Pacific Edge Magazine Jan/Feb/Mar 2017

Page 1

$5.95 JAN-MAR 2017

Since 1980

Fine Oriental Carpets & Hawaiian Rugs


Kahului - Maui



74-5599 Luhia St. 808 329-6500

259 E. Wakea Ave. 808 877-7200

560 N. Nimitz Hwy. 808 524-7769

550 Ward Ave. 808 596-7333

Design that








SANDALWOOD With growing interest from government agencies and local landowners, the rare ‘Iliahi tree (Hawaiian sandalwood) is poised for a comeback in the islands.

Long prized for its sweet fragrance and medicinal uses, ‘Iliahi (Hawaiian sandalwood), a one-time economic staple of Hawai‘i, has steadily declined since its first major export to China in the early 1800s. Today, a handful of public and private landowners are working to restore the species. The nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI), best known for its reforestation of more than 1,000 acres of Hawai‘i’s endemic koa forests on Hawai‘i Island, has now expanded its scope to include the preservation and restoration of sandalwood. Within HLRI’s Legacy Forest, nearly 17,000 sandalwood trees have already been planted as part of a larger forest ecosystem, comprised of more than 350,000 other endemic trees and shrubs. The future of this tree however, may lie in a petri dish. Through science, technology and innovation, HLRI is helping to bring these trees out of the pages of history books and back into the forest. “Sandalwood nuts are a high-protein food source for invasive rodents. As more sandalwood nuts are produced, the rodent population grows. This, along with the absence of important seed-carrying birds such as the Hawaiian crow, has made wild regeneration of these trees almost impossible,” says Darrell Fox, COO of HLH. “So we are harvesting seeds by hand and raising seedlings in protected nurseries.” But there is another problem, Fox says. The natural germination of sandalwood can take from six months to three years, making it an expensive process. “At HLRI, we are confident we can overcome this hurdle through science,” he says. “We are rescuing embryos from less-viable seeds by germinating them in petri dishes. We can achieve germination in as little as three to five days and with a greater success rate. Efforts are underway to capitalize on these methods to create field-ready plants.” “This type of reforestation may be the only way to bring sandalwood back,” says Irene Sprecher, forestry program manager at the State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources. “We are looking at a tree that is equally as important as koa, and it is critical to have these native forests as well as future economic opportunities from these forests.” It is unclear how much of the endemic sandalwood forests remain. Major botanical surveys of Hawaiian forests were widely conducted only after extensive harvesting of sandalwood had changed the species mix of endemic ecosystems. Harvesting sandalwood is still allowed in Hawai‘i. A state-level permit process helps protect a portion of the forests. Sandalwood is also being considered for inclusion on the International Union for

Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) endangered species list. “Historically we often think of the native Hawaiian forest as being predominantly koa, but there were also vast tracts of sandalwood,” Fox says. “Evidence for this comes from examining ships’ logs during the peak of the sandalwood trade. The Chinese even referred to Hawai‘i as Tan Heung Shan (Sandalwood Mountains). Commerce has played a significant role in the depletion of Hawai‘i’s sandalwood forests; perhaps science can play an equally important role in returning these trees to the forest.” Learn more about the Legacy Forest at To plant a tree, which can be tracked online for years to come, visit



Leadership 12 HR Shani Silva on hiring takeaways from the election 14 DESIGN Chris Dittmar on furnishing small spaces 16 FINANCE Hannah Raff helps millennials take charge of their financial future

18 Q&A Mark de Reus, Founding Design Partner at de Reus Architects 22 DEVELOPMENT Linda Schatz, Managing Member of Schatz Collaborative 24 LEADERS Build, design and construction industry leaders give their 2017 industry outlook


Entrepreneur 40 INITIATIVE Are you an intrapreneur? 41 MARKETING Toby Tamaye on marketing trends at the Hawai‘i Tourism Conference 42 FURNISHINGS Savan Patel, Managing Principal of Infinium Interiors 44 BALANCE Chuen Yee, Principal of MCYIA Interior Architecture and Design

46 INTERIOR DESIGN Brady Yee, Founder of Pacific Contract 48 COMMERICAL Shonna Hammon, Owner and President of MICO Mechanical 50 REAL ESTATE Kahala Associates is now List Sotheby’s International Realty 52 STARTUP PARADISE The evolution of Startup Paradise



Islands 64 RENOVATION Three Hawai‘i hotels unveil design-forward spaces 70 ART Inaugural exhibition presents Honolulu as a global platform for contemporary art



72 BIG ISLAND Home Tours Hawaii combines local food and prime real estate 74 CONNECTIONS Network, educate, celebrate 80 FOOD Hot or cold, Cafenity has the goods

64 DESIGN 2017

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

GOOD IMPRESSES. GRAND INSPIRES. 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. grand hyatt kaua‘i resort & spa | 1571 poipu road | koloa, hi 96756 |



Kim Baxter Tiffany Foyle Lindsey Kesel Natalie Schack Melanie Yamaguchi

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Aaron Bernard Dave Livingston Dave Miyamoto Darryl Watanabe

PRESIDENT Jamie Giambrone

PUBLISHER Naomi Hazelton




ADMINISTRATION Crystal Rogers Sally Shaner


16-BAY-0963 PEM.indd 12/20/16 is2:43 PM - 1 publication - (BlacK) (Cyan) available through subscription, direct mail and at bookstores throughout Hawai‘i. The views expressed within Pacific Edge (Magenta) (Yellow) Pacific Edge magazine a quarterly magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of management and ownership. Pacific Edge magazine may not be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

Before you break ground, make sure you’re on solid legal ground. We’re home to eight attorneys listed in Best Lawyers,® including the 2013 and 2014 Construction Litigation and 2014 Business Organizations “Lawyers of Year.” If you seek excellence in real estate, construction or complex commercial law or litigation, put our team to work for you.

Problem solved.

Topa Financial Center, 700 Bishop St. 9th Floor, Honolulu, HI 96813 (808) 523-9000


Attorney of the Year and other awards are issued by Woodard/White, Inc. For selection methodology, see

Dwayne Masutani Director of Finance Lanakila Pacific

Lisa Rae Yamasaki, Student Teaching & Learning Center Lanakila Pacific

Shaun Rodrigues, AVP Business Banking Officer Central Pacific Bank

A bank we can all be proud of. “From Lanakila Meals on Wheels to the Teaching & Learning Center, our programs have had a positive impact on so many lives,” says Dwayne Masutani, Director of Finance at Lanakila Pacific. “Central Pacific Bank is a big part of our success. Whatever our needs, our banker always finds a solution.” We build relationships from the ground up by understanding your business and putting heart into reaching your goals. 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

Publisher’s Note A New Landscape Happy New Year! Welcome to another issue of Pacific Edge magazine. This year marks our 11th anniversary, and we’re excited to dive into the new and everchanging landscape of business here in Honolulu. It is with an aim-to-please mission that we continue to recognize individuals who understand the nuances of Hawai‘i’s unique business climate and who conduct themselves with aloha. In our efforts to stay on the pulse of business in Hawai‘i, we have a multitude of new team

members joining us at Element Media and are looking forward to another wonderful year with them on board. Our team is truly the driving force behind every magazine and event we produce at this small, family-owned business. In this issue, we touch base with a number of leaders in the design, building and architecture communities, each weighing in on the industry trends and cuttingedge projects shaping Hawai‘i today. Our built environment is changing rapidly, not only in terms of new construction but also the many renovation projects transforming our landscape. Take a look at the hotel renovations we feature in this issue. It’s amazing to see it all unfold right in front us.

Growing up on Kaua‘i and now living and running a business on O‘ahu, I am keenly aware how lucky we are to have the best of both worlds as we live, work and play alongside all that these beautiful islands have to offer. Please join us on March 8 for a night of networking and celebration at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. We’re inviting our readers and all the key players from the design and building industry to celebrate their successes and honor the significant contributions they’ve made over the years in our homes, offices and community.

Aloha, Naomi Hazelton

Bring problems. Find solutions. A Vistage peer advisory board is a powerful, confidential forum for CEOs, business owners and senior executives to meet with non-competing peers to discuss challenges, gain deeper issue clarity and hear new options. Find out how a peer group works with Vistage Chair Lou Darnell.

To learn more, call 808.356.0010 or email

Lou Darnell Vistage Chair






Network Reliability†




Faster Internet Up to 60Mbps


for only



Advanced Business Voice


for only

99 $ /mo when bundled*

99 /mo per line**

Limited time offer; subject to change. Qualified business customers only. Must not have subscribed to applicable services within the previous 30 days and have no outstanding obligation to Charter. *$59.99 Internet offer is for 12 months when bundled with TV or Voice and includes Spectrum Business Internet Plus with 60 Mbps download speeds. Internet speed may not be available in all areas. Actual speeds may vary. Charter Internet modem is required and included in price. **$29.99 Voice offer is for 12 months when bundled with Internet or TV and includes on Spectrum Business Voice phone line with calling features and unlimited local and long distance within the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Canada. †99.9% reliability is based on weekly reliability, Jan – Oct 2016. Standard pricing applies after promotional period. Installation fees, taxes and surcharges not included. Services are subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, which are subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply. Call for details. Time Warner Inc. Used under license. Restrictions apply. Call for details. © Charter Communications.


You’re Hired!

Hiring takeaways from the 2016 presidential election



CANDIDATE POTENTIAL Experience is typically the first thing that hiring managers look for in a job candidate. Unfortunately, a candidate’s experience and what the role requires rarely align perfectly. Without an incumbent running in this year’s election, America was left to make a hiring decision based on each candidate’s potential. In an age of strategic HR, it may seem counterintuitive to make a hiring decision based on potential, but on-the-job experience isn’t the only consideration.



Instead, when reviewing resumes or conducting interviews, ask candidates to explain how their experience—or lack thereof—could translate well into the role and benefit your company. SOCIAL MEDIA Politicians understand the importance of social media. Your business would be remiss not to have a digital strategy for hiring as well. Social media can be a valuable part of your business’ recruitment strategy, whether to establish an open line of communication with jobseekers or to advertise available positions. GROUP INTERVIEWS Seeing candidates in the context of a heated debate revealed a great deal this election season. Hiring managers may want to consider this same strategy as a way to get to know job candidates. Holding a group interview can give hiring managers the opportunity to see how well candidates work with others. This type of forum can

also reveal behavior that wouldn’t have come up in a one-on-one interview. One-onone interviews are important, but putting a few candidates in the same room can help hiring managers make a better decision about which person is best for the job. Finding the right candidate for your open position can be difficult. In Hawai‘i, the price of paradise tends to be an even longer and more frustrating hiring process. By staying abreast of new and unique hiring strategies, businesses can ensure they are not only reaching a breadth of candidates but are also hiring the right candidates and positioning them to succeed.

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



Nowhere to Go But Up With urban living comes a new paradigm for interior design by CHRIS DITTMAR


nine times the number of O‘ahu residents crammed into a space half the size of Kaua‘i. Now that’s a design challenge. New York City has seen decades of urban sprawl, degradation and renewal and offers design solutions for a growing Honolulu. New York City is functional because there are downtown areas for all the boroughs. City planners and builders have taken that idea and brought it to the Ward and Kaka‘ako districts. Ward Village is an entire neighborhood designed to be accessible on foot, complete with mixed-use structures, innovation centers and reclaimed parks. We are living in a new Hawai‘i, and for the majority of residents in the state, vertical living is the new normal. Condominium



units have become the standard as we build upward to solve Hawai‘i’s housing crisis. Hawai‘i’s population is estimated to reach approximately two million by 2040. As the population doubles in the next 25 years, will the design of these new buildings ensure adequate supply for the demand? Through innovative design, we can overcome the challenges presented by our space constraints and pent-up demand for housing. As the condo market branches out to neighborhoods beyond Honolulu’s suburbs, smaller living spaces may become the mid-market normal. Furniture and amenities with multiple purposes could evolve from need to trend to lifestyle as technology creates additional space solutions through automation and keyless entry. Micro-units could become “microchip units” as technology makes it possible to automatically reconfigure the furniture based on the occupant’s lifestyle.

The trend toward vertical, urban living is about utilizing smaller spaces by making them more functional and comfortable. Modular furniture with multifunctional capabilities maximize the product’s value and allow for more efficient use of a space. A studio can be much more than a room with a bed and kitchenette if you’re able convert the bedroom into a living room, or the dining area into an office space. Life tends to pull us in multiple directions, so it’s only fitting that our living spaces transform to meet our ever-changing needs.

CHRIS DITTMAR is the vice president of business development at Infinium Interiors. An O‘ahu native, he earned his BFA from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, and recently received his Executive MBA from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Shidler College of Business.


Clifford Planning & Architecture LLC Harbor Court 55 Merchant Street, Suite 3020 Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 p: e: w: ig:

808-537-1200 @cp_architecture

Planning Architecture Interior Design


Millennials and Money

How the largest generation in today’s workforce can take charge of their financial future



STEP 1: PLAN People don’t plan to fail, they just failed to plan. This is where many young people are deterred before they even begin. I advise handwriting a reasonable five-year goal that is S.M.A.R.T.—specific, measurable, actionable and realistic, and then set a timeline. Maybe you want to be completely debt-free and earn $10,000 per year in income from your savings and investment accounts by 2021. With that kind of clarity and focus, you have a target and can make financial decisions more easily by judging

whether or not they bring you closer to or further from your goals. So, should you buy those new shoes with your credit card even though you don’t really need them and you already carry a balance on that card? YOLO, right? Wrong—buying those shoes would keep you further from your goal, so you shouldn’t do it. It’s as simple as that. STEP 2: AVOID CONSUMER DEBT If you can only “afford” that new car by financing it, you should probably buy a cheaper car. And avoid racking up credit card debt at the mall. If you want something, save up and buy it when you have the money. The purchase will be more rewarding, and you’ll feel good knowing you made the right decision for your financial future. STEP 3: SAVE Pay yourself first. Saving a portion of your income should be the first thing you do every time you get paid. Decide on the percentage of your income that you can comfortably set aside for savings and investing, and commit to saving it after every paycheck. I suggest setting aside at least 10 percent of your income every month. You can even put money into various accounts, such as one account for investments, one for splurging on things you

love and one for a down payment on your dream home. I tell my clients to treat saving and investing like an expense—something you pay into every month. That way, you don’t end up with more month left at the end of your money. STEP 4: INVEST This step is my specialty and, I think, the most fun. When you invest wisely, you are growing your wealth and likely earning money while you sleep. There is no onesize-fits-all approach, which is why we spend so much time sitting down with clients to learn about their financial situations. However, most young people with earned income may qualify for a traditional or Roth IRA and should absolutely contribute to it. And if you plan to have a family one day, consider buying a life insurance policy sooner rather than later. The premium of life insurance policies will only go up as you get older. There are dozens of investment options available, and the option you decide on will depend on your current financial situation, your investment goals and your risktolerance level. The good news, millennials, is that you have time on your side to invest and grow your assets.

HANNAH RAFF is an agent with New York Life Insurance Company and a registered representative with NYLIFE Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Licensed Insurance Agency. Securities products and services are offered through NYLIFE Securities LLC. She holds Series 6 and Series 63 securities licenses. HRAFF@FT.NEWYORKLIFE.COM




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. © 2017 Ameriprise Financial, Inc., All rights reserved.

David Livingston Financial Advisor/Franchise Owner Ameriprise Financial 808.441.4000

HOW CAN I STEP UP MY LEADERSHIP GAME? Motivate your team to go outside of their comfort zone. It’s important to push not only yourself but everyone else around you to overcome fears and try new things. It gives a sense of empowerment and helps to increase confidence! Be inspiring. Provide support and resources to encourage your team to reach their career potential, from personal mentoring to professional association membership to industry-related seminars and workshops. Continual growth helps to engage employees and keep them at a high level of motivation and commitment. Embody core values. Instill values in your team that they can use as a guide in everyday situations. For me, it’s living with gratitude, faith, hope and love.

Lisa Truong Kracher, MBA President Staffing Solutions of Hawaii 808.949.3669


IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO OWN A HOME IN LAS VEGAS? Nevada is the second-fastest-growing state in the country. Due to current housing demand, there have been more building permits pulled in 2016 than in the market boom of 2006. The major difference being that, on average, houses are going for about half of 2006 prices! The current median cost of a single-family residence is approximately $240,000. Nevada tax benefits are another crucial factor in home ownership. For starters, there’s no state income or inheritance tax, which helps with home affordability. Mortgage interest is tax deductible up to $1 million on a primary residence or second home. This savings alone can reduce the cost of borrowing by a third or more. Home purchase expenses are also tax deductible, and interest on equity lines of credit are tax deductible up to $100,000. Some major changes that have directly affected Nevada’s economy and housing market include the opening of new locations and distribution centers for major companies such as Tesla and Ikea, the legalization of medical marijuana and the founding of the Las Vegas Knights (NHL). Randy Hatada Broker/Owner Xpand Realty Las Vegas 702.289.1669

UPON LEAVING MY JOB, WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS TO CONTINUE MY DENTAL PLAN? Whether you are transitioning to a new job, are now selfemployed, unemployed, or are planning to retire, first check with your current (or most recent) employer to determine if you are eligible for COBRA dental coverage. If you’re not eligible for COBRA, you can enroll directly with Hawaii Dental Service (HDS) at any time by visiting our website at We have a variety of individual dental plans to choose from—be sure to review each plan’s benefits coverage and monthly costs to find the best fit for your family’s needs. All HDS dental plans provide 100 percent coverage for preventive services such as oral exams and cleanings.

Elaine Fujiwara Director of Sales and Account Management Hawaii Dental Service 808.521.1431


| 17


Holistic Design Mark de Reus, founding design partner at de Reus Architects, integrates planning, architecture and landscape to develop high-end resorts and private residences that showcase a sense of place and timeless aesthetics PHOTO: TRACY WRIGHT CORVO PHOTOGRAPHY


Successful people never stop learning. Mark de Reus, founding design partner at de Reus Architects, is one of those successful people. In fact, his design philosophy requires ongoing study with every new project. With a penchant for holistic design that seamlessly intertwines structure and place, understanding the client and the project’s natural surroundings and culture is the cornerstone of his art. De Reus has achieved balance between his practice’s artistic and practical efforts, which has earned him an equally strong reputation for his architecture and his management.

YOU USE THE WORD “HANDCRAFTED” TO DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN METHOD. HOW AND WHY ARE DE REUS ARCHITECT PROJECTS HANDCRAFTED? Over the years we’ve developed a highly customized and steady approach to resort development—we hand-tailor it to reflect the spirit and soul of each location. Our overall view and philosophy of handcrafting spaces begins with fitting the entire architectural program into the land. As the process moves from the general to the specific, it’s a continual refinement where we’re testing options against each other and developing ideas along the way. There is a continual process of refinement at all these levels.



The planning and design of a building and landscape, developed together as one effort, has become the philosophical cornerstone of our practice. The traditional approach involves a planner taking a broad look at the project, then handing it off to the architect. With that approach, we find that there is a lack of collaboration that stifles creativity and cohesion. Over the years, we’ve developed both our planning and architecture studios, and it’s become a very holistic effort for us, which our clients really appreciate. Our holistic approach involves integrating planning, architecture and landscape as one expression, from big-picture ideas to the smallest architectural details. The process for designing each of the buildings is the

same. We’re designing the gardens and the surroundings around each of the buildings together as one.

HOW DO YOU ACQUAINT YOURSELF WITH THE CLIENT AND THE PLACE IN ORDER TO FORM AN ARTISTIC INTERPRETATION OF THEIR NEEDS AND DESIRES? In order to have the project feel rooted to the region and true to place, we extensively study the culture, the host community, wherever in the world that may be, and the land. The development has to address all those aspects so that it feels contextually relevant, like it truly belongs. For us, a project has to be a good fit with the community, region and the land. It takes a multifaceted approach to execute that vision. This process is always tailored to the client. Developers usually have some idea of what they want to do. We’re brought in to help refine their vision and make it a reality. It’s a very collaborative process.



Inspired by the ancient buildings of Kyoto and blended with signature tropical modern sensibilities, the architecture of this residence sought equilibrium with nature.

RESORT AND RESIDENTIAL DESIGN SEEM TO BE AT OPPOSITE ENDS OF THE DESIGN SPECTRUM. IS THIS SO, OR ARE THERE SIMILARITIES? HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK IN THESE TWO ARENAS OF ARCHITECTURE? Our clients, whether they’re developers or private owners of a residence, both appreciate and are drawn to inspired surroundings. They find value in handcrafted design. The hospitality industry, particularly five-star and boutique resorts, is trying to become more residential, less corporate and less formulaic. A lot of our expertise is from having worked in a lot of residential for the last 40 years. We’re very comfortable with that level of detail. We’re adding nuances and details to hospitality projects that have traditionally been overlooked. For example, when you enter a guest room, there’s thought that goes into seemingly mundane features like where to store your luggage once you’ve put your clothes away and what the service pantry with the coffee and tea looks like. We design specifically for that function so it’s nicely integrated into the overall form of the room. A journalist that interviewed Elon Musk a few years ago asked him why General Motors designs mediocre automobiles. Elon’s replied that General Motors doesn’t design with first principles—they design by analogy. Designing by analogy means that they’re refining past models and not looking


at it from the start. When Musk designs with first principles, whether it’s SpaceX or the Tesla, he goes all the way down to the physics of the design problem and reasons up from there. This process is what allows for real innovation. The hospitality industry has generally been known to design by analogy. They are implementing a design or feature simply because it’s like something else that was already done regardless of whether that solution is appropriate for the project. We like to push ourselves and our clients to follow the first-principles process. Having the spectrum of a hospitality and residential background as well as experience in master planning allows us to telescope in and out of the design problem on a first-principles basis.

HOW DO YOU CAPTURE, HARNESS AND EVOKE THE SPIRIT OF A PLACE? Each project is driven by our holistic approach of integrating planning, design and landscaping with timeless design as the end goal. For instance, we’ve been working on a hospitality project in Fiji for a few years. It’s on three islands that merge together as one island, which poses quite the challenge. You have to fit the buildings in very carefully and be very precise about how they fit on the land. The hillsides are steep, and there’s working with the natural characteristics of the island—you have to be careful about drainage, the impact to its

natural resources and allowing the buildings to settle into the islands lightly. I learned to appreciate natural systems early on in my career. A key influence I had back in college is the book Design with Nature by famous landscape architect Ian McHarg. It really clued me in to working with natural systems. It’s the basis behind the basic tenants for sustainability nowadays. Another case in point is Punta Sayulita, a 33-acre residential resort community in Sayulita, Mexico. We used a triplebottom-line sustainability model, balancing economic, ecological and community considerations throughout the resort. Drawing influence from the traditional Nayarit coastline’s architectural vernacular, we set just 62 residences on the site. The club amenities are integrated into a small, intimate little valley. They had to be handcrafted and hand-fit into the valley so that they felt natural and had a minimum impact, environmentally and visually, on the property.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ARCHITECTS READY TO MAKE THE JUMP FROM WORKING IN A FIRM TO STRIKING OUT ON THEIR OWN? One of the things I like to suggest is to take lots of drawing classes or some sort of artistic effort to keep the hand-eye thinking going. In conjunction, there are several valuable classes that don’t always get put


| 19


into the architectural curriculum, which are philosophy, debate and, most importantly, business classes. Those architects who are good in design and business are the ones who thrive. There are certain books that have helped me along the way. Peter Guber’s Tell to Win shows how important storytelling is to the process of persuasion and collaboration. It’s really important to be able to speak in a compelling way about a project’s design, whether we’re trying to describe a design concept or milestone project to a client, the planning commission or the city council. Another book I really is Art’s Principles by Arthur Gensler. He’s an iconic architect from San Francisco who started his own firm 50 years ago and grew it into one of the largest architectural firms in the world. The firm has always been known for high-quality services, and his book gives all these great tidbits of advice on how to manage the practice from a business perspective. I wish I had read the book 30 years ago.



We pride ourselves on structuring our practice so that we have a strong reputation in design and an equally strong reputation in management. In our profession, it’s not just an artistic effort—it’s also a practical effort. It just adds more value for the client when we can be very business-like and manage our affairs successfully. Then they don’t have to manage us. There’s something else I came to understand a few years ago when my business partner, Steve Ewing, and I really felt the need to understand how millennials think, how they approach living and working. Conversely, millennials need to try to understand how older generations think and approach things. We hired an outside consultant to lead some work sessions to help the whole office learn about each other. It was a really good exercise in trying to understand not just how different ages think, but also different personality types, which was part of the workshops.

(top) de Reus Architects is a close-knit group of architects and artists (from left to right): Stephen Ewing, Erin Anderson, Mark de Reus, John Rowland, Dan Dzakowic. (bottom) Inspired by the traditional Nayarit coastline architectural vernacular, Punta Sayulita Resort balances economic, ecological and community considerations.

SOME SAY THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS ORIGINALITY. DO YOU AGREE? In our practice, the innovation we strive for lies in how the design gets expressed for that client on that piece of land. When you’re working with building materials that have distinctive characteristics—stone, wood, concrete, steel—you have to work with their strengths and how they express themselves in a building. There’s innovation and originality in how these things get put together, but we’re not going to reinvent the tree. We have to work with its intrinsic characteristics so it can span a space or stabilize a wall, whatever it is. The originality side of our profession is on the edge of where the architects are making very sculptural forms. There’s varying degrees to originality. There’s a resort project we’re currently working on that has a relatively modest budget. We have to be practical in what we create for them. We’re not going to be able to afford strong, sculptural gestures and artistic objects. A lot of firms follow the trends of the day, creating objects and then determining its function within the object. They’re working on a purely exterior sculptural design while shaping sculptural spaces on the inside. Unfortunately, when architects do that, their client’s program becomes subordinate to the sculptural piece. That skill is a nuanced and high-level part of the game in architecture, and very few architects are good at it. Sometimes architects will make an effort just for the sake of being different or trendy. By the time it’s built, or a year or two after the trend changes, it looks outdated and tired. Many cities—Honolulu included—are full of designs that try too hard or tried unsuccessfully to be clever. Doing certain details, moods and gestures just to be different doesn’t pass the test of timelessness. The inspired design is a relatively moderate percentage of what gets built. We’re doing our part to help combat that.


Jan/Feb/Mar Issue Launch Wednesday, March 8th 5:30-8:30pm at the KAHALA HOTEL & RESORT R E G I S T E R T O D AY -

Subscribe to Pacific Edge Magazine now!

Please make checks or money order payable to:

Send to: Element Media 1088 Bishop St. #1130 Honolulu, HI 96813

4 issues of Pacific Edge for


(includes shipping)

Element Media may contact me via email regarding Pacific Edge subscriptions, promotions, and events. Sorry, we do not accept foreign subscriptions. Do not send cash. Check must be made in U.S. currency only. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery your first issue. Subscriptions include the price of shipping and handling only in the U.S. only.


“My job description is whatever keeps moving the project forward. When we are done with each development, we stand to increase that value many times for our partners and investors.”


Collaboration is Key LINDA SCHATZ Founder and Managing Member SCHATZ COLLABORATIVE



inda Schatz crafted her recipe for success at Kwok’s Chop Suey, a Chinese restaurant on Wai‘alae Avenue. Her grandparents and parents ran the place, working 14-hour days, 365 days a year. Schatz grew up working there, first in the kitchen and later as a server. Her parents, first-generation immigrants from China and Hong Kong, poured every dollar they earned into the restaurant and made it a point to employ other immigrants who needed jobs. Having a business that made the family a stable living and supported employees with families of their own was an experience that continues to drive her today. “I became an entrepreneur through necessity,” Schatz recalls. As soon as she graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a doctorate in architecture, focusing on transit-oriented development in urban infill locations, she cold-called some landowners and development companies. She landed at Kamehameha Schools as an intern and then worked her way up to land analyst, then real estate analyst and then development manager. Most of her focus was on the Kaka‘ako master plan, which led her to work with Forest City Hawaii, where she helped develop Kapolei Lofts, Hawai‘i’s first master-planned community for renters in 20 years. Schatz brings that expertise and knowledge of community-based development to the roster of development



partners and investors she works with as a managing member for her real estate development company Schatz Collaborative. Schatz Collaborative manages real estate development projects for partners and investors, focusing on fee development and servicing real estate companies outside of Hawai‘i that need local expertise. Schatz is responsible for running the projects and managing uncertainty and risk in each deal. She’s also responsible for finding properties, concepts, investors and project teams to execute real estate deals. “My job description is whatever keeps moving the project forward,” Schatz says. “Since we are a small boutique firm, we all do everything.” Since Schatz started the company in 2016, about $200 million’s worth of projects are in the pipeline at various phases. “When we are done with each development and have reached stabilization, we stand to increase that value many times for our partners and investors,” she says. “The even more rewarding fact is that we will have produced hundreds of housing units and brought commercial activity that creates hundreds of direct jobs and really improves neighborhoods in Hawai‘i.” In a small market like Hawai‘i, where land is scarce and regulations are tough, Schatz’s team competes for capital with other cities with better macroeconomic conditions. “Flexibility and service are

cornerstones of our business,” Schatz says. “We take care of the people we work with and those we serve, no matter what the circumstance, which is why the word collaborative is in our business name. Each project takes a team of people while also requiring community support, so collaboration is key. Our business is such a people-based business. If you treat people fairly, are honest and communicate and execute your intentions with integrity and directness, it goes a long way.” Motherhood has had a substantial impact on Schatz’s professional life as well. “Because of all the demands placed on mothers every day, it’s given me the ability to make decisions and judgment calls in all parts of my life quickly to ensure I am productive and efficient,” Schatz says. “My partners and clients are lucky to have a working mom on their projects.” Being a mother also taught her to work smarter by employing the 80/20 rule, which maintains that 20 percent of one’s efforts produces 80 percent of the results. “I’ve learned to cut through the noise so I’m there to watch my son’s tennis match or my daughter’s choir performance,” she explains. “I don’t hide the fact that I’m a mom with kid responsibilities. I take business calls while the kids are shouting in the minivan. I will never be apologetic about being a career woman and a mother at the same time.” Her goal is simple—help shape urban Honolulu. As for the legacy she leaves behind, that’s more personal. “My son was in the car with me one day and just said, out of the blue, that he wants to live right next to me one day when he buys his own house,” Schatz recalls. “He asked if that’s possible. Of course, every mom tells her kids that everything is possible. But in my mind, I knew if we don’t solve our housing crisis and also generate better-paying jobs and new industries, he may never even have the opportunity to buy a home in Hawai‘i.” When it comes down to it, Schatz simply wants to ensure that Hawai‘i kids like her son have the chance to come home to Hawai‘i after college and find the quality of life and opportunities she had. “We need to leave our state—and our world, for that matter—in a better place than when we first started our lives and families,” Schatz says. “It’s not a wish, but an obligation.”


| 23


LEADERS IN BUILD, DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION Hawai‘i’s construction industry has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. As contractors wrap up work on the first wave of mixed-use residential and commercial towers in Honolulu, the cranes are already moving on to other sites to begin again. ADUs are popping up in suburban neighborhoods, and more master-planned communities are on the way in central O‘ahu. In this issue, the state’s construction industry leaders weigh in on good design and give their 2017 industry outlook.





Principal and Managing Partner | PHILPOTTS INTERIORS


WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO FUTURE ARCHITECTS, BUILDERS OR DESIGNERS? Do your part to contribute to the smart and sustainable planning and development of Honolulu. Whether it is increasing landscaping or preserving what’s left of our maukamakai view planes, let’s embrace and augment our natural resources so we can reinvent ourselves and create a contemporary, timeless environment. WHICH OF YOUR PROJECTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AND WHY? Hotel Wailea is a recent one that comes to mind. It is a story of organic reinvention and about turning big ideas into bigger moves. We worked with the Hotel Wailea team to turn a tired property that used to be a private Japanese club into a romantic getaway worthy of becoming Relais & Chateaux’s first Hawai‘i location. It’s become internationally recognized for its fresh and vibrant atmosphere and is a true destination for couples from around the world. There’s your Valentine’s Day idea for your significant other.


WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGN PROJECTS? Travel and the subsequent exposure to the human, natural and built elements of other cultures provide a great deal of inspiration. These experiences are the foundation for authentic design— design that’s grounded in place. ARE THERE DESIGN AND BUILD CHALLENGES SPECIFIC TO HAWAI‘I? Unfortunately, there are many. Up front, there can be a lack of access to certain products, along with a lack of the understanding that comes with exposure to the processes that create them. On the back end, the cost of transporting these products to Hawai‘i can be very high. But I think this ultimately spurs a level of resourcefulness and innovation with our local designers that doesn’t necessarily exist elsewhere. WHAT IS SOME ADVICE THAT GOT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? I have been the recipient of a lot of great advice, but my first work experiences out of school were incredibly formative. Just ess model. It was also a place where work and play went hand in hand. The company culture was unique, from in-house yoga to tennis lessons in the Esprit Park—you really wanted to be there. The resulting output was fresh, innovative and profitable. Here at Philpotts, we aspire to be on the same plane as Espirit, from offering yoga classes to a wide range of professional development opportunities. Make the most of what you do. You only get one


WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Be true to yourself and true to the client. Don’t impose your values on others. Instead, acknowledge who they are and interpret their personal and professional aspirations. Also, listen to the voices of design legacy and the importance they play in design through art, craftsmanship and culture. With this you can balance pragmatism and beauty, simplicity and restraint, and liability and awareness.

journey, so make it count. In San Francisco, Chip Conley was an inspiration and fantastic mentor. His approach to hotels for Joie de Vivre taught me so much about the nuances of hospitality design. In Hawai‘i, Jon McManus of Hotel Wailea has served as an inspired visionary, always encouraging out-of-the-box thinking. And I’ve learned so much from all of my business partners along the way—most notably Jonathan Staub and my mother, Mary Philpotts. Jonathan has this incredible ability to bring big ideas to fruition without fear and sell it. He has taught me so much about seeing design from the client’s perspective. As the founder of Philpotts Interiors, Mary’s entrepreneurial spirit gave me the courage to go for it on my own in San Francisco. Today her energy and role modeling are my greatest gifts. I honor her here in Hawai‘i.


MARION PHILPOTTS-MILLER, principal and managing partner of Philpotts Interiors, was born and raised in Hawai‘i by her interior designer mother, who helped her appreciate the aesthetic of refined South Pacific living. PhilpottsMiller’s approach to design is inspired by the contemporary urban style she picked up during her years in San Francisco, where she began adopting the thoughtful, purposeful and amusing style she is known for today.


| 25



GLADYS QUINTO MARRONE is the CEO of BIA-Hawaii, where she also serves as chief administrator and oversees all aspects of membership, signature consumer shows, the Hawai‘i Building Industry Foundation and the Construction Training Center of the Pacific. She graduated from Farrington High School, the University of Southern California and the University of Hawai‘i School of Law. WHAT MAJOR INDUSTRY TRENDS DO YOU SEE UNFOLDING IN HAWAI‘I AT THIS TIME? Many of our contractors have been designing and building multigenerational housing, as Hawai‘i leads the nation in multigenerational households at almost 8 percent. This is certainly due to our culture, but it also has a lot to do with affordability and is a symptom of a lack of housing supply. We also lack rental housing, so accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, are a way to help ease that shortage. Mayor Caldwell’s administration passed a law in 2014 that allows qualified homeowners to add a second unit to their


WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO FUTURE ARCHITECTS, BUILDERS OR DESIGNERS? Understand your client and listen to their needs. Reputation is key, so do quality projects and work with integrity. Our industry is always changing, so it’s also important to keep yourself abreast and educated on what’s new. WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE CHANGING HONOLULU SKYLINE? DO MORE CRANES AND TOWERS EQUAL A HEALTHY BUILDING INDUSTRY? Kaka‘ako is probably where our skyline is changing the most. What’s happening there is a result of over 30 years of investment in infrastructure. That infrastructure, paid for by tax payers, along with current market conditions, are now able to support growth in the area. High-rise condos are part of a healthy building and housing industry. But to truly have a healthy housing market, we need to be building more housing at all price points. A state report found that Hawai‘i needs over 66,000 new housing units between 2015 and 2025—26,000 of those units on O‘ahu alone. In 2015, 804 permits were issued for single-family homes, but it’s unclear whether they are for new addresses or rebuilds. We are already behind and falling more behind every year. More housing will allow families to move to something better suited to their needs. When you’re starting out, you’re renting an apartment or maybe still living at home. You get married, and then buy a condo. You have a child, and then another, and then you move into a townhome or single-family home. Many people aren’t able to do this now because there is not enough housing being built. More housing makes homes more affordable.






property for a rental. The high upfront fees were a barrier, so all DPP-related fees w ere waived for two years. The incentives worked, as we see that the amount of applications has at least doubled since the fees were waived. Transit-oriented development will provide much-needed housing within the urban core, but we cannot be successful without investing in critical backbone infrastructure. We are hopeful that government has taken steps to increase its investment.


CHARLES KANESHIRO is an architect with a passion for sustainable, educational and inspired endeavors that transform communities. Charles has served as G70’s president and COO since 2014 and is leading the firm during a pivotal time as it rebrands and expands its services and global reach. WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? I have always been interested in the connection between nature and our built environment. I’m not sure if it was all the Boy Scout camping I did as a youth or growing up in Kaua‘i, where the idea of fun was running around outside rather than playing video games, but in my architectural career, I have endeavored to design projects that respond to land, environment and nature. This is the reason I gravitated to the LEED program from its onset and it is what energizes me daily. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO FUTURE ARCHITECTS, BUILDERS OR DESIGNERS? Love what you do. I think we are in a great profession. We are creating projects that impact our communities for generations to come. Think about it—the buildings that we are designing and building will hopefully have a life span of 50 years, far beyond our careers. Winston Churchill said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”

President and COO | G70


WHICH OF YOUR PROJECTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AND WHY? I am honestly proud of every project I work on, so it’s not possible to select just a few. They are all special, otherwise

I would not have taken them on. One of the most recently completed projects I’ve worked on is the Mendel Elementary School building in Tokyo, Japan. The driving vision was to shape the building to preserve 15 mature sakura trees that were slated for demolition. The Sullivan Center at ‘Iolani School is the first CHPS (Collaborative for High Performance School) project in Hawai‘i. It’s a landmark educational project, incorporating 21st-century flexible collaboration, seminar space and makerspaces with state-of-art equipment. Also, the C-MORE Hale at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa is the first LEED platinum laboratory facility in Hawai‘i. WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGN PROJECTS? WHAT INSPIRES THE CREATIVE ELEMENTS OF YOUR WORK? People and places—I travel abroad for work and leisure four to six times a year, and in my travels I find inspiration in the people I meet and places I visit. It could be having coffee in a café in Venice or walking through a busy street in Tokyo. ARE THERE DESIGN CHALLENGES SPECIFIC TO HAWAI‘I? I would say that the top three challenges are high construction pricing, permit obstacles and a lack of experienced architects to hire. Some of this is cyclical and already well documented in the press. Some people have said that Hawai‘i also suffers from a lack of openness to new design ideas, but I have found that our clients are asking for creativity, innovation and culturally appropriate designs that push the envelope beyond the status quo.


| 27

WHAT ADVICE GOT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? Seek architects who are 20 years ahead of where you are and treat them to lunch or coffee. Ask them for advice. You will learn a tremendous amount from their experiences.

WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE CHANGING HONOLULU SKYLINE? DO MORE CRANES AND TOWERS EQUAL A HEALTHY BUILDING INDUSTRY? Cranes and towers are an indication of a healthy building industry, but moreover, they indicate a healthy

business community. I think the changing skyline is inevitable in a healthy growth environment, provided that the density is consolidated, setbacks are respected to preserve view corridors, and urban parks and open space are incorporated. WHAT IS ONE QUESTION CONSUMERS SHOULD ALWAYS ASK THEIR DESIGN FIRM OR CONTRACTOR? What is your track record for repeat clientele? This single criterion is very revealing about how a company provides services and handles client relationships. G70 has a 93 percent track record for repeat clientele, which we are very proud of. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCEED IN HAWAI‘I IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? Developing key, long-lasting relationships and a growth mindset. These are important qualities in any career, but critical in our industry. Relationships with clients, consultants, contractors, vendors and the community have a significant impact on project implementation. It’s a popular phrase now, but I think having a growth mindset is also critical. Stagnant thinking can strike at any age. In a world that is changing daily due to technology, influenced by instant, realtime news and rife with interconnected relationships, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels or assume the same formula will work every time.







Senior Architect and Regional Business Development Manager | ALLANA BUICK & BERS

DAVID KA‘AHA‘AINA JR. is a licensed professional architect and the Hawai‘i regional business development manager at Allana Buick & Bers, a California-founded architectural engineering corporation with eight offices in the southeastern and western United States, focusing on building enclosure, construction management, mechanical and energy management and forensics services. Kaahaaina is a Kamehameha Schools and University of Notre Dame graduate.


WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? I believe strongly that there are designs suited to all climates and geographies, but that the best solutions are the vernacular— the ones that respond to specific climates or purposes. The Native Hawaiians understood their ‘aina, wai and kai, and managed the abundance of these resources. Additionally, Western and Eastern cultures have now added to this understanding, and we have the opportunity to promote this blended style, or what I call “hapatechture.” It is taking advantage of building technology and systems, marrying them with sensitive and sustainable design concepts—keeping it simple yet elegant in that simplicity and letting our islands be the stars. And above all, function over form.

We owe it to na pua to make sure we create designs that perform. Our firm focuses on that design performance to make sure buildings are sustainable and durable. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO FUTURE ARCHITECTS, BUILDERS OR DESIGNERS? Participate in the public discourse of planning, funding and constructing our built environment. Architects are keenly aware of the strength of design, the importance of durability and sustainability, and the impacts that these most public of art forms have on current and future generations. We must engage and lead the discussion so that all will benefit from our experiences.


| 29

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGNS PROJECTS AND THE CREATIVE ELEMENTS OF YOUR WORK? I’m inspired by our forefathers, who wrought great works that are timeless—think ancient cultures, Classicism, the Renaissance. This can be brought forward, distilled and reduced down to the simple truths of managing and magnifying the elements through enclosure and siting. Views, light, air, water and energy can be controlled and maximized to create great and productive places to live, work, learn, pray and play. ARE THERE DESIGN CHALLENGES SPECIFIC TO HAWAI‘I? There are far too many missed opportunities when it comes to the manifestation of modern Hawa‘i in our design. The 1950s and 1960s saw the post-territorial erection of Ossipoff structures and designs like the Arizona Memorial and the Board of Water Supply. In the 1970s, iconic structures like the Hawai‘i State Capitol and the Hyatt Regency Waikiki were built. The 1990s saw the construction of the Center for Hawaiian Studies, the Bishop Memorial Chapel, the Ihilani and the renovation of the Moana Surfrider. In the 2000s it was the NELHA Center and the Aulani. All of these had iconic placement and an interplay of climate, culture and materials. The question now is how far new glass, steel and hardscaping technologies can take us to building the next iconic structure, one that is transcendent. The challenge is integrating form, time, culture and populism in a meaningful way. I look forward to that next great icon. I believe it is on a design board somewhere and just needs the chance to be manifested. Just look at the unbuilt designs for the Obama Presidential Library site in Kakaʻako or the design studio projects of students at the UH School of Architecture. WAS THERE ANY ADVICE THAT GOT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? My first college design studio professor said, “Work hard and play hard.” Architects are notorious for pulling all-nighters, for being obsessive and compulsive, and for having a very direct focus and train of thought. This is the work-hard element. We are taught to be meticulous, as an oversight can cost time and money, or it can be a matter of safety and health. However, the right brain also needs to be fed, hence the play-hard aspect—the embracing and expressing of the arts, of learning from travel or experience, from engaging in conversation, from working with ones hands. A famous football coach once said, “Show me someone who is a success and I will show you someone who has overcome adversity.” Anyone who has stood at the job site in front of a firing line of contractors, subs and owners’ reps and been asked “What do we do now?” knows what that statement means. Master both the right and the left brain, the work and play aspect, the adversity and opportunity equation, and you’ll be successful.




WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCEED IN HAWAI‘I IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? Tenacity is the key to success in Hawai‘i. When I was a first grader, my father and I were fishing off the Nanakuli homestead where he grew up. My first-ever catch was a very small humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Thrilled, I went to take it off the hook. It bit me and hung on to my index finger for what seemed like minutes, until I flung it back into the water and it swam away. To this day, that fish is a constant reminder that it’s not the size of the fish that matters; it’s tenacity. Sometimes you have to overcome gargantuan odds and simply hang on until an opportunity presents itself. Respect comes from working with others again and again, and success comes from that repeated commitment, engagement and overcoming of odds.





WHAT IS ONE QUESTION CONSUMERS SHOULD ALWAYS ASK THEIR DESIGN FIRM OR CONTRACTOR? Why should I spend the money to ensure that the work is constructed the way it was designed? In other words, why do I need to monitor the trades in the field during construction? The answer is that a building is only as good as the builder, and the trades should never discourage that involvement, as it makes for a successful project overall. The owner or consumer needs to realize that the project was a team effort, that skills and knowledge were applied to get the best value for their investment. Design doesn’t end when the permit is pulled, and building efforts begin long before that point as well. The truly successful projects are the ones that overlap and create synergy, when all teams assist one another in a holistic and pono way. Our firm deals with 70 percent of the issues related to building failure: leaks, energy overconsumption, structural defects or repairs. Taking the time during the construction process to look at these key issues goes a long way toward eliminating issues that affect building performance.


WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE CHANGING HONOLULU SKYLINE? DO MORE CRANES AND TOWERS EQUAL A HEALTHY BUILDING INDUSTRY? In business development in the design profession, a healthy building industry is quixotic. If a firm thrives during new construction, then yes, cranes and towers mean a full project pipeline. However, if another firm focuses on repair and maintenance, on commissioning or post-occupancy work, on infrastructure, then perhaps not. The cycle is always build, maintain, repair, build. So the changing skyline is a reflection of that. It means growth and opportunity, but it also implies that the overall economy is vibrant and whole. There is a vast building industry that manages and maintains each building, hotel and home, and this is vital to our economy in more ways than people realize. As the cost to erect most buildings represents only 10 percent of the actual cost to operate and occupy it over its lifespan, resource management and maintenance are key to maximizing these investments. At ABBAE, we are committed to maintaining and creating durable, sustainable, functional buildings.

Over the past 20 years, REIKO LEWIS has earned numerous design awards in Hawai‘i, California and abroad. As principal for Ventus Design, she infuses her work with four core Japanese values: harmony, respect, purity and serenity. Project team members enjoy working with Lewis for her outstanding designs as well as her skills as a project designer. She served as president of ASID Hawaii in 2016. WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Achieving harmony in design as a whole; respect for the history of the space, the culture and the owners’ interests; purity— making the space clean, safe and functional; and serenity—creating a sense of inner peace when you enter the space. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO FUTURE ARCHITECTS, BUILDERS OR DESIGNERS? Balance bold artistic expression with safety and functional use of the space. WHICH OF YOUR PROJECTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AND WHY? Every project and none of them, as I am always striving to achieve perfection.


| 31

ARE THERE DESIGN CHALLENGES SPECIFIC TO HAWAI‘I? Yes—time and scheduling, costs and quality of work. WHAT IS SOME ADVICE THAT GOT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? Be tenacious, strong-minded and never give up. While I was with CNN and worked for its founder, Ted Turner, I learned that Ted had a





WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGN PROJECTS? My inspiration comes from the owners’ interests and past experiences.

strong belief in tenacity and even named his ship Tenacious, which raced in the America’s Cup. I learned from him that a strong mind and passion will get you through difficulties. Never giving up is also important for success. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCEED IN HAWAI‘I IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? Hawai‘i is not an easy place to start a business. You just need to keep your passion to succeed and have a strong mind to get through the difficulties you encounter along the way. Aim high and try your best to reach the goals you set for yourself.



TREVOR THOMPSON has worked in the construction industry since 2006. He graduated from Hawai‘i Pacific University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and received an MBA in marketing and management in May 2002. Prior to joining Pono Stone, Thompson worked for one of Hawai‘i’s top advertising agencies and also in television. WHAT IS YOUR BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY? Work hard, play hard and have fun. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO FUTURE ARCHITECTS, BUILDERS, DESIGNERS OR CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS? Learn about new and innovative products that are coming out in the marketplace. Attend expos and conferences and keep up with what’s going on around the world, not just in the United States or Hawai‘i.



Sales and Marketing Director | PONO STONE


| 33

ARE THERE DESIGN/BUILD CHALLENGES SPECIFIC TO HAWAI‘I? Our products are the last to be installed, so when it comes time for the client to purchase, they are often scrambling because there is no money left for finishes. We try to offer alternatives at a cheaper price. Most of the time our pricing is already rock bottom, so it’s a challenge to find something even cheaper. It can have adverse affects because the cheaper the material, the worse the quality. WHAT IS SOME ADVICE THAT GOT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? For me, it’s all about customer service. We always need to be ready to help our clients at anytime and provide a quick response to a request. Whether we are awarded a job or not, it’s all about helping our clients as efficiently and as fast as possible. There’s always the next project down the road. WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE CHANGING HONOLULU SKYLINE? DO MORE CRANES AND TOWERS EQUAL A HEALTHY BUILDING INDUSTRY? I think it’s great to build the metropolitan concrete jungle area and build high rises, so long as the roads and infrastructure can handle the construction. Maintaining residential areas like Kaka‘ako will keep us from building out in the country. We need to keep Hawai‘i as beautiful and natural as we can and preserve what is left in this awesome state. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCEED IN HAWAI‘I IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? It takes a commitment to perform and do things the right away. If there is a problem, then own up to it and don’t throw anyone under the bus. If I make a mistake, I will own up to it right away and deal with it—it’s just the right thing to do. This builds trust with the client and promotes repeat business. We are never completely satisfied with a project until the client is super happy.








GLEN KANESHIGE is the president of Nordic PCL Construction, overseeing buildings operations with over 30 years of construction experience. He holds a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Michigan. Kaneshige enjoyed pounding nails and placing concrete alongside other union workers during college and later managing challenging projects, and remains optimistic that Hawai‘i’s construction industry will continue to do relatively well as this most recent boom shows signs of slowing down.


WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO FUTURE ARCHITECTS, BUILDERS OR DESIGNERS? Collaboration and creative problem solving in the early stages of design development are key to a successful project. The best time to address and mitigate risk between all the project stakeholders is before the first shovel is ever put into the ground. I’m also a firm believer that there are never perfect design drawings and there will never be perfect construction. Compromise is essential to getting the job built successfully. WHICH OF YOUR PROJECTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AND WHY? The Hawai‘i Convention Center is certainly in the top three because it was the largest design-build project when it was completed a month ahead of schedule

in 1997. It was also the beginning of our partnership with PCL Construction Services, which eventually led to its acquisition of Nordic Construction in 2008. I’m also proud of the James Campbell Building since it was the first commercial building in the budding city of Kapolei when it was completed in 1993, and also because it is one of the few stone-cladded façade buildings in Hawai‘i. More recently, the Waiea condominium developed by The Howard Hughes Corporation has gotten us a lot of attention because of the warped glass curtain wall that was designed to resemble a fishing net draped over the side of the tower in homage to Kaka‘ako’s history as a fishing village. WHAT KIND OF PROJECTS DO YOU FIND INSPIRING IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? The high-rise projects are certainly sexy in the construction business. The prominent silhouette of the high-rise against the skyline characterizes an urban center. I also find school and university projects to be inspiring because education is the primary path for most to improve their socio-economic situation. I feel we are helping to build people by building schools. WHAT ARE SOME DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION CHALLENGES SPECIFIC TO HAWAI‘I? Hawai‘i’s isolated location creates logistical challenges for procuring materials in a timely manner. Our project managers


| 35

are charged with the responsibility of orchestrating the approval, procurement and delivery of materials and equipment for a project with “just-in-time” accuracy to the job site. Hawai‘i’s isolation also contributes to the high cost of construction and the restricted labor pool. Like everything we buy in a store, construction materials and equipment have to be barged into Hawai‘i from the West Coast or airfreighted, so transportation costs contribute to the higher cost of construction. Costs are



further escalated because of the limited skilled workforce available, as we saw with the hyperinflation in this most recent construction boom. The workforce on the mainland has the interstate mobility to move to find work. That same workforce would have to board a plane and fly 2,500 miles for the opportunity to work in Hawai‘i, where the cost of living diminishes the allure a job in paradise.

WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE CHANGING HONOLULU SKYLINE? DO MORE CRANES AND TOWERS EQUAL A HEALTHY BUILDING INDUSTRY? More cranes and towers are inevitable and will contribute to making a healthy building industry. The demand for more affordable housing units will spur more high-rise condominium developments in the urban corridors of Honolulu. Smart development will help mitigate continuing residential development sprawl in West O‘ahu that will only exacerbate the traffic. The high-rise condominium developers are conscientious about producing projects that will enhance and help characterize the Honolulu skyline, with the goal of master planning live-work-play communities that promote walking and biking. I know locals fear that Honolulu will become a concrete jungle, but I believe smart planning and great architecture can accommodate increasing urban density. High-rise developments in Honolulu will always be challenged by the local ordinances and high construction costs, so both will be determinants of what gets built and what it may look like.





WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCEED IN HAWAI‘I IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? Perseverance and being able to work with people and understand the local culture is what it takes to do well in the local construction industry. Construction is a business that demands long hours at high stress levels. It isn’t rocket science, but there are no short cuts for anyone to succeed in construction, so the ability to persevere is essential. I’ve often said that construction is a people business because nobody can erect a building alone. It takes a team of people who may have diverse interests but hold the same goals to build a project. Those who accept responsibility and seize the opportunity to rally their team for the benefit of the project will be successful in our industry.


WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Let the land and environment be your guiding lights. The relationship of the home or building to the site is probably more important than the interior layout. Passive daylighting and natural ventilation, for example, will allow the home to be more comfortable and healthy. Universal design—the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design— should also be the starting point of design. We’re all getting older, and we never know if an injury or illness will curtail our enjoyment or the use of our homes; therefore, design with safety, accessibility and ease-of-use in mind.


WHAT IS ONE QUESTION CONSUMERS SHOULD ALWAYS ASK THEIR DESIGN FIRM OR CONTRACTOR? “What would your three most recent clients tell me about their experiences working with your company?” We need to remind ourselves that we are only as good as how we performed on our most recent projects. Clients come with the mindset of “What have you done for me lately?” We can never rest on our accomplishments.

EVAN FUJIMOTO is a construction executive with close to 30 years of experience in residential design and build and an architectural designer specializing in new homes, additions and renovations, with a focus on kitchen and bath design. Fujimoto is also a licensed general contractor with decades of experience in project management, scheduling, cost estimating and all aspects of construction administration.


| 37



WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE CHANGING HONOLULU SKYLINE? DO MORE CRANES AND TOWERS EQUAL A HEALTHY BUILDING INDUSTRY? Increasing density in the urban core and transit-oriented development is the new paradigm for building thriving communities that rely more on mass transit. We also have to make Honolulu a more walkable city, which means innovative design at the street level. This might involve adjusting height limits in order to preserve more open space between buildings and along street frontages, or mixed-use developments with professional services and exciting retail, dining and entertainment venues at ground level with residential units above. City planners could also consider allowing certain commercial properties to connect via aboveground bridgeways similar to how the Ilikai Marina Condos and The Modern and Ilikai hotels are connected via the pedestrian bridge over Hobron Lane. Integrating street-level and above-ground pathways with green spaces similar to Outrigger’s Beach Walk on Lewers Street is an innovating and exciting way to liven up our streetscapes.




HICKOX WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGNS PROJECTS? International travel has exposed me to many different concepts of what a house is. I’ve stayed in wooden shacks without electricity or running water in the Toraja highlands in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, as well as wood and stacked-stone structures in Nepal. High up in the Himalayas, people still cook indoors with open fires, which creates thick layers of soot that cover the wood rafters and stone roof tiles. These experiences gave me a genuine appreciation for the standard of living we enjoy and helps me to focus on what matters most for families—that our homes model who we are and define our values. Each individual and family has a unique story and the home should help tell and celebrate that story.

Homeworks Construction President MARSHALL HICKOX has been building and remodeling homes in Hawai‘i with his two business partners for over 21 years. He credits Homeworks’ talented design staff for the company’s numerous awards, including Best Contractor, Best Builder, and Best Kitchen and Bath Designer, as voted by the readers of Hawaii Home & Remodeling, and multiple BIA Renaissance Awards in the whole house category and the kitchen and bath remodeling category.

WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO FUTURE ARCHITECTS, BUILDERS OR DESIGNERS? Approach every project as a new opportunity to excel and to reward clients for the trust they’ve placed in you. WHICH OF YOUR PROJECTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AND WHY? As a design-build firm, we have a wide variety of projects

WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? Listen. Our goal is always to realize the dreams of our clients. This means carefully listening to every nuance of how they live, relax, eat and entertain. Our homes are our sanctuaries, and to be able to create that for our clients is our top priority.





Local-born and raised LORRAINE MINATOISHI, PH.D., AIA, LEED AP, is the president of Minatoishi Architects, an award-winning architecture firm specializing in historic preservation. Dr. Minatoishi produced an award-winning documentary entitled Aloha Buddha, which covered the history of Japanese immigration, religion and architecture in the Hawaiian Islands. She has served on the AIA Honolulu Board of Directors, the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation Board of Trustees and was vice-chair of the Hawai‘i Historic Review Board.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR THE CREATIVE ELEMENTS OF YOUR DESIGNS PROJECTS? Inspiration comes from our clients’ dreams and wishes—whether they’re homeowners or large developers. We are inspired by their enthusiasm for the project. Perhaps this is what Ossipoff meant when he said, “Good design can only happen with a good client.” We seek our clients’ vision and use our professional expertise to make the project the best that it can be. WHAT IS SOME ADVICE THAT GOT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? I have had many wonderful mentors that have helped me along the way. Don



in our portfolio, from budget to luxury. Our greatest source of pride is the positive feedback we’ve had from clients. That’s what really drives us. WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGN PROJECTS? Ongoing advancements in both construction methods and materials help stimulate the creative process. The natural environment is always a source of inspiration. ARE THERE DESIGN CHALLENGES SPECIFIC TO HAWAI‘I? Weather and geography create specific design challenges unique to Hawai‘i, such as shoreline setbacks and flood zone ordinances. A builder needs to be totally familiar with every aspect of every job site to produce quality work regardless of inherent challenges. WHAT IS ONE QUESTION CONSUMERS SHOULD ALWAYS ASK THEIR DESIGNER OR CONTRACTOR? Can I meet with the owner? WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SUCCEED IN HAWAI‘I IN YOUR LINE OF WORK? Deliver what you promise and you will find success.


Shaw, AIA, my university professor and monitor, really helped me stay positive in school and cheered me on during those years. He then helped me get into graduate school. Today we work together on projects, so it’s wonderful to come full circle. Sid Snyder, AIA, and Vladimir Ossipoff, FAIA, were my first employers and taught me about great design. Sid and I work together now as well. My parents always expected the best from their kids—I didn’t know what racial and sexual discrimination was until later in life because I never felt it growing up. For us, the sky was the limit. There is a big difference between that world and the world I operate in now—women architects and developers are few and far between.


| 39


Think Big

Bring intrapreneurship to a government or corporate role to drive efficiencies and create impact by KEVIN WHITTON


ou don’t need to be an entrepreneur navigating the risky waters of pitches and funding in Hawai‘i’s Startup Paradise to be a self-starter. In government agencies and corporate office environments, intrapreneurs look for opportunity within their places of business to improve efficiencies with a positive impact. No, it’s not a typo. You read it right. Intrapreneurship is all the rage in today’s most creative corporate cultures. An intrapreneur is a person within a business who has the freedom to develop ideas, take risks, initiate projects and spearhead business ventures. While the term was coined back in 1982 in The Economist and has been used throughout the technology sector at companies like Xerox, HP, Intel and Microsoft to promote innovation, intrapreneurship is trickling down to the small business ecosystem. No matter the field, industry or role, intrapreneurs take initiative, find creative solutions and create impact for their employers.



DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN INTRAPRENEUR? Check out these words of wisdom from American Savings Bank CEO Richard Wacker, United States Navy Commander Richard Lebron and Hawaiian Telcom Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel John Komeji.

“Intrapreneurship can also be called continuous improvement. The hard stuff that cuts across multiple groups or teams is what really makes a difference.” —Richard Wacker

“Consider doing a project with no budget. Come up with a basic conceptual solution. Choose something that makes the company better, makes the department better and creates opportunity to solve problems the owner might not know needs to be solved.” —Richard Lebron



Create a culture of creativity and employees become creators, not implementers. Create small teams to figure out problems. Use design thinking to become more empathetic toward each other and different silos, to understand how everything fits together and for people to be more innovative. —John Komeji



Tourism Goes High Tech

The Hawai‘i Tourism Conference explores the latest marketing trends for 2017 by TOBY TAMAYE


DIGITAL MEDIA TRENDS New trends appear every year in digital marketing, and this year the conference explored how emerging immersive technologies like Canvas, 360 Video and Facebook Live is changing the way we use digital media.

VIRTUAL REALITY Virtual reality was the hottest topic at the conference. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) unveiled Hawai‘i VR, a virtual tour experience designed to promote tourism to Hawai‘i. Using Google Cardboard headsets distributed by HTA, attendees viewed a variety of 360-degree live-action footage of Hawai‘i, including an intimate hula performance at Kilauea and a catamaran sail with views of Kaua‘i’s Na Pali Coast.

EAT TO PROMOTE HAWAI‘I One of the most surprising revelations from the conference was the O‘ahu Visitors Bureau’s new marketing promotion in New York. In order to develop a long-term brand

SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER MARKETING The most consistent marketing message was the importance of utilizing individuals with large followings on social media. From power bloggers to Instagram-savvy celebrities social media influencers should definitely be top of mind when it comes to marketing Hawai‘i to potential visitors.

with 25- to 34-year-olds, the agency is showcasing Hawai‘i’s culinary scene using ambassador chefs and digital and outdoor marketing alongside new events such as Pokemania, Mai Tai Makeover and Luau 2.0. Don’t forget to save the date for the 2017 Hawai‘i Tourism Conference, which will be held September 19 through 21 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Visit for more info.

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

FACIAL RECOGNITION HTA and Expedia teamed up to introduce new software that collects consumer data via webcam. Users watch videos of various visitor experiences in Hawai‘i, and the software uses facial recognition technology to create personalized vacation packages based on their reactions. The program then leads viewers straight through to an online booking platform.



| 41


To Infinium and Beyond SAVAN PATEL Founder and Managing Principal INFINIUM INTERIORS



avan Patel has some “big, hairy, audacious” goals for Infinium Interiors. He dreams of expanding his corporate furniture business from commercial to residential design and is looking to expand operations to the mainland and Southeast Asia. He also aims to triple sales in the next two years. They’re ambitious goals for a company that was potentially a recipe for disaster. Patel only had a few years of experience in the industry and financed the endeavor with a good chunk of his own retirement savings. Yet his leadership and business strategies have brought the company success in the three years since it was founded. “You’ve got to sacrifice early and just go off and do it,” Patel says. “Because the longer you wait, the more stuck you’re going to be in your ways. I think it’s now or never. You have to wake up and you have to be excited about something every day.” Patel didn’t grow up dreaming of owning a commercial furniture business. Instead, he spent nearly 15 years in the U.S. Navy and rose to chief of the boat—the highest enlisted rank—on fast-attack submarines. Unfortunately, a DUI arrest and charge derailed his career. He left the Navy with a “huge black mark” and no clear career path.




“When something like that happens, the world just collapses,” Patel says. “You wonder how you’re going to be able to get through it. But I think the most important lesson that I learned from that was accountability. I didn’t try to get out of it. I didn’t make any excuses about it. And I think that really did help as I moved forward from it.” On unfamiliar ground away from the military, Patel briefly considered being a defense contractor before he decided to take a random leap into the office furniture business. He worked for a local company for three years before deciding to branch off on his own. Patel started Infinium—an amalgamation of the words infinity and continuum—out of his 600-square-foot condo while studying for his MBA at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Between his classmates in graduate school and his government and military connections, Patel had a solid network and was rewarded early on with some big contracts with The Hawaii Group and JN Group—affirmations that Infinium could thrive as a new face in a competitive local industry. “It showed that you can beat out your competitors even as an emerging business,” Patel says. “You just have to have the will.”


He admits there were hiccups along the way. Patel had leadership experience but not as a business owner, so he had to learn on the job. He realized it was better to outsource services like accounting and payroll than get caught up in the day-today minutiae that would have taken focus away from the business. He learned the importance of clearly communicating expectations with employees and potential hires, and how the business’s cash-flow cycles affected the company. “He’s a natural leader in the sense that he always wants to take charge and he’s always looking forward, thinking of new


“You’ve got to sacrifice early and just go off and do it. The longer you wait, the more stuck you’re going to be in your ways.”

ideas, how to improve, how to be better,” says Ariel Moniz, the first of Patel’s four full-time and two part-time employees. “And he has a good work ethic. So the way he works, people want to follow.” “It’s easy enough for me to just shout all the answers,” Patel says. “But people can’t grow if I keep giving them the answers, right? And I’ve got to make it a little hard for them and make it a little more challenging and I’ve got to get them to think on their own. It’s important for people to understand that they’ve got a lot of stake in the game, whether they realize it or not.” For Infinium Interiors, the objective of the


game is to set itself apart in the commercial furniture industry with its attention to service. The company employs an interior designer to help clients create a space best suited for their needs. Patel says he plans to tap the residential furniture market, working with developers to furnish the micro units that are starting to pop up in Hawai‘i. He is also looking to get into import-export opportunities with Southeast Asia, create a pre-owned furniture leasing model, expand to the mainland and potentially jump into some local, small-scale manufacturing. All in addition to widening its niche by delving into hospitality, education

and health care. Patel operates out of an all-glass office in Infinium’s 1,400-square-foot, design-centric space in Downtown Honolulu. One bears a scribbled reminder of his vision for the company—$10 million by year five, $20 million by year eight. “It’s aggressive, but we’re smart about it,” Patel says with a smile. “I realize these are numbers on the board that anybody can throw up, so there’s got to be a good strategy behind it to get us there.”


| 43






huen Yee is all about balance. On one side, there’s her craft. With two degrees in the field of interior design, including one from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Yee approaches her work at MCYIA with a solid artistic foundation. Yet she recognizes the importance of form and function, the beauty and purpose that make all the variables sing in unison. Utilizing elements both modern and classical, gracefully toeing the line between conventional and progressive, her aesthetic defies pigeonholing. You’d be hard-pressed to get the modest, soft-spoken woman to talk about herself, much less her myriad accomplishments and accolades, but Yee’s buzzworthy work speaks volumes. In fact, in 2011, MCYIA took home the Design Excellence Award of Merit in the single space category from the American Society of International Designers. The firm raked in three more awards in 2015 and a whopping five in 2016 alone, including overall wins in the residential and commercial categories, and awards of excellence in sustainable design, commercial and single space. As her boutique design firm gathers more awards by the year, Yee finds her balancing skills tasked in ever-increasing ways, especially when it comes to upholding the keystone of MCYIA’s business philosophy—client experience. “Sometimes design is not just about style, it’s about function, proportion and scale. We take all those things into consideration,” Yee explains. “The goal is to greatly exceed the clients’ expectations through service and design excellence.” Perhaps the most demanding balancing act for Yee is the one that she approaches with the most grace: being an artist and a businesswoman. Communication is an integral part of the process. How does a creative tell her client what’s best? She doesn’t. Instead, Yee draws from her knowledge and experience, hones in on the client’s vision and makes it a reality, no matter the cost. Whether that means juggling hats as buyer, stylist and construction overseer, staying up into the wee hours contacting suppliers in other time zones or scouring the Internet for statement décor on a strict budget,



“Technology is fast affecting the construction industry to allow designers to do things that were once considered too expensive or too technical.” Yee does what it takes to make it work. “You do whatever you have to do to make the project successful,” Yee says. “I’m a night person. During the day, I meet with clients, conduct site visits and take care of the business responsibilities. At night, when it’s quiet, I can design without interruption.” The MCYIA team is determined to make the design and build process as efficient as possible, and that involves welcoming in 21st century technology and know-how with open arms. Yee’s cosmopolitan, multicultural background has taken her across the globe, from Thailand to New York to Hawai‘i. She’s worked with a vast range of clients and colleagues, which has given her



an appreciation for progressive thinking and different approaches. These powerful tools open up a world of possibilities, from utilizing a new way of laying tile to turning her thoughts into digital sketches that clients can weigh in on before the hammers come out. “We’re younger than most firms, I think, so our process relies a little more on technology,” Yee says. “Technology is fast affecting the construction industry to


allow designers to do things that were once considered too expensive or too technical. We have the capacity to do computer renderings beforehand, so we can see everything and modify things to make sure the client is happy.” After all, the final output is what matters most to Yee. That means coordinating with contractors, shipping partners and team members to produce a result in keeping with the approved rendering—right down to the last accent,

toiletry or throw pillow. It’s a job that doesn’t stop for pau hana and doesn’t take weekends off. It means embracing problems, being a peopleperson and an artist, all at the same time. Fortunately, Yee has found balance in her work. “It feels natural for me,” Yee says. “Design is a lot of work and a lot of fun—do both and you will be successful.”


| 45








rady Yee, an entrepreneur with 16 years of experience in interior furnishings, types away on his keyboard in a quaint stand-alone studio overlooking a lush backyard. Through the open doubledoors he can see a manicured display of tropical foliage, modern outdoor furniture, a plunge pool and a gazebo he built from reused materials. This is Yee’s sanctuary, one he’s meticulously created over the last 10 years. From the bohemian master bathroom he hand-built to the wide assortment of fruit trees he’s planted, the space is full of his personality and character. Yee currently owns and operates Pacific Contract, a contract importer and design company that works with designers and architects to create furnishings—furniture, fixtures and equipment—for high-end resorts across the state. The 42-year-old has also worked in the industry as the head of business development for Summa International, a provider of hospitality renovation


“Whatever they’re thinking of, whatever they’re ripping out of a magazine—there’s a good chance that I have the resources to find it and create it.”


management services for hotels, resorts and restaurants. “Hospitality is really about strong, lasting relationships,” Yee says. “And it’s such a fast-moving industry.” Yee understands the ins and outs of Hawai‘i’s hospitality industry, from the perspective of the guest as well as the business. His reputation and attention to detail reflect his dedication, creativity and tenacity. The Kailua native graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa in 1997 with a degree in fine arts. After meeting his wife, Aubrey, in 2000, the two moved to Europe to work for a dot-com startup. The venture fell through and they returned to O‘ahu. Both self-starters, they made an aggressive business move and founded the importing company Indo Trading Co.


Starting their business was no easy feat. Their first container of goods arrived two days before the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. All of a sudden, luxury furniture was a tough sell. “Two main reasons for our drive was our love for travel, and we knew that we needed to create something to live here. We wanted to work for ourselves,” Yee says. “We went out to Indonesia, and we were kids in a candy store. We pulled together our small savings and started to design our own furniture.” Yee’s story is a classic tale of rags to riches. He started with virtually nothing, but fought his way out of a hole to climb to where he is today. “The first few runs, we lived under a thatched roof with a Balinese family, a place that was six dollars a night,”

Yee recalls. “We were on a shoestring budget on our first container.” Fortunately, Yee managed to sell the first container, which eventually led to a business. In 2003, Yee and his wife founded modern-lux furniture store Pacific Home, where she and their two partners took the reigns of retail operations and Yee continued to manage the importing side. While working at Pacific Home, which serves the residential market, Yee also turned his attention to the hospitality market. In 2007, Pacific Contract was born. Since then, Yee has had a hand in the majority of high-end hotels across the state, from the Halekulani on O‘ahu to Hotel Wailea on Maui. He works with designers and architects to custom-design case goods, seating, lighting, carpets and other furnishings and décor. Essentially, Yee’s role is to match the property designer with the global manufacturers that can realize the designer’s vision. “I’m a bit of a design consultant because I go in and I meet with designers and architects and whatever their vision is—whatever they’re thinking of, whatever they’re ripping out of a magazine—there’s a good chance that I have the resources to find it and create it,” Yee says. Although Yee embraces the challenges and fast-paced nature of his job, he acknowledges it’s a never-ending stream of work. Per industry standards, in order for a five-star hotel to stay current, it needs to undergo renovations every eight years. “You can’t avoid weathering and abrasion,” Yee says. “We’re an indoor-outdoor state.” Yee says that Hawai‘i’s visitor industry has done a superb job of going above and beyond expectations, pointing to the redevelopment of Waikiki and Kaka‘ako. In fact, Yee believes Hawai‘i will surpass the majority of the nation in terms of fastest growth as the Asian market, dot-comers and retirees expand their footprint here. Yee recently expanded Pacific Contract to handle mainland accounts. He’s working on projects in the Pacific Northwest, a market that he believes has potential for growth, but his love for what he does in Hawai‘i is what keeps him going. “Hawai‘i has arrived in the world of design and is become high end. That’s a strength for me because I’ve focused on that category for a long time, and that’s the category I love,” Yee says.


| 47


Commercial Construction’s Leading Lady SHONNA HAMMON Owner and President MICO MECHANICAL



n 2006, Shonna Hammon was enjoying her job as a stay-at-home mother, raising two daughters after walking away from a career in commercial real estate management in Hawai‘i. Though she occasionally took on small writing, photography and event planning projects, her primary title was Mom until an unexpected opportunity piqued her curiosity. Her husband at the time was considering buying the commercial construction company he worked for. Hammon suggested building something from the ground up instead of buying an established business. “I convinced him we could literally build success from the ground up as a like-minded team rather than entrusting our future to others and getting chained to debt,” Hammon says. His decades of technical experience and industry networking plus her business know-how and community involvement made a powerful combination. The pair founded MICO Mechanical Corporation, a full-service general contracting operation. They secured their first contract with the Aqua Palms Waikiki hotel for one million dollars, and Hammon learned how to juggle work and raising children on the fly. “In those beginning days, I would wear my youngest on a sling while I worked, and as



she grew she had her own playroom in our offices in the IBM building,” Hammon says. A decade later, Hammon and her crew are approaching $20 million in total contracts, with projects on O‘ahu, Big Island, Maui and Kaua‘i. As president of MICO Mechanical— Mechanical Installation and Contracting Operations—Hammon leads a team of six full-time employees who focus on a unique specialty—installing smart HVAC systems and kitchens in commercial and municipal buildings, plus sheet metal and consulting services. The company is known for its value engineering and thrives on a large base of repeat clientele. “We take on the impossible projects with difficult parameters and find solutions to make them economically feasible and mechanically sound,” says Hammon, who is committed to using MICO’s resources to improve the local economy while engaging in more socially conscious construction. By offering sustainable HVAC design options and maximizing equipment efficiency, MICO helps clients reduce their impact on the environment, cut energy and maintenance costs, and maintain optimal air quality inside their facilities. Hammon handles the bulk of administrative decision making, while her

partner guides the technical and design side of the business. Often starting at five in the morning and ending at midnight, she manages most of the day-to-day issues— customer service, marketing, bid requests, human resources, insurance, outer-island work, shipping, accounting and cash flow— along with co-navigating the long-term direction of MICO. Understanding how important relationships are to any business in the islands, Hammon makes it a top priority to form alliances with general contractors, specialty contractors, developers and property management companies. “I try to schedule peer-mentoring into my day, even if it’s only a tea break or a walk,” Hammon explains. “Meeting with other business owners and leaders allows us to sharpen each other’s minds and companies.” Hammon’s favorite projects are those involving the redesign and upgrade of existing developed spaces, rather than expanding over new land. Preserving natural resources and enhancing the wellness of Hawai‘i’s people are among her greatest passions. “It’s troubling the amount of preventable health and mental problems that are caused by poor ventilation,” Hammon says. “Moldy buildings destroyed my health in the past, making it a cause I’m personally invested in. Green building and sustainability are also aspects I’d like to see our clients embrace more readily.” Though many of MICO’s direct competitors routinely purchase from fabricators overseas, Hammon has resisted going that route despite the cost reduction. She prefers to keep funds flowing in the islands whenever possible. As a successful female leading a business in a predominantly male industry, Hammon has learned to pick her battles. “It’s a skill to know how to dance in and out of feminine and masculine power in the workplace,” Hammon says. “When I need to be tough, I’m the bad cop of the company, quick to shut off emotion and handle any task at hand. But I don’t need to go out and prove who I am simply because my name is on the checks. I very rarely walk the jobsites during crew hours out of respect for the working dynamic that exists between the various construction fields. Supervision is


delegated to men and women who have paid their dues with tools in hand.” With an eye toward the future, Hammon is always planning for the next construction downturn and trying to predict how to best diversify MICO’s services. “The recession taught us not to be wasteful or overconfident, “ Hammon says. “I take all constructive feedback very seriously, demanding immediate changes where suggested.” She regularly weeds through new apps and HVAC technologies to find those that will actually improve productivity and equipment performance. She actively seeks opportunities to partner with other companies on hot topics like solar HVAC systems, seawater cooling systems and other avenues for continued progress and relevance in the market. After her daughters head off to college in a few years, she looks forward to mining new business and personal ventures, such as starting a micro-loan foundation for women-owned businesses and finally photographing the Greek Islands. Through all of the ups and downs of spearheading a growing commercial construction enterprise, Hammon has consistently been a champion for women-owned businesses. “There is nothing more debilitating professionally or personally than feeling voiceless,” Hammon says. “I want everyone, especially women, to not fear taking that leap into business ownership, even in businesses that aren’t often associated with women.” She avows that her greatest accomplishment to date is holding her company together through both a recession and a divorce. “I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve created a new, unconventional version of family that has allowed us to still engage daily to help our children and our business thrive,” she continues. “MICO is my third child, and there is nothing I guard more ferociously than my children.”


“We take on the impossible projects with difficult parameters and find solutions to make them economically feasible and mechanically sound.”


Merging Legacies Kahala Associates is now List Sotheby’s International Realty by LAUREN MCNALLY


eaming up with List Sotheby’s International Realty was a swift and decisive move for the brokersturned-owners behind luxury real estate firm Kahala Associates. “We want the best representation for our clients,” says Kahala Associates founder Myra Brandt, who launched the company with her husband and business partner, Victor Brandt, in 2001 before assuming the role of principal broker at List Sotheby’s International Realty. “I believe they see, as we do, that the world is becoming ‘flat,’ and a perceptual shift is required to remain competitive in what is becoming a more global market.”

Myra Brandt With eight offices in Japan, two on O‘ahu and expansion plans in place in Singapore and Thailand, List Sotheby’s International Realty is uniquely positioned to bolster Hawai‘i’s real estate industry and tap the lucrative Asian market that’s become such an important part of economic stability in the islands. The company is a subsidiary of leading Japan-based real estate development firm List Company, which obtained the Japan franchise for



Sotheby’s International Realty in 2011 and has developed and sold more than 7,000 condominium and housing units in Japan since it was founded by President and CEO Hisashi Kitami in 1991. Before Hawai‘i’s housing bubble burst in the ’90s and prompted a steep decline in Asian buyers, investors from Asia were purchasing the vast majority of high-end homes in the islands. Hawai‘i’s residential market is back to seeing steady growth, particularly among foreign buyers. “It is because of this outside demand that we weather the downturns in the real estate cycle less severely than many other states and economies around the world,” Brandt says. Home values have steadily risen over the past decade, and China’s rapidly growing middle class has made Asia a crucial sector for real estate and numerous other industries. A favorable exchange rate that’s increased Asian buying power by as much as 25 percent certainly doesn’t hurt, either. For residents, globalization in real estate means a bigger playing field. Sotheby’s International Realty operates 720 offices in 52 countries and territories worldwide, granting clients unprecedented access to seven million potential buyers around the world. “Our clients want their real estate agent to be an expert in their local neighborhoods,” says Jeffrey Fox, a former broker-owner at Kahala Associates who made the transition to List Sotheby’s International Realty following the merger. “The only way to be an expert locally yet offer clients excellent service in other countries is to have offices and agents in other countries.” Joining forces was a win-win for both parties. The merger solidifies List Sotheby’s International Realty’s footing in Hawai‘i, where the company was looking to further increase its presence after acquiring local real estate firm Mary Worrall Associates in September 2013. Kahala Associates brought

Jeffrey Fox a wealth of local expertise as well as a high standard of service in keeping with both List and Sotheby’s illustrious reputations. “The corporate cultures of Kahala Associates and List Sotheby’s International Realty were in total alignment from the start,” Fox says. “Both firms strived for excellent service beyond our clients’ expectations, exceptional marketing and luxury service at every price point.” Unlike a traditional brokerage, Kahala Associates agents purchased shares and ultimately became part owners in the company. It was this business model and customer service-oriented culture that brought longstanding success to Hawai‘i’s first employee-owned luxury real estate firm. “We spent a great deal of time honing our mission statement, company philosophy and standards of service at Kahala Associates,” Fox says. “I felt my first obligation in the merger was to respect and carry forward our ideals and corporate culture.” Today, List Sotheby’s International Realty’s team of more than 100 seasoned agents on O‘ahu provide sales, property management and concierge services to both local and international clientele. “It has been a learning experience caring for the growth and development of the people of three cultures while being mindful to perform profitably,” Brandt says. “It required patience, an open mind, compromise and strength of conviction in myself and others.”


NOW OPEN at Ka Makana Ali’i Center in Kapolei Hand Crafted Haircuts and Customized Haircolor. Personalized Massages. Facials rooted in Ayurvedic wisdom with a modern approach. Expert Waxing and of course Natural Nail Services. We have arrived and are so excited to be here! On your first visit to our NEW location - receive 30% off a single service, schedule your next visits and receive 20% off your second visit and 10% off your 3rd visit! *Limited time offer, some restrictions may apply, only valid at the Ka Makana Ali’i location.

We look forward to helping you look and feel your best! New Location! Ka Makana Ali’i Center, next to Macy’s Call 808.670.2550 Ala Moana Center, next to Neiman Marcus Call 808.947.6141


The Evolution of Startup Paradise After four years of ideas, cohorts and capital, Hawai‘i’s startup community is reporting substantial growth by KEVIN WHITTON

Startup companies and venture capital firms are not new to Hawai‘i, but their recent growth and success is. While there has long been a fledgling startup ecosystem in the islands, Hawai‘i’s innovation economy finally found its feet in 2013 when major stakeholders—government, private-sector investors, accelerators and the University of Hawai‘i—aligned under the branding initiative now known as Startup Paradise. Since then, 145 startups from Hawai‘i and the mainland have raised more than $250 million in total capital. Over 1,000 jobs have been created, and in 2016 there were even two successful exits. How can Startup Paradise keep growing and supporting new startups? New talent and more money, of course. Stakeholders are also looking to bring corporate entities under the umbrella.

STARTUP PARADISE MILESTONES In 2016, the average capital per startup was $1.7 million. Startups in Hawai‘i generated

OVER $250 MILLION of total capital (revenue plus funding) in the last four years.



have gone through Hawai‘i’s four main accelerator programs over the last four years, two of which have made successful exits.

87 are Hawai‘i-based companies

Of the 145 startups,

—that’s 60%.


114 STARTUPS are STILL ALIVE and growing.

by industry

Media 11%

Hardware/ Product 6%

There were 18 startups in 2013, 30 in 2014, 48 in 2015 and

49 startups in Startup Paradise in 2016.

Agriculture/ Water 6% Software 39%

Life Science/ Health Care 5%

Startup Paradise startups have generated

$44.8 million in revenue over the last four years.

Energy 32%




Yes, you can still save big on your electric bill! Under the current customer self-supply solar program, homeowners can’t send excess solar to the grid but can still draw power from the grid. Today, you’re hearing more and more about batteries and energy-storage systems. But did you know that not all battery and energy-storage systems are alike? So much more than just batteries, the KumuKit™ Powerblocks system connects to new and existing photovoltaic (PV) systems and works together with your solar panels and household electrical devices, allowing you to manage your energy using an Energy Management Controller (EMC). In fact, all newly installed KumuKit™ PV systems come with this innovative and proprietary EMC, creating a PV energy-management system unlike any other in Hawai‘i or on the market today. Our self-supply systems can start at $5,000 after state and federal tax credits and cover roughly 30 percent of a home’s energy demand. Customers can later add batteries to increase their system size. The total upfront costs, before tax credits, range from $14,000 (without batteries) to upwards of $35,000 (with batteries). In 2008, at the beginning of Hawai‘i’s PV solar boom, the cost of PV alone was the same price as PV with energy storage today. Power outages from tropical storms and electrical grid failure are inevitable. Keep the power flowing and your family going with KumuKit™ Powerblocks and you won’t have to suffer through them again.

KumuKit™ Powerblocks operates silently in the background, providing immediate backup power to lighting, medical equipment, refrigerators, televisions, radios, phone chargers and other critical items that are important to your family in times of emergency. KumuKit™ has fantastic financing options available, too. Many of you already have Net Energy Metering (NEM) or Customer Grid-Supply (CGS) approvals to install a PV system but are unable to contact your original contractor, or they’re longer in business. Give us a call and we’ll help you continue the installation process. The utility is in the process of expiring approved NEM agreements from customers who haven’t taken action to proceed with their PV installation. This

is to make room on the grid for others who have been waiting in the queue to get solar. If you have an approved NEM (or don’t know whether or not you do), please give us a call and we can help you. Every family is unique with its home electricity usage, so knowing the PV system size you will need is a big deal. With our exclusive PV SIZER™ tool, let us help you visualize the system you’ll need and better understand how to maximize its power.

HAWAII ENERGY CONNECTION LLC (KUMUKIT) 99-1350 Koaha Place 808.524.7336

KumuKit™2.0—New Version. New Vision. PV GENERATION







Smart Energy Management Welcome to the way forward—KumuKit™2.0 with Smart Energy Management now has the ability to leverage a PV system’s production to your advantage by automatically optimizing energy generation, usage and export. Simple and automated control of your energy means you can take advantage of all utility and grid support benefits and adapt to changing solar energy policy. Modular in design, and scalable, optional Smart Storage increases your PV system’s effectiveness by allowing both smart energy export or non-export/self consumption between specific times each day. Additional benefits include emergency backup for important loads such as lighting, medical equipment and refrigeration when needed. Get connected. Join Hawaii’s clean-energy KumuHui. 808-524-7336 Hawaii Energy Connection LLC | Contractor #C31046


OCEANVIEW ROOFING THE RIGHT ROOFING Before budgeting for replacement or installation, here are five things to consider 1. Times change. Durable, protective shingles that reflect heat are increasingly becoming an exceptional roofing alternative in Hawai‘i. Most asphalt roofing shingles can reach temperatures of 180 degrees on an average day. Solar reflective shingles, such as Certainteed Solaris Platinum shingles, reflect up to 48 percent of the sun’s rays, keeping your home that much cooler. Combine these solar reflective shingles with new 30-watt solar attic fans that can displace approximately 2500 cubic feet per minute of hot air. They’ll keep the attic cool, prevent mold and lower your home’s temperature up to 20 degrees. 2. Some things never change. Even as prices drop, solar shingles may not be right for every project. Aluminum is still the best material for tropical climates because it’s very strong and resists rust. Aluminum is also the best choice for keeping a building cool because it quickly dissipates heat. Tests have shown aluminum roofing can reduce cooling costs by up to 50 percent.



3. Remember where you are. Many building owners and landlords fail to consider the cost of maintenance, repairs and replacement for when roofing products fade, rust, crack, curl, rot, split, discolor or mildew. Roofs that leak can lead to high costs for rot repair, replacement or, even worse, structural damage. Among the most expensive mistakes people make when choosing a roof in Hawai‘i? Selecting a material that will not withstand the extremes of our tropical climate. All facilities on O‘ahu are up against strong winds, excessive rain, heat, UV exposure and salt air. Fortunately, the newest aluminum roofing systems are unrivalled in durability and are virtually noise-proof, even during heavy rain and hailstorms. 4. Just say no to termites. Two different species are particularly prevalent in Hawai‘i: drywood termites that leave behind sand-like pellets, and ground or Formosan termites easily distinguished by their mud tubes. Everyone in Hawai‘i has them or will get them when moisture collects inside their building—say, from faulty plumbing or broken roof tiles. A quality metal roof that is properly installed is the best defense and should last a lifetime. Aluminum withstands many natural

elements and is the preferred material to keep termites at bay. 5. Choose wisely. It’s important to choose a roofer based on qualities you look for in a best friend: reliability, honesty and commitment. The best contractors pay attention to important things that will give your roof a longer life, such as stainless steel nails that won’t rust, top-quality underlayment and custom-folded flashings. Some contractors aren’t compliant with safety regulations. Without appropriate insurance coverage, you can be held personally liable if a roofer is injured. Unless you have a friend with experience and a proper license, you should choose a professional in case these casual laborers or handymen are injured or leave you with a leaky, damaged building. With 40 years of experience in the industry, Oceanview Roofing owner Peter Michelmore is a leading roofing contractor specializing in custom homes and commercial roofing.



Kailua: Installed Standing Seam Aluminum Roofing with a 50-year warranty.

2015 RCAH Top Roofing Awards First Place: Residential Steep Slope Metal Roofing

Installed with Pride




Our quality roofing systems are designed to withstand the extremes of tropical weather: High winds, UV light, heat and salt air. • Superior Performance Durability • Industry Leading Warranties • Reroof or New Construction • Sustainable and Energy-Star Rated




We provide what you need, when you want it, where you need it!

Call now for a FREE estimate


tion a l l a t Ins repair and l types l for aoofing! of r


GACO Western Qualified Contractor

Makaha Cabanas Condominiums: Installed new Gaco Roof silicone system over existing failed elastomeric and

Peter Michelmore Owner




As Philpotts Interiors looks to another exciting year in 2017, the firm took a moment to reflect on some of its favorite projects from 2016. From hospitality and residential developments to commercial buildings and healthcare infrastructure, the Philpotts design team infused their work with their signature style, freshness and energy. THE COLLECTION Designed to fit the lifestyle of urban Honolulu’s young professionals, The Collection is a chic and contemporary living community located in the heart of Our Kaka‘ako. FOUR SEASONS RESORT O‘AHU AT KO OLINA Wrapped in the warm embrace of contemporary Hawaiian-style design and hospitality, the completion of O‘ahu’s first Four Seasonsbranded resort marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the island’s hospitality industry. LAW OFFICES OF CHUN KERR Contrary to the conventional law office, Chun Kerr’s 24-story home creates a remarkably laid-back and welcoming environment for employees and clients, a reflection of the firm’s warm aloha spirit.

PHILPOTTS INTERIORS 40 S. School St. #201 Honolulu, HI 96813 808.523.6771


ALLANA BUICK & BERS Allana Buick & Bers, Inc. (ABBAE) specializes in making building perform better and reducing risk in construction. ABBAE is dedicated to providing comprehensive and innovative solutions with award winning expertise in building envelope design, architectural engineering, energy consulting, and construction management. ABBAE is customer-focused, providing expert advice using advanced technologies for time-enduring solutions. ABBAE provides expert building envelope, roofing and waterproofing, architectural, energy consultation and construction phase services based on real world experience gained from our building forensic background. For over 30 years, ABBAE has

established itself as a premier Architectural-Engineering firm specializing in the building envelope field for new construction, remedial repair, and building rehabilitation projects. Some of the highest risk elements in construction are exterior facades, roofing and waterproofing, while energy consumption is the highest operational expense for most buildings. ABBAE believes that long lasting buildings work hand and glove along with energy efficient buildings to achieve sustainability. Longevity of buildings is often dependent on decay and damage from sun, rain, wind and weatherization. The building exteriors take the brunt of the damage from weatherization and increasing the energy efficiency and durability of the exterior envelope is the key to sustainable buildings. Sustainable and durable buildings with low operating costs have long been integral to Allana Buick & Bers’ core values. These beliefs were part of our mission

long before it became an industry trend. We strive to reduce the construction community’s carbon footprint and environmental impact. We design building components to last longer, provide alternative energy solutions and decrease building operating costs by reducing the maintenance cycle and energy usage. Poor choice of exterior building materials and subpar construction practices lead to premature building failures and increase building ownership and operational cost, energy consumption, disposal and landfill volume, in addition to leaving a larger carbon footprint. Long lasting, durable buildings require fewer repairs, consuming fewer resources in the process. We’ve repeatedly proven that integrating sustainable solutions in new construction and building repairs increases longevity, benefits the environment and ultimately improves our clients’ financial bottom line.


ORGANIZED HAWAII For 14 years Organized Hawaii has been helping clients maximize the space in their home with creative storage solutions. In addition to working with homeowners they also partner with Hawaii’s premier designers, architects and contractors. They have installed more than 7,000 different projects across every island. Owners Brent and Kamuela Potter have built a team who are all committed to making sure clients are happy from start to finish. They are also committed to the environment. As a result, most of their projects are built with recycled wood so no trees are cut down in the process. Typical solutions include custom closets, home offices, wall units, pantries, laundry and garage spaces. They also build Murphy Beds and platform beds to provide more

usable space in bedrooms. The project starts with a visit to their showroom or an in-home consultation. The designer evaluates the client’s needs and assists in choosing design options. A few days later a very detailed proposal is sent showing 3D renderings of each project. The key to each project is to find the balance between organization, aesthetics and cost. Your designer will work with you to find the right balance for your particular needs. Projects can be simple and efficient or elaborate and luxurious. Organized Hawaii warrantees not only their products but also their workmanship for as long as you own the home. It’s important that clients remain happy with their investment for many years to come. Call or visit find out more.

ORGANIZED HAWAII 94-485 Ukee Street, Waipahu, H I96797 808.678.0096



USA 925 Bethel Street, Fifth Floor Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 808.523.5866 INDONESIA PT GSA Sudirmen Central Business District (SCBD) PT Group Seventy Asia Menara Sudirman Lt. 22D Jalan Jend. Sudirman, Kav 60 Jakarta 12190 INDONESIA ARCHITECTURE // CIVIL ENGINEERING // INTERIOR DESIGN // PLANNING & ENVIRONMENT



| 61



Pono Stone Hawaii was founded in 2010 by Trevor Thompson, who brings years of retail experience to the construction industry. Pono Stone’s strong customer service stems from Trevor’s incredible work ethic and commitment to excellent client relationships. Loyal customers include architects, designers and contractors who can not only order from the extensive catalogue but know Pono Stone will go the extra mile to source tiles that meet their project requirements. Their quality products include a Natural Stone range as well as tiles from Oceanside, Florim USA, Eleganza and Bellavita. The Pono Stone team help their customers find the right stone or tile for flooring, countertops, landscaping and walls. They can answer any installation queries and offer a solid after-sales service. Visit Pono Stone online at ponostonehawaii. com or call (808) 721-9767 to speak to Trevor about Pono Stone’s products and services.

TREVOR THOMPSON Owner 808.721.9767



ampedand revamped

Hotel renovations comprise a multi-billion-dollar chunk of Hawai‘i’s construction industry. The Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club and the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club are a few of the recent revamps.






Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina enlisted de Reus architects to elevate the property to Four Seasons quality and infuse the architecture, landscape and interiors with a Hawaiian sense of aloha while maintaining the enduring timeless classism of the property’s original 1993 design. To enhance the guest arrival experience, the interior walls were removed to open the lobby up to stunning views of the Laniku Honua coast and a new lanai deck. The interior Hokulea Bar and exterior deck were designed to work together for a seamless indoor/outdoor experience. The flooring and decking is made of Ipe wood (iron wood) to emulate the character of a


yacht deck, and the railings are made of glass to allow for ocean views from loungeseat level. The resort’s two new pools have their own private realm and garden oriented to Laniku Honua coast along with new pool cabanas designed to complete the private area and offer separation from the hotel guest suites behind the pool area. The hotel also refreshed the existing pool on the upper terrace. A secular chapel was designed alongside the Laniku Honua coast to borrow scenery with the coast and the open garden next to the hotel; the chapel was designed with a traditional architectural style from Hawai‘i’s past.


| 65

Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club


With its hip, retro design inspired by midcentury Hawai‘i, the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club is Waikiki’s newest hotspot where old-school beach culture meets modern aloha. The boutique hotel opened in a 1960s-era building in March 2016 and houses the work of some of Hawai‘i’s most notable designers and artisans. The Surfjack’s 112 vintage-inspired bungalows and one- and two-bedroom suites emulate the sort of rustic dwellings you might find on O‘ahu’s North Shore, complete with board and batten walls, reed ceilings, dreamy surf photography and bespoke handmade furnishings. The hotel tapped local artists Kamea Hadar, Brendan Monroe and husband-andwife duo Wooden Wave for its murals and enlisted Honolulu-based design studio The Vanguard Theory to lead the design of the Surfjack’s lobby, restaurant and other public spaces, including that of Mahina & Sun’s, the Surfjack’s signature eatery helmed by restaurateur and locavore chef Ed Kenney. The Surfjack is replete with local-centric touches ranging from original Tori Richards aloha-print upholstery to shaka-print wallpaper custom designed by self-taught lettering and graphic artist Matthew Tapia, who also hand painted the “wish you were here” block letters glimmering at the bottom of the Surfjack’s lobby pool.




Credit: Christian Horan Photography

Waimea| Honolulu |Sun Valley

Inspired by nature, designed true to place – luxury resorts and residences by de Reus Architects. THEPACIFICEDGE.COM


| 67

Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club


After embarking on a $55.4 million redevelopment and repositioning, Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club will unveil its first major remodel since its grand opening in 1990. Slated to debut this spring, the hotel’s thoughtful redesign and rebranding elements create a sense of place and bring the history and heritage of the site to life throughout the resort. The hotel’s central location at the epicenter of O‘ahu’s four most vibrant neighborhoods grant guests easy access to both natural and urban elements of modern Honolulu. Led by lead architect G70 and with interior design by Los Angeles-based interior design firm Creative Resource Associates, the project included remodeling its 563 oceanfront guest rooms and suites, a new infinity pool, enhanced meeting space, a modernized lobby featuring a ceiling installation by local artist Kaili Chun, natural color scheme and design elements throughout the hotel and new eateries like 100 Sails, which offers panoramic vistas of Ala Wai Harbor, the Pacific Ocean and O‘ahu’s south shore.




Sanj Sappal

Area VP – Hawaii/Guam

Lee Donohue

Gene Stoudt

Director of Security

Business Development Manager

Ray Romero Consultant

Spike Denis Consultant

Serving Oahu, Big Island, Maui, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai and Guam

Hawaii’s Security Leader Exceptionally Trained, Exceptionally Accountable. As Hawaii’s leading security provider, Securitas USA offers security solutions for all of the Hawaiian Islands and Guam. We have security solutions for ALL of your needs. Mobile patrols, temporary services and the latest in high technology solutions. Hotels  Retail  Shopping Malls  Commercial High Rises  Gated Communities Hawaii Convention Center  Hawaii’s Airports For more information on how Securitas USA can exceed your security needs, call today!

Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. 888 N. Nimitz Highway, Suite 105 Honolulu, HI 96817 808-539-5000



Honolulu Biennial

Inaugural exhibition presents Honolulu as a global platform for contemporary art by LAUREN MCNALLY The Honolulu Biennial Foundation launches Hawai‘i’s first-ever entry into the international biennial circuit this year. Titled Middle of Now | Here, the inaugural Honolulu Biennial challenges the notion that Hawai‘i lies in the “middle of nowhere” and examines the lasting impact of place on individual and communal identities. “Where we live shapes who we are,” says Curatorial Director Fumio Nanjo and Curator Ngahiraka Mason in a joint statement about



the guiding vision for the biennial. “The Honolulu Biennial recognizes place-based creativity as living and continuous and seeks to shine a light on the incredible variation and complexity of art created by artists from this part of the world.” The biennial event presents Honolulu as a major cultural hub where art and ideas converge, exploring the diverse perspectives of artists throughout the Pacific on subjects ranging from the impact of colonization and

Westernization to the myriad environmental issues faced by local and global communities. The goal? Increase awareness of Honolulu’s cultural and artistic contributions among a broader international audience and emphasize Hawai‘i’s vital role as a bridge between East and West. The exhibition will feature leading, midcareer and emerging artists from Hawai‘i, the Pacific Islands, Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand, including the work of Japanese luminary Yayoi Kusama, whose sculptural installation, Footprints of Life, debuted at Ward Village last spring as a preview to the event in March. The Honolulu Biennial runs March 8 to May 8 with more than 20 art installations on view throughout Ward Village. The installations will be accompanied by free public programs that encourage crosscultural dialogue, showcase the thriving cultural scene of the Pacific and expand understanding of contemporary art from the region. Programming will include panel discussions, film screenings and familyfriendly workshops at various sites in Downtown Honolulu.


LET’S SEE IF YOUR EYES ARE BIGGER THAN YOUR STOMACH. Hawaii’s #1 plate lunch restaurant offers a variety of catering options for functions of all sizes! Find out more about our catering options at!




Menu options, prices, and availability may vary per location. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of locations in Las Vegas, visit or call 1-866-951-9888.




Home Tours Hawaii Where cuisine and interior design intersect on the Big Island

With decades of experience as restaurant owners on the mainland, Pat and Lisa Christian know the value of experience. Longtime fans of the Hawai‘i’s lifestyle and cuisine, the two owned an oceanfront condo on the Big Island and shared their space with others through a cuisine tour group. The positive experience turned their attention to the island fulltime. After making the move to Hawai‘i, the Christians became the owners of Home Tours Hawai‘i, a culinary excursion set in private homes and gardens in the Kailua-Kona area.



“Our goal is to help others taste the Hawai’i lifestyle and see what life is like past the hotels, luaus, and restaurants,” says Lisa Christian. The five-hour tour includes a fourcourse progressive brunch made from fresh, Big Island ingredients, and is set among some of Kailua-Kona’s finest properties and quaint kama‘aina cottages. Enjoy brunch with breathtaking ocean views, relax on the lanai, stroll through a tropical garden and marvel at an indoor koi pond, all with gourmet cuisine and service that promotes relaxation, peacefulness and serenity.






A Toast to 2016

Networking at T Galleria Hawaii by DFS

Pacific Edge magazine launched its annual hospitality issue on November 9, 2016, at T Galleria Hawaii by DFS. The event honored many of Hawai‘i’s top hospitality professionals, including Turtle Bay Resort Vice President and General Manager Danna Holck, Castle Resorts & Hotels President and COO Alan Mattson and Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival founder Denise Yamaguchi. Guests networked over specialty Koloa Rum mai tais, handcrafted Ke Nui Kitchen pupu, and beer and wine supplied by Maui Brewing Company and Johnson Brothers. Photos: Paula Ota





Green Drinks Honolulu ‘Tis the season to rock your ugliest sweater

Local environmentalists took the opportunity to network, celebrate the holidays and share their organization’s engaging sustainable initiatives at Green Drinks Honolulu in December. Sporting their ugliest holiday sweaters, attendees were treated to speeches from representatives of Blue Planet Foundation, Hawaii ADU, Hui Ku Maoli Ola and a performance by Arthur Murray Dance Company. Two lucky contest participants won weeklong test drives of the new BMW i3, courtesy of venue host BMW of Honolulu. Photos: Dave Livingston



| 75


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!

E njoy the adventure of retirement.

Lunch with friends. A 3 p.m. tee time. Dinner with the neighbors. An evening stroll. With senior living from Good Samaritan Society – Pohai Nani, you’ll have time to cherish every minute of your busy schedule. Because retirement doesn’t mean life’s adventures are over. It means they’re just getting started. To learn more about our community in Kane’ohe, call (808) 236-7835.

The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society provides housing and services to qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status, national origin or other protected statuses according to applicable federal, state or local laws. Some services may be provided by a third party. All faiths or beliefs are welcome. © 2017 The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society. All rights reserved.

Reinventing Health Care St. Francis Healthcare System is taking healthcare delivery to a new, exciting level. The Liliha campus is now being completely transformed into the St. Francis Kūpuna Village, Hawaii’s first one-top health and wellness center dedicated to serving seniors, caregivers and other family members. In today’s harried world, families will find a comfortable, casual haven to relax and unwind as they enjoy breathtaking sunsets and spectacular Honolulu skyline and ocean views from the courtyard. The courtyard will be the hub for an exciting array of amenities: a senior community center, where seniors can enjoy educational, social and recreational activities together; a wellness center, bistro, beauty salon, and much more.

The St. Francis Kūpuna Village is designed to seamlessly blend health and wellness activities, all at one convenient site. The campus already features a skilled nursing facility and future plans include an adult day care program, an assisted living facility with a wing dedicated to serving the Sisters of St. Francis, and an independent living community.

Be one of the first to learn about St. Francis Healthcare System’s newest programs! Join our e-mail list by sending your name and email address to:

Live Every Moment (808) 547-6500


Caring for the Whole Family Jerry Correa, Chief Executive Officer St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii In Hawaii, do people want to remain at home as they age? Yes, “living in place” is not only the preference among seniors in Hawaii, but also across the nation. In the past, this was referred to as “aging in place.” Our multi-cultural, multi-ethnic influences create strong expectations for older adult children to care for their parents as they age. However, we know that sense of duty and honor can create a tremendous burden on working family members.

What is St. Francis Healthcare System doing to address this issue? The Sisters of St. Francis always believed in finding a way to meet the needs of the community. We are creating the St. Francis Kūpuna Village to offer a spectrum of services for seniors and caregivers all in one convenient location.

We envision a campus that offers different levels of care: adult day care, independent living, assisted living, intermediate and skilled nursing care with rehabilitation services, and other services. We are now in the process of building and filling in the gaps in our overall strategic vision. This will occur over the next five to seven years. Some of this will be the result of collaboration and alliances with other healthcare providers, just as we have partnered with Ohana Pacific Management to offer skilled nursing care on our campus.

While the vision for the campus unfolds, what is St. Francis doing in the meantime to meet the immediate needs of the community? St. Francis Healthcare System has a number of existing service lines, including islandwide bathing and personal care services,

adult day care in Manoa and Ewa, islandwide home and inpatient hospice care, a social worker-based palliative care program, an affordable independent living community in Ewa, and a preschool, also in Ewa.

What is your newest service for the community? This past year, we introduced caregiver education and training sessions for caregivers. The response to these hands-on, interactive sessions has been positive and we plan to continue to offering them throughout 2017. For a list of upcoming sessions, visit the St. Francis Healthcare System website at

Live Every Moment (808) 547-6500


Don’t Get Hangry

Grab a baked good, breakfast sandwich or salad at Cafenity by KEVIN WHITTON


Located on the ground floor of the Topa Financial Center, Cafenity is the place to go downtown for your morning or afternoon caffeine fix. The café mocha, Americano and matcha latte are all house favorites. Pair them with Cafenity’s healthy and delicious breakfast items, sandwiches, soups and desserts. The coffee house also sells value‐added items like honey, spreads, baking mixes and freshly roasted wholebean coffee. Cafenity founder and owner Kristie Lo says the turkey and smoked salmon cheese breads, which are baked in‐house, are two of her best‐selling items. Served warm, they’re rich squares of fluffy, pull‐apart goodness. If you need to ditch the carbs, try the tomato, mozzarella and basil tower drizzled with homemade red wine vinaigrette. If you’re up for dessert, menu favorites include homemade tiramisu and bread pudding with white chocolate sauce. Don’t forget to ask about the seasonal dessert.

QUICK TIPS Cafenity’s fresh baked scones, muffins and bagels usually sell out by 10 a.m. The organic blueberry and liliko‘i scones are the first to go. Need office catering? Cafenity delivers to all businesses within a block of Topa Tower, so consider your next meeting covered.