Mayor’s Small Business Award Winners Announced
The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce honored the nominees and winners of the 2016 Mayor’s Small Business Awards on Tuesday, March, at King Kamehameha Golf Club.
The awards were presented in six categories by Mayor Alan Arakawa,Maui Chamber of Commerce President Pamela Tumpap and Mayor’s Office of Economic Development Director Teena Rasmussen.
The Mayor’s Legacy award was also presented to HC&S for Small Business Support throughout the company’s 145-year history. The audience gave a standing ovation to HC&S President and CEO Christopher Benjamin and General Manager Rick Volner as they were presented with an engraved koa plaque and an original oil painting by artist Michael Clements.
The awards dinner was held in partnership with the Maui Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Innovate Hawaii; Gold Sponsor Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union; Bronze Sponsors Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and Maui Electric Company. Event supporters included Akina Aloha Tours and Richard Kehoe, MBA, CPA.
Applications were scored by judges Debbie Finkiewicz, David Fisher, Richard Kehoe, Susie Thieman and Brian Thomas.
2016 Small Business Award Winners
Jonathan Miller • eDesign Group Inc. • Young, Small Business Person of the Year
Miller, 34, owner of eDesign Group Inc. in Kīhei, has three new vans with wrapped logos, 10 local employees and dozens of Maui-based clients. eDesign installs home automation and control systems, a growing industry with new technologies that give people control over whole-house integrated audio, high-tech audio and visual systems, controlled lighting systems, motorized shading (to enhance the client’s experience of Maui’s beauty while managing the effects of Maui’s sun on air-conditioning usage), safety and security systems, and other technologies. eDesign Group is focused on the growth sectors of home technology, including the Internet of Things, which is the tech sector growing most rapidly across the world. At 26, he was elected to the Kīhei Community Association Board where he served for six years and was then elected president for four years. John makes things happen and is never satisfied with where he is at. He is eager to do more.
Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center • Executive Director Caroline Killhour • Outstanding Nonprofit Business
Founded in 1934, the mission of Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center is to unlock creativity through exceptional visual arts education and to enhance this endeavor through the preservation of the historic Kaluanui Estate. The hui is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts education organization dedicated to sharing the myriad benefits of the visual arts with the entire community. In addition to offering arts education, the hui maintains the treasured Kaluanui estate, one of the only historic properties still open to the public on Maui. Through diversified revenue streams and development of current and future programs, the hui stabilizes their financial operations and develops a more sustainable financial future. In doing so, the hui is able to remain free and open to the public seven days a week. Hui exhibitions and programs run throughout the year and cultivate a fuller appreciation of and interest in art by promoting cultural exchange, spurring dialogue and enhancing awareness of and access to the visual arts on Maui.
Skullbase • Shaun Walsh, Dennis Walsh, Ahanu Tson-Dru • Exceptional Small Business, 10 or fewer employees
Maui locals, Dennis, Shaun and Ahanu crafted Skullbase in 2010 as a brand and apparel company with a mission based around Maui’s youth. They wanted kids in Hawai‘i to be acknowledged for their positive attributes and dedication and began producing apparel to share that “you will never make it if you are afraid of failure.” Their brand has been integrated into communities around the globe. To further take care of the keiki that follow them, they developed a water safety team. Certified to operate boats and jetskis and lifeguard and First Aid/CPR-certified, they provide unparalleled safety service for big wave surfers, movie and television commercial productions, large corporations and more. They have even trained with the military and other government entities to attain the highest standards and mental and physical strength and have developed their own safety procedures. For this reason, they are known as “high-risk technicians” not “risk-takers.”
Maui Printing Company Inc. • Robert Campbell & David Tucker • Exceptional Small Business, 11-35 employees
Maui Printing Company Inc. is a family-owned business that has been around for 27 years, surviving the ups and downs of the economy. The company has grown to become Maui’s largest printing services company, with a new plant in Wailuku to accommodate its new technologically advanced printing press. Their strong investment during the recession poised them for the recovery and has allowed them to eliminate outsourcing, which has opened up new and higher-end markets for the company and improved their efficiency. With a dedicated team, including six employees who have worked for the company for over 15 years, the company prides itself on providing excellent customer support and living the aloha spirit. The company has also developed an ecommerce style website that greatly enhances the customer’s experience. Maui Printing Company also contributes to many nonprofits by providing donations of printed services.
Three’s Catering LLC dba Three’s Bar & Grill • Travis Morrin, Cody Christopher, Jaron Blosser • Exceptional Small Business, 36-100 employees
Three’s Bar & Grill and Three’s Catering have demonstrated business leadership by staying on the cutting edge in the culinary industry. The addition of their full service catering company, gourmet food truck and ocean cruise catering well demonstrate that. Despite Three’s opening in 2010 at the bottom of the economic recession, they have flourished and now employ 60 full-time Maui residents. Three’s offers 50-percent-off food and beverage for each employee and their families, and includes additional benefits like Aflac and Legal Shield Hawaii. They have reinvested profits back into their business to create a more positive work environment and to create more positions. While Three’s has a long list of community projects, they have contributed to, they also created a “community give-back program” for 2016-17, by which Three’s donates 10% of all kama‘āina sales to the month’s charitable cause.
Michael and Cheryl Rock • Mele Ukulele • Lifetime Achievement Award
Mele Ukulele has distinguished themselves by the quality of their service and craftsmanship. Its support in helping others and the company’s many contributions to the community truly exemplifies the aloha spirit. Mele Ukulele has generously sponsored and supported free, annual ‘ukulele festivals on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island and Maui. This support makes it possible for the Ukulele Festival Hawaii to feature over 900 ‘ukulele performers from Hawai‘i and the world. This year, a youth group of Jews and Arabs from Israel even came and played, performing for peace. With their award nomination, numerous letters of thanks and gratitude for Mele Ukulele were received. It showed the tremendous impact this small business has had on many lives and the myriads of people they have touched with their work. They continuously give to support the fundraising efforts of our nonprofit community and provide the gift of music. They are a cultural icon and institution on Maui.
For more information on awards, grants and programs managed by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, visit www.mauicounty.gov/OED.