Maui News

County office wins award for E Kūpaʻa Kākou, Hawaiian music series

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The Maui County Office of Economic Development is the recipient of a national award for its launch and development of E Kūpaʻa Kākou, a Hawaiian Music Series honoring the strength of community.

Todd Greene, Chair of the Board of Directors IEDC, presents the Bronze Award for 2022 Excellence in the Special Event Category for E Kūpaʻa Kākou, the Hawaiian music series, to Maui County Office of Economic Development Director JoAnn Inamasu; (left to right) Tylor Tanaka, Small Business Specialist, Kuhao Business Center; and Chase Nomura, Executive Director, Maui County Workforce Development Board. Also congratulating the Maui team was Nathan Ohle, chief executive officer of the IEDC. PC: County of Maui

The International Economic Development Council, the largest nonprofit association for professional economic developers in the world, selected the Maui County office as the recipient of the Bronze Award for 2022 Excellence in the Special Event Category.

E Kūpaʻa Kākou began as a livestreamed Hawaiian music series in September 2020 as a way for the Office of Economic Development to help performing artists unable to perform live because of COVID-19 restrictions. Live programming featured performances by musicians, dancers from local halau and audio visual technicians.

“I congratulate our Office of Economic Development and Director JoAnn Inamasu for winning this prestigious international award,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “This innovative program helped our Hawaiian performing artists to connect with audiences in the islands and beyond.”


The award was presented this week during the International Economic Development Council’s Annual Conference, held in Oklahoma City this year.

The 2022 Excellence Awards honor organizations for exemplary economic development marketing campaigns, projects and programs that created positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities.

“This year’s awardees exemplify the ingenuity, leadership and determination needed to meet the challenges of today and the future,” said IEDC President and CEO Nathan Ohle. “The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and demonstrate the level of leadership that our profession strives for every day.”


“This year’s awards selection process was especially competitive,” added IEDC Awards Advisory Committee Chair Christina Winn. “We are honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing submissions, projects and partnerships have improved regional quality of life.”

Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world. IEDC received over 500 submissions from the United States and four additional countries. 

The International Economic Development Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,800 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind.


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