Maui Business

Hawai‘i Small Business Conference Workshops, May 9

April 16, 2019, 7:29 AM HST
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Small businesses interested in gaining tips on how to create essential systems for success, pay less taxes, expand your reach and impact using free Google apps, and protect your company’s brand are encouraged to attend the Hawaiʻi Small Business Conference workshops in May.

Now in its third year, the Hawaiʻi Small Business Conference will be held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului, Maui on May 8 and 9, 2019.


On the first day of the conference, national and local business leaders and trendsetters will share a number of important strategies for business success. The next day, four interactive workshops will provide additional insights with the opportunity to delve deeper into key topics. Click here for a full conference and workshops schedule.

The three-hour workshop sessions will run parallel both morning (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.) and afternoon (1 to 4 p.m.). Workshops will feature:

TJ Schier, President/Founder of SMART Restaurant Group, leads workshop #1, “7 Essential Systems for Small Business Success.” During this workshop, attendees will learn about recruiting and attracting the right talent, creating a customer service culture to beat the competition, implementing effective employee training, accelerating performance with an operational blueprint, maximizing the top- and bottom-line via sales and profit radar, owning the local community, and incentivizing and rewarding performers.


“It’s difficult for small businesses to compete against larger competitors and bigger brands,” said Schier. “However, the weakness with large businesses is they often lack a true connection to the local community and the ability to create a family-atmosphere and culture with their employees. Small business owners need to leverage that advantage and ensure their employees feel like they are appreciated and help deliver a superior guest/client/customer experience.”


During workshop #2, “Tax Strategies for Small Business,” Robert Kawahara, CPA, Managing Member of Kawahara + Hu, will share information the how to reduce taxes for your business, the latest tax changes, and how to plan ahead. According to Kawahara, “Taxes can often take a big bite out of the income of a small business and owners need information to make proper business decisions. Understanding taxes and effective tax planning will go a long way in helping you keep more of the money you earn.”

Workshop #3, “How to Use Free Tools to Grow my Community and Business,” will be led by Google’s Jules Kremer (Technology Project Manager) and Alexandrina Garcia-Verdin (G Suite Developer Advocate). Kremer shared, “Small business owners have so much to do! From building a business plan, building a team and working with customers. One area we’ve seen in working with small businesses at Google is a need to understand the tools and services that can help you when you are just starting out and as you grow. During this workshop, we’ll share with attendees how Google can help build your business and engage with your customers.”

Workshop #4, “Intellectual Property and Branding,” will be led by William McKeon, Keri Mehling and Rebecca Filipovic of McKeon Sheldon Mehling (A Limited Liability Law Company). Attendees will learn what trademarks are, why they are important, and how to develop and protect a strong trademark. According to Filipovic, “A company’s trademark, the brand under which they sell their goods or services, is oftentimes one of their most valuable assets. Developing a strong trademark and taking steps to protect it should be an integral part of any small business strategy from the outset. It also helps owners focus on what their long-term goals or end game might be, whether it’s licensing their brand, manufacturing products or eventually selling the company.”


Cost of the full-day Conference is $95 per person for advanced registration or $100 per person for onsite registration. Conference ​fee ​includes admittance ​to conference sessions, conference ​materials, ​and ​continental ​breakfast ​and ​lunch.

The May 9 Workshops are $35 per workshop with an additional charge for lunch.

To register online, visit www.HawaiiSmall.Biz. For additional information, email [email protected] or call (808) 875-2300.

The 2019 Hawaiʻi Small Business Conference presented by Maui Economic Development Board with support by the County of Maui Office of Economic Development. Sponsors include:

Pacific Media Group, The Maui News, Grow with Google, Akina Tours, and Allstate Insurance–Matthew Cerizo Agency. Community Partners are: Maui Chamber of Commerce, Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, and Economic Development Alliance of Hawaiʻi.

The Hawaiʻi Small Business Conference coincides with National Small Business Week, an opportunity to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Alexandrina Garcia-Verdin is a G Suite Developer Advocate at Google. She has worked at Google for over six years sharing best practices on how G Suite helps organizations at every phase of its growth along with culture tips and tricks.

Jules Kremer is a Technical Project Manager at Google. Jules has spent over 20 years in the tech industry focused on software development and business strategy. She current leads the Developer Relations teams for Google’s Cloud Startups, Higher Education and G Suite Developer Platform.

Keri Mehling, Attorney at McKeon Sheldon Mehling, practices in the areas of commercial litigation, insurance defense, real estate and construction defects.

Rebecca Filipovic, Attorney at McKeon Sheldon Mehling, has expanded her practice to specialize in intellectual property. She has conducted comprehensive trademark searches and has prepared and prosecuted numerous trademarks with the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office.

Robert Kawahara, CPA is the Managing Member of Kawahara + Hu, LLC, Maui’s largest CPA firm. The firm is a full-service company providing Individual and Business Tax Planning and Preparation, Audit Services, Estate Planning, Business Valuations, Bookkeeping and Payroll services.

TJ Schier is the President/Founder of SMART Restaurant Group, a large Which Wich Superior Sandwiches franchisee; as well as a prominent speaker and consultant in the franchise industry.

Attorney William McKeon is the founding member of the Law Offices of McKeon Sheldon Mehling. He represents clients in complex commercial litigation, including real estate, business, construction and personal injury disputes in all the courts in Hawai’i.

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