Pictorial Membership Directory
We are in the process of preparing our Pictorial Membership Directory for the printers. After working closely with our partners at Trade Media Hui, we are pleased to be able to extend this special advertising opportunity to HLTA members.
CLICK HERE FOR SALES SHEET
The HLTA pictorial membership directory, which lists contact information for every business and organization on our roster, is among the most significant member benefits at HLTA. Purchasing ad space in our latest edition will ensure that your advertisement is seen by hundreds of business owners and operators.
The above rates are available on a first-come, first-first serve basis. If you are interested in this marketing opportunity, please contact any of the below Trade Media Hui representatives:
We understand that the pandemic has led to staffing changes and moves for many of our members, so we want to make sure that we give you multiple avenues to update your information before we go to print.
For technical specifications and other information, click the image above. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact HLTA Director of Membership & Special Projects Ashley Yonamine at email@example.com.
The Hawai'i Career Expo is fast approaching!
On Wednesday, August 4th at the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall, businesses of all types and sizes will hosting booths in search of hundreds of new employees. We are proud to be able to partner with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Star Events for this event, where we will have a hospitality geared section in the Exhibition Hall. Look for the HLTA banner where many of our members will have their displays.
I would like to extend a shout out to the HLTA members who will be participating in the expo:
A special mahalo to our HLTA Chairperson Cheryl Williams who has prioritized the need to address the various staffing and labor shortages currently being felt around state, and to the Star-Advertiser for making this special emphasis on the hospitality industry at their expo possible.
Mahalo to everyone who joined us at our first in-person HLTA event last night! It was wonderful to see both new and familiar faces alike, and live - rather than virtually. The Summer Soiree event was a wonderful success and we ended up raising thousands of dollars in support of Oahu's Charity Walk.
Delicious food, drinks, music, and fellowship made for an amazing evening for a great cause. Not only did our members get to take a tour of the recently re-opened Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani, they also enjoyed live musical performances by Rachel Saul and Ethan Capone. Special thanks to Halepuna's General Manager Julie Arigo and O'ahu Chapter Chair Simeon Miranda for organizing, and to our Beverage sponsors Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits of Hawai'i and Johnson Brothers for helping make the evening one to remember.
194th General Membership Meeting
HLTA's 194th General Membership Meeting is quickly approaching, and we are hard at work pulling together an amazing in-person event for you all. As a friendly reminder, the HLTA room block will expire on August 16th, and you cannot book your rooms until you have registered for GMM. So, please sign up as soon as possible.
Here are a couple other updates for your planning needs:
Thursday, October 14th Golf Outing
For the first time ever, the GMM golf outing will be played in a mini tournament format. Check-in will be held at the Blue Course at Wailea Golf Club and will run from noon through 12:30 p.m. and will be immediately followed by a shotgun start.
Women In Lodging & Tourism
HLTA's WIL Committee will be hosting an event entitled "Mana Wahine". Scheduled for Thursday evening from 5:30 p.m. through 7:00 p.m., the evening will feature University of Hawai'i Maui College Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Dr. Debra A. Nakama and Seabury Hall Head of School Maureen O Madden as speakers to be followed by a reception.
As the vice chancellor of student affairs at University of Hawai'i Maui College, Dr. Debra A. Nakama oversees an array of student services, including curriculum development and teaching. While her focus is on ensuring student success at the college level, she recognizes that education requires a strong foundation and so has also endeavored to affect systemic changes within the K-20 years. Dr. Nakama writes about today’s most pressing educational issues on her blog, www.debranakama.com.
Maureen O Madden is the Head of School at Seabury Hall in Maui. She has served in educational leadership roles for 24 years in public, independent, and international schools, most recently as the Director of the American School of Milan. She has a BA in English Literature and English Education and an MA in School Administration where she holds several certifications. She has served on School Accreditation Teams worldwide, supporting schools towards achieving their goals. Maureen lives on Maui with her husband Bruce, a former educator. She has a daughter on the East Coast who is an English Teacher and a daughter on the West Coast who is a professional chef and four amazing granddaughters. Those four little girls keep her focused upon the best on all aspects of education.
On Tuesday, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino vetoed Bill 60 (2021) which was passed by the Maui County Council and would have placed a moratorium on the issuance of building permits for visitor accommodations in West and South Maui for the next two years.
This was a piece of legislation that we opposed, providing both written and oral testimony, and we commend Mayor Victorino for vetoing the bill. In comments regarding his veto, Maui County Managing Director Sandy Baz referenced the need for robust debate on the issue, stating that while, "the mayor appreciates the council’s intent and sentiment behind Bill 60, he believes it is more important for legislation to be effective and legal than for it to be fast. For these reasons, Mayor Victorino has decided to veto Bill 60."
Baz also echoed some of my sentiments that restricting the number of lodging options for visitors will likely force them to increasingly utilize short-term vacation rentals- both legal and illegal. This is an issue that continues to trouble Maui residents and is something about which we have been especially vocal.
Pictured above from left are Waikiki Resort General Manager Glenn Vergara, Aqua-Aston Hospitality Director of Owner Relations Kyoko Kimura, Lt. Governor Josh Green, Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas General Manager Denise Wardlow, HLTA President & CEO Mufi Hannemann, and Napili Kai Beach Resort General Manager Gregg Nelson at HLTA's General Membership Meeting in 2018.
I would like to give a special shoutout to Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas General Manager Denise Wardlow who has officially retired after more than 35 years in the hospitality industry. Denise has been a steadfast and active association member who participated in all aspects of HLTA operations from heading our Kauai HLTA Chapter to the Charity Walk to government affairs. She is a founding member of the Women In Lodging & Tourism Committee and supported the next generation of industry leaders as a mentor in our Generational Mentoring Program. There was never a task too difficult for Denise, and she's never failed to follow through on an initiative, especially those that pertained to the Garden Island.
When Denise and I first met, she actually let me know that she had watched me play basketball against her alma mater Roosevelt High School, and I knew then that as hoops fans we would get along famously 😊. Best wishes for a relaxing and happy retirement, Denise! We truly appreciated your continued support of the association over the years.
From left, HLTA Chairperson Cheryl Williams, Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas General Manager Denise Wardlow, Marriott Vacations Worldwide Market General Manager Angela Nolan, and HLTA President & CEO Mufi Hannemann at a Pacific Edge Magazine event in 2015 where Denise was recognized.
Civil Beat Editorial Board Interview
The photo above was taken during an interview with Civil Beat's editorial board. Photo courtesy of Civil Beat and Cory Lum.
Last week, I was invited to sit down with Civil Beat's editorial board for a wide-ranging interview that covered everything from the legislative battle of House Bill 862 to the history of our association and even the status of the Honolulu rail project. I was given the opportunity to speak at length about many of the issues facing our industry and our community, and I was extremely pleased to see that they published my remarks nearly in their entirety.
I encourage you to read through the whole piece as it summarizes important talking points that can be utilized by industry stakeholders and professionals as we continue to combat criticism of the industry and work to better educate the public on tourism's importance. As the article is extremely long, I have reproduced two key sections below.
HB 862 Veto
CB: OK, so this is a pretty big hui that you’ve got together here. But still, you guys were unsuccessful in defeating House Bill 862 in changing the funding of the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the hotel tax for the counties. You convinced the governor and he vetoed it, but the House and Senate narrowly overrode the governor.
CB: Tourism, while it was always sort of a pain point before, seems to have emerged from the pandemic as being a real fight now. A lot more people are just fed up with over-tourism. What do you do about that as the tourism industry? Is there anything you can do to help people feel better about tourists?
These are just two critical, industry-related topics that were covered in a nearly two-hour interview. In the time since the article was posted, I've received numerous positive comments from industry members who were pleased to see our side of the story so clearly articulated to the masses. I've long held that we can't run from the tough conversations about tourism and its place in our society and our economy. This is the type of media exposure I feel strongly that we need to seize upon, and I was grateful for the discussion.
On Friday, Governor Ige announced in a press release that, beginning on Thursday, travelers from the Philippines and from South Korea's Incheon International Airport will be allowed to bypass the mandatory 10-day quarantine period after providing a negative COVID-19 screening from a trusted testing partner. Much like the testing protocols for trans-Pacific travelers, visitors coming from either country will be required to take their test within 72 hours of their departure and upload the results into the Safe Travels platform.
This is welcome news as we continue to move closer and closer to normalcy. I have said from the very beginning that a phased approach to restoring travel would be key in that it would allow Hawai'i to pressure test the pre-arrival testing program as well as the vaccine passport concept. Barring any unforeseen setbacks, I am hopeful that Gov. Ige's latest announcement is just the first of many and that we will soon extend the vaccine exemption option to international travelers as well.
I don't always agree with Dave Shapiro, but his editorial in the Sunday edition of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser regarding the Legislature's override of Governor Ige's veto of HB 862 was spot on.
Prominent in his analysis was his apt description of the passage of HB 862 as a "money grab passed off as tourism reform". Shapiro echoed many of our arguments including the initial impetus of the TAT when it was first created was for tourism promotion and management as well as defraying the costs associated with the impacts of tourism. He also took umbrage at the manner in which the bill was passed, noting that it was "hastily cobbled in secret at the end of session without public hearings, proper research or consideration of unintended consequences".
Please take a moment to read the editorial in its entirety. While it will be quite some time before we fully understand the ramifications of HB 862, it is clear that our opposition was shared by many in both the community and amongst elected officials throughout the state.
Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Clinics
Over the weekend, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame (PFHOF) hosted free clinics for local high school football players at Waiakea and Farrington High Schools. More than 400 local athletes turned out for the event that was facilitated by 40 local coaches and featured former NFL players including Michael Bennett, John Estes, Nate Ilaoa, Rich Miano, Leonard Peters, Jesse Sapolu, Isaac Sopoaga, and Ma'a Tanuvasa.
It was a great day for local athletes, many of whom were denied the opportunity to compete last year due to the pandemic. A big mahalo to the PFHOF, Mayor Mitch Roth and his administration, Waiakea and Farrington High School principals Kelcy Koga and Al Carganilla, Hawaii Speed & Quickness, and our partners at HTA for helping to make these clinics such a success.
Both chambers of the State Legislature voted yesterday to override Governor Ige's veto of House Bill 862.
From the beginning of our discussion on the matter, our efforts were focused on the Senate as sustaining the veto would have required far fewer votes than in the House. Thus we fell one vote short - we got eight, we needed nine. Had we gotten one more vote, the Governor’s veto would have prevailed at the Legislature since the rules state we didn’t need both chambers to agree with our position. That being said, it is worth noting that there was a net gain of two votes in opposition to HB862 in the House since they last voted to pass it during the legislative session when six voted in opposition. While this is not the desired result that we wanted, we were able to assemble the biggest statewide coalition of business, labor, and community groups that I have witnessed to effectively state our position as to the importance of tourism to our economy. We pledge to continue working together to achieve a healthy, sustainable, and resilient quality of life for our residents and for all that are employed in our industry.
The following legislators agreed with our position and voted to sustain the veto. It would be great if you extended a personal mahalo to them for standing up for us when it counted:
Senator Laura Acasio - firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Rosalyn Baker - email@example.com
Senator Stanley Chang - senchang@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Senator Lynn DeCoite - sendecoite@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Senator Kurt Fevella - firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Les Ihara Jr. - senihara@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Senator Lorraine Inouye - email@example.com
Senator Brian Taniguchi - firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Sharon Har - rephar@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Representative Sam Kong - repkong@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Representative Bob McDermott - repmcdermott@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Representative Val Okimoto - repokimoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Representative Roy Takumi - reptakumi@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Representative James Tokioka - reptokioka@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Representative Gene Ward - repward@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Representative Tina Wildberger - repwildberger@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Polynesian Football Hall of Fame
Mufi is pictured with LA Rams great and former UH Warrior Pisa Tinoisamoa, center, at a past event where cleats were donated to Farrington High School football players as part of the Cleats for Character program. Also pictured is HVCB President & CEO John Monahan, left.
This weekend, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame (PFHOF) will be hosting free clinics for local high school football players on both Hawai'i Island and O'ahu featuring former NFL stars like Jesse Sapolu, Ma'a Tanuvasa, and Rich Miano. Over the past several weeks, we have been working with the PFHOF, Mayor Mitch Roth and his administration, as well as the administrators at both Waiakea and Farrington High Schools, and Hawaii Speed & Quickness to secure the facilities and manpower to pull these events off safely. These clinics will provide our local athletes the chance to learn from some of the best in the game while giving them the opportunity to showcase their talents.
This is just the latest iteration of our ongoing partnership with HTA in their sports marketing and community outreach activities. Over the past several years, we have worked to grow this facet of tourism, helping HTA support organizations like the PFHOF, the Hula Bowl, AVP Beach Volleyball, the Los Angeles Rams, and the Los Angeles Clippers to not only play games here but also to host clinics around the state for our young student-athletes. It had gained tremendous momentum prior to the pandemic, and I am looking forward to continuing this growth with the upcoming clinics.
The Los Angeles Cheerleaders held a cheer clinic at 'Iolani School for Hawai'i youth cheerleaders in 2019. Seated in the second row are HLTA President and CEO Mufi Hannemann and then-Hawai'i Tourism Authority President and CEO Chris Tatum.
Women in Business
I am pleased to announce that HLTA is sponsoring an amazing show with Pacific Edge Magazine that will highlight some of the most outstanding businesswomen from our community including Halepuna General Manager Julie Arigo and the director of sales and marketing for the Ritz-Carlton Residences Sandy Narvaez.
Beginning tomorrow, the special will air on TV and online. Here is where you can watch the show:
July 8 - 7 p.m. on KITV ABC 4 Island News
July 8 - 7 p.m. Livestream KITV 4 OTT app
July 11, 14, and 16 - 7 p.m. Hawaii TV
This is a great chance for our community to learn about some of the outstanding women in hospitality. HLTA has led the way when it comes to empowering female leaders in our industry via avenues such as our Women in Lodging & Tourism Committee, and I am ecstatic to see some of these leaders be recognized so widely.
For more information, please visit Pacific Edge Magazine's Facebook page.
Hilo Food Distribution
Yesterday, we partnered with Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth and KTA Super Stores to host our final #AlohaLater food distribution event at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. For the first time, we provided an incentive for those who either had already vaccinated or signed up to get vaccinated on site. In total, more than 300 KTA gift cards worth $50 each were given away to vaccinated hospitality workers!
It was a great event, and I want to thank everyone who helped to make it possible. Mahalo especially to Mayor Roth and his administration, KTA Super Stores President and COO Toby Taniguchi, Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, the Grand Naniloa Resort, Mālama Iā Hawai‘i, and Community First Hawai'i.
This marks the end of the #AlohaLater campaign, and I am so grateful for the support we have received over the past year. Through the generosity of everybody from those who purchased wristbands to our industry partners, we were able to assist thousands of local hospitality workers and their families in their time of need. None of this would have been possible without the kōkua of all.
HB 862 Veto
Yesterday, I sent a co-signed letter to members of the Legislature outlining our disagreements with HB 862, urging them to vote to sustain Gov. Ige's veto. As you may recall, HLTA previously sent a letter to Gov. Ige asking him to veto this measure. The original letter, which was signed by 35 entities from around our state including nonprofits, labor unions, trade associations, and members of the tourism industry, helped move the needle on this issue. This most recent letter was co-signed by 37 organizations in total that represent a similarly diverse cross-section of our entire economy.
As you know, Gov. Ige included HB 862 in his list of intended vetoes. With just days until the official veto deadline, we have been hard at work preparing for the eventual special legislative session and an expected override vote. While nothing is certain, we will continue our full-court press to secure the needed votes on July 6.
Mahalo to the organizations that joined me in signing our letter to the Legislature:
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