Annette Kaohelaulii, who has actively represented the HEA booth at HLTA's Tourism Day at the Capitol.
This past Tuesday, I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the Hawai‘i Ecotourism Association’s (HEA) annual awards luncheon at the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel. For those of you who may not be familiar with this organization they are all about making travel “ pono “ and their mission is “to protect Hawaii’s unique natural environment and host culture through the promotion of responsible travel and educational programs relating to sustainable tourism for residents, businesses and visitors.” The timing could not have been better, as I recently broached the issue of “overtourism” in my state of the industry address at our General Membership Meeting last month as a subject that we need to be engage with seriously, or risk being dictated to by those that may not appreciate or understand tourism as well.
HEA Board President Chris Barzman’s had heard my comments on a Hawai‘i Public Radio segment on sustainable tourism that also featured State House Tourism Chair Richard Onishi and Elizabeth Churchill, the Owner of Churchill Group LLC, and the former Chief Revenue Officer for Aqua-Aston Hospitality. That interview prompted him to extend the invitation.
In sync with their mission, I decided to gear my speech to the topics of overtourismand sustainable tourism which is becoming more and more prevalent as we inch closer towards the 10 million annual visitor mark in Hawaii. The core message of my presentation focused on the underlying theme that “it is not enough to focus on the marketing of tourism- we need to be equally as concerned about prioritizing managing tourism better. “ It has been my mantra from day one when I served as the Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism in the early 90’s that we, as a state, need quality tourism versus quantity tourism.
I also pointed to my experiences as a former councilmember and as the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu to highlight the importance of sustaining our infrastructure and our cultural identity. This was prevalent during my tenure in office in leading efforts to preserve important natural resources such as Hanauma Bay and Waimea Valley.
I also pointed to the amazing work that the HLTA Kaua‘i Chapter and the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association are doing in partnership with their respective County governments, business partners, and industry stakeholders in completing Tourism Strategic Plans that hone in on “next step solutions.” In fact I would like to see the implementation of similar initiatives on Oahu, Hawai‘i Island, and comprehensively for the state of Hawaii.
I closed out my speech on a congratulatory note, applauding HEA for their commendable work, and to all their members that were recognized for their accomplishments in keeping Hawai‘i a sustainable place to work, live, visit, and play.
7th Annual Ka 'Ikena Holiday Reception
HLTA’s Mufi Hannemann and Dean Nakasone with 2019 HLTA Chairperson Glenn Vergara (Waikiki Resort Hotel), KCC Culinary Department Director Grant Itomitsu, Dining Room Instructor John Santamaria, & the Ka ‘Ikena Reception Culinary and Serving Staff.
Last night was our 7th Annual Ka ‘Ikena Holiday Reception at Kap’iolani Community College. HLTA members and their guests gathered in the Ka ‘Ikena Dining Room to support the KCC Culinary Program. This is a signature event of HLTA’s Oahu Chapter and always proves to be an evening full of creative dishes and fellowship amongst members. This year’s menu highlighted a creamy mushroom risotto, braised lamb shanks, and seared salmon, just to name a few and a delicious holiday dessert spread.
KCC Chancellor Louise Pagotto and some of her key staff graced us with their presence. This reception not only gives our members, such as HLTA Chair Glenn Vergara, an opportunity to network, mix and mingle, but provides the culinary students the opportunity to showcase their talents to the leaders of our industry, while raising monies for a great cause.
HLTA is proud to support many scholarships, over a range of educational disciplines, and including Culinary Arts. This year’s KCC 2018 Culinary Arts Scholarship was awarded to Melanie Tancinco, who will continue her education at UH West Oahu, pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Culinary Management, beginning in 2019. Melanie aspires to become an Executive Chef, and is committed and passionate about her career. So much so, in fact, that she is part of the Culinary team at Halekulani, and was hard at work yesterday evening. I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Melanie on both receiving this scholarship, as well as earning her Associate’s Degree at KCC.
We look forward to seeing many of these talented culinary students like Melanie contributing to the success of our hotels and restaurants. Lastly, please keep in mind that Ka ‘Ikena is also an operational dining restaurant, which accepts reservations throughout the school year. If you need a new place to try, don’t miss these wonderful aspiring chefs and experience their talent for yourselves.
KCC - UH Foundation Dinner
Top Row: KC Collins (UH Foundation), Jutamas Buaklan (KCC student), Mufi Hannemann (HLTA), John Richards (KCC) Second Row: Jessica Caires, Jennifer Chun (HTA), Scholarship Recipient Deidre Lynne Monroy, Dean Nakasone (HLTA).
Last Thursday, Kapi’olani Community College & University of Hawai’i Foundation held their annual Scholarship Mahalo Dinner at KCC’s Ō‘hia dining hall. With the help of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association and other generous patrons, over $502,000 in scholarship funds were donated to Kap’iolani Community College this past year.
As you all know, HLTA is a staunch supporter of education and at this year’s Mahalo Dinner, we were pleased to spend time with our 2018 recipient of the HLTA Scholarship in Hospitality & Tourism, Deidre Lynne Monroy. Unfortunately, our 2019 recipient, Joan Dantzig, was ill and unable to attend. Both students are bright, motivated, and excited to continue their education.
Congratulations Deidre and Joan, and best wishes for your continued success!
FESTPAC 2020 Launch Party
A large part of promoting and protecting tourism in Hawaii is the role we play as stewards of our native Hawaiian culture: an aspect that makes us such a unique destination. This privilege and responsibility is bestowed upon the many cultural advisors, government and community leaders, kumu hula, kupuna, and visitor industry representatives in our state.
Throughout the Pacific, you will find a diverse range of countries and island nations who all endeavor to showcase their respective cultures. FESTPAC offers a platform in which these countries can come together to exchange traditional practices and to nurture new and existing friendships.
Often referred to as the Olympics of Culture and Arts in the Pacific, this travelling festival is convened only once every four years. In 2020, Hawaii has been given the honor of hosting this prestigious event, for the 13th Festival of the Pacific Arts: “E Kū i Ka Hoe Uli; a e Kohi i Ka Pale Kai.” 28 Pacific Island delegations will be in attendance June 10-20, 2020 to celebrate, demonstrate, perform and share their stories of their beautiful islands.
On November 20th, the Organizing Committee, led by Kumu Hula Vicky Holt Takamine, will be hosting their official launch party at the Prince Waikiki, thanks to Prince Resorts Hawaii President Kisan Jo, who was impressed with Takamine’s presentation at our GMM and offered his support. I highly encourage you to also reach out to Vicky and her cohort, which includes her fellow Kumu Hula Michael Pili Pang, if you are interested in getting involved with this once-in-a-lifetime occasion.
For more information, please contact Vicky directly at email@example.com.
General Election evening was a night filled with anticipation, excitement, and tears of joy. I was at my usual post: commentating on the election’s results with Mike Buck on AM690/FM 94.3, a tradition that we’ve maintained for many years now. Jared and I eventually made our way down to the west side of Oahu to visit a couple of our HLTA-endorsed candidates who are now newly-elected officials to the Hawai‘i State Legislature.
In the realm of endorsements, HLTA had a stellar year. Our organization successfully endorsed 42 candidates in the 2018 State General Elections, 36 of whom were victorious in their respective races.
Hats off and congratulations to Governor David Ige and his running mate Lieutenant Governor-elect Josh Green for their triumph last night, as well as to newly elected Maui Mayor-elect Mike Victorino and Kaua‘i Mayor-elect Derek Kawakami.
In the Hawai‘i State Senate all 6 of our endorsed candidates won: Sen. Kaialii Kahele (District 1), Councilmember Dru Kanuha (District 2), Sharon Moriwaki (District 12), Sen. Clarence Nishihara (District 17), Sen. Michelle Kidani (District 18), and Kurt Fevella (District 19). These individuals will be joined at the State Capitol by 13 of our 14 endorsed candidates in the State House: Rep. Christopher Todd (District 2), Rep. Richard Onishi (District 3), David Tarnas (District 7), Rep. Lynn DeCoite (District13), Rep. Gene Ward (District 17), Rep. Calvin Say (District 20), Rep. Tom Brower (District 22), Rep. Takashi Ohno (District 27), Rep. Romy Cachola (District 30), Val Okimoto (District36), Rep. Ryan Yamane (District37), Rep. Bob McDermott (District 40), and Rep. Cynthia Thielen (District 50).
In the Hawai‘i Island County Council, HLTA batted 100% in our endorsements as County Council candidate Rebecca Villegas (District 7) was victorious, joining the 5 endorsed candidates who won their seats in the Primary Elections.
On the Maui County Council front, HLTA candidates Alice Lee (Wailuku/Waihee/Waikapu), Councilmember Kelly King (South Maui), Mike Molina (Makawao/Haiku/Paia), Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura (Upcountry), and Councilmember Riki Hokama (Lanai) joined Mayor-elect Mike Victorino in a successful election.
Additionally, a big victory for the visitor industry came in the form of a County Charter Amendment. The Maui measure titled “Penalties” was approved in resounding fashion by Maui voters yesterday. The result of this charter amendment will greatly increase the penalties on the operation of illegal short-term vacation rentals in Maui County. The measure, which garnered 26,045 votes, will take the current $1,000 fine a person could be fined for operating an illegal TVR to up to $20,000, with a $10,000 fine for each day the illegal operation persists. This is a huge victory for our industry in our mission of creating parity with the transient vacation rental market. It truly underscores the theme that I have been advocating - this is not about the industry versus Airbnbs, but rather, the community against illegal TVRs.
On Kaua‘i, 6 of our 7 endorsed candidates will be joining mayoral winner Derek Kawakami in leading Kaua‘i’s County Government. Congratulations to incumbents Councilmember Mason Chock, Councilmember Arryl Kaneshiro, Councilmember Ross Kagawa, and Councilmember Arthur Brun, who will be joined by newcomers Luke Evslin and Felicia Cowden in serving on the Kaua‘i County Council.
Lastly, in the City & County of Honolulu, I would like to congratulate Council District 4 incumbent Councilmember Trevor Ozawa who won in a nail-biter against former State Representative Tommy Waters. After factoring in the last-minute absentee ballots, post third-printout, Trevor inched ahead of his opponent, clinching his re-election to the Honolulu City Council. Meanwhile Kelly Kitashima, who hails from the tourism industry, did well on her first attempt for public office by garnering 42% of the vote in Council District 8.
Although we do not endorse on the federal level, it is worth noting that former Outrigger executive, Ed Case, won his election to return to Congress. We know that given Ed’s active involvement and experience in our industry, he will be a strong voice for tourism in the nation’s capital.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ELECTION RESULTS.
HLTA’s involvement in the 2018 elections was unprecedented in our 71-year history, and I would like to take a moment to emphasize the important stance that we took, not only in conducting a comprehensive statewide endorsement process, but supporting candidates who will be leaders in our community and stout supporters of our visitor industry. Two such candidates came out of Mililani and Ewa Beach.
In Mililani, newcomer Val Okimoto won the District 36 seat over former State Representative Marilyn Lee by over 800 votes! In an interview on election night, she credited the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association for being the only organization that endorsed her in her inaugural campaign. Born on the island of Kaua‘i, the former special education teacher and highly active community leader is very familiar with the important role that tourism plays in our state’s economy.
In Ewa Beach, Kurt Fevella upset State Representative Matt Lopresti for the Senate District 19 seat which was vacated by former Senator Will Espero. Kurt, a janitor by trade, is a fixture in the Ewa Beach community, serving as the President of the Ewa Beach Lions Club, and spearheading events such as park cleanups, the Ewa Beach Christmas Parade, and college football star Tua Tagavailoa’s Homecoming Ewa Parade. HLTA was the first organization to endorse Kurt, who is now the only Republican Senator in the State of Hawai‘i - and the highest ranking official in the state’s GOP party. He is very cognizant of the hundreds of his constituents from Ewa who are hospitality employees and promises to be supportive of HLTA’s efforts to strengthen our tourism industry.
Hawaii News Now: After a two-year dry spell,
Hawaii once again has a lone Republican in the state Senate
Click on photo to view the story
As we close General Election 2018, I would like to applaud all the candidates throughout the state that endured the rigors of campaigning and offered our voters choices. I would also like to commend those who took the time to go out and vote, exercising your right and responsibility as an American citizen. Finally, I would like to send out our heartfelt congratulations to all the endorsed candidates of HLTA who will be taking office shortly. We send our mahalo for your support of Hawai‘i’s hospitality industry and we look forward to working with you!
Each year, through our Na Po’e Pa’ahana Awards, the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association honors the individuals who have contributed to the visitor industry through their stellar service, professionalism, and spirit of Aloha. These are the employees who continue to make Hawaii a premier destination. Our visitor industry relies on their dedication, and commitment to their workplace and community!
As a friendly reminder, nominations for the 29th Annual Na Po’e Pa’ahana Awards are officially due today at 11:59 pm. If you or your team members have not yet submitted your applications please do so HERE.
Na Po’e Pa’ahana nominees and finalists will be recognized at our annual luncheon on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at the Sheraton Waikiki.
General Election on November 6th – Go Out and Vote!
As of October 23rd registered voters have been able to visit early walk-in voting locations within their respective counties to cast their ballots for the General Election. Early voting will close tomorrow – Saturday, November 3rd as our state prepares for Election Day on November 6th. This is a wonderful opportunity to ensure that you as a voter take advantage of your right and responsibility to vote. For those of you who have been following HLTA’s road to the Elections, I would like to take a moment to remind you of who our visitor industry endorsed candidates are:
For those who reside on Maui, I would like to encourage you to pay close attention to the charter amendments that will show up on your ballot. One amendment in particular will increase the penalty for operating an illegal transient vacation rental from $1,000 to $20,000, I urge you to vote yes. This will greatly aid the Maui County Planning Department in their enforcement of illegal transient vacation rentals.
As we near the 2018 General Elections, I implore you to help us change the stigma that Hawai‘i residents simply don’t vote. This is your chance to elect those to office who will champion your community, your business, and your way of life.
Waipahu High School: Aiming to be the first nationally accreditedCulinary and Tourism academy in the State.
For many years I have been a big supporter of Waipahu High School principal, Keith Hayashi, who has been a leader in the realm of education in the State of Hawai’i. Over the years, Keith and his team have successfully shaped Waipahu High School into a model educational institution. They offer “academic pathways” to all freshmen that enroll giving them the opportunity to explore, in-depth, career driven academies, two of which have received the highest honors of national accreditation. Keith and his team at Waipahu High School, the pioneers of early college programming in Hawai‘i, have been working closely with HLTA to establish the state’s first nationally accredited Culinary and Tourism Academy by 2020.
In pursuit of this goal I convened a meeting this week between industry stakeholders and key faculty members of Waipahu High School. In attendance from the industry were HLTA Chairperson Glenn Vergara from the Waikiki Resort Hotel, Gary Manago from the Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel, Dylan Ching and Kelii Gouveia from Duke’s Restaurants, and Waipahu alumnus Rick Egged from the Waikiki Improvement Association. During the meeting we discussed the opportunity to improve upon the transition of students into the workforce by pairing businesses that offer high school internships with the academy. Additionally, we also explored the idea of inciting interest with our hotels and restaurants to offer externships for teachers and faculty members. As we progress forward with creating this nationally recognized academy, we will convene a follow-up meeting by years end to engage our Ko Olina and Kapolei lodging members as well as they share a close proximity to the high school. The goal will be to create standards and expectations between both our members and Waipahu high school in this new collaboration. If you or your company is interested in participating with this new initiative please feel free to contact the HLTA office at (808) 923-0407 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Tourism 101: Waikiki – past, present, and future
This past Wednesday, Rick Egged President of the Waikiki Improvement Association, joined me for our third episode of Tourism 101. For those of you who may not be familiar with our new show Tourism 101, it is a 30-minute segment produced by ThinkTech Hawai‘i and hosted by yours truly, which showcases topics and speakers directly related to Hawai‘i’s visitor industry. This week Rick and I talked about the many initiatives and activities that both our organizations collaborate on in Waikiki.
To view the full episode click HERE.
A Visit from Pacific Islands Tourism Professional Fellows
Each year the East-West Center’s Pacific Islands Development Program brings a contingent of Pacific Islands Tourism Professional Fellows to spend 5- weeks in Honolulu with the goal of building relationships between industry leaders across the Pacific. This week, three members of the current class sought a meeting with me to discuss the role of the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association and to learn more about Hawai‘i’s hospitality industry. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of hosting Iulai Lesa, Senior Sales and Marketing Officer for the Samoa Tourism Authority, Sheena Ng Lam, Principal Training & Education Officer for the Samoa Tourism Authority, and Christine Peipul, Executive Manager of the Papua New Guinea Tourism Industry Association, at our office. During our meeting I shared insights on what makes our industry tick and how they can utilize similar tools in their own respective countries. Later today, I will be meeting with the entire Pacific Islands Tourism Professional Fellows group to further expand on these points of discussion.
Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Relief Drive
Last week, the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, primarily Saipan and Tinian, was devastated by Super Typhoon Yutu. With maximum sustained winds of 180 mph, this super typhoon had the equivalent power to that of a Category 5 Hurricane, making it the strongest storm to hit any part of the U.S. this year. The result: the islands were pummeled affecting over 50,000 people who were first hand witnesses to the storm's destruction. Yesterday, I put out a call to action to the HLTA membership on Oahu, in support of the Northern Marianas Club of Hawaii. They are collecting goods and supplies to send to our brothers and sisters in the Northern Marianas. The Aloha 4 CNMI Operation Yutu Relief Campaign will be holding a donation drive at the Safeway grocery store located at 1360 Pali Hwy in Honolulu from November 16 -18. For full details please refer to the email blast that was sent HERE.
In Case You Missed It
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.
aio Media Hawai'i Lodging and Tourism Awards
Today is the last day to submit nominations for the 2nd annual aio Media Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Awards. If there is an organization, event, or leader in our community that you feel should be recognized for their contributions to tourism, I highly encourage you to please make a submission for the following six categories: accommodations, food & beverage, events, activities, and leadership in the industry.
Nominations can be made at www.hawaiimagazine.com/hlta
Stay tuned as we release more details on the aio Media Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Awards taking place on March 1, 2019 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
GMM Recap - and a Special Announcement for May 29 & 30, 2019
At HLTA, we take great pride in encouraging our millennials and young professionals to become more engaged in our industry. It is in that spirit that I empowered our HYPE Committee to host a well - attended educational seminar, entitled “EQ & IQ: The Rise of Workplace-Valued Emotional Intelligence,” on Thursday evening to coincide with our 191st General Membership Meeting. Moderator Joe Bock and panelists Cynthia Yamasaki, Anisah Ahakuelo, and Corey Campbell did an exceptional job helping our attendees gain a deeper understanding of the importance of emotional intelligence and how it translates to career development.
Friday saw our official programming commence with our sponsor showcase, which gave our allied and hotel members an opportunity to combine business and breakfast. Sponsors from across the islands, as well as California, Chicago, and Minnesota all spent the morning displaying their products and services which led to future business and tremendous networking opportunities!
After our official HLTA Board Meeting was a “Lunch and Learn,” session featuring HLTA endorsed candidates and a Hawaiian cultural panel. I was pleased to see Maui mayoral candidate Mike Victorino, House Tourism Chair Representative Richard Onishi, Honolulu City Council Budget Committee Chair Trevor Ozawa, and Senate District 12 candidate Sharon Moriwaki speak for a few minutes about their support for tourism. Subsequent to our political speakers, our guests had the privilege to hear from a trio of distinguished Kumu Hula - Robert Cazimero, Vicky Holt Takamine, and Michael Pili Pang about the increasingly significant role and prominence that Hawaiian culture plays in our industry.
Moreover, we were incredibly fortunate to see the halau of the three kumu hula come together later that night in a special show created just for our Friday evening reception , according to Pili Pang. It was a wonderful experience full of storytelling, wonderful live music, hula and fellowship- all of this led by the extremely talented Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning artist Robert Cazimero.
Day two kicked off with our HLTA GMM General Session, where we extended a big mahalo to HLTA Chairperson Gregg Nelson of the Napili Kai Beach Resort for his leadership in 2017-18 and officially welcomed our new 2018-19 HLTA Chairperson Glenn Vergara of the Waikiki Resort Hotel.
During the morning events, I brought back our “member role call” that we used as a way for our attendees to share a little bit about themselves and to get to know each other a little better. Our membership also got a glimpse of what our island chapters accomplished over the course of 2018, through our chapter reports.
Following the introductory program, I gave my annual State of the Industry Address, where I recapped the key issues and accomplishments of our organization through 2018 and gave insights on our upcoming endeavors for 2019 and beyond. I always look forward to this aspect of our GMM.
I also capitalized on the moment and unveiled some BIG news. I announced HLTA’s partnership with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Hawaii Restaurant Association to present the inaugural Hawaii Hotel, Restaurant & Travel Show which will take place on May 29th & 30th of next year.
This will showcase the very best in Hawaii’s hospitality industry and feature educational seminars, live demonstrations, interactive attractions and the latest trends in technology. We have been working diligently to put this formidable partnership together and it will be a wonderful new addition to our lineup of activities in 2019!
During Saturday’s Lunch & Learn, attendees heard directly from Governor David Ige as he addressed industry concerns and outlined the top priorities in his administration from increasing affordable housing, to reducing homelessness, and finally the implementation of an airports corporation to enhance our visitors’ experience from the moment they arrive in our islands.
I would also like to give a special mahalo to one of our key industry leaders and HLTA Board Member, Jerry Gibson, Area Vice President of Hilton/Turtle Bay for a dynamic speech on the future forecast of Tourism. He offered a list of challenges that must be addressed if our industry is to remain No Ka Oi - very timely and thought-provoking.
Our three-day event concluded with a beautiful outdoor reception on the Four Season’s Ocean Lawn and featured a special buffet prepared by Executive Chef Richard Polhemus and live entertainment by SOULZ. I’d like to thank Senator Josh Green who flew in from Hawai’i island to address and join us, as well as our other endorsed first- time candidates Kelly Kitashima and Val Okimoto for taking the time to be there. On behalf of HLTA, thank you to everyone who attended this year’s GMM, one of the most successful ones during my tenure and it would not have been so without the participation of our members and incredibly generous sponsors.
I would be remiss If I didn’t acknowledge another new feature of our GMM that occurred over the weekend. Our fabulous spadea spread which was always part of the USA Today edition in years past for the first time this year was included in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Saturday October 12 paper (and if you would like additional copies, please call Ashley Yonamine of my staff).
Mahalo to Star Advertiser’s President and Publisher Dennis Francis for recognizing the important work that HLTA does in the community!
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 you. 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. I’d like to encourage all of you to attend this special fundraiser supported by our Oahu Chapter to help create more opportunities for our aspiring Culinary students.
To register for the Ka ‘Ikena Holiday reception, please click HERE.
Ritz-Carlton Residence Waikiki Opens Its Doors to Its Second Tower
This past Monday, the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach held a blessing ceremony to officially open the doors to their long-awaited Diamond Head Tower, bringing to completion what was a three and a half year project. The 245-residence tower is a welcome addition to Waikiki’s inventory, and I, for one, am excited to break in the facilities as HLTA will be holding our upcoming Board of Directors meeting at the second tower’s event space on November 15. I would like to extend heartfelt congratulations to Irongate, the Ritz-Carlton, Marriott International, and to HLTA Board member and General Manager of the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach Doug Chang, and his team, for this momentous milestone. We wish you continued success in all your future endeavors.
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 email@example.com.
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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