Maui Business

MEDB’ Workshop Explored Facets of Human Resources

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Gregory Sato, a partner in the Kobayashi Sugita & Goda law firm, shared some of the best practices to avoid lawsuits. MEDB photo.

Gregory Sato, a partner in the Kobayashi Sugita & Goda law firm, shared some of the best practices to avoid lawsuits. MEDB photo.

Maui Economic Development Board’s “Getting Started For Startups: The Basics of Sound Human Resources Management” workshop focussed on the importance of building a strong foundation for business success.

Over 20 entrepreneurs, small business owners and business development professionals attended the human resources workshop at MEDB’s Malcolm Center in Kīhei on March 2.

“There’s a thicket of laws, rules, regulations and mandates that catch a lot of entrepreneurs off guard when starting their business,” said Frank De Rego Jr., director of Business Development Projects at Maui Economic Development Board. “That’s why MEDB offered this workshop that helps peel back the multiple layers of human resources management that can be especially overwhelming and to provide business owners with a step-by-step guide on various issues they might face when bringing on employees.”


Among the topics covered by expert human resources and legal professionals were: payroll regulations; tax liabilities, withholdings and an explanation of FICA-FUTA-SUTA; The Affordable Care Act; explanation of group versus individual health care plans; the ins and outs of prepaid health options; recruiting, hiring and terminating an employee; the effect of TDI and Workers Compensation; best practices to avoid lawsuits; dealing with wage and hour issues, such as minimum wage and overtime; insurance requirements; and how new labor law legislation will impact your business.

“MEDB’s workshop gave us a great overview of the HR basics,” said workshop attendee Wayne Wong, director for the Small Business Development Center on Maui. “When business owners are ready to hire employees, they want to do the right thing and they want to be in compliance with the law. Understanding the various regulations and how these impact one’s business and their employees is an important tool for any startup and/or small business.”

Other comments received from workshop attendees included, “All of it was so valuable including the break out sessions where we could ask specific questions” … “Presenters were very knowledgeable” … “I’m thankful there are resources available.”


Workshop speakers were Gregory Sato, a partner in the Kobayashi Sugita & Goda law firm; Donna Jones, director of External HR for ProService Hawaii; Peggy Maxwell-Luke, business relationship manager for Ceridian HCM; David Yarbrough, senior business development manager at ProService; and Lauraine Bifulco, CEO and president of VantaggioHR.

The workshop was part of MEDB’s Technical Assistance Series, a grassroots effort to help small businesses establish strong systems, processes, tools and best practices to build a solid foundation for success. The event was sponsored by the County of Maui, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Maui Economic Development Board, Ceridian, Kobayashi Sugita & Goda, ProService Hawaii and VantaggioHR.


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