Maui News

HTA invests $260,000 in events on Maui, appoints new managers to support programs

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Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s has partnered with the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau and Island Chapters to administer its 2023 Signature Events and Community Enrichment Programs. (PC: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority)

Since 2017, Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority has invested more than $11 million to more than 411 community projects and events, including $200,000 for Maui Jim Invitational and $60,000 towards Festivals of Aloha on Maui.

HTA’s Signature Events program supports major festivals and events that provide a unique and enriching experience, preserve Hawai‘i’s natural resources, perpetuate Hawaiian culture, and celebrate the islands’ multi-cultural diversity and community.

HTA’s Community Enrichment program supports community-based projects and experiences that encourage tourism diversification in the areas of agriculture, culture, culinary, education, health and wellness, nature, sports, and voluntourism. Both programs seek to build kamaʻāina leadership capacity in Hawaiʻi’s communities and organizations.


HTA has partnered with the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau and Island Chapters to administer its 2023 Signature Events and Community Enrichment Programs. Funded by HTA, five program project managers have been appointed to administer the awardee contracts in each county.

Christy Calabrese (PC: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority)

Christy Calabrese has recently re-joined Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau. She is responsible for managing the statewide Signature Events and Community Enrichment awardee contracts. With years of experience, she has a background in travel trade and tourism.

Michelle Pope (PC: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority)

Michelle Pope has joined the Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau. A dynamic professional who is driven by clear communication and efficient workflows, she is passionate about building community and supporting local nonprofit organizations.

Sumithra Balraj (PC: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority)

Sumithra Balraj has joined the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau encompassing Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i. Most recently, she served as the director of public relations at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa.

Taryn Pascua (PC: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority)

Taryn Pascua has joined the O‘ahu Visitors Bureau. Born and raised on O‘ahu, she has more than eight years of experience in project management, communications, and marketing. Pascua has partnered with various nonprofits and stakeholders to create impactful campaigns that support the community.

Lani Kaui (PC: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority)

Lani Kaui joined the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau in 2015. In addition to managing the Community Enrichment Program on Kaua‘i for 2022 and 2023, she handles a range of responsibilities including coordinating familiarization programs, travel and tradeshows, webinars, and presentations.

HTA 2023 signature events program awardees

HTA 2023 community enrichment program awardees


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