Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber Hosts 8th Maui Business Fest
By Wendy Osher
The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce will host its 8th Annual Business Fest on Thursday, Oct. 2 at the Grand Wailea Resort in South Maui.
Organizers say the event this year features three political forums, and three speakers noted for their contributions to education, business and culture.
The event will open with the dawn arrival of canoes on Wailea Beach betweeen 6 and 7:45 a.m., along with cultural protocol conducted by Kapiʻiohoʻokalani Lyons Naone, Keliʻi Tauʻa, and Kimokeo Kapahulehua.
In keeping with the chamber’s desire to balance business with Hawaiian culture, organizers say this year’s event is being dedicated to Maui’s new voyaging canoe, the 62-foot Moʻokiha o Piʻilani, which will be anchored offshore throughout the event.
Event speakers include:
- Dr. Michael Chun: retired headmaster and president of the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Campus from 1988 to 2012, will deliver the keynote address from 7:45 to 8:35 a.m. at the Haleakalā Ballroom 1.
- Kepā Maly: cultural historian and Pūlama Lānaʻi senior vice president of cultural and historic preservation, 12:10 to 1:20 p.m. in the Haleakalā Ballroom 1.
- Miki Tomita, Ph.D: dean of curriculum and instruction for Honolulu’s University Laboratory School; and education team member for the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Worldwide Voyage. Tomita will discuss new ways of teaching and learning through the Hōkūleʻa, 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. in the Haleakalā Ballroom 4 and 5.
“We are privileged to have such accomplished speakers at our 8th Annual Business Fest,” said MNHCoC president Doreen “Pua” Cano in an organization press release. She continued saying, “We are also honored by the caliber of political candidates who will be speaking with our members and guests. Their presence at this event demonstrates their consideration for issues that affect Native Hawaiians.”
Political forums at the annual event this year feature the following:
- Maui Mayoral Candidates: 8:50 to 9:45 a.m. Alan Arakawa and Tamara Paltin will discuss their plans to lead Maui County and answer audience questions.
- Hawaiʻi Governor’s Forum: 10:05 to 11:50 a.m., featuring candidates Duke Aiona, Mufi Hannemann and David Ige.
- Maui County Council Candidates Forum: 1:30 to 3 p.m., featuring brief remarks by Gladys Baisa, Joe Blackburn, Kaʻala Buenconsejo, Bob Carroll, Elle Cochran, Don Couch, Stacy Crivello, Don Guzman, Riki Hokama, Mike Molina, Joe Pontanilla, Mike Victorino, and Mike White.
All three forums will be held in the Haleakalā Ballroom 4 and 5, and will be moderated by Mahina Martin and Ron Vaught.
In addition to forums and speakers, the Business Fest also features an exhibition area in which attendees will be able to view goods and services showcased by event sponsors.
The event, now in it’s eighth year, was created in 2006 as a forum for combining Hawaiian culture, values, and business education to make Maui a better place, organization officials said. The organization’s mission is, “to promote and sustain Hawaiian values and culture, and enhance the socio-economic status of Native Hawaiians in business and as individuals.”
Capacity for the event is limited, and interested attendees are encouraged to register by Sept. 22 via the MNHCoC website. Cost is $50 for MNHCoc members, and $75 for non-members, and includes continental breakfast and luncheon.
Organization leaders say membership is open to anyone with an interest in “perpetuating the spirit of Aloha through commerce, culture, and the community.” The organization hosts monthly meetings that often feature guest speakers and networking opportunities.