“The members of the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association are very saddened over the untimely passing of Congressman Mark Takai and join in extending our condolences to Sami and the Takai ohana.
We’ve lost not only a dedicated public servant but a friend to the hospitality industry. Since his election, Mark has been a strong voice for tourism in Washington. He was always open to our concerns and ideas, and was devoted to strengthening the industry. He championed legislation to restore draconian cuts to travel per diem rates in the Department of Defense budget and had a history of advocating for military affiliated meetings and conventions to be held in Hawaii. He met with our HLTA leadership just a few months ago and we were heartened to know at the time that his commitment to doing his very best for Hawai‘i was undiminished by his illness.
On a personal note, I knew Mark since he was president of the University of Hawaii’s student government and worked closely with him over the years as a City Councilmember, mayor, and in other endeavors. He was always enthusiastic, energetic, and full of ideas. In fact, he suggested to me to start the Mayor’s Remembrance Walk, the annual observance of the September 11 attacks in Honolulu.
Our families were close and we shared many precious moments together. Mark will be missed as a representative of the islands, an advocate for our people, a leader, and a dear friend.”
- Mufi Hannemann, President & CEO of Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association
HLTA Oahu Chapter held a Back to School Supplies Drive on Saturday, July 16 at Kahala Mall. Mahalo to everyone who came out and volunteered on their day off to help collect donations. It was heart-warming to see generous shoppers stop by throughout the day to donate newly purchased school supplies and even monetary contributions. Several parents who donated to the supply drive with their children used the opportunity to teach their kids the value of community service and giving back to those in need. With everyone’s kokua, HLTA was able to donate over $500 and 500 pounds of school supplies to Palolo Elementary, Aliiolani Elementary, and Ala Wai Elementary Schools!
HLTA hosted a political forum on July 14 featuring candidates for the City and County of Honolulu's mayoral race: Mayor Kirk Caldwell, former Mayor Peter Carlisle, and former Congressman Charles Djou. The event was held in conjunction with the 22nd Annual Hawaii Lodging, Hospitality & Foodservice Expo at the Neal Blaisdell Center.
The forum was moderated by business reporter Howard Dicus of Hawaii News Now: Sunrise, and the questions were posed by a panel of experts consisting of University of Hawaii political science professor Dr. Colin Moore, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser's Waikiki Bureau chief, Allison Schaefers, and Hawaii News Now investigative reporter Rick Daysog.
On Wednesday, July 13, HLTA's Women in Lodging & Tourism committee held an education and networking event called "Employee Recruitment and Retention in Today's Fast-Paced World" at the Neal Blaisdell Center. The panel discussion was moderated by Gregg Dunn of Better Business Bureau with panelists Judy Bishop of Bishop & Co, Mike Vasper of Hawaii Employers Council, and Kat Lin Hurtibise of Gourmet Events Hawaii.
Topics covered included how to get hired or promoted, including tips on using social media, how to retain and motivate a great team, and what to look for when hiring and how to avoid recruitment mistakes.
Women in Lodging & Tourism sponsored the event in partnership with Douglas Trade Shows, Aloha 2 Go, and the Orchid Lei Company.
The event was live streamed on HLTA's Facebook page:
The 22nd annual Hawaii Lodging, Hospitality & Foodservice Expo, Hawaii’s largest annual business-to-business trade show, returned to the Neal S. Blaisdell Center on July 13 and 14.
Since its inception in 1995, the Expo has brought buyers and sellers together, and has created opportunities for innumerable Hawaii vendors to enter the market. Each year, nearly 5,000 industry professionals with purchasing authority or influence attend the Expo. They conduct business, make new contacts, attend educational sessions, and shop for the latest products, services, and equipment for their businesses. More than 90 of these exhibitors are allied members of HLTA.
This year, the HLTA exhibit had an expanded exhibit in our usual location in the foyer between the exhibition hall and the arena. Some of our activities at the Expo included an HLTA Women in Lodging & Tourism committee education and networking event, and our first HLTA Board meeting of the new term. Additionally, our HLTA Government Affairs committee in collaboration with our Oahu Chapter successfully hosted a Honolulu Mayoral Forum with the major candidates on the second day of the Expo.
July 6 kicked off the first of many HIP (Hospitality Industry Pau Hana) evenings, presented by HLTA, SKY Waikiki, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Hawaii.com! We thank everyone who came and made the inaugural event a huge success! Congratulations to Thelma Kehaulani Kam of Starwood Hawaii for winning the well-deserved Kahiau Award! Join us again next month to #GetHIP with HLTA at SKY Waikiki!
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