Mufi's Message - April 17, 2017
Here at HLTA, we have consistently been taking on new initiatives and expanding benefits to our members. One of the initiatives we started this year in honor of our 70th Anniversary is the addition of several new scholarships, the latest being two $2500 scholarship for one Active and one Allied member’s immediate relative. Candidates for this scholarship should be a son or daughter of an HLTA member employee who is graduating from high school, admitted to a university, college, or vocational institution, and holds a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. We ask that no general managers or c-suite level executives apply for this award.
To apply, candidates must be vetted through their HLTA member, and each member can submit up to two (2) qualified applicants to email@example.com or the HLTA office (2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 1702, Honolulu, HI, 96815) by Monday, May 1, 2017.
Other scholarships we have introduced this year include: two additional $2500 scholarships at the Citizen-Scholar awards, totaling to four $2500 scholarships for a top student from Maui, Hawaii Island, Kauai, and Oahu on top of the $1000 scholarship each student receives from a participating HLTA member; the Don Ho Legacy scholarship in conjunction with the Pauahi Foundation for a student of Hawaiian ancestry pursuing music or performing arts at the community college or university level and the HLTA Ho’okipa Award which was recently presented at the Maui AgFest to a student from Maui High School pursuing her studies in hospitality.
Last year, one of our initiatives included the launch of a young professionals committee called HYPE – Hospitality’s Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs. This is a group I modeled off of my Pacific Century Fellows program, and I am proud to see it flourish into the success it is today after just one year. In fact, HYPE will be celebrating its first anniversary on Tuesday, April 25 at the International Market Place Grand Lanai, and we invite you to join in on the fun with them and learn what HYPE is all about.
As I mentioned in a previous Mufi’s Message, we have also been working on starting three new committees: Agriculture, Housekeeping, and Technology. All of these committees have started to get the gears turning, and I’m pleased to announce that the Housekeepers Advisory Council (HAC) has just launched and is now taking housekeeping professionals from both lodging properties and allied businesses into its membership.
This group will focus on learning opportunities including the latest trends in regards to housekeeping, best practices, health & safety, as well as scholarships, career opportunities and professional development.
We invite you to contact Dean Nakasone at firstname.lastname@example.org for membership information or questions about the Housekeeping Advisory Council.
In the realm of government affairs the Honolulu City Council Budget Committee held a special meeting regarding the city’s budget on April 11th. During this meeting our bill of concern, Bill 31 (2017), which proposes to raise the real property tax on the hotel and resort classification was replaced with Resolution 17-70 which seeks to accomplish the same increase. The Resolution’s effect would raise the real property tax rate for hotels and resorts by 50 cents on the $1,000, this would take the current rate of $12.90 to $13.40. Those that will be affected by these increases are not just the hotels themselves but all vendors that lease space from a hotel. HLTA will be holding a third meeting to strategize engagement on this issue this Wednesday, April 19th at the HLTA office at 4:00 pm, if you are interested in participating please feel free to contact Jared Higashi at email@example.com. The resolution will now head to the full council which will slot it for reading next week Wednesday, April 26th at 10:00 am (unless mentioned otherwise).
We send a big mahalo to all the industry stakeholders who have supported testimony in opposition to this increase and look forward to further participation from the industry as we battle the proposed resolution.
*Click here to see HLTA's testimony regarding the real property tax increase.
Now on the Legislative front, April 13th marked the second crossover of the 2017 Hawai‘i State legislative session. During this time all bills that are still alive will cross back over to their originating chambers (House/Senate) where the committee chairs that handled the bill throughout session will have the opportunity to opine on the matter. If there is a disagreement to any portion of the measure the bill will go to conference committee. Conference committee constitutes of appointed members from each chamber (House/Senate) where the goal is to come to an agreement on each bill’s final language.
It is anticipated that most, if not all, substantial measures will end up in conference committee which has become the case with all of HLTA’s tracked bills. To access a list of our measures please feel free to visit our legislative tracker at: http://www.hawaiilegislativetracker.com/hlta/ClientBills.aspx
The conference committee meetings will ensue over the next 2 weeks where we will be hard at work advocating for our priority measures and opposing those that will harm our industry.
Lastly, we would like to thank all industry stakeholders who contributed testimony to the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology for the confirmation of the gubernatorial appointment of Kelly Sanders to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s board of directors.
The committee has consented to Kelly Sander’s nomination. We commend Governor Ige in his nomination of Kelly as it underscores the strong belief that HLTA holds that people who have experience and come from the visitor industry can contribute immensely to our cause.
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