Aqua Oasis Hotel
March 2017 Kahiau Award Recipient
Everlyn Kidani is a housekeeper at the Aqua Oasis Hotel who has never missed a working day of service, despite many unfortunate circumstances she has had to face. Born in a small Philippines province, Everlyn grew up helping her parents raise her three younger siblings. She is described as a woman who was raised to have a deep sense of responsibility, care, and love to her family, friends, co-workers and hotel guests.
Everlyn has suffered through several dark episodes in the past, including the terrible loss of her both her brother, who was murdered, and later her husband, who was taken by throat cancer. Despite this, her faith never abandoned her and she has always been loyal to her work. When her brother passed, she supported her parents by giving them the savings she earned as a housekeeper to help bring them to Hawaii. During the five years her husband was in and out of the hospital, she never called in sick. After work, she would take the bus directly to the hospital and spent the entire evening by her husband’s side. In the morning, she took the bus again and came into work as scheduled; on-time, and never late. She transcended the same deep sense of responsibility and loyalty she learned from her parents to her husband, her co-workers, and hotel guests. Her experiences of grief and responsibility are what drive her to provide the best possible service to every guest she meets.
Everlyn’s small but meaningful gestures do not go unnoticed. Her loyal guests call it “The Everlyn Touch”. When she services and cleans rooms, she arranges shoes neatly in pairs all facing one direction. She carefully hangs suits left on beds by busy business travelers so their suits will remain smooth and clean. She seals snack bags left opened by children eager to go to the beach. She tidily stacks toys so moms and dads returning to the room can have more time to relax and play with their kids. She lines up shopping bags to help guests pack their suitcases. She spends time sharing stories with guests who are traveling by themselves. The meaningful actions of selfless generosity she makes both in her personal and professional life are what makes her an exceptional Kahiau awardee.
Institute for Human Services (IHS)
November 2016 Kahiau Award Recipient
During her ten-years as Executive Director of Institute for Human Services (IHS), Connie has developed a management team that has transformed the agency; creating a consortium of homeless services that both prevent homelessness and transform the lives of those who are currently homeless. She has fully integrated agency programs and services for greater effectiveness, added five new programs over 5 years, and established IHS as a clear leader for homeless services in Hawaii. During her tenure, the organization went from serving 1,400 people to over 5,000, and has diversified its funding streams to include a $1.5M grant from the US Dept. of Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, which cross-trains staff to triage the complex needs of chronically homeless persons. Under Connie's leadership, IHS has collaborated with over 20 local academic programs and non-profit human service agencies. Connie engages with numerous corporate partners and a range of faith communities in the mission of providing respite to those unsheltered. She has also worked closely with HLTA and the visitor industry in addressing the issue of homelessness in Waikiki.
Enterprise Holdings (Enterprise, Alamo & National Car Rental)
Hawaii Group Talent Manager
October Kahiau Award Recipient
Delores “Dee” Lim is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is the proud product of a Retired Captain in the Navy who served his country and the communities where they lived and worked and a generous hearted mother who taught her to give unselfishly. She has worked in the travel industry on Oahu since 1997 and is currently the Hawaii Group Talent Manager at Enterprise Holdings (Enterprise, Alamo & National Car Rental). Dee credits her success to her parents who provided her with not only the love and support, but also the challenges that come with moving across the country every 2 years growing up. In addition, when she joined Enterprise, she found a company that mirrored her personal and family values. In fact, Enterprise is named after the company’s founder who served on the U.S.S. Enterprise in WW II.
Along with her day job, Dee has been very instrumental in leading by example with one of the key Enterprise Core values that states “we strengthen our communities one neighborhood at a time.” As a privately owned, family run company, “Giving Back” (not just monetarily) and getting involved in the communities in which we live and work is so important and this is trait the Dee embodies every day. Dee is not one to talk about her efforts and rather always looks to deflect the credit to others. However, she is a key leader who helps coordinate and drives Enterprise’s community initiatives. This includes helping oversee an annual giving budget in Hawaii to local causes in excess of $500,000/year. A major driver of this is the annual United Way campaign, which over the past few years has given back over $300,000/year across all islands. Dee personally has taken on the challenge of coordinating the Enterprise annual campaign and works with the leaders on each island to ensure they are maximizing all potential resources. With Dee’s guidance, the focus has been on working together, finding fun and creative ways to raise money while making all employees feel like they can contribute. This is seen both through employee volunteer participation as well as giving. For her leadership, she has been honored with a Spirit of Community Award from Aloha United Way.
In addition to Dee’s efforts with the United Way, she volunteers annually with dozens of worthwhile causes, including the Hawaii Foodbank, Make A Wish, MDA Hawaii and American Cancer Society, just to name a few. Her positive attitude and ability to rally the team inspires many others to step up and make a difference. Dee understands the importance of wanting to teach others to do the right thing, get involved and give selflessly, without any expectation of something in return. This Aloha spirit is truly what the Kahiau Award is all about.
Not only does Dee give of her herself with her whole heart, but she also gives her time and instills the same values in her two daughters, Naiya (13), and Kayla (10). Living in Hawaii for over 25 years and married for more than 20 of those years to her husband, Jae, Dee truly lives and breathes Aloha Spirit to everyone she meets. Her constant and consistent focus on others that she comes into contact with demonstrates her generous nature. Dee always looks out for those that need a hand and always has an extra hand to lend to those in need. Her philosophy is simple, give of yourself always, be nice to others always, live and love unconditionally always, and you will always be happy and full in life.
Upon finding out about this recognition, Dee was quick to ask if this can be given to the company and not her personally. To Dee, it’s always about what the Enterprise Ohana accomplishes as a team. Dee is a very worthwhile recipient of the Kahiau award and this is a great reflection of her hard work and dedication to the Hawaii community as a whole.
Dee is a member of Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), Association of Talent Development (ATD), National Association of Women Professionals (NAWP), and serves on the Advisory Board for Career Technical Education (CTE) Program for the State of Hawaii.
Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
September Kahiau Award Recipient
Kelly Sheather is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Travel Industry Management and a product of the Kamehameha Schools at Kapalama. She has worked in the travel industry on ‘Oahu since 1999 and is currently a Sales Manager at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. She credits her success to the on-the-job experiences as well as the many knowledgeable peers and leaders who she works with closely. Kelly is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), the Board Secretary of Travel Industry Management International (TIMI) and a member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA).
Kelly is known in the Hawaii hospitality industry as always smiling, happy to help others and willing to go that extra step. She once took her colleague’s client from Waikiki to Lanikai because he needed to do business on that side of the island and was going to take a taxi. Being that the fare would be quite large, Kelly offered and ended up taking this client across the mountain in her own car. In the end, she helped her colleague get the signed contract. On another occasion, Kelly had a client whose wife forgot her passport and ID at the hotel front desk upon checkout. They had already reached the airport and needed to check into their flight. Kelly then drove to the airport to personally deliver the IDs. Till this day, Kelly keeps in contact with that client and his wife. In each situation, she gives that personal touch that is her own.
Not only does Kelly give of her time, but she also gives of her Aloha Spirit. Born and raised in Hawaii, Kelly exudes the Hawaiian Culture and Aloha Spirit which shows in her interaction with all she comes into contact with. That said, Kelly is a part of the hula halau at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and performs for special occasions and events such as the Queen Lili’uokalani’s birthday celebration or during the holidays. She also takes part in community service projects through Church with the Institute of Human Services Women’s and Children Shelter, Waikalua Loko I’a and other Church-driven initiatives to help the community. In her spare time, Kelly spends time with her daughters, Alyssa (age 26) and Jade (age 12) and enjoys shopping, traveling and experiencing various eateries in Hawaii and around the world.
Kelly has an outlook on life saying “It is what it is and we have to power through to make it better”. She strives to always do her best and help others in the process.
Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
August Kahiau Award Recipient
Troy is a genuine ambassador of aloha. Return guests affectionately know him as “son from Hawai‘i” or “Uncle.”
He offers authentic Hawaiian hospitality by recommending the best local coffees, a quiet place to walk or where to experience the best local attractions. Troy has taken guests to local dining spots and provided the transportation on his own time and his own dime! It is not uncommon for keiki to enjoy toys or guests local grinds, thanks to Troy’s thoughtful nature.
Troy has a knack for remembering names and has formed many lasting friendships. One such bond was with Larry and Gail Campbell. The Campbells were longtime guests at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and would return every April and November, and always to golf. The year Mr. Campbell passed away, Mrs. Campbell arrived with her grandson; when Troy learned that golfing was not on her agenda, he offered to golf with her. She was grateful and very touched.
For her 82nd birthday, Mrs. Campbell shared with Troy that she was having her annual luau celebration back home in Minnesota. She insisted that Troy be there to celebrate with her and her family and even paid for his flight! Troy brought fresh flower lei for all the family and friends attending the luau. A little of bit of aloha was left in Minnesota, thanks to Troy and his genuine heart of hospitality.
Troy is an inspiration to his peers and a standout host who offers exceptional guest service to all who enter the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.
Thelma Kehaulani Kam
Director of Cultural Services
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Waikiki
July Kahiau Award Recipient
THELMA "KEHAULANI" KAM began her long and celebrated hospitality career at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel on June 4, 1971, the day the hotel opened. Ever since, Kam has made the most of each day, sharing the spirit of the Hawaiian Islands with guests, mentoring fellow employees, and seizing opportunities for professional and personal growth.
Kam started as a mail and information clerk at the Sheraton Waikiki. She thrived there, working her way up to desk clerk, guest service agent, and then supervisor. During that time she continually earned recognition for her leadership qualities, outstanding service and caring demeanor.
Kam’s contributions and hard work have been significant. In 2006 she received the Outstanding Manager of the Year award from the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Na Poʻe Paʻahana (hardworking people) award from the Hawaiʻi Hotel & Lodging Association. In 2013 she was honored with the Aloha United Way (AUW) Spirit of Community Award for being the best individual coordinator for the year 2012, raising more than $150,000 to help Hawai`i’s community and in 2015 was selected as a finalist for the 2015 Women Who Mean Business Awards in the Businesswoman of the Year for-profit category by Pacific Business News.
For the past 45 years Kam has welcomed guests and staff with kindness, forming strong relationships at all levels within the hotel. She has become a perfect liaison between employees and management. As the leader of employee councils for all four Sheraton Hotels in Waikiki, she was the voice for many employees and has garnered support from the general managers for many employee issues.
A person with integrity, enthusiasm and compassion, Kam shares her knowledge of Hawaii’s culture freely. She creates authentic, lasting memories for guests and gives back to the community by involving herself and the employees in many events. Kam embodies the true essence of aloha – giving openly from the heart without expecting anything in return.
Today she continues her exceptional performance – unconditionally sharing the aloha spirit. She is a recognized leader and a gracious ambassador for Starwood Hotels & Resorts in Waikiki. In her own words, “It's not good enough to just come into work and do your job. You have to get involved with your community, get involved in education, and share your knowledge. You have to help others reach their potential.” Kam lives by this quote: “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life”
Join us at SKY WAIKIKI every first Wednesday from 5 - 7pm for an evening of fellowship, networking, and celebration of Hawai'i's hospitality industry!