Pacific Edge Magazine Oct/Nov/Dec 2016

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This fall, the Hawai‘i Convention Center unveiled the latest collection in a first-of-its-kind featherwork and painting series commissioned by the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.

As one of only a handful of master Hawaiian featherwork artists in the world, Rick San Nicolas has been working for three years with environmental nonprofit organization Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) on a historic project unlike any other. With three exhibits completed out of a planned 14-piece collection—each hand-woven from hundreds of thousands of feathers—he’s just getting started. In 2014, HLRI commissioned a series of life-size replicas of the featherwork cloaks (‘ahu ‘ula), sashes (kā‘ei) and helmets (mahi‘ole) worn by many of the leaders who served as caretakers of the islands. The pieces serve as a link between their historic environmental efforts and what HLRI and its Legacy Partners are accomplishing today in Hawai‘i. “The ‘aha ‘ula were [worn by] leaders and advisors of the highest rank, tasked with the management of the lands for the Hawaiian people,” says Jeff Dunster, executive director of HLRI. “Over the past century or so, we haven’t done a very good job following their example. Somewhere along the line, nature became a commodity to exploit instead of a resource to steward. These new cloaks represent the modern-day ‘ahu ‘ula. Our Legacy Partners are today’s leaders, who are acting with purpose to help restore this important piece of Hawai‘i’s heritage.” “It is such an honor to work on this project,” San Nicolas says. “It represents a critical continuation of Hawaiian featherwork. Few pieces of this type are available to the public,


and it is estimated in historical accounts that there are only 54 ancient Hawaiian featherwork cloaks in existence.” In keeping with traditional artisan methodologies from Hawaiian history, all HLRI featherwork pieces are hand-woven by San Nicolas. In ancient times, prized featherwork was worn into battle and at important events by Hawaiian leaders. Items were made from the feathers of birds such as the ‘i‘iwi and now-extinct mamo and ‘ō ‘ō. HLRI’s reforestation efforts could save the ‘i‘iwi and other Hawaiian birds from a similar fate. The contemporary pieces use feathers ethically sourced from pheasants harvested for food. The collaboration was inspired by the painting “Aha‘ula O Kamehameha Kunuiākea” by artist and Hawaiian historian Brook Kapukuniahi Parker. In 2016, HLRI expanded on the series by working with Parker to offer a closer look at each of the legendary Hawaiian leaders depicted in his painting. Every featherwork installation will be accompanied by an original six-by-eight-foot painting highlighting each of the leaders. “My hope is to bring a greater appreciation for those who walked the land before us,” Parker says. “There is much to be learned from the amazing things that they accomplished.” In June 2014, the first featherwork pieces—modeled after the cloak, sash and helmet of King Kamehameha I—debuted at the Four Seasons Hualalai, where they are on permanent display. The second installation in the series, representing pieces worn by Hawaiian High Chief Ke‘eaumoku Pāpa‘iahiahi, was launched in September 2015 at The Kahala Hotel & Resort on O‘ahu. The third display, modeled after pieces worn by Kekūhaupi‘o, a senior advisor to King Kamehameha I, debuted at the Hawai‘i Convention Center in September 2016. The remaining 11 displays are planned for installation in Hawai‘i as they are completed. The Center also recently committed to planting

one million Legacy Trees throughout the state, which greatly exceeds HLRI’s initial goal of permanently reforesting 1.3 million trees. In the past six years, HLRI and sustainable forestry company HLH, LLC have planted more than 340,000 Legacy Trees across 1,000 acres of denuded pastureland on Hawai‘i Island, creating the only Legacy Forest of its kind. A portion of proceeds from each tree sponsorship is donated to charities worldwide. “This landmark reforestation effort underscores the Hawai‘i Convention Center’s longstanding commitment to practices that enhance the conservation of Hawai‘i’s natural resources and the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture,” says Teri Orton, general manager of the Center. “This is in direct alignment with our multifaceted sustainability plan, which includes energy efficiency, water conservation, air quality, waste reduction and sustainable purchasing.” Guests can tour the forest through Hawaiian Legacy Tours, sponsor and plant a tree, and individually track it for years to come with RFID tagging technology. For more information and to sponsor a Legacy Tree, visit



Leadership 10 NETWORKING HLTA debuts committee for young professionals 12 MARKETING Toby Tamaye on marketing with Snapchat 14 HR Shani Silva on Hawai‘i’s minimum wage hike 16 GM Sanjiv Hulugalle introduces a new vision of luxury hospitality

24 LEADERS Hospitality leaders weigh in on the state’s most important industry 38 GALA Highlights from the sixth annual Pacific Edge Magazine Business Achievement Awards Gala

“Having a good team is everything, no matter what industry you’re in.”

18 Q&A Russell Lau, vice chairman and CEO of Finance Factors

Entrepreneur 46 ‘OHANA Chris Thibaut, board director and owner of TS Restaurants and CEO of Maui Brewing Company Restaurants

48 EVENTS Frank Robinson, president and owner of Island Events 50 DEVELOPMENT Tyler Greene and Chad Waters, partners at GreeneWaters Group

Islands 66 PEOPLE Kini Zamora on the business of haute couture in the islands

70 FOOD Fresh Box provides gourmet, easy-to-make meals

68 MAUI Coastal dining with a view

72 MIXOLOGY Koloa Rum crafted cocktails 78 CONNECTIONS Network, educate, celebrate




44 SERVICE Thomas Foti, general manager of Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa




24 FALL 2016

PUBLISHERS Jamie & Naomi Giambrone

SALES E.S. Adler Naomi Giambrone Janet Kerrebrock


ADMINISTRATION Athena Keehu Crystal Rogers Sally Shaner



Aaron Bernard Dave Livingston Dave Miyamoto Darryl Watanabe




Pacific Edge magazine is a quarterly publication available through subscription, direct mail and at bookstores throughout Hawai‘i. The views expressed within Pacific Edge magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of management and ownership. Pacific Edge magazine may not be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.


“Sustainability is about our economy, our educational system, our culture and our people.” – C H E F ROY YAM AGU C H I


Publishers' Note The Business of Creating Experiences The world of hotels, resorts and vacation rentals may look glamorous on the surface, but it is a rapidly changing marketplace that demands innovation, attention to detail and an ability to create experiences that can’t be had anywhere else in the world. In this issue we feature some of Hawai‘i’s top executives in hospitality, all of whom lead with a friendly smile and a warm heart, a sense of humor and humility and a passion for building relationships and making people feel welcome. In other words, leaders for whom aloha is at the heart of everything they do. A common talking point among these dedicated professionals was addressing visitor demand for immersion, culture and authenticity. Whether it be web-based services, adventure tours or hyperlocal

activities and attractions, visitors want a completely different experience than what was standard even 10 years ago. It takes strong-willed leaders with a real zest for customer care to meet this demand for new and authentic experiences. These industry leaders are committed to embracing new strategies and technologies, taking care of their team and seeing opportunity at every turn. (The CEO of Castle Resorts & Hotels, featured on page 26, adopted an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” philosophy in establishing a successful partnership with Airbnb.) Thanks to their can-do attitude and keen understanding of industry trends, Hawai‘i is seeing record totals in monthly visitor arrivals and will continue to benefit from a strong, vibrant tourism industry for years to come.

Aloha, Jamie & Naomi

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HYPEd on Hospitality The Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association launches committee geared toward young professionals

personal lives. The committee’s mixers and social events provide opportunities for young professionals to connect and form longlasting business and personal relationships with peers and HLTA members. HYPE also offers opportunities for young professionals to engage with the community and volunteer for meaningful projects and organizations.






The Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association (HLTA) debuted its newest committee, Hospitality’s Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs (HYPE), this year. Created to educate, connect and engage future leaders in the hospitality industry, the group seeks to give up-andcoming leaders a voice and bridge the gap between senior visitorindustry leaders and the succeeding generation to develop a synergy benefiting both groups and the industry as a whole. HYPE membership is free and open to anyone under age 40 who is employed by an HLTA member, regardless of his or her position in the company. Others may sign up for a free newsletter and attend events by paying a registration fee. All young professionals, not just those who work directly with the hotel industry, are encouraged to join. HYPE’s professional-development workshops and seminars help young professionals advance in the work force and in their


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Ho Farms in Kahuku has donated over 30,000 pounds of excess produce so far this year to Aloha Harvest.

LEARN HOW YOUR FARM OR FOOD ESTABLISHMENT CAN DO THE SAME WITH YOUR ABUNDANCE. Aloha Harvest is the only non-profit organization in the state of Hawai`i that rescues quality, donated food and delivers it free of charge to social service agencies that serve low income and homeless populations. Please kokua today. Visit or call 808-537-6945.


You Need to be on Snapchat, Now

Marketers should pay attention to what is quickly becoming the number-one social media platform for young adults by TOBY TAMAYE


has not only broken into the big three but is dominating them in terms of social media usage among young adults. Snapchat is a mobile photo-messaging app that allows users to take photos and short videos that remain viewable to recipients for up to 10 seconds. After that, the “snap” disappears forever. Think of it as texting with visuals. The app is designed for mobile users, which makes it appealing for millennials, whose first digital language is often mobile. According to the company’s advertising page, 60 percent of U.S. citizens aged 13 to 34 are using Snapchat, making it easily one of the best apps for reaching the young demographic. Ten billion videos are viewed everyday by over 100 million users. Here’s another amazing stat—Snapchat users aged 13 to 34 view eight times more content on Snapchat than on television for the same event or story. If you want to reach millennials, your brand needs to be on Snapchat. Download the app after you read this article and start learning how to use it,

because Snapchat is only getting bigger. Snapchat generated $3.1 million in revenue in 2014. The following year, revenues were $59 million. Analysts are predicting anywhere between $500 million to $1 billion in revenues for 2017. Most users allow their snaps to be viewed for 24 hours. These are known as Snapchat stories. Once the clock hits 24 hours after the user posts a snap, it is gone forever. This is very different from the permanency of posts to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Snapchat also features user comments, live video chats similar to FaceTime and a chat feature similar to Facebook messenger. Companies and event producers are heavily using the platform, providing stories to their users and continuously looking at ways to grow their Snapchat communities. Building followers will take time with Snapchat. Unlike Instagram, you can’t search for new Snapchat connections from the friends on your Facebook page. That’s why many users on Facebook and

Instagram have their Snapchat names on their profiles. You can start with your personal address book to build your following, but that’s about it. You have to type in a user name to follow someone, and you can’t see any of their past snaps (unlike platforms that allow you to see their posting history), which adds to the challenges of growing your Snapchat community. Snapchat features a variety of locationbased graphics that users can add to their snaps. These filters are becoming a very important trend for event producers and marketing companies, and Hawai‘i is seeing a large increase in companies offering this service. To learn more about Snapchat geofilters, visit If you haven’t made Snapchat a part of your marketing strategy, you’re definitely missing out on an opportunity to connect with members of your young adult audience. If you decide to join the platform, you can find my daily snaps at @atmarketing.

TOBY TAMAYE is president of AT Marketing, a locally owned advertising and publicity firm. His clients include restaurants, visitor attractions, financial institutions and a major shopping center. TTAMAYE@AT-MARKETING.NET



FALL 2016


Hawai‘i’s Minimum Wage Hike

With the minimum wage on the rise, make sure you’re prepared for payroll



On January 1, 2017, Hawai‘i’s minimum wage increases to $9.25 an hour. This is the second increase in the past two years as part of an incremental minimum wage increase until 2018, when it will reach $10.10. UNDERSTAND YOUR COSTS You should understand your cash flow before preparing for any sort of wage increase. A strong understanding of your revenue, expenses and profits is the only way to adequately budget for increased wages. Accordingly, you’ll need to budget for increased payroll taxes, including increased social security, unemployment, workers’ compensation and disability insurance expenses. If possible, consult with your lawyer or human resources consultant to review your current wage and hour policies to determine how your business can remain flexible with increased wages.



INVEST IN YOUR EMPLOYEES With Hawai‘i’s continued low unemployment rate, making sure you hire and retain the best employees is paramount to ensuring your business remains competitive and successful. Instituting a company-wide retention program that values your existing employees’ commitment to your business while placing an emphasis on well-defined company values and culture is important in retaining your current staff and attracting new talent. GET HELP FROM AN EXPERT Historically, minimum wage increases tend to have a ripple effect. This minimum wage increase is compounded by changes and new mandates from the federal government. Most notably, the Department of Labor’s white-collar overtime rule that goes into effect December 1st may also impact your business operations. Given the continuing landscape of labor law, you don’t have to be alone. If you’re not already working with a

professional to help you navigate through these changes, it may be worthwhile to consider consulting one. As you prepare for the minimum wage increase that’ll take place on January 1, 2017, it’s always great to take a look at the larger business landscape and be mindful of other labor law changes that may affect your business.

SHANI SILVA is the manager of ALTRES Industrial and has over 20 years of service and experience with staffing in Hawai‘i. ALTRES.COM

FALL 2016

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Integrating Culture and Luxury Four Seasons General Manager Sanjiv Hulugalle on introducing a new vision of luxury hospitality in Hawai‘i by YVONNE HUNTER

Since its founding in 1960, Four Seasons has defined luxury hospitality. Today the company is reimagining this legacy with the new Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina, with General Manager Sanjiv Hulugalle at the



helm. Since opening its doors this past May, the resort has welcomed thousands of guests from all over the world, hired over 500 employees, launched five new restaurants, opened a 35,000-square-foot spa and been

recognized as one of the top employers in O‘ahu. “Our presence on O‘ahu is the culmination of over 20 years of thinking about how to deliver a new era of luxury on O‘ahu,” Hulugalle says. “Opening a resort presents the unique opportunity to create a new guest experience—a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get it right. Everyone plays a part.” Architect Mark de Reus and interior designers Philpotts & Associates have created an oasis at the resort. Muliwais meander through lush foliage, mirroring the natural landscape of adjacent Lanikuhonua. A stunning 120foot infinity pool stretches along the ocean front. Spa treatments are inspired by traditional Hawaiian healing practices. Off resort, guests are invited to connect with nature the way Hawaiians have for generations, from hiking, free diving, surfing and outrigger canoeing to cageless shark swimming for the truly adventurous. Hulugalle’s cultural sensitivity is grounded in a global perspective. Over the course of his Four Seasons career, he has lived in the Maldives, Damascus, Langkawi, Vancouver, Toronto, Las Vegas, Amman, Prague, Beijing and now Hawai‘i. At Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina, he is finding ways to infuse local culture into the guest experience, not only with local hires but with signature experiences and cultural programs such as #FSWayfinders, a recently launched “Made in Hawai‘i” series featuring local artists. “There’s a deep well of talent here,” Hulugalle says. “Ko Olina and the west side of O‘ahu represent a unique experience of Hawai‘i that we want to share with the world.”


O‘ahu’s western coastline is home to revered storytellers, artisans, craftsmen and living legends such as Makaha’s “Buffalo” Keaulana. From watermen to kupuna, artisans to designers, these kama‘aina are the lifeblood of Hawai‘i.

Inspired by the ancient Polynesian tradition of wayfinding, Four Seasons O‘ahu has launched FSWayfinders, an ongoing series connecting guests to the island through weekly pop-up galleries, live art, and in-depth workshops with “Made in Hawai‘i” artisans.

Guests discover firsthand a variety of experiences related to Hawai‘i and the Pacific, weaving together traditions from the past and contemporary interpretations of Hawaiian culture. Workshops include bamboo wood carving, haku lei making, lauhala weaving, ancient healing practices and sarong dying, to name a few.

FALL 2016

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Real Estate for Everyone Finance Factor’s Vice Chairman and CEO Russell Lau shares his knowledge of real estate, investing and lending by KEVIN WHITTON


Russell Lau loves numbers. He loves the undisputed truths that they hold. Whether he’s striving to help people in Hawai‘i secure a loan for their first home or helping a powerful nonprofit boost its investment earnings by over $200,000 a year, Lau analyzes the trends and lets the numbers guide his decisions. It’s the foundation of his success as vice chairman and CEO of Finance Factors, a financial services provider his father founded with other partners in 1952. With his wife, one of Hawai‘i’s top executives, by his side and grown children who have inherited their parents’ business acumen, Lau also finds life lessons and personal rewards through his service in the nonprofit sector.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN FINANCE? I went to college in the 1970s, a time when business was considered bad. The Vietnam War was raging, and the military industrial complex was an evil organization. Yet I had a hankering and an appreciation for business. I looked at business from the standpoint of facilitating commerce and helping people. If businesses survive, people get hired and have jobs, which helps them make ends meet and provides a meaningful life. I looked at business as completely different from the protests out in the streets. I could see how financial analysis could help make constructive, logical, rational decisions. I like the analytical part of business, making determinations based upon how the numbers fall out. I’ve always been a numbers-oriented individual. I found that by sitting down and putting things to paper, doing the calculations, I could figure out the right thing to do. Getting involved in business was a way to solve problems. I had a philosophy—you could either work really hard for your money or you could make your money work really hard for you. My goal



FALL 2016

has always been to find ways to make my money work hard for me. I’ve always been a hard worker, working long hours, and now I do a lot of nonprofit work. But in the early days, I was saving every nickel and dime to pay for my wedding and my first house. I put my money to work and became an early investor.

WHAT WAS YOUR STRATEGY WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED INVESTING? I was in Northern California, and I was buying real estate early on. I was 25 when I bought my first house. I bought my second house three years later, a duplex in San Francisco. I lived in one unit and rented out the other. I was able to obtain a permit to convert it to a condominium, renovated the place and ended up selling it off as condominiums. I was working in banking for Security Pacific Bank at the time, dealing with Silicon Valley companies in the early 1980s. After that I was recruited to come back to Finance Factors.

WHEN YOU LOOK BACK AND ANALYZE YOUR FIRST INVESTMENTS IN REAL ESTATE, DO YOU FEEL IT WAS A GOOD MOVE? I wish I had been fired from banking because then I would have stuck to real estate. I would have made a fortune. Instead I was relatively successful in banking. Real estate was my hobby.

DO YOU STILL SEE REAL ESTATE AS A SMART INVESTMENT TODAY? That’s a tough call. I have three kids. One has been involved in real estate since she was 22. (She just turned 30.) I got her involved in real estate in Boston right after she graduated from undergraduate school. She’s done very well with that. She probably made $300,000 off of that property. I remember when she was 24, the building caught fire, and she was sued because she was on the board of the condominium association. She ended up rebuilding the building, a $10 million rehab of the 100-year-old, 10-story building. Then, when she applied for business school and had to write her essay, she wrote about the



experience. I assume it helped her get into MIT. Now, should millennials be buying real estate right now? It depends upon on what community or town you’re in. San Francisco has a frighteningly expensive real estate market right now. The prices are so high, but in the Midwest, real estate is so cheap that owning is cheaper than renting. So, why not?

HOW ABOUT THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IN HAWAI‘I? I would have to say for Hawai‘i residents, buy if you can get the down payment. Even when the market turned down in Hawai‘i, it still maintained most of its value. If you hold Hawai‘i real estate long enough, over the long run you’ll come out ahead. Finance Factors does conforming mortgages—the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—but we also do the loans where income isn’t high enough and there aren’t enough funds for the down payment. For millennials in situations where their parents have equity in their house, we can take the acquisition property and the parents’ house with some equity and combine the two properties into the loan. The millennial will be paying the mortgage, and the parents may have to cosign. That’s our niche. For Hawai‘i, where real estate values are high, we fill that niche for the people who are non-conforming. Our value proposition is that we help the community by providing loans that others can’t or won’t do. It’s a way to help people reach their financial goal of home ownership. My daughter is a good example. Initially, I had to put up the down payment and cosign the loan. When she refinanced, I came off the loan, and she paid me back the down payment. That’s the ideal situation.

DO YOU FORESEE A SECOND HOUSING BUBBLE FUELED BY SUBPRIME LOANS? I don’t see it so much here in Hawai‘i. We are playing it pretty straight and conservative. All the Hawai‘i banks are akamai—they are smart and know what they’re doing. We don’t see that liar-loan type of market anymore. The no-income, no-documents, no-problem loans don’t exist

in Hawai‘i. But on the mainland, there’s a movement toward pushing those types of loans again. In fact, even the Federal Home Loan Banks, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, are encouraging bankers to look at some types of non-conforming loans, which may increase their risk profiles.

WHAT SHOULD SOMEONE WITH A STOCK PORTFOLIO DO TO AVOID LOSS IF THERE’S ANOTHER HOUSING BUBBLE THAT DOES BURST, BRINGING FINANCIAL MARKETS DOWN AGAIN? The whole market went down by 40 percent. In that case, don’t panic. I know people who timed the market, sold their portfolio and avoided the 40 percent decline in the stock portfolio. They looked really good at the time, but may not have reentered the market. What happened is the market not only recovered, it has grown considerably from where it was before. If you had sold when the market was down 40 percent, you would have realized your loss, and you would permanently have that 40 percent loss. If there’s a strong market correction, don’t panic. Wait it out. The market almost always recovers. That’s been the case—knock on wood—over the last 20 years.

DID YOU HAVE A MENTOR, OR DID YOU HAVE TO FIGURE THINGS OUT IN THE FINANCE INDUSTRY ON YOUR OWN? You have to figure it out yourself, but I’ve been blessed. My wife is my biggest advisor. I have to listen to her—she makes way more money than I do. I’m blessed to have a very smart insider who I can bounce some of my wild ideas off of. When I first got started in buying real estate, this one fellow told me that when you’re buying a house, don’t buy a singlefamily home, buy a duplex or quadplex. When you buy a multi-unit building, you will learn more about real estate because you will be on the management side of it. You will also be able to depreciate and take advantage of the tax benefits by having a piece of property you’re managing, getting real estate to make money for you. That’s advice I pass on to my kids.

FALL 2016



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leadership. You learn a lot about leadership skills, to be wiser and more diplomatic. It also gives you an opportunity to experiment. Sometimes one style of leadership might work, and other times another way might work. You learn different styles and use those styles in different situations in the business world. When I see issues not being handled properly, I can make recommendations on how organizations need to improve their governance. And when I run my own organizations, I hope I can run them properly. It’s good insight on how things should be done.

WHEN IT COMES TO INVESTMENTS AND FINANCES, GIVE ME A DO AND A DON’T. Do buy real estate. Don’t sell yourself short on what you can do. You might have to work really hard and make certain sacrifices, but if you do the right thing in the right fashion, you can be very successful. I don’t think it’s hard for you to become the millionaire next door.


AT WHAT POINT DID YOU TRANSITION FROM WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS TO WORKING FOR VOLUNTEER AND NONPROFIT BOARDS AND WHY? I’ve been involved in nonprofit work since the early 1990s. I got involved initially because of my kids. I joined all my kids’ school boards, which gave me insight into what was going on in their schools. Then I got into other nonprofits that aligned with my passions and values. The true benefit of working for a nonprofit is that you learn about what’s going on in the community. It’s a great way to learn business skills and practices, things you can’t learn any other way.



I listened to General Norman Schwarzkopf give a talk once. He said that in war, if everyone was to do what is in their personal best interest, the logical thing to do is run in the opposite direction. A true leader is someone who can get the troops to attack the people shooting at them and put themselves in harm’s way. True leadership is getting someone to do something that is not in their personal best interest, but in the best interest of the community. When you join a nonprofit, not only are you getting people to work for free, but you’re also getting them to make donations. How is that in their best interest? You have to make their contributions of time and money fulfill a higher calling. That’s true

The smartest move I’ve ever made was marrying my wife. People assume I know what she’s doing, and the truth is I don’t. We don’t talk business at home. I don’t know what her companies are doing, and she doesn’t know what my companies are doing. She runs a publicly traded company and can’t provide information, and I do certain things that are confidential as well, so I can’t talk with her about what I’m doing. I have to read about what she’s doing because she won’t tell me what’s going on. We are one of the lucky ones who have a great marriage. As CEOs, we understand being in the public eye, but we don’t let it interfere with our family life and our relationship with our kids. That’s what is most important to us, and we share the same desire to have a strong family and raise great kids.

FALL 2016

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Expert Edge Experts answers from leading professionals

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50 properties across Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii Island, South Lake Tahoe and Orlando.

855.945.4092 |



LEADERS in HOSPITALITY As the state’s largest single source of private capital—visitor spending totaled $15 billion last year—and the biggest generator of jobs among major economic sectors, tourism is indispensable to Hawai‘i’s economy. “Sustained success in tourism is a team effort,” says George Szigeti, president of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the state agency responsible for implementing strategic marketing initiatives in support of Hawai‘i tourism. “Hawai‘i’s travel industry partners have been brilliant in consistently meeting the expectations of visitors. Their collaborative devotion to excellence is the impetus behind Hawai‘i’s record totals.” Adapting to the rapidly changing tourism marketplace has been key for the executives driving Hawai‘i’s most important industry. “Global travel and the interests of consumers are evolving, and Hawai‘i is adapting to how we reach them,” says Szigeti, whose work at HTA includes recently launched marketing campaigns utilizing drones, virtual reality and facial recognition technology. From interactive software to adventure tours and environmental initiatives, industry leaders are finding innovative ways to deliver an authentic visitor experience to newcomers, returning guests and a new generation of adventurous, tech-savvy travelers.

Have alternative accommodation services like Airbnb affected business? Not at all. Guests stay at Hotel Wailea for the full guest service experience. Our staff takes care of each of our guests’ needs and caters to every wish. This is not something Airbnb can provide. What trends and industry dynamics have you observed over the course of your career in tourism and hospitality management? I sense that guests are looking for custom experiences and are tired of corporate brands. Ironically the hotel business is coming almost full circle, as I see the core of our vision as taking care of each guest as best as we can—simple as that. Guests are looking to connect with staff on a deeper, personal level. I see a huge wave of demand for more small and sophisticated hotels in Hawai‘i over the next 10 years. In what ways has Hotel Wailea met the growing demand for experiential, ecoconscious and adventure travel? Firstly, our service culture is built strongly around our “local spirit,” and we enjoy immersing guests deeply into the island experience. Our valets are avid surfers who can recommend where to go for the best waves. Some of our staff is very involved in the local yoga culture, and we offer unique complimentary classes like aerial yoga. I myself am a strong advocate for the ocean and have taken adrenaline-



As a principal at Private Label Collection, you’re in the business of developing, branding and marketing hotels to appeal to the luxury traveler. What are your strategies for reaching and capturing this specific segment of the market? We are Hawai‘i’s leading management company for luxury hotels that avoid a corporate cookie-cutter approach and capitalize on the creativity of our team. It is our core belief to develop compelling branding that is relevant to very specific segments of the market. Our team custom designs each strategy for each particular property and curates a specific guest experience story that resonates with the luxury market. At Hotel Wailea we developed our story around couples. We don’t allow children on the property and designed all of our services around privacy for a romantic getaway.


seeking guests on kitesurfing expeditions. In fact, our hotel actually features its very own kiteboarding training center called the Kiteboarding School of Maui. On the culinary side, our Hawaiian-inspired farmto-table restaurant uses only local produce, and our Maui-born and -raised chef sources many ingredients through his extensive personal contacts with local fishermen and farmers. How have these dynamics affected Hawai‘i’s tourism industry in recent years? We have seen an unprecedented growth in business following our renovations. The appetite for ultra-private and authentic experiences, in combination with more air seats, has propelled occupancy to record levels, and we have bridged the traditionally slow summer months.

What was the vision for Hotel Wailea when it was reinvented as a luxury boutique hotel? Maui is one of the highest-rated island destinations in the world, and our team at Private Label felt strongly that there was a need here for a true small luxury hotel experience. Hotel Wailea provided the perfect canvas to launch Hawai‘i’s first and only Relais & Châteaux. The hotel was custom built as a Japanese country club and features an incredible sense of place. We built our vision on the existing “bones” of the property and created an ultra-private environment that is specifically designed for couples. I always envisioned our hotel becoming one of the highest-rated hotels in Hawai‘i, and we finally achieved our goal last year.


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DENISE YAMAGUCHI CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival How has Hawai‘i been faring on the world stage lately as a culinary destination? Hawaii Regional Cuisine was created in 1991, and the goal was to let the world know about the exciting culinary landscape that was developing in the islands. HRC took off and had worldwide impact in putting a spotlight on chefs and the new culinary innovations happening in our islands. However, after that initial launch, there was nothing else that followed to continue the excitement and to provide a platform for up-and-coming chefs and new cuisine being created in Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival has been that platform.



What role does food play in the health of Hawai‘i’s tourism industry? As we compete for visitors in the global marketplace, food will become a much more important factor in a visitor’s overall decision-making. Today, we see big-name chefs such as Michael Mina, Wolfgang Puck, Nobu and Morimoto in the marketplace, and we also see hotels and resorts placing a greater focus on food. Visitors are becoming much more food savvy and want to travel to destinations that offer an array of food and dining options.

What is the festival’s target demographic? In what ways does the event cater to the changing values of the typical attendee? The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival targets travelers who are interested in food but also in authentic, unique, quality experiences that you can only have in Hawai‘i. That said, the target demographic is generally well traveled, enjoys dining out and has ample disposable income. In the last couple of years, visitors have been willing to spend more days, as well as more money, in the islands. Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival caters to the changing values of the visitor by offering a world-class food and wine event that remains authentic in its execution. By asking all of our chefs to use local products in their dishes, we also showcase the bounty of our islands through food. How has Hawai‘i been faring on the world stage lately as a culinary destination? Hawaii Regional Cuisine was created in 1991, and the goal was to let the world know about the exciting culinary landscape that was developing in the islands. HRC took off and had worldwide impact in putting a spotlight on chefs and the new culinary innovations happening in our islands. However, after that initial launch, there was nothing else that followed to continue the excitement and to provide a platform for up-and-coming chefs and new cuisine being created in Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival has been that platform. Since its launch in 2011, it has really given Hawai‘i a boost as a culinary destination. Moreover, I think we’ve really gained momentum with Hawaiian-themed and poke restaurants opening across

the U.S. in the last few years. We’ve also seen a rise in the number of James Beard Award nominations from Hawai‘i, as well as a few new names. Why do you think food trucks have become so popular in recent years? Are they a fad or is the trend here to stay? Food trucks really became popular in the U.S. a few years ago when Roy Choi, an accomplished chef, launched the Kogi BBQ Taco Truck that summoned thousands through Twitter. While the phenomenon seems new, food truck is just a fancy name for what we’ve had in Hawai‘i for generations—the lunch wagon. I believe the trend is here to stay because it’s a less expensive proposition for those wanting to start up a business in the food world. The popularity of Eat the Street and the new Makers & Tasters in Kaka‘ako is a testament that this trend will be here for a while. How did your work with the Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation lead to the launch of the Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival? The Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation was originally the nonprofit educational entity of the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau. A while ago Roy used to do a fundraising dinner called the Roy’s Dinner for the Farm Bureau. In its 10th year, Dean Okimoto [of Nalo Farms and the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau] and I were talking about the fundraiser, and Roy asked us to consider something bigger and more global that would have a major impact on Hawai‘i. Over the next two years, I worked with the Farm Bureau to launch the first Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival. The festival is now independent of the Farm Bureau, obtaining its own 501(c)(3) status in 2013.

FALL 2016

Expert Edge


Experts answers from leading professionals

WHILE I CONTINUE TO WORK, SHOULD I ROLL OVER MY 401(K) TO AN IRA (IN-SERVICE DISTRIBUTION)? As you get closer to retirement, you might be looking for ways to gain greater control over how you manage and invest your retirement savings so you can feel more confident about reaching your retirement goals. A little-known option called in-service distribution may be just what you’re looking for. It allows you to transfer assets from your workplace 401(k) into a personal IRA while you’re still employed. There are potential risks, in addition to the potential benefits to discuss when considering in-service distributions. Not all employers offer in-service distribution, but if yours does, let’s have a conversation about those potential risks and benefits so you can decide if it is for you. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2016 Ameriprise Financial, Inc., All rights reserved.

HOW DO I ENCOURAGE PARTICIPATION IN MY COMPANY WELLNESS PROGRAM? Having wellness champions in your workplace is a great way to support your employees and move your company toward a wellness culture. A workplace champion is an employee who volunteers to lead by personal example. They can help promote healthy behavior and encourage participation in your programs by publicly practicing healthy habits, sharing their experiences and influencing others to do the same. Socially acceptable company behaviors often times have a bigger impact than any written policies. It’s proven that our social networks have a powerful influence on our personal behaviors— as high as 60 percent. By leveraging this huge influence that colleagues have over one another, an effective Wellness Champions program can prove to be a powerful tool in helping motivate others. Visit to learn more or contact us about how our customized approach can help you create a culture of wellness for your organization.

Erica Kolcz David Livingston Financial Advisor/Franchise Owner Ameriprise Financial 808.441.4000


UHA Worksite Wellness Consultant /Account Executive

808.522.5572 |


1. Deep networks. Strong recruiters have deep networks of high-quality active and passive talent that they are able to pull from quickly when opportunities arise. Employers generally possess neither the breadth of available candidates nor the ability to source them rapidly. 2. Passive candidate accessibility. External recruiters have ample time to network with and screen passive candidates, i.e. those not actively searching for jobs. Since hiring managers spend much of their time on active candidates, they can miss out on much of this top-level passive talent. 3. Shrewd candidate selection. Good recruiters are able to pull from their network discerningly, presenting hiring managers with a limited number of highly qualified candidates. As a result, they help their clients select new employees faster, with fewer interviews. This saves HR departments time and money.

Congratulations! Tooth decay (cavities) is a preventable bacterial disease that is prevalent in Hawai‘i’s keiki. To maintain good oral health—aside from regularly brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist at least twice annually—is to avoid foods and beverages that are high in sugar and acid content, such as soda and candy. Request that your dentist place dental sealants on your child’s first adult molars, which usually appear around age six. Dental sealants are applied directly to the grooves of back (molar) teeth to prevent the growth of bacteria that promote tooth decay. This will reduce the risk of subsequent decay by over 80 percent. Since Hawai‘i does not have fluoride in the drinking water, check with your child’s dentist to determine if they would benefit from the direct application of fluoride varnish to the teeth to reduce the risk of decay. The placement of sealants on your child’s back molars, coupled with good oral hygiene practices (brushing and flossing), periodic dental visits and a nutritious diet low in sugar and acid, can lead to good oral health, saving you time and money!

Lisa Truong Kracher, MBA President Staffing Solutions of Hawaii 808.949.3669

Robert Sherman, D.M.D. Diplomate, American Board of Oral Medicine Dental Director Hawaii Dental Service



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Are there any unique skills or experiences that you bring to the table, or a new approach or perspective on the industry? I always tell people that I’m not in the service industry—I’m in the ho‘okipa business. We’re here to host and welcome visitors from around the world and welcome them to our home. These experiences don’t just extend to our guests. They are part of the culture we live every day. In this way, the culture is innately integrated into the guest experience, which truly makes Hawai‘i unique as a destination. This thinking has greatly prepared me for my position at Aulani, where we have a strong focus on the community and give back in a number of ways, including Disney VoluntEAR events, donations and community-outreach activities. In this way, we are paying it forward—thanking the community for everything it does to allow us to host guests from all over the world.

What sets Aulani apart from other resorts? How has it remained competitive with hotel brands with a longer history in Hawai‘i? Aulani’s distinguishing factor has always been storytelling. Disney is a storytelling company and Hawai‘i is a storytelling culture. At Aulani, we have brought the two together to share the stories, culture and traditions of Hawai‘i with guests, members and the community in an unforgettable and magical way. I am proud of the role Aulani has played in expressing the stories of our home, and in celebrating and sharing the Hawaiian spirit, people and culture with the world. Do you partner with other entities to bolster the industry as a whole? As a business on the Leeward Coast, Aulani is dedicated to working with our community partners to continue to bring vibrancy to West O‘ahu. Our participation





with Ko Olina Resort at the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival has been an extremely successful tactic, and we look forward to expanding on the tradition this year by supporting the Keiki in Kitchen event, which will be held in Ko Olina this year. This goal also expands into education as we prepare our workforce for jobs in the tourism industry. Recently, I partnered with Aulani’s sales and services director to help build the semester project for one of the business classes at the University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu. This exposed students to real examples of projects they would possibly work on in the hospitality industry. The project was a success, both for the students as well as the industry talent pool here on the west side. Are you or the hotel involved in any community outreach? Aulani finds purpose and joy in giving back to the local community and has made this a priority since day one. We have made a dedicated investment in the local community, from character visits to local hospitals, to making nearly half a million dollars in charitable donations to local organizations in need, to cast members giving back more than 7,000 hours via our VoluntEARS program. In honor of Aulani’s fifth anniversary, the resort recently donated $25,000 to The Friends of Hōkūle‘a and Hawai‘iloa, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the perpetuation of canoe building. The donation will fund a program in conjunction with Partners in Development Foundation that will provide Leeward Coast children and their families with the opportunity to spend time together learning about culture, stories and history passed down through the tradition of canoe building. What are your chief responsibilities as GM at Aulani? My duties include overseeing the daily operations of the 832-room resort and leading a staff of more than 1,700 employees—“cast members,” as we call them at Disney. Upholding a fun and engaging work environment for our cast members is equally as important as creating an exceptional guest experience. When our cast members are happy and feel valued, they are able to share more of their genuine aloha spirit and Hawaiian ho‘okipa—hospitality— with our guests and each other.




Does the tourism landscape here differ from other locations where you’ve lived and worked? Hawai‘i is one of a kind. I have lived and worked in this business throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. We are keenly aware of the power of social media and committed to staying ahead of other destinations through our genuine aloha. The aloha spirit is no longer a nicety, it’s an expectation—it is what separates us from other resort destinations throughout the world. What other trends and industry dynamics have you observed over the course of your career in hotel management? So much has changed in this industry. Many of us have staff to specifically interact with Facebook, Instagram, TripAdvisor and Yelp as a means of communication and exposure. Hoteliers have become champions


of energy conservation and sustainability, and not just because it helps the bottom line—it’s also a responsibility. We work more closely with our owners and asset managers than we ever have in the past. It’s a business after all—a business that is still quite demanding and so, so rewarding. It’s a passion, not a job. What was the vision for Turtle Bay when it first opened in the early ’70s and how has that vision changed over the years? I can only assume that the vision for Turtle Bay was to provide a luxury resort in an awesome location—the pristine North Shore of O‘ahu. That vision hasn’t changed over the years, however I do think it has transitioned with the change in generational priorities. Today, guests are not simply looking for a luxury resort in a beautiful location. They’re looking for an experience

with nature, culture and environment. Experience is more important than ever. How does Turtle Bay set itself apart from other resorts? In 2013, we completed a $52 million renovation. We no longer consider ourselves simply a luxury resort. We have become an active, adventurous, experiential resort offering helicopter tours, Segway tours, kayaking tours, surf and stand up paddle lessons, golf, tennis and horseback riding along an amazing four and a half miles of beachfront property. We also offer farm tours, mountain biking trails, bike rentals, guided hiking tours and so much more, all on site within our 850 acres. Our mission is to give our guests the time of their lives here, a vacation to talk about with friends and family forever.


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the hotel from folding laundry to washing dishes so I have a deep appreciation for the work that is done by our hosts – from housekeeping, to numbers crunching, to sales. I think it’s important that our hosts are happy. When they are, they work hard because the want to be a part of Outrigger’s success. How do Outrigger’s properties set themselves apart from other resorts? At Outrigger, we build a promise that encompasses three operational pillars of our business: Host – Guest – Place. We celebrate and share our local culture (HOST). We provide world-class hospitality (GUEST). In destinations set in premier beachfront locations (PLACE). These pillars are at the heart of our brand promise: Where local culture meets world-class hospitality.


What was the vision for the hotel your grandparents opened in 1947? What was the vision for the properties that subsequently opened under the Outrigger brand? In 1929, my grandparents, Roy and Estelle Kelley arrived in Hawai’i with little more than a few dollars in their pockets and a lot of determined optimism. They saved, invested, started a family and 18 years later, built their first hotel in Waikiki, the Islander Waikiki. My grandparents’ vision was to offer modestly priced hotel rooms in Waikiki as airline service sparked mass tourism in the 1950s. As it says in Kelleys of the Outrigger, what made the difference in the Kelley success saga was a diligent eye on the guest while never losing sight of the cigar box that held the day’s cash. The vision for the resorts that opened under the Outrigger brand was one related to the vessel of discovery that transported ancient navigators across uncharted seas:



Outrigger. The spirit and dedication of those navigators is embedded in our logo and a reminder of our mission: My Dad said, “The movement of the waves, the feeling of exploration and the Pacific-Polynesian symbolism all convey the qualities of our company.” It inspires us to look forward and to embrace all that we discover with open arms and minds. This vision resulted in our expansion first to the neighbor islands and then beyond to the Asia Pacific, Oceania and Indian Ocean regions and in running a multi-branded portfolio of hotels, condominiums and vacation resort properties. How has your experience growing up and learning the family business from the inside out informed your current approach at the company? Family is weaved throughout the history of our company. All the kids worked in

Please describe your guest demographic. Has it changed over the last 10 years? If so, have you expanded your amenities/ services or utilized any specific marketing strategies to cater to this new demographic? If not, what are your strategies for maintaining your consumer base? Our primary guest demographic are upwardly mobile young adults and extended families seeking genuine experiences in iconic destinations. In the past 10 years we’ve focused our attention on true beachfront locations throughout the world, so now we see a greater proportion of international travelers. More and more travelers are seeking authentic, localized experiences—in what ways has Outrigger met the growing demand for experiential, eco-conscious, adventure and/or slow travel? Today, guests want to escape the ordinary. They want to immerse themselves in local customs and traditional ways. We offer an array of amenities and cultural programs for guests to experience the unique sense of place at every Outrigger Resort. We call this: Outrigger Resorts Signature Experiences. From local greetings to cultural celebrations, guests can expect the extraordinary.

FALL 2016

How have these dynamics affected Hawai‘i’s tourism industry in recent years? The experiential travel trend has allowed Hawai‘i’s tourism industry to expand dramatically. With the ongoing need to provide new and unique destinationspecific experiences, this has allowed local entrepreneurs and businesses to join Hawai‘i’s tourism market and bring new experiences to visitors that may never have existed before. What other trends and industry dynamics have you observed over the course of your career in real estate and hotel management? In this day and age of major brands and consolidated hotel companies, I feel people and travel organizations crave personal relationships now more than ever. There’s a great need to know that someone on the other end truly cares. There is a continued desire for a personal connection, which isn’t new, but it’s becoming rare to find. If you have it, leverage it to reach higher levels of better business. Have alternative accommodation services like Airbnb affected business? We have seen minimal impact on business in that our guests seek out a high level of intuitive service that cannot be replicated in an Airbnb setting. Our residential-style accommodations allow guests to have the space and amenities


you’d find in a residential rental but with the programming of an expansive resort, which allows our guests to have the best of both worlds. A guest of Montage Kapalua Bay is looking for high-level service, the kind that cannot be matched with a rental program. What are your strategies for reaching and appealing to the luxury traveler? The luxury traveler is looking for a high level of service, unique locations to explore and visit, high-end design, innovative cuisine and experiences they will always remember. Montage Kapalua Bay, like all Montage properties, delivers in all of these areas, with comfortable elegance, a unique

sense of place, impeccable hospitality and inspired culinary, spa and lifestyle experiences. Our guests are our ‘ohana, and they return to see their Montage Kapalua Bay family year after year. In what ways has Montage Kapalua Bay met the growing demand for experiential, eco-conscious, adventure and/or slow travel? We are able to coordinate horseback riding, private boat rides and snorkeling as well as hula dancing, ukulele lessons and leimaking led by a local “auntie” who gently reveals each tradition’s deeper meaning.


In what ways has Montage Kapalua Bay met the growing demand for experiential, eco-conscious, adventure and/or slow travel? There is no shortage of experiential activities on Maui. What stands out about Montage Kapalua Bay is our personal approach to coordinating these experiences. Through our extensive pre-arrival planning, our concierge team is equipped with recommendations on what to do, where to go and what to see before guests even arrive at the property. Fluent on all things happening on Maui, our concierge carefully listens to our guests’ needs and requests and provides thoughtful recommendations on what to experience while on the island. We also have one of three cultural ambassadors on the island, and guests hungry for Hawaiian authenticity will find it at every turn.



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Has your consumer demographic changed in recent years? At the very beginning, we catered to many Japanese tourists. By the mid ’80s, it decreased to 25 percent market share. Today, Japanese tourists account for about 15 percent of our guests. Our main market is North America—mainly the U.S. West Coast—which accounts for about 75 percent of the market. As a beachfront boutique hotel located at the foot of Diamond Head, across from Kapi‘olani Park and on the quiet side of Waikiki, we attract guests who are looking for a sense of place that’s green and quiet. In what ways has The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel met the growing demand for experiential, eco-conscious, adventure and/or slow travel? The unique experience at The New Otani Kaimana Beach is its boutique size, the quality of service delivered by our dedicated employees and its location on the beach removed from, but within walking distance to, the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. We create surf packages for

the more adventurous guests, and we have eco-friendly initiatives to reduce water and energy use. We also have a recycling program, and all of our cleaning products are non-chemical. Have alternative accommodation services like Airbnb affected business? Yes, the fast-growing Airbnb has made and continues to make an impact on traditional hotels, from budget to economy to even luxury hotels. Younger generations are very attracted to this price-driven service. What trends and industry dynamics have you observed over the course of your career in hotel management? Major changes include the Internet revolution and new tech companies that have transformed the way we do business. Online travel agencies and companies like TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Uber and OpenTable have transformed the hospitality industry. Customers nowadays are super connected, and travel decisions are a click away.





FALL 2016


What was the vision for Hyatt Regency Maui when it first opened? Has that vision changed over the last 36 years? Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa was the first fantasy resort in the world at the time of opening. With a half-acre freeform pool complete with waterfalls, slides and a rope bridge, all just steps away from Maui’s renowned Ka‘anapali Beach, it was unlike any resort people had seen. Although we are no longer the only resort of this kind today, we still provide our guests with a dream Maui vacation with beautiful, lush grounds and the same pool with our famous Grotto Bar between the waterfalls. Have alternative accommodation services like Airbnb affected business? There will always be visitors who have different interests than the luxuries of a full-service hotel, but we focus our efforts on those who are interested in the abundant amenities available at our resort. Alternative accommodations are also nothing new to Hawai‘i, where timeshares have been around for numerous years. What are your strategies for reaching and appealing to the luxury traveler? We continue to make property updates to keep our resort line consistent with what our high-end customers are looking for. Our brand-new, state-of-the-art Regency Club opening in October of this year will offer guests a comfortable and spacious lounge with easy beach access and lanai seating with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the resort’s oriental gardens. When did sustainability become a part of Hyatt Regency Maui’s approach and operations? Sustainability has always been a part of our mission. As the first destination resort on Ka‘anapali, we’ve felt the need to protect and preserve this beautiful stretch of beach since we opened in 1980. As new advances in sustainability and technology have become available, we’ve researched the best way to incorporate them into our operations and infrastructure. This is how we’ve been able to make steady reductions in our use of natural resources as well as changes like using locally sourced materials. How can guests reduce their carbon footprint while staying at the hotel? The first thing to do is choose to stay


ALLAN FARWELL GENERAL MANAGER Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

here! We are Hawai‘i’s only LEED EBOM resort, meaning we’ve taking a building that was constructed prior to LEED certification standards and done absolutely everything we can to put operational and management systems in place to bring it to LEED standards for new construction. We offer low-flow showerheads that reduce water usage and waste, we have a robust composting system that diverts food waste from landfills and we have the largest solar array in the state, which generates 6 percent of the resort’s energy needs—the equivalent of powering 158 homes and permanently removing 111 cars from the road. In what ways has Hyatt Maui met the growing demand for experiential, ecoconscious, adventure and/or slow travel? The resort focuses on providing authentic Hawaiian hospitality through

many of our services. Locally grown produce is used in numerous dishes at each of our restaurants—we even grow our own on property. Daily cultural activities are available for guests to experience traditional Hawaiian customs such as lei making and hula dancing, and our new sustainability tour allows guests to tour the property and learn about our green initiatives. How have these dynamics affected Hawai‘i’s tourism industry in recent years? Hawai‘i remains a top destination because it offers new cultural experiences without having to leave the U.S. The islands—especially Maui, which was named the number-one island in the world by TripAdvisor—offer that sense of adventure but are more accessible than many destinations.


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What’s your take on the state of Hawai‘i’s tourism industry in recent years? Hawai‘i remains a highly desired destination for visitors from the mainland United States, Canada and Asia. The state is in a strong position of growth, which is leading to new development and attracting major brands. According to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, over 780,000 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands in August 2016, the most ever recorded for the month of August. This extended Hawai‘i’s streak to 19 consecutive months of yearover-year growth in arrivals. According to STR Inc., Hawai‘i hotels generated a



record-breaking $1.55 billion in total hotel revenue for the months of June, July and August. For the first time in history, room revenue alone surpassed the billion-dollar mark over the summer months. Another significant topic in the travel industry is capturing the business of millennial travelers. Hawai‘i is ready to seize this large segment of visitor business, as our destination offers unique adventure, natural beauty and ultimately an authentic experience, all without needing a passport or having to learn a new language.

How does your company set its properties and services apart from other hotels and resorts? We’re known for hightouch customer service and an unparalleled selection of accommodations to suit just about any lifestyle, taste or budget. As an integrated group, we’ve further broadened our strategic partnerships and can deliver more robust market intelligence; we have a team of sales reps who sell across all five brands globally; we’ve developed direct connectivity with more travel partners to make the booking process easier; we offer a year-round cash-back bonus program because we recognize what is important to our travel partners—cash in their pockets. We’re also the only hotel and resort management group that manages Hilton properties on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island. We will be managing the world’s largest Holiday Inn Express when it opens in Waikiki in 2017. We have the capabilities and expertise to navigate and deliver global brand standards, and it positions us to manage more flagged properties in the future. What are your strategies for growing and maintaining your consumer bases? Since each of our brands is distinct and caters to a variety of travelers, ranging from families and budget travelers to experiential or solo travelers, our marketing strategy is to really push the different key messages that will resonate with the brand’s target audience. For example, our Aston properties appeal to families especially, so we push messages that focus on our impressive collection of condo-hotel resorts and villas with conveniences such as kitchens, laundry rooms and spacious accommodations.

We’re also continuing to offer creative, added-value incentives to develop a more personal relationship with our guests. This includes our new loyalty program, which rewards our guests when they book with us directly. We believe vacationers want to receive instant benefits when they give us their business. That’s why we launched the loyalty program—to let our guests know they’re appreciated from the start. We don’t make them wait to rack up thousands of points before they can be recognized as the valuable customers they are. In what ways have you met the growing demand for experiential, eco-conscious and adventure travel? We’ve created packages and special amenities to allow our guests to experience the aloha lifestyle in many different ways, from sailing excursions, free bike rentals and scuba diving lessons to lei-making and kapa printing. Additionally, we can satisfy their need for information about local experiences even before they arrive in Hawai‘i through our 24-hour call center. The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, which we launched in April 2016, is a great example of the next generation in Hawaiian hospitality. The hotel was designed with the millennial traveler in mind, to create a hotel experience that’s off the beaten path. We’ve helped introduce a calendar of on-site programming intended to showcase local talent—from musicians and filmmakers to designers and artists—and we’re working towards developing a program of activities off-site that leverages the personal connections of the various artistic collaborators that were brought in as part of the renovation project.

FALL 2016



FUTURE Hawai‘i is our home. Gas is our business. At Hawaii Gas, we’re continually seeking ways to incorporate cleaner fuels and renewable energy into our portfolio. We’ve been awarded the contract to process biogas from the City & County of Honolulu’s Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant, which will enable us to provide renewable fuel to our customers. In addition, we recently welcomed Waihonu Solar Farm, the largest active solar farm on O‘ahu, to our ‘ohana. It can generate 6.5 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power 1,000 homes. This represents an important milestone in our company’s 112-year history, and we are proud to support the State’s pursuit of 100% renewable power by 2045. At Hawaii Gas, we believe in building solutions together for a clean energy future.

Now that ’s good energy. 808.535.5933 |


How has Castle’s web platform helped to set its properties and services apart from other hotels and resorts? We are operating in Darwinian times. The resort condominium and vacation rental industry is changing rapidly, and we are migrating our current resort condominium operations to a completely new operating model and distribution platform. Castle has invested more than a million dollars in a new technology platform and partnered with a progressive European-based technology company to drive our new operating model. This new technology platform will allow us to compete directly with the small vacation rental companies while continuing to allow us to sell and market our resort condominium inventory through our existing volume distribution channels—the best of both worlds.

ALAN MATTSON PRESIDENT & COO Castle Resorts & Hotels


HENRY PEREZ GENERAL MANAGER Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach



Has Castle’s consumer demographics changed over the last 10 years? If so, have your amenities, services or marketing strategies followed suit? In general, today’s travelers do more research and utilize multiple online resources to make more informed decisions on both destination and accommodations. Online travel reviews now play a significant role in the selection process. Travelers today want to see the exact unit they’re renting, especially those who are booking a vacation rental, as condominium and vacation rental units can vary greatly in size, décor, location, views and quality. Travelers are also looking for a more authentic and visceral experience, and this is especially true of the repeat visitor. This has certainly fueled the growing vacation rental market and the popularity of online travel sites such as HomeAway, VRBO and Airbnb, which allows travelers to experience living like locals.

How does Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach set itself apart from other hotels in Waikiki? We have a very relaxing pool area which guests really enjoy. Also, it is a very big plus to have a branded property on Kuhio that falls within visitors’ budgets. But I must say that what sets us apart is our staff—how they will do anything to make sure your stay is enjoyable. In what ways has Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach met the growing demand for experiential, eco-conscious, adventure and/or slow travel? Courtyard received an ‘Ilima award for implementing

10 basic green practices and continues to promote ecoconsciousness to our guests. We also work very closely with our activity vendor to make sure guests have choices for ecoadventures. Have alternative accommodation services like Airbnb affected business? I do not believe that Airbnb is affecting business negatively. I think it is a plus because there’s more marketing dollars being spent. I also feel that the consumer knows what type of accommodation they are looking for. I think with hotel inventory declining in Waikiki, Airbnb is good for the tourism industry.

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Hyatt® and Grand Hyatt® names, designs and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. ©2016 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

Set on the soothing white sands of Kauai’s sunny south shore, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa beckons with a water wonderland replete with a quiet adult area, lava-rock river pool, waterslide, and saltwater lagoon. Championship golf awaits at Poipu Bay. Sample the island’s delicious flavors. And for a Hawaiian spa experience like no other, Anara Spa’s natural outdoor setting renews body, mind, and soul. Plan your getaway today, call 808.742.1234 or visit

Kamaaina receive special pricing on rooms, golf and spa. 1571

Photo: Aaron Bernard

For the second consecutive year, members of Hawai‘i’s business community gathered at the historic Pink Palace of the Pacific dressed to the nines for Pacific Edge magazine’s prestigious Business Achievement Awards Gala. The sixth annual black-tie affair took place on July 22 and began with a red-carpet reception, during which guests sipped cocktails and networked just a stone’s throw from Waikiki Beach. Following a riveting hip-hop and Tahitian dance performance by Diverse Art Center and a welcome address from Pacific Edge publishers Naomi and Jamie


Giambrone, Star 101.9 radio host and KITV-4 news anchor Maleko McDonnell returned as master of ceremonies to lead the night’s program. The awards ceremony recognized outstanding businesses and professionals in nine categories of excellence, honoring a winner in each category for their contributions to the local business community. After the dinner program concluded, guests mingled on the outside patio and posed for red-carpet photos before the night’s festivities came to a close.



Lifetime Achievement award Russell Lau

Vice Chairman and CEO, Finance Factors The Lifetime Achievement award honors an individual who has been in the business for 25 years or longer, going beyond the standard obligations for his or her industry and contributing significantly to the local business community. While his rise in the business world and long tenure in finance is commendable, it is Russell Lau’s dedication to the community that truly distinguishes him from his peers as the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement award. A local boy and Punahou graduate, Lau completed his studies in Washington and Oregon, where he earned his master’s in business and finance. Since 1998, Lau has held the position of vice chairman and chief executive officer at Finance Factors, a family of companies specializing in finance, insurance, real estate and property management. Lau also serves as president and CEO of the holding company Finance Enterprises and as vice chairman and

CEO of Finance Insurance. Over the years, Lau has made strides giving back to the community, applying his expertise and business acumen as director of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, member of the Financial Executives Institutes and former president of the Hawaii Bankers Association. He consistently demonstrates his leadership qualities and

dedication to advancing our community as an active member of numerous boards, including Assets School, the East-West Center Foundation, St. Andrew’s Priory and Palolo Chinese Home. Lau also serves the community through employee-driven charitable giving and the Finance Factors Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Finance Factors family of companies.

Commitment to Green Blue Planet Foundation

The Commitment to Green award honors an individual or business that has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to sustainability. Blue Planet Foundation, a nonprofit organization paving the way toward 100 percent renewable energy, is a leader in engaging the community and advocating for renewable energy solutions at the state legislature and public utilities commission. Last year, Blue Planet’s WEfficiency program, a crowdfunding effort for energy-efficient upgrades at nonprofit organizations, was Hawai‘i’s largest successful crowdfunding project to date, and the foundation’s inaugural student energy summit in partnership with the state energy office brought together hundreds of students in 2015, empowering them to develop and test prototypes for clean-energy innovations.

Corporate Social Responsibility Comprendio

Comprendio, an ed-tech startup founded by high school math teachers Dan Nash and Sean Ho‘okano-Briel, accepted the Corporate Social Responsibility award. Comprendio uses interactive software to present information in a way that resonates with each user, employing visual associations, identifying learning gaps and assessing learning comprehension. Applicable in schools and Fortune 500 companies alike, Comprendio’s web-based technology can help any business, cohort or working board ensure that users stay engaged and aligned. Comprendio won the Hawaii Venture Capital Association’s award for Tech Entrepreneur of the Year in February and Sean was chosen as one of PBN’s 40 Under 40 for 2016.

Best Social Media Campaign

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hawai‘i Realty Social media has transformed the realm of marketing and become an integral part of companies’ communications strategies. The award for Best Social Media Campaign honors a company that has successfully utilized social media marketing strategies. Many real estate agents use social media to post property flyers, but Nicole Lemas, “The Singing Realtor,” posts videos of herself on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube, highlighting specific



features about the property in song. A dynamic voice in Hawai‘i real estate, Lemas builds relationships with other realtors, and the community at large, through social media.

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Sales & Marketing Executive of the Year Robyn Gee Tucker

Marketing Manager, Ala Moana Center Robyn Gee Tucker serves as an integral member of Ala Moana Center’s management team, driving marketing and public relations strategies for the world’s largest openair shopping center. As marketing manager, Tucker is responsible for developing and executing programs and campaigns that drive interest, awareness and traffic to Ala Moana Center. Under her direction, Ala Moana Center hosts more than 800 on-property events per year, including Shop a Le‘a and Fukubukuro. Tucker oversees Ala Moana Center’s ongoing partnership with YWCA O‘ahu’s Dress for Success program and has pursued opportunities to partner with other nonprofits such as Make-A-Wish Hawaii and Hawaii Meals on Wheels.

Providing leadership, guidance and tangible returns for our community through job creation, education outreach and community service.

3375 Koapaka Street Suite F238-20 Honolulu, HI 96819 Phone: (808) 792-7528 Fax: (808) 792-7527



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Best Family-Run Business Systemcenter

The Systemcenter took home the award for Best Family-Run Business, which honors an outstanding company that has successfully merged family values with business interests and strategies. Led by President Stephan Edwards, who took the reins of the company originally established in 1976 by his parents, Bill and Joyce Edwards, the Systemcenter works with customers in Hawai‘i and the Pacific Rim throughout all phases of their projects. As one of Hawai‘i’s premier contract furniture companies, the Systemcenter also employs a professional installation team and is one of the only furniture dealerships in Hawai‘i that is a licensed contractor.

Best New Business DevLeague

The award for Best New Business recognizes a company in operation for no more than three years that has set itself apart in product or service and become a frontrunner in its field. DevLeague is a programming boot camp that turns students into entry-level web developers. Students acquire software-development skills, enabling them to pursue careers as web developers after just 12 weeks. The immersive, accelerated-learning program is the first of its kind in Hawai‘i and has a 97 percent placement rating, having helped 62 students in nine cohorts launch careers in the high-growth tech industry.

Business Executive of the Year Bram Begonia

Director of Operations, The Salvation Army Kroc Center Hawaii The Business Executive of the Year award honors an executive who has made a impact on their company or organization through innovation, integrity and growth. As director of operations for The Salvation Army Kroc Center Hawaii, the largest community center in Hawai‘i, Bram Begonia is responsible for the center’s strategic direction as well as providing leadership for its overall operations. Under Begonia’s leadership, Kroc membership has grown to over 13,000 in four years of operation. Begonia also played an integral role in establishing a scholarship program that awards scholarships toward a Kroc membership, program or class. Since the program’s inception, more than 1,500 individuals have been positively impacted through a Kroc scholarship.



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Young Professional of the Year Amanda Furgiuele

Owner, Body in Balance and The Pole Room The Young Professional of the Year award recognizes a young entrepreneur, business owner or executive who exemplifies business excellence, community spirit, innovation and personal integrity. Amanda Furgiuele began working at the Pilates and personal training studio Body in Balance 10 years ago, eventually working her way up to partner and now owner. During her first year as owner, Furgiuele increased profits by 90 percent, renovated the studio and brought a unique selection of classes and instructors to West Maui. During that time, she also founded The Pole Room, a dance fitness and aerial arts studio. Furgiuele is highly active within the community, raising funds for local schools, shelters and nonprofit organizations. She strives to make fitness fun and show the Maui community the benefits of health and wellness.



/greendrinkshonolulu @greendrinksHNL THEPACIFICEDGE.COM


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he hospitality industry was an instinctive choice for Thomas Foti. Born in New York and relocated to California at age 10, he spent many a night in Best Westerns and Howard Johnsons while his father, an antique dealer, scoured antique shows for treasures. The family’s overnight adventures were full of magic, from perfecting cannonballs in curious swimming pools to meals on the road that just seemed to taste better than they did at home. In 1998, when a large-scale fire threatened northern San Diego County, the Rancho Bernardo Inn extended free stays to families affected by the tragedy. Deeply moved by the hotel’s generosity, it was then that Foti decided what he wanted to be when he grew up. His multifarious history in hospitality began in food and beverage during college at UCLA, where Foti cut his teeth on properties like The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, the Laguna Cliffs Marriott and the Laguna Beach Surf & Sand Resort. After serving as senior catering manager for the iconic InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco atop Nob Hill, he became director of food and beverage for a Phoenix hotel and then transitioned to the room side as director of operations for the Oakland Marriott City Center. Foti accepted his first general manager position at age 29 at the Hyatt San Jose, then became dual general manager for the new fitness-hotel concept Renaissance




ClubSport and took home an award for general manager of the year. Next, he ran two Renaissance properties in New Orleans—an art-themed hotel in the Warehouse District and a jazz-themed hotel in the French Quarter—and faced his toughest challenge when Hurricane Katrina hit. Following a successful evacuation, Foti stayed on to oversee the reopening of both properties. “The Katrina event taught me so much about what people are capable of in the worst of circumstances,” Foti says. “I watched a small group of people come together with a tremendous amount of heart to take care of relative strangers like family.” Six years ago, Foti’s decision to accept a general manager role at Hilton Waikiki Beach, where he met his wife Terra, proved to be momentous for both his personal and professional life. “I woke up one day and realized I didn’t have to wait to retire to move to Hawai‘i, and my life took on new meaning,” he says. “I was able to achieve a work-life balance, became a husband and father and grew up a lot during that time.” Now, as head of Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, he’s overseeing a $115 million renovation and working to shape a common identity and culture at the hotel. Though the upgrades will affect the guest experience until December, he’s proud of the level of aloha his team is delivering. “During the changes, I may not be getting the best ratings, but


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“Leadership books tell you to learn about your people, but what they don’t say is that you have to be able let them in to your world and tell them something about you.” THEPACIFICEDGE.COM

what I am getting is what I want to hear: how warm my associates have been and how they’ve worked with guests to deliver impeccable service,” Foti says. “My task is to build the confidence of the staff and add a little polish—a little anticipatory service—and, as such, become a game-changing property.” Among Foti’s strengths is a high level of infectious energy, which allows him to serve as a cheerleader of sorts. “Once we create a vision, I get people on board by painting a picture that makes them want to be a part of it,” he says. His ongoing success as an ambassador of aloha arises not just from a commitment to elevate his people, but also from aligning with organizations that take care of their team. “Marriott is a people-first company,” Foti says. “The more I can support a front-desk agent, a room attendant or someone in the loss-prevention department, the more successful the hotel becomes, and subsequently I also become successful.” Foti’s willingness to embrace new trends and technology has also been an asset to the properties he runs. For example, when a current or former guest tags Wailea Beach Marriott in a post, it’s flagged and the author receives a personalized, handwritten card and often a gift. “We have so much communication pre- and post-stay now,” he says. “It’s a dialogue that we didn’t have before, and it’s my personal responsibility to make every interaction, whether online or in person, as amazing as possible.” Alvin Wong, Wailea Beach Marriott’s director of marketing, says it’s Foti’s kindness and level-headedness that make him a fantastic leader. “Whether you’re a frontline associate or resort ownership, he treats everyone with aloha and respect,” Wong says. “Even under extreme duress, he is always cool, calm and collected.” Foti insists his calm demeanor and aloha spirit would mean little without a certain vulnerability. “Leadership books tell you to learn about your people, but what they don’t say is that you have to be able to let them in to your world and tell them something about you,” Foti says. “It can be as simple as sharing your favorite cocktail or your middle name. People are loyal to people.”


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etween opening Maui Brewing Company’s new brewpub in the former Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber, a second brewpub at Maui Brewing Company headquarters in Kihei and a third in Kailua next January, Chris Thibaut’s glass is looking half full. “Three restaurants in a 14-month period is definitely a challenge, but we were so excited about each of these opportunities that we couldn’t pass them up,” Thibaut says. The majority of his time is focused on the Waikiki brewpub, and the rest is spent developing future locations. If the waves are good, he’s up and out the door by 5:30 a.m. to squeeze in a surf session before teaming up with his wife, Amber, to get their four-year-old son off to school while keeping their two-year-old “from destroying the house.” He heads straight to the office until lunchtime, then it’s off to CrossFit and on to site meetings or back to the office for the remainder of the day. Restaurateur was a natural career choice for Thibaut given his background. He watched his father grow TS Restaurants—owner and operator of popular restaurant chains Duke’s and Hula Grill, among others—from a single location on Maui to a regional power player with 13 locations between Hawai‘i and California. Thibaut has worked in eight of the company’s 13 locations over the years, learning every facet of the business, from front- and back-of-the-house positions to his current role as board director and owner. In founding TS Restaurants, the elder Thibaut and his business partner Sandy Saxten took all the things they loved about the restaurant business and added in elements of lifestyle, friendship and family. The company has stayed true to its founding principles. “The



dynamic has always been about friendship and finding the balance between working hard and playing hard,” Thibaut says. “Restaurants are a ton of fun to work in and be in, but if you’re not working twice as hard on the non-fun stuff, then you run into problems.” With a personal motto of “collaboration over competition,” Thibaut believes everyone brings something to the table and has always had a knack for building a great team. “Having a good team is everything, no matter what industry you’re in,” he says. “The success of this business, or any other for that matter, will never lean on what my, or any leader’s, great strength is, but rather the strength of the team as a whole. I get the most pride out of seeing people in my team work to their full potential, succeed and have fun in the process. Then they pass this down to others on their team and it creates a really positive cycle that’s fun to be a part of.”

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“I get the most pride out of seeing people in my team work to their full potential, succeed and have fun in the process.”


Thibaut says his father wasn’t shy about calling people out when things were below his expectations, but he’d always be back with them later sharing a beer and a laugh. “In that way we are a lot alike— we’re both super persistent, no BS, charismatic and blunt, but he was more feared than I will ever be,” Thibaut laughs. The similarities don’t end there. Both TS Restaurants and Maui Brewing Company Restaurants were founded on solid friendships. “He started TS with one of his best friends, and I feel lucky enough to be doing something similar now at Maui Brewing Company Restaurants, with some very good friends,” Thibaut says. He’d known Garrett Marrero and Melanie Oxley of Maui Brewing Company long before partnering with them to expand their brewpub operations. Thibaut visited their new brewery in Kihei in March 2015, and they all sat down together and came to an agreement about


how to make it happen. “I live in Kailua and absolutely love the community here,” Thibaut says of the forthcoming Kailua location. “When we were presented with the opportunity of doing a restaurant in the new Lauhala Shops, we were thrilled. Our restaurants are all about the craft-beer way of life and the values associated with that. The close-knit Kailua community echoes many of these values, and we’re excited to bring our restaurant to the neighborhood.” Thibaut’s favorite part of the job? “The people for sure,” he says. “Whether it be our employees, our guests or our vendors, the people are truly what make the industry special and bring the magic to our restaurants. The beer is a strong second, of course.”


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Ahead of the Curve Frank Robinson President and Owner ISLAND EVENTS






rank Robinson had two epiphanies that prompted him to found Island Events, a luxurybased, boutique-style destination management company (DMC) that plans both private getaways and corporate retreats for visitors to the Valley Isle and beyond. The first happened while he was reading Pacific Edge. Robinson admired the gumption and creativity of the local entrepreneurs it featured, and he thought if they could venture out on their own, then he could too. The second revelation came during a session with his therapist. For months he had mulled over the possibility of starting his own business, but instead of doing it, he brought up every possible negative outcome. Finally, he was asked to consider what would happen if it was a success, and for some reason, it clicked. After years of never finding the right fit, never finding the right job at the right time, he finally sailed into the great unknown as a business owner. Since

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founding Island Events in 2009, the journey of carving an identity in his own company has been challenging but overwhelmingly rewarding, and he couldn’t be happier. “I built this company to be a reflection of me,” Robinson says. “Now that it is and continues to be a reflection of me, it’s taking on its own identity. People see our work and how we treat other people, and, more often than not, the response is, ‘Oh my god, that’s so you.’” Robinson’s path to Island Events was paved over a long,


diverse career in hospitality on the mainland and in Hawai‘i. Over the course of more than 20 years in the business, including stints at The RitzCarlton, Four Seasons and Kualoa Ranch, the Boston native carved out a dynamic career full of hands-on experiences and an openness to new endeavors. He was armed with a variety of skillsets that he now utilizes as president and owner of Island Events. He’s been a catering director. He’s worked for other destination management companies. He’s been a

general manager and had to deal with mountains of paperwork, contracts and other administrative minutiae. But handling all facets of a business—insurance, taxes, bookkeeping, accounting, business permits and more— was “scary” and difficult, and ultimately took him away from what he is best at—planning events. Eventually Robinson realized that he and the company would be better off if he gave up some control. For a self-professed micromanager, that’s easier said than done, but Robinson had to learn to not only know his own strengths, but accept his weaknesses, too. “A lot of that stuff doesn’t come naturally to me,” Robinson says with a laugh. “But the only way to run and grow the company is to learn how to do those things, and I believe most entrepreneurs will tell you they’ve had to do things they’re not comfortable with.” The company now has four full-time employees and more than two-dozen part-time staff. Over time, Robinson has learned to trust his team, knowing that if he empowers them to do their jobs, they will thrive. He often asks employees what they like to do in hopes that they will find their niche and thrive in their work. “He knows what he’s good at, but he definitely recognizes where he [can pull from others people’s] strengths,” says Dawn Kawauchi, Island Events’ systems and operations manager, who has known Robinson for 10 years. “That’s how he built the team. And it’s

not just surrounding himself with people who are good at what they do, but [finding people who are] passionate about those things.” Now he can focus on what he enjoys the most—working with customers and planning events, focusing all his attention on the details that make his company excel. “We create memories,” Robinson says. “We try to create experiences that make people happy.” The company is growing faster than even Robinson imagined. He was the state’s first Destination Management Certified Professional, an internationally recognized certification in the industry. Island Events recently hosted its largest event, a five-day program for 350 people, and is now bidding on a program for 750 people, a number that would have been out of the company’s reach just a few years ago. Under Robinson’s leadership, Island Events has become a leader in the DMC industry in the Hawaiian Islands. But Robinson isn’t settling in just yet. His vision, which led him to starting the company in the first place, includes continuing to push the envelope of what Island Events can accomplish and become in the future. “He’s very aware of where we stand as a business, where we need to be going, how we need to diversify internally to be able to get there, and he’s conscious of it all the time,” Kawauchi says. “He’s looking ahead of the curve.”


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“We hope that the projects we take on add value to the neighborhood, island and state.” 50



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hen Tyler Greene responded to an ad for an investment opportunity on Craigslist in 2008, he had no idea the ensuing meetup would mark the start of a lifelong business partnership and friendship. It was shortly after the recession hit and he was hunting for potential deals in Hawai‘i, hoping to break into the local market, when he noticed Chad Waters’ ad. With their deep experience and complementary backgrounds, a professional collaboration just made sense, aside from the fact that they got along so well. “Our meeting was an opportunity that came from an unexpected place. Life can be funny that way,” Greene says. “Growing with Chad and creating something of significance from very humble beginnings has been a very joyful experience.” Today they run Honolulu-based GreeneWaters Group LLC, a subsidiary of Bridge Real Estate Hawaii, which became the single largest purchaser of foreclosed properties in the state of Hawai‘i for several years. Prior to starting the firm in 2008, both Greene and Waters owned their own real estate development and brokerage companies. Their extensive history in the industry covered all facets of real estate development, including financing, entitlements and development management.



Now, as managing partners, the two have helped the company gain momentum with a diverse portfolio of successful bulk condominium purchases and conversions, subdivision and hospitality projects and new construction development across the Hawaiian Islands. GreeneWaters Group is known for slipping between the cracks and finding niche properties that others may overlook— something the guys refer to as “the hiddengem approach.” The pair is notorious for taking on ambitious projects that shed traditional development standards and leverage the unique beauty of the local environment. Their high-profile restoration of the Coco Palms Resort on Kaua‘i, made famous by the film Blue Hawaii and vacant since Hurricane Iniki hit in 1992, has garnered a lot of support and speculation. It’s currently in the demolition phase and on track to open in mid-2018. “We understood that because of the list of challenges associated with the property, there would be fewer people competing for this project,” Greene says. “We knew that if we rolled up our sleeves and went to work, we would have the opportunity to bring back an important, iconic property for Hawai‘i.” With a lot to live up to, the GreeneWaters team is taking the time to give every little detail careful consideration—like finding an

ambassador as warm and welcoming as the original owner, Grace Guslander, to recreate the resort’s original chemistry and sense of place. Other recent projects include Olomana Heights, a 64-acre homesite community surrounded by conservation land, adding an additional 80 rooms to the Mokihana oceanfront hotel on Kaua‘i’s Royal Coconut Coast, and Kuauli Estates, a single-family residential subdivision on O‘ahu’s North Shore. Their newly built Waikalua Bayside community invigorated the landscape of 50-year-old homes at the end of Waikalua Road, with 20 paired and single-family homes fronting Kane‘ohe Bay. With strengths that pair well, Greene and Waters hustle toward the common end of serving community, clients and investors while maintaining a work-life balance under the philosophy of “work hard, play hard.” Together they lead the firm with ambition and fortitude that make them highly resistant to adversity. Greene has a knack for being empathetic towards his team members’ and clients’ needs and goals, and Waters is an expert at instilling confidence in others to help them break out of their comfort zones and embrace challenges. “Ultimately through our work we are earning the opportunity to live, work and play in Hawai‘i,” Greene says. “We hope that the projects we take on add value to the neighborhood, island and state.” They often survey the residents and businesses in new development areas to get feedback on characteristics that might benefit the community as a whole. Greene’s personal mantra is to work efficiently while maintaining relations that encourage and foster success with everyone affected by the firm’s projects. He’s driven by a sincere desire to elevate his knowledge as an individual and a real estate development professional. Waters combines his progressive vision with objective-driven strategies to achieve profitability and enjoys scouting the hidden opportunities that others may not see. “Though managing the timing of development can be extremely challenging due to all the aspects that are beyond our control, like county and state regulatory timing or weather, optimism and a commitment to creative problem solving keeps things moving forward,” Waters says.


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Special Packages from $699 Cruise into Vegas on Our 767

• Four chartered patterns per week • State-of-the-art Boeing 767 signature interior • Twin aisle 2-3-2 seating in three classes of service • High ceilings with generous headroom • Dramatic interior lighting • TV monitors in every seat back with 8 channels of entertainment

Visit Vacations Hawaii’s Website @VacationsHawaii

1585 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 900, Honolulu, HI 96814 Honolulu 808-591-4777 and Neighbor Islands 800-548-8951






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Montage KAPALUA BAY ONE BAY DRIVE, Lahaina, Hawaii 96761 PH: 808.662.6625




Spacious one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom residential-style accommodations are an indulgent retreat in themselves, with expansive living rooms, large private lanais, fully equipped kitchens and elegant master suites. This resort is the perfect setting for multigenerational family vacations and secluded getaways.

Seafood comprised of the freshest catches available naturally plays a central role in this breathtaking ocean view location. From the land, the restaurant boasts an impressive steak program that features filet mignon, Wagyu ribeye and lamb chops. Open for breakfast, Sunday brunch and dinner, this signature restaurant also highlights modern local fare.

Rejuvenate with a massage or body and facial therapy indoors or in an outdoor hale. Renew your look at the full-service Beauty Salon and Barber Shop. Energize your body at the Fitness Center and Movement Studio with flow yoga, Pilates, body barre, spin and more. Relax in our eucalyptus steam room, cedar wood sauna, waterfall whirlpool and coed ocean view infinity pool.



MEETINGS & EVENTS Stunning Pacific views and a majestic oceanfront setting lay the groundwork for memorable events and productive meetings at Montage Kapalua Bay. The natural beauty of the island enhances the resort with five lush ocean view event lawns, a 1,400-square-foot ocean view Sunset Room, intimate private dining spaces, a private poolside Beach Club and historic Cliff House.

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ALWAYS SERENE, NEVER TAME. Close to home but a world away from the everyday, the iconic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel invites you to experience true relaxation or dive into adventure. It’s all waiting for you here on beautiful Kauna‘oa Bay.

Make your Mauna Kea escape now at or by calling 866.977.4589.


The New Otani Kaimana BEACH HOTEL 2863 KALAKAUA AVE., Honolulu, HI 96815 PH: 808.923.1555

Located on the quiet end of Waikiki, The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel offers an intimate, serene and tranquil ambiance with wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean. From the spectacular panorama of the beaches of Kaimana to the private outdoor setting, you can’t get any better than this during your Hawaiian vacation.

HAWAI‘I’S HIDDEN GEM This small boutique hotel on the southeast end of Waikiki is a jewel in a perfect setting, with Diamond Head crater and Kapiolani Park as its backdrop. Experience Waikiki’s hidden gem, where honeymooners can stroll along Kaimana Beach and view the sunsets in a romantic setting.

SCENIC VIEWS Bask in the serenity and beauty of Kaimana Beach while enjoying stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the exquisite Waikiki skyline. The views from this boutique hotel’s newly renovated rooms are the perfect complement to your relaxing Kaimana experience.

MIYAKO RESTAURANT Dine on authentic and traditional Japanesestyle cuisine served by kimono-clad waitresses while taking in the beautiful sunsets of Kaimana Beach. Outdoor cabana seating is available for private fine dining in an intimate and luxurious setting overlooking the ocean and Waikiki skyline.

HAU TREE LANAI Enjoy Pacific Rim cuisine under the famous landmark where Robert Louis Stevenson once sought shade to write. Visit Hau Tree Lanai for romantic and elegant beachfront dining in an outdoor setting with the Kaimana sunset as your backdrop. Localized dishes with Hawaiian ingredients complement your fine dining experience.

OCEANFRONT GUEST ROOMS Discover a relaxing oasis overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Beautiful sunsets and panoramic views of the ocean and Waikiki skyline await from our newly remodeled oceanfront guest rooms, featuring a modern, innovative and eco-friendly concept and private balconies with upgraded amenities to better serve our guests.



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HOLIDAY TIP Our Ho’ala gift card is a very popular gift and now 2 locations to better care for your loved ones.

EXCLUSIVELY AVEDA. Hand Crafted Color and Cuts. Holistic Massages and Customized Facials. Nurturing Manicures and Pedicures. Expert Waxing and Nature Inspired Make up. A team of talented, highly trained professionals with a passion for taking care of you! Please visit us so that we can help you look and feel your best!

Ala Moana Center, 3rd level | Ka Makana Ali’i location open in November 808.947.6141 |

Castle Resorts & HOTELS 3 WATERFRONT PLAZA, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 555 Honolulu, HI 96813 PH: 808.545.3510

Hali‘i Kai at Waikoloa

Hilo Hawaiian Hotel A KAMA‘AINA FAVORITE With 23 hotels and condo resorts across Hawai‘i and New Zealand, Castle Resorts & Hotels offers the perfect staycation choice for any lifestyle, taste and budget. Whether you’re heading over for holoholo or visiting family and friends, stay local with Castle.

Kiahuna Plantation & The Beach Bungalows

GREAT KAMA‘AINA DEALS Sometimes, the best vacation is right in your backyard. Castle offers outstanding kama‘aina rates at hotels and condo resorts on O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i, Moloka‘i and the Big Island. Book two nights or more at participating Castle properties and receive a free room upgrade, free parking, Island Air discount and more with our Kama‘aina Plus package.

BOOK THE ROOM YOU WANT Looking for a particular view of the beach? See a certain decor you like? Through our newly revamped website,, you can now book a specific room at select Castle properties. There’s no more wondering what kind of room you’re going to get.

EVERYWHERE YOU WANT TO BE From laid-back Hilo town and ruggedly beautiful Waikoloa to the sunny shores of Po‘ipu, Castle is everywhere you want to be in our islands. With our kama‘aina-friendly accommodations and local hospitality, we invite you to experience why Castle is a kama‘aina favorite.



FALL 2016

Hilton Waikiki BEACH HOTEL on KUHIO

2500 KUHIO AVE., Waikiki Beach, HI 96815 PH: 808.922.0811



Deluxe Ocean View rooms offer gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean accented by tastefully designed rooms with distinctively sleek and contemporary décor. Pamper yourself in our luxuriously appointed bathrooms accented with Crema Marfil marble and natural stone, and enjoy the scenery on your own private lānai. No resort fee.

M.A.C. 24/7 offers modern American cuisine 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its awardwinning culinary team has crafted a menu of distinctly American dishes with a flair for the international and has won various awards, including their most recent Hale ‘Aina Award for Best Gourmet Comfort Food.


LBLE LOBBY BAR The LBLE Lobby Bar features one of the hotel’s three happy hours. Live, nightly award-winning entertainment adds to its modern vibe, with featured local artists sharing their contemporary sounds. Gourmet bites and crafty libations make this a perfect venue for a girls’ night out or pau hana get together.

ALTITUDE @ 37 EXCLUSIVE MEETING SPACE Altitude @ 37 is part of the hotel’s 17,000 square feet of event space and is located on the highest altitude of the hotel—the 37th floor. This unique venue offers 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean and is the perfect venue for your wedding, corporate event or special family dinner.


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Breathe Easy

Get to your next neighbor island meeting hassle- and stress-free Use this promo code for a special rate: AWD H461439

RESERVE AT: 1-800-367-3367

s r e t t a M t a h W o Get t

Neighbor island getaway? Discover countless adventures with Budget. Get a special rate with the code: BCD B001192


| PACIFIC EDGE • 1-800-527-0700 FALL 2016


2552 KALAKAUA AVE, Honolulu, HI 96815 PH: 808.922.6611




Featuring stylish, locally sourced American cuisine with shared dishes served tableside, KBG Restaurant & Bar is home to Waikiki’s best selection of whiskey and bourbon as well as an assortment of high-end craft cocktails in a stunning location overlooking Waikiki Beach. Grand opening November 2016.

The Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa is located on the organic side of Waikiki, in a quieter location away from the hustle and bustle. Situated across from Kuhio Beach, the resort offers with quick access to Kapi‘olani Park, the Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium and Diamond Head.

Deluxe Ocean View rooms offer some of the most breathtaking views, from Waikiki Beach to the Honolulu city lights. All beautifully appointed guestrooms offer the Marriott “Revive” bed and linen collection, private lanai, and upgraded amenities and new guest services such as high-speed internet access.


ROYAL KAILA SPA Pamper yourself at Waikiki’s only Aveda-certified spa. Royal Kaila Spa provides relaxing and replenishing treatments using pure flower and plant essences. Traditional Hawaiian methods of healing and beautifying, combined with Aveda’s concepts, make for a rejuvenating experience. Get a custom massage in the couples treatment room overlooking Waikiki.


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Breathe Easy

Get to your next neighbor island meeting hassle- and stress-free Use this promo code for a special rate: AWD H461439

RESERVE AT: 1-800-367-3367

s r e t t a M t a h W Get to Smith's Tropical Paradise Experience local-style aloha on Kaua‘i! Tour the 30-acre garden prior to the start of an evening of indulgence with ‘ono food and drink. Immerse yourself in culture after dinner at the "Rhythm of Aloha" lu‘au show. Book online for a discount Local Hawai‘i residents, please call for kama‘aina pricing. SMITH FAMILY GARDEN LUAU Wailua Marina State park 808.821.6895 Neighbor island getaway? Discover countless adventures with Budget. • 1-800-527-0700 Get a special rate with the code: BCD B001192 62

| PACIFIC EDGE Publication name: Pacific Edge / Issue: Oct-Dec

FALL 2016


45 KAI MALINA PARKWAY, La-haina-, HI 96761


Situated on Maui’s North Ka-‘anapali Beach, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas will provide a relaxing haven complete with culturally inspired programs and authentic Hawaiian experiences. Every feature of the resort—from the lobby to the Pu‘uhonua o Nanea Cultural Center—celebrates native culture and traditions and inspires nanea (relaxation).

VILLA MASTER BEDROOM This authentic oceanfront resort features 390 luxurious villas. Comprised of one-, two- and three-bedroom villas, it offers many of the key amenities of home, combined with signature Westin® touches. The villa master bedrooms include a king-size signature Westin Heavenly® Bed and Westin Heavenly® Bath with a shower, bathtub and vanity.

VILLA LIVING AREA The villa living area offers an armoire and a queensize sofa sleeper as private, furnished lanais present breathtaking views. Villas come with a fully equipped kitchen and washer and dryer. Through contemporary furnishings and culturally inspired artwork, the soothing spirit of pu‘uhonua (refuge) will be sure to help guests unwind.

LAGOON-STYLE POOL At The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, you define your nanea (relaxation). Whether it’s enjoying the resort’s lagoon-style pool or snorkeling in the pristine Pacific Ocean right off of the resort’s location on North Ka-‘anapali Beach, the choice is yours.

MAUKA MAKAI Fittingly named Mauka Makai (from the mountains to the sea), the resort’s signature restaurant will celebrate the farming and fishing culture of ancient Hawai‘i. With an emphasis on farm-to-table cuisine, Mauka Makai will utilize indigenous plants and vegetables grown onsite and from local farms to complement popular local dishes.



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The Westin Maui RESORT & SPA 2365 KA‘ANAPALI PARKWAY, Lahaina, HI 96761 PH: 808.661.2921




Commanding Ka‘anapali Beach, this upscale resort presents an enlivening setting for a kama‘aina getaway. Recharge within our aquatic playground with five pools, including an adult pool featuring waterfalls, gardens and exotic wildlife. Unrivaled amenities inspire renewal: a full-service Heavenly Spa, oceanfront dining, watersports, beachside shopping, golfing and shuttles to Lahaina.

Celebrate romance amidst pictureperfect settings and uncover hidden wonders in this island paradise. Every nuance of your wedding is thoughtfully planned and intuitively designed to reflect your individuality. Your weddings specialist will ensure that your event is flawlessly executed, leaving you relaxed and energized as you begin a new journey.

Only the freshest ingredients are transformed by our talented chefs, personalized to your tastes and served to your guests with awe-inspiring styles. Our awardwinning events team is skilled in interpreting various creations to accommodate your preferences as you and your guests revel in every occasion made truly unique and unforgettable.



Vacation close to home, explore the wonder and fun of Maui with your family and friends, and create the wedding of your dreams. Contact Westin Maui Weddings to start planning your special day.

FALL 2016

Hawaii Prince HOTEL WAIKIKI 100 HOLOMOANA ST., Honolulu, HI 96815 PH: 808.956.1111



Scheduled for completion in early 2017, the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki will soon emerge as an all-new experience, a vibrant oasis and a premier Hawai‘i destination. Its transformation will embrace new experiences that embody stories of its historical site and heritage as a prominent gathering place. Guests will immediately discover the location’s rich history.

Each of the Hawaii Prince Hotel’s 563 reimagined oceanfront guestrooms, suites and private club lounge rooms offer expansive floor-to-ceiling windows with private ocean and sunset views. Their unique design nods to the hotel’s sense of place, but the modern, sophisticated interpretation— complete with new furniture, fixtures and amenities—makes for a sanctuary all your own.




Extraordinary guest experiences with elevated, personalized services will meet the needs and expectations of today’s travelers while providing a place of respite and rejuvenation. A redesigned lobby featuring a unique flow and exclusive ceiling installation will leave a striking impression and provide areas to socialize, rest, dine, shop and discover.

Discerning palates can look forward to an engaging dining experience at a new culinary concept featuring fresh island cuisine and an active bar. A signature infinity-edge swimming pool with unparalleled ocean views, an exclusive club lounge, enhanced meeting spaces and so much more await. Come share our view and discover a place to call your own.


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The CEO of Style Designer Kini Zamora talks the business of haute couture in Hawai‘i by ENJY EL-KADI Before he was a finalist on Project Runway Season 13 and a Project Runway All-Star, Kini Zamora was running his own apparel design business in the islands. According to Zamora, being a contestant on Project Runway reinforced his natural ability to “stick to his guns” (he auditioned for the show six times before making the cut) and trained him not to be discouraged by setbacks and harsh criticism—skills he brought back and stitched into his fashion startup. “You can’t let criticism knock you down,” Zamora says. “You’re going to have people that don’t like you, don’t like what you do, but then you just move on and find another customer that does.” Zamora’s stint on Project Runway brought him free publicity, networking opportunities and local celebrity, which opened doors for his clothing collection back home. His advice to aspiring local designers is simple. “To be really honest, it’s hard to be a startup designer here,” Zamora says. “It didn’t happen overnight for me. If this is really what you want, you can make it happen with the right motivation and drive.” Zamora reprised his role as a mentor (à la Tim Gunn) for upand-coming designers at Goodwill Goes GLAM! in July.




FALL 2016


Beach Resort the gathering place of the kohala coast STUNNI NG A C C OMMODATI ONS • CHA MPIONSHIP GOLF • WORLD-CLASS SHOPPING & D IN I N G



Waikoloa Beach Resort enjoys a spectacular setting along one of Hawai‘i Island’s most scenic coastlines, with beautiful accommodations at Waikoloa Beach Marriott and Hilton Waikoloa Village, along with an inspired collection of condominiums, two breathtaking Big Island golf courses and two world-class shopping centers. Prove yourself at the Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Beach Course with stunning, oceanfront views, or take it to the next level at the Kings’ Course, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish.



Explore treasures and pleasures for royalty at the Kings’ Shops and Queens’ MarketPlace. Stroll an artful collection of boutiques, galleries, visitor services and even a gourmet market for provisions. From stunning ocean, lagoon or lake view dinner houses to casual family dining, Waikoloa Beach Resort restaurants nourish body and soul with culinary explorations of Hawai‘i’s diversity. We also the Kohala Coast’s only food court, with fast food options for those on the go or on a budget. 30 minutes north of Keahole Airport (KOA) on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway at Waikoloa Beach Drive



Dining with a View on Coastal Maui by LINDSEY KESEL For stunning panoramic views and sensational epicurean creations that pleasure the palate and feed the soul, look no further than the transcendent fine dining experiences at luxury boutique hotels Montage Kapalua Bay and Hotel Wailea on the Valley Isle.



CANE & CANOE AT MONTAGE KAPALUA BAY With Maui’s mesmerizing Kapalua Bay as its backdrop, Cane & Canoe at Montage Kapalua Bay offers diners a dynamic taste experience in

a locale steeped in Hawaiian culture. The culinary team practices a less-is-more philosophy that includes a commitment to locally sourced ingredients, combining innovation and tradition to create the restaurant’s contemporary Hawaiian cuisine. When you dine at Cane & Canoe, the ingredients tell

FALL 2016




the story. Just as the ancient Hawaiians were superior stewards of the land and sea, Executive Chef David Viviano collaborates closely with local fishermen and farmers to highlight the unique flavors of Maui’s natural resources. House favorites like the kabocha squash salad and potato gratin with rich, buttery goat cheese are artfully designed to feed your curiosity and please the palate while the restaurant’s rich ambiance recalls the elegance of old Maui. Nestled among 24 acres of beachfront gardens, Cane & Canoe emulates a traditional Hawaiian canoe house, with wooden scrollwork and woven textures contrasted with modern furnishings, clean lines and other luxury touches. The breathtaking ocean scenery and fresh catches on the menu are a reminder that “close to the source” is not a catch phrase, but a way of life. Recognized with an ‘Aipono Award from Maui No Ka ‘Oi magazine for one of the island’s most innovative menus, Cane & Canoe also offers a wine program known throughout the islands, tapping the knowledge of dedicated, world-class sommeliers. Enjoy a guided wine tasting every Sunday and discover ultimate gratification thanks to incredible cuisine, unparalleled service and a view that is second to none.

THE RESTAURANT AT HOTEL WAILEA Voted the number-one hotel in Maui by readers of Condé Nast Traveler, Hotel Wailea is a romantic hillside sanctuary that caters to foodies looking for an elevated gourmet adventure in lush garden surroundings. As chef de cuisine, Maui native Zach Sato works with a powerful arsenal of homegrown flavors, thoughtfully choosing every ingredient to create dishes

that are distinctively Maui. Chef Sato’s innovative island-to-table menu integrates organic, hyper-local ingredients from Maui’s farms and orchards, including the hotel’s Wailea Organics Farm onsite. His commitment to purity and creative sourcing stems from a respect for the land, culture and the ancient traditions of seasonal harvesting and fishing. The European-inspired cuisine is constantly evolving, and each dish is a work of art with the utmost attention to detail. Guests can expect flavor fusions from a culinary team that

honors the spirit of aloha in everything they prepare. The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea is Hawai‘i’s first and only Relais & Châteaux establishment, placing it in the company of an elite collection of 500 gourmet experiences and luxury hotels worldwide, and has been named one of the top one hundred most romantic restaurants in America by OpenTable users. Savor the incomparable tastes of The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea as you sit back and drink in the stunning coastal contours of Maui’s beautiful seascape.


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Fresh Food, No Hassle

Meal delivery service Fresh Box provides healthy and easy-to-make gourmet meals by CORINNA WONG


ighty is the new 40— hours that is. With the extended professional workday the new norm, cooking dinner from scratch after work is rarely in the cards. When you’re so drained that a glass of wine is your substitute for dinner, then you know you need help. Fresh Box, a meal delivery service on O‘ahu, has the solution to the calorie crunch of a busy corporate culture. Fresh Box subscribers enjoy the luxury of having three two-person meals delivered to their door every week. Imagine getting home from work and finding a refrigerated box filled with farm-fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow cooking instructions waiting at the door like an anxious puppy. Chef and founder Will Chen concepted Fresh Box after he joined CrossFit East Oahu. Chen found it nearly impossible to work all day and then cook

a well-balanced meal that adhered to his strict diet, which was tailored to compliment his workout regimen. While his fellow crossfitters complained about bland meals and few options, Chen decided to create pre-prepped, healthy meals that could be cooked in just a few minutes. This way, he could work all day, work out in the evening and still have time for a great meal. With selections like Mediterranean chopped salad with cucumbers, feta and organic oregano, Provencalstyle ono with lemon, olives, sundried tomatoes and organic quinoa, and ginger lemon chicken with local watercress, enoki and somen, Chen made the transition from great idea to scalable business. Today, no matter what your schedule may hold, Fresh Box allows its customers to cook like a chef and eat like a king.




FALL 2016

Have You Visited







Rediscovering Rum Sugar may have had its run in Hawai‘i, but the future is bright for Koloa Rum by LAUREN MCNALLY


n light of the state’s last sugar plantation shuttering this year, Koloa Rum Company is finding new ways to produce its award-winning Hawaiian rum. According to President and CEO Bob Gunter, the company is experimenting with using cane juice and cane syrup as a substitute for sugar in its handcrafted, single-batch rum and Hawaiian Kukui Brand jams and jellies. Depending on how the swap affects the product’s flavor, aroma and consistency, Koloa Rum may even have to venture into small-scale raw sugar production. It’s too early to tell, Gunter says, but with nearly three years’ worth of the sweet stuff stockpiled from Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar, he is confident about the company’s ongoing transition to utilizing its own cane in one form or another. Having been involved in the design, buildout, commissioning and licensing

of two other Hawai‘i distilleries prior to Koloa Rum, Gunter has long recognized the company’s value and opportunity as the first and only distillery operation on Kaua‘i. “We knew from the beginning that we could never compete with major brands in price,” Gunter says. “But we could compete in quality and also leverage the uniqueness factor, which is that we are made in Kaua‘i.” Hawai‘i’s unique identity and highvolume visitor traffic has been instrumental to the company’s success. “Hawai‘i is, in and of itself, a huge brand,” Gunter says. “That’s how we began to expand distribution outside of Hawai‘i. Visitors would try our rum, then go home and call or email us wanting to know where they could buy it.” Based on demand from retailers on the mainland and beyond, Koloa Rum is now distributed in 22 states as well as four countries outside of the U.S.

ELY FOR ED EXCLUSIVLD. T F A R C S IL A UM COCKT AD MCDONA ESE KOLOA RGE CATERING OWNER CH H T F O E N O ERA MIX UP BY STIR BEV PACIFIC EDGE DS T E R RUM ROA m oa Dark Ru 1 1/2 oz Kol ton an aine de C 1/2 oz Dom juice 1/2 oz lime the n si ab 1/4 oz do 1/4 oz Luxar rup sy le p 1/4 oz sim into glass. e and strain ic h it w Shake e and a ic h black licor Garnish wit . lime wedge

SE KOLOA RO oa Rum 1 1/2 oz Kol syrup 3/4 oz rose efruit juice p ra 3/4 oz g juice 1/4 oz lemon bitters us 2 dashes citr into e and strain ic h it h with a Shake w n ass. Gar is gl ed m m ri sugarist. grapefruit tw

Koloa Rum has also begun expansion back home. The company is planning to construct a distillery, tasting room, café and museum in Koloa, where it originally sourced its sugar, and convert the current distillery and tasting room in Kalaheo into an aging facility. The new property will include certified-organic farming operations on 10 acres of sugar cane and several acres of guava, pineapple and other indigenous crops. “People are rediscovering rum,” Gunter says. “Rum had sort of a blue-collar reputation, but now people are realizing that good, high-quality rum is not only very flavorful, but it’s very versatile and works so well in different types of cocktails. You’ve got this wave of mixologists really pushing the envelope, and it’s helping to bring rum to the forefront again.”

Kupūna, Caregivers and Other Family Members

A Better Quality of Life for All St. Francis Healthcare System is offering seniors, caregivers, and other family members an expanding array of services for the best quality of life.


now your customers. It’s one of the basic business tenets that’s critical to success. St. Francis Healthcare System is taking that principle and elevating it to an art form. “Based on our years of serving Hawaii families, we have gained a thorough understanding of how seniors think, how they move, what makes them comfortable, their dreams and aspirations, and their concerns and fears,” says Jerry Correa, St. Francis Healthcare System’s president and CEO. “We’re taking all of these factors into consideration as we develop the St. Francis Kūpuna Village on

our Liliha campus to provide exceptional service. It’s our way of honoring kūpuna.” Hawaii’s senior market is already large and is expected to grow even further. By 2035, it’s estimated that about 30% of Hawaii’s population will be 60 years old or more. People in Hawaii have the distinction of living longer, but that doesn’t mean they are immune from the effects of aging. St. Francis Healthcare System foresees an explosive opportunity to serve and is now preparing to meet the evolving needs of Hawaii’s growing senior population.

“Our kūpuna and family caregivers may sometimes feel like they are exiled from the rest of the world. St. Francis Healthcare System is here to let them know there are people who care about them,” he said.

Franciscan Values

One-Stop Wellness Center

The Sisters of St. Francis always identified needs and then strategically filled those needs. At the request of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani, they came to Hawaii in 1883 specifically to care for those afflicted with Hansen’s disease.

When fully developed, the St. Francis Kūpuna Village will be a one-stop health and wellness center where seniors can enjoy recreational and educational activities and visit healthcare providers in different specialties, all within walking distance on one campus.

“Those patients were ostracized from the rest of the community and forced to accept their lot in life,” Jerry said. “They were often separated from their families, but the Sisters became their family, bringing comfort, love and joy into their lives. The Sisters gave their dignity back to them.”

“As we identify new healthcare partners to join our campus, we’re also identifying activities for seniors and their family for a complete, holistic experience. This will be a place of healing, health and wellness with a busy calendar of fun, social activities, all rolled into one energizing experience for families. An expansive, inviting courtyard in the center of the Liliha campus will be the hub of activity. It will feature a bistro-style café that will offer healthier meal options with


architectural designs for indooroutdoor living to take full advantage of Hawaii’s year-round tropical weather. A new Senior Community Center will be a place to get away from home for a few hours a week, engage in recreational activities, enjoy companionship, or volunteer in meaningful ways for an active aging experience. “We’re carefully looking at every detail, including making sure every pathway is walker- and wheelchair-friendly,” Jerry said. Future phases of the master plan for the campus include an assisted living facility, independent living; adult day health; and adult day care.

Caregivers: The Unsung Heroes It’s not just seniors who need health care solutions. Caregivers need help, too. They are often the unsung heroes, working relentlessly and often sacrificing their own health to meet the needs of their aging loved ones.

Artistic rendering of the courtyard of the St. Francis Kūpuna Village, a convergence of health, social, recreational and educational activities. “Everyone I meet has a real-life personal experience about the struggles of caregiving or knows someone who is facing those challenges,” Jerry says. “They are stressed from their job and family duties, but dutifully persevere.”

St. Francis Healthcare System Current Services Adult Day Care for a secure, nurturing environment for seniors in Manoa and Ewa.

St. Francis recently launched a caregiver education, training and support program. Topics range from bathing, caregivers stress, home safety, medication safety, nutrition and hydration, skin care, and many others. They are taught through group instruction, hands-on demonstrations, and online learning. “Everything is coming together and we’re grateful for our partners,” Jerry said.

In-Home Bathing and Personal Care Services for frail elders. Affordable Senior Independent Living in Ewa Villages that rivals luxury retirement communities. Comfort Care to provide the best quality of life for those with life-limiting conditions. Spiritual Retreat Center in Waianae for respite and rejuvenation. (808) 547-6500


Try Before You Buy BY KELIKA ISHOL

Kelika Ishol is the director of sales, marketing and resource development at Good Samaritan Society Pohai Nani and has over 18 years of experience in retirement communities and nonprofit development.

Photo: Pohai Nani

Customers can’t always test drive products before purchasing them. Vehicles are among the few bigticket purchases you can try before you buy. A home, on the other hand, can be beautifully staged at the open house, but you won’t truly know what it’s like to live there until after you move in. I remember moving into a beautiful new home only to discover that a gang of neighborhood roosters crowed for 10 minutes straight every morning, first at 3 a.m. and then again at 6 a.m. I also learned that the toilet leaked, the bathtub drain clogged and the neighbor’s dog barked all evening. I certainly would not have made the move if I knew these details ahead of time. It’s the same for retirement communities. How do you know that it’s the right place for you? Is it nice and quiet, or do the chickens crow in the middle of the night? Fortunately, most retirement communities have a guest suite that you can temporarily stay in to feel the place out. You can meet your future neighbors, sample the cuisine, try an exercise class—maybe even play a game of hanafuda. By the end of one week, you’ll know if you’re making the right decision. I once worked with a senior who was reluctant to move into a retirement community. She didn’t like the idea of living in an old folks’ home. Even at 80 years old, she was still going for morning jogs, attending her annual church festivities and actively volunteering at the local library. But she did not enjoy dining alone, and was spending quite a bit of money eating out. Her home also had a few burnt-out light bulbs that she had difficulties changing. She knew it was only a matter of time before there were other things she couldn’t do for herself. So she took me up on my offer to “try before you buy” and quickly learned that a retirement community is not an old folks’ home at all. She moved in and is now our community librarian!

W hen all you need is just a little help at home.

In-home services from the Good Samaritan Society can help you stay in the place you call home. Plus, our friendly, reliable staff is available 24/7. Some services include: Respite care | Appointment escorts | Errand services | Companionship Personal hygiene | Meal preparation | Assistance with light exercise | Laundry Light housekeeping | Bathing To learn more, call Tehani at (808) 235-6314.

CONNECTIONS HYPE Network Like a Boss On June 23, Hospitality’s Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs (HYPE) hosted its first educational seminar and mixer, “Network Like a Boss,” at Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach. The event featured panelists Kelly Kitashima, Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach’s director of sales and marketing; Corey Campbell, CEO of Akamai Training and Consulting; Anisah Ahakuelo, director of human resources at The Modern Honolulu; and Allison Tomisato, senior regional marketing manager at Marriott Hawaii Resorts. The event was moderated by James Koivunen, marketing manager at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. Following the panel discussion, attendees put their skills into practice with a few rounds of speed networking. Photos: HYPE

Chamber of Commerce Hawaii 166th Annual Membership Luncheon At the 166th annual Chamber of Commerce Hawaii Annual Membership Luncheon on July 29, more than 800 Chamber members gathered at Hilton Hawaiian Village to network and gain insight from keynote speaker Dan Beckerman, president and CEO of leading sports and entertainment presenter AEG Worldwide. Photos: Paula Ota



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Goodwill Goes GLAM! Project Runway All Stars contestant Kini Zamora returned to the runway to produce the fifth annual Goodwill Goes GLAM! fashion show presented by Bank of Hawaii Foundation on July 21 at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. The show featured thrifted ensembles upcycled by thirteen aspiring designers, two of whom Zamora awarded $1,200 and $300 scholarships sponsored by Goodwill Hawaii. The show was followed by a three-day public shopping event featuring merchandise curated from Goodwill stores across the island. Photos: Eugene Kam, Dave Livingston

Hawaii Bridal Expo The biannual Hawaii Bridal Expo took place July 29 through July 31 at the Neil Blaisdell Center. Showcasing hundreds of vendors specializing in everything wedding related, the Hawaii Bridal Expo gives newly engaged couples the opportunity to work with Hawai‘i’s top wedding and event vendors for their upcoming nuptials. Two lucky couples won engagement photography sessions at the Pacific Edge booth, where attendees played roulette for prizes and picked up copies of the magazine’s annual wedding and events guide. Photos: Dave Livingston



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CONNECTIONS Blue Tie Bash Blue Planet Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to ending the use of fossil fuels, hosted its inaugural Blue Tie Bash fundraising gala on September 14. The event raised over $100,000 for the organization’s charitable mission and featured a wine tasting cocktail hour, a three-course dinner prepared with locally sourced ingredients, silent and live auctions, electric vehicle displays and a surprise music performance by local legend Willie K. Blue Planet also honored Governor Ige at the event by presenting him with the 2016 Honua Award for his bold commitment to Hawai‘i’s 100 percent clean energy future. Photos: Dave Greer Media

Leaders In Healthcare Pacific Edge launched its healthcare issue on August 17 at BMW of Honolulu with a program recognizing Hawai‘i’s top healthcare leaders, including Michael Gold, president and CEO of HMSA, Mary Ann Barnes, president of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Region, and Art Ushijima, CEO of The Queen’s Health Systems. Guests sampled blue crab cakes, fried gyoza and kalua pig sliders from Uncle Bo’s Pupu Bar & Grill and networked with members of Hawai‘i’s healthcare industry and business community over specialty farm-to-glass cocktails mixed by Chad McDonald of Stir Beverage Catering. Photos: Dave Livingston



FALL 2016

2016 go.


Trini Abaya-Wright Business Banking Officer Central Pacific Bank

Aya Sultan, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.O.G. Owner Honu Women’s Health


I have a healthy business because of my bank. “Trini, my Central Pacific Bank banker, understood the special nature of my business when she helped secure the financing I needed to start my practice,” says Dr. Aya Sultan. “Now, I just focus on giving women the best medical care possible.” Building relationships by understanding your needs is key to how we help small businesses succeed. If you’re looking for a partner and not just a bank, we’re ready to work for you.

808-544-0500 1-800-342-8422

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