Nominees and winners of the 2016 Mayor’s Small Business Awards were honored by The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Mar. 1 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club. Awards were presented in six categories by Mayor Alan Arakawa, Pamela Tumpap, President of the Maui Chamber of Commerce and Teena Rasmussen, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.
Jonathan Miller, 34, owner of eDesign Group, Inc., was named Young Small Business Person of the Year. Miller’s company installs home automation and control systems, a growing industry with new technologies that give people control over whole-house integrated audio, high-tech audio and visual systems, controlled lighting systems, motorized shading (to enhance the client’s experience of Maui’s beauty while managing the effects of Maui’s sun on air-conditioning usage), safety and security systems, and other technologies.
Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center, with Caroline Killhour as Executive Director, was named Outstanding Non-Profit Business of the year. The mission of Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center is to unlock creativity through exceptional visual arts education and to enhance this endeavor through the preservation of the historic Kaluanui Estate. The Hui is a nonprofit arts education organization dedicated to sharing the myriad benefits of the visual arts with the entire community.
Shaun Walsh, Dennis Walsh and Ahanu Tson-Dru’s Skullbase won the Exceptional Small Business, 10 or fewer employees honor. The Maui locals crafted Skullbase in 2010 as a brand and apparel company with a mission based around Maui’s youth. They wanted kids in Hawaii to be acknowledged for their positive attributes and dedication and began producing apparel to share that “you will never make it if you are afraid of failure.” To further take care of the keiki that follow them, Skullbase developed a water safety team. Certified to operate boats and jetskis and lifeguard and First Aid/CPR certified, they provide unparalleled safety service for big wave surfers, movie and television commercial productions, and large corporations; they also have trained with the military and other government entities to attain the highest standards and mental and physical strength and have developed their own safety procedures.
Maui Printing Company, Inc., owned by Robert Campbell and David Tucker, was named Exceptional Small Business, 11-35 employees. Maui Printing Company is a 27-year-old family owned business that has survived the ups and downs of the economy. Their strong investment during the recession poised them for the recovery and has allowed them to eliminate outsourcing which has opened up new and higher-end markets and improved their efficiency. The company has grown to become Maui’s largest printing services company, with a new plant in Wailuku to accommodate its new technologically advanced printing press.
The award for Exceptional Small Business, 36-100 employees went to Three’s Catering LLC, dba Three’s Bar & Grill–Travis Morrin, Cody Christopher and Jaron Blosser. Three’s has demonstrated business leadership by staying on the cutting edge in the culinary industry with the addition of their full service catering company, gourmet food truck and ocean cruise catering. Despite Three’s opening in 2010 at the bottom of the economic recession, they have flourished and now employ 60 full-time Maui residents. While Three’s has a long list of community projects they support, they also created a “community give back program” for 2016-17 where Three’s donates 10 percent of all kama‘aina sales to the month’s charitable cause.
Michael and Cheryl Rock of Mele Ukulele received the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. Mele Ukulele has distinguished themselves by the quality of their service and craftsmanship. Their support in helping others and their many contributions to the community truly exemplifies the Aloha Spirit. Mele Ukulele has generously sponsored and supported free Annual Ukulele Festivals on Oahu, the Big Island and Maui. This support makes it possible for the Ukulele Festival Hawaii to feature over 900 ukulele performers from Hawaii and the world. In addition, they continuously support the fundraising efforts of Maui’s nonprofit community.
Additionally, the Mayor’s Legacy award was presented to HC&S for Small Business Support throughout the company’s 145-year history. HC&S President/CEO Christopher Benjamin, and Rick Volner, General Manager, were presented with an engraved koa plaque and an original oil painting by artist Michael Clements.
The awards dinner was held in partnership with the Maui Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Innovate Hawaii; Gold Sponsor Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union; Bronze Sponsors Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and Maui Electric Company; and Supporters Akina Aloha Tours and Richard Kehoe, MBA, CPA. Applications were scored by judges Debbie Finkiewicz, David Fisher, Richard Kehoe, Susie Thieman and Brian Thomas.
For more information on awards, grants and programs managed by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, visit Mauicounty.gov/OED.
Photo courtesy of Mayor Alan Arakawa’s Office