General Membership Meeting
After reflecting over the weekend about our 193rd General Membership Meeting, I cannot overstate how grateful I am with how it all turned out. From the virtual format to the outstanding cast of speakers to the wonderful participation by so many of our members, I could not be more pleased with the final result.
First and foremost, I want to thank our elected officials who made themselves available to our membership. These speakers included: Governor David Ige; Lieutenant Governor Josh Green; Mayor Derek Kawakami; Mayor Michael Victorino; Mayor-elect Mitch Roth; Mayor-elect Rick Blangiardi; Senate and Tourism Chairs Glenn Wakai and Richard Onishi; and Councilmember-elect Augusto Tulba. Newly-tapped HTA President & CEO John De Fries rounded out our slate of government officials.
Special thanks are also in order for Central Pacific Bank Executive Chairman Paul Yonamine whose presentation on Hawai'i economic diversification was both riveting and chock full of information.
In a live panel, executives from Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and United Airlines came together for an extremely interesting discussion regarding one of the most critical sectors of our industry: air travel. Mahalo to the following individuals for their participation on the panel: Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer Andrew Watterson; Alaska Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Harrison; United Airlines Senior Vice President & Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist; and Hawaiian Airlines President & CEO Peter Ingram. I would also like to acknowledge the Honolulu Star-Advertiser's Allison Schaefers for the great job she did as the moderator of the discussion.
Finally, a last thank you to the people who worked closely with our staff to pre-record discussion panels and presentations. These include the following people:
Food Insecurity in Hawai'i & How We Can Help
Moderator - Dean Okimoto - Chairman, Hawai'i Agricultural Foundation
Phil Acosta - Executive Director, Aloha Harvest
Mark "Gooch" Noguchi - Co-Founder & Executive Chef, Pili Group
Brian Miyamoto - Executive Director, Hawai'i Farm Bureau Foundation
The Future of Marketing Hawai'i
Moderator - Sean Dee - EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Outrigger Enterprises Group
Jay Talwar - Chief Marketing Officer, Hawai'i Visitors & Convention Bureau
Danny Ojiri - VP Market Solutions, Outrigger Enterprises Group
Eric Takahata - Managing Director, Hawaii Tourism Japan
Jack E. Richards - President & CEO, Pleasant Holidays
Topic: Return to Work Survey & QR Codes
Ernie Lee - Chief Executive & Marketing Office, FirstVitals Health & Wellness
Topic: UVD Robots - Infection Prevention
Daniel A. Barretto - CEO - DECKA Group
Heather Moldenhaur - Director of Marketing - UVD Robots
Tom Worhach - Tech Support - UVD Robots
Topic: Viral Signs
Barry Hix - Chief Executive Officer & Board Chair - Viral Signs
Jack James - Hawai'i Lead - Viral Signs
Topic: Nano Platinum
Topic: HIV - High Intensity UV Light
Harris Nakamoto - President - CleanSpaceUSA
I would also like to say mahalo to each and every one of you who attended. None of this was possible without the full-throated support and backing of our membership and our sponsors who are listed below.
Finally, we have edited the entire conference and created a YouTube playlist which can be viewed at this link. Please feel free to re-watch and share these videos as you please. You may also download a copy of my State of the Industry remarks by clicking here.
Multiple news outlets have picked up a story regarding a group of legislators from California, Texas, and Washington who are attending a conference at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea. The annual event is being hosted by the Independent Voter Project and has received the expected backlash from some in the general public in online forums.
However, as I noted in comments to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, this criticism is a cheap shot. Not only are the conference attendees here on what has been deemed essential business, but Hawai'i has among the strictest entry protocols and safety measures in place. Our Maui Chapter Chair of HLTA Michael Pye, the GM of the Fairmont Kea Lani, has done a superb job of implementing some of the best standards of hygiene in our industry. And, as we know all too well, tourism along with other adjacent business sectors, has been decimated by the pandemic, and we should be capitalizing on any business opportunities that we can- so long as they do not significantly increase the risk of spreading COVID-19 in our community. Constructive comments and criticism are always welcomed. But, as I stated at our recent GMM, if accusations are unfair, untrue and are harmful to the community that we are a part of, we have a responsibility to set the record straight and state the facts. Mahalo to all of you in our association for your valiant efforts to reopen the economy safely for all of us!
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