Maui Business

Central Pacific Bank celebrates small business award winners

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CBP’s Susan Utsugi is recognized at Honolulu Hale for her SBA award by (from left) Honolulu Councilmember Carol Fukunaga, Mayor Rick Blangiardi, and Honolulu Councilmember Calvin Say. (Photo courtesy: City & County of Honolulu)

Central Pacific Bank and its customers the recipients of nine of 14 US Small Business Administration Small Business Awards for Hawaiʻi, including Senior Vice President, Division Manager, Business Banking Susan Utsugi being named 2022 Women in Business Champion of the Year for the State of Hawaiʻi.

“Women entrepreneurs often have unique challenges because of the many hats they wear, and don’t always  have access to networking and support, which is why we are creating opportunities for women and their businesses to thrive,” said Utsugi. “I am grateful to the US Small Business Administration for recognizing the important impact women owned businesses have on our community and economy and invite more women to join our network.”

Susan Utsugi’s efforts have helped lead to the creation of women’s business programs including:

  • Programs offered by Hawaiʻi Women’s Business Center, now known as The Patsy T Mink Center for Business & Leadership
  • Women-owned business programs at CPB such as Women’s Business Central
  • WE by Rising Tide program, a program of the CPB Foundation

Utsugi devoted over 100 hours over three months in developing, coordinating, and facilitating WE by Rising Tide, a free 10-week program designed to mentor women owned businesses helping them enhance skills to take their business to the next level. Through the program, 20 women business owners created a community of support, helping each other with common challenges and celebrating successes. 

The CPB Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2022 WE by Rising Tide program. For more information and to submit an application form click here.

In addition, CPB congratulates its customers for receiving SBA Small Business Awards for Hawaii. The CPB awardees include:

  • Women in Business Champion of the Year for the State of Hawaiʻi – Susan Utsugi, Central Pacific Bank
  • Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Hawaiʻi – Scott Loomer, Truss Systems Hawaii
  • Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for the State of Hawaiʻi – Rennell Saro and Danielle Hawxhurst, Kona Crust
  • Family-Owned Business of the Year for the State of Hawaiʻi – Ronald Anthony Rodrigues, Commercial Tire Source
  • Small Business Person of the Year for the City & County of Honolulu – Erin Kanno Uehara, Choco le‘a
  • Women-Owned Business of the Year for the City & County of Honolulu – Marie Kumabe, Kumabe HR
  • Family-Owned Business of the Year for the County of Kauaʻi – Lori Koga, Tanaka Hardware
  • Small Business Persons of the Year for the County of Hawaiʻi – Timothy & Sandra Heaton, Gypsea Gelato
  • Small Business Person of the Year for the County of Maui – Lynn Nalani Solu, Kīhei Rent-A-Car

“We sincerely congratulate all of the honorees for their well-deserved recognition and success as this is a validation of their hard work and commitment to their company,” said CPB President and Chief Operating Officer Arnold Martines. “CPB is proud to be the leader in Hawaii supporting small businesses, including women owned enterprises, as a diverse business community helps support a well-balanced and thriving economy.”

All of the SBA award winners will be recognized at a ceremony today for their achievements and contributions to our local economy.


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