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Maui’s Hawaiian Paddle Sports Makes PBN’s “Fastest 50” List

Wendy Osher · August 10, 2016, 7:52 AM HST (Updated August 11, 2016, 12:28 AM) · 5 Comments
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Maui Nui MNMRC group. Photo courtesy Hawaiian Paddle Sports.

Maui Nui MNMRC group. Photo courtesy Hawaiian Paddle Sports.

Maui’s Hawaiian Paddle Sports is one of several companies on the Valley Isle that will be recognized this week by the Pacific Business News as one of Hawaiʻi’s “Fastest 50.”

The publication will host an awards reception Thursday evening, Aug. 11, 2016 in Honolulu, honoring the businesses, with an announcement detailing each company’s rank by revenue growth.

When Hawaiian paddle sports started in 2010 it was a one man operation, run by Timothy Lara.  At the time, the business offered kayak tours, outrigger canoe tours and surf lessons.

Paddle for Hunger. Photo credit: Hawaiian Paddle Sports.

Paddle for Hunger. Photo credit: Hawaiian Paddle Sports.

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“I was the reservationist, ocean guide, book keeper and manager. By 2011 we had become the top rated kayak company on trip advisor and In 2011 I hired our first guide, Ross, a life guard captain who had recently moved to Maui,” Lara told Maui Now.

Today the company employs two full time managers, 15 ocean guides and it has contracts for a conservation manager, CPA, book keeper and cultural advisor.

“We’ve expanded to offer ocean activities at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua and have added stand up paddle boarding and outrigger canoe surfing to our offerings,” said Lara.

Paddle for Hunger. Photo credit: Hawaiian Paddle Sports.

Paddle for Hunger. Photo credit: Hawaiian Paddle Sports.

Among its accolades are its current listing as the first and only certified B Corp in Maui County, which also offers progressive benefits to its full time employees.  The company is also among the Maui businesses that are certified as tour operators for the Hawaiʻi Tourism Association’s Sustainable Tour Certification Program.

In 2012, Hawaiian Paddle Sports began supporting local non profits thru a monthly giving back program which has grown into its Mālama Maui campaign in which the company performs a service project with and/or makes a financial donation to a different non profit or community group each month.

Paddle for Hunger. Photo credit: Hawaiian Paddle Sports.

Paddle for Hunger. Photo credit: Hawaiian Paddle Sports.

“We don’t gauge our success solely by our bottom line, we focus on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. We are happy to contribute to our local economy by employing full time workers,100% of which earn above Hawaii’s living wage and donate minimum 10k a year to local non profits,” said Lara.

“Our guides love sharing the beauty of Maui with visitors from around the world. However we realize our kuleana includes more than that. We believe it’s our responsibility to educate visitors about our oceans fragile ecosystem and represent our Host culture accurately. It’s these authentic experiences that savvy travelers are seeking more and more,” Lara told Maui Now.

Paddle for Hunger. Photo credit: Hawaiian Paddle Sports.

Paddle for Hunger. Photo credit: Hawaiian Paddle Sports.

He continued saying, “All of our guides are certified marine naturalists, certified lifeguards and we provide cultural training bi annually. When guests email us stating that they learned more about Maui and Hawaiian Culture in their three hour outrigger canoe tour than they had on all prior trips to Maui, they assure us we are fulfilling our mission.”

When asked how he feels about the recent recognition by PBN, Lara responded saying, “As mentioned previously we don’t measure our success solely on the bottom line, but being honored as one of Hawaii’s fasted 50 growing companies is a reminder that we are doing something right. A lot of our business decisions don’t favor our bottom line; employee benefits, community donations, maintaining top of the line equipment… So if we’re able to do these things and still be one of the fastest growing companies in the state, we hope it will serve as an example to other small business owners that a business can thrive while simultaneously strengthening their community and employees.”

Looking toward the future, Lara said, “We are always looking for new activities or experiences to offer our guests. We have a lot of repeat guests and want to be able to offer new services. With the company on a solid footing we continue to try and find ways we can reward our employees. This year we took our team to Kauaʻi for a company retreat paddling and camping along the Nā Pali coast. It will be hard to do but we’ll need to come up with something to top that in 2017.”

The complete list of companies that will be recognized on PBN’s list includes the following: Affiliated Construction; Alexander Designs & Remodeling, LLC (Click here for Maui Now’s story on ADR-hi); All Civil Process, Inc.; Aloha Aku Inn; Artistic Builders; Banks Pacific Construction, Inc.; Barbers Point Aviation Services, LLC; BrightStar of Honolulu; Choice Maui LLC dba Choice Health Bar; Confluence Corp dba Regal Service Company; Duerler Inc. dba Mango Medical; Elite Pacific Properties; Employers Options; Erskine Architects, Inc.; Flip Flop Workshop; Garden Isle Collision Repair; GoLeanSixSigma.com; Hawaii Accounting LLC; Hawaii Employment Services; Hawaii Energy Smart; Hawaii Pacific Solar; Hawaiian Paddle Sports; Honolulu Roofing Company; Il Gelato Hawaii; Island Creation Construction LLC; Jay’s Custom Cabinets, Inc.; Jireh Fills Hawaii Corporation; King’s Painting; Klimt Architects; Kona Coast Property Management LLC; Koolau Builders; Kumabe HR; Latte Consulting LLC; LPN Landscaping and Tree Service LLC; Na Alii Consulting and Sales LLC; Native Hawaiian Veterans; Oceanfront Realty International; Pacific Construction Services Ltd.; Pacific Point; Padilla Designs; Pop-A-Lock of Honolulu; R.F. Chapman & Company; Real Select USA; Rising Sun Solar and Electric; Rivco LLC; Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salts; Starcom Builders Inc.; Talk Story Bookstore; Texture Inc.; The Diamond Fairy LLC; The Right Slice; Top Notch Automotive; Tropic Water; and Will Kill Termites & Pests, LLC

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 15 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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