Winners of the 2017 Mayor’s Small Business Awards were honored March 7 by the Maui Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. Mayor Alan Arakawa and president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce, Pamela Tumpap, presented the awards at the SBA annual awards dinner at the King Kamehameha Golf Club.
The annual awards are presented in five categories including a lifetime achievement award.
The 2017 winners were James R. Doran Jr. – Ceramic Tile Plus & Exclusively Yours (Lifetime Achievement Award); Brian Bowers – Artistic Builders Corporation (Young Small Business Person of the Year); Ka Lima O Maui, Ltd. – Chantal Ratte, Executive Director (Outstanding Nonprofit Business); Windward Aviation, Inc. – Don & Donna Shearer (Exceptional Small Business, 10 or fewer employees); and Maui Windows & Doors, LLC – Andrew Keenan (Exceptional Small Business, 11-35 employees).
Doran’s Ceramic Tile Plus and Exclusively Yours are family-owned businesses that have served Maui for nearly 40 years. Since its founding, CTP has grown to feature the largest selection of natural stone, porcelain, decorative tile and raw slab materials on the island. Beginning with only two employees, CTP and EY have grown to a combined 35 employees. This year the CTP team is being recognized as one of “The Best Places to Work in Hawaii” by Hawaii Business Magazine. CTP also consistently gives back to numerous nonprofits and youth programs each year, including Habitat for Humanity, Maui Food Bank and Ka Lima O Maui. Doran also reserves the store parking lot every Saturday to allow youth groups and other nonprofit organizations to hold fund-raising car washes there free of charge.
Brian Bowers’ Artistic Builders Corporation (Young Small Business Person of the Year) is a full-service general contracting company with more than 40 years of construction experience. In 2008, after completing college, Bowers learned that ABC, which was started by his father in 1997, was insolvent due to the economic recession. Not willing to lose the company, Bowers return home to save the family business. By restructuring the company, Bowers was able to turn ABC around, as demonstrated by their placement on Hawaii’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies; the company was in 49th place by 2013 and achieved the 8th place spot by 2016. From 2013 to 2015, they grew from six to 12 full-time employees and employ 20-30 subcontractors, providing many with high-paying jobs and good benefits.
Outstanding Nonprofit Ka Lima O Maui, Ltd. (Chantal Ratte, Executive Director) was founded in 1955, as a private nonprofit with the mission of “Enhancing Lives through Self-Reliance” for persons with disabilities. They serve approximately 200 individuals with disabilities each year and help them become contributing members of the community, reducing their dependence on government subsidies. Ratte has been with the organization for 23 years. Under her watch, this nonprofit was selected as one of Hawaii’s Best Places to Work in 2009 by Hawaii Business Magazine. The nonprofit also has been named Employer of the Year by the local Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services branch. The agency also works closely with Maui high schools and their Special Education transition programs; every Spring, Ka Lima O Maui visits special education classes to encourage graduation students to enter the workforce and offers assistance to make it happen. The organization prides itself on not receiving any operating grants from government.
Exceptional Small Business (10 or fewer employees) winner Windward Aviation, Inc. has served Hawaii since 1990. Under Don and Donna Shearer’s ownership, the company provides critical services to numerous county, state and federal agencies, as well as utility providers, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. The Shearers have grown the specialized aviation company. Their aviation services include fighting fires, search and rescue operations, transporting passengers and gear to job sites, filling golf course sand traps and pouring cement, spraying agricultural areas, eradicating marijuana and invasive species, pulling telephone and electrical wires, moving hazardous materials, and aerial filming for movies, surf competitions and commercials. Their team received an Exemplary Act Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior for the rescue of two Paramount Pictures employees in 1992 when their aircraft crashed into the Puu Oo Vent of Kiluaea Volcano. In addition, the company hosts school groups to enhance aviation education, sponsoring school fundraiser events and providing dedicated flight time to nonprofit agencies, including offering flights for children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Maui Windows & Doors’ Andrew Keenan (Exceptional Small Business, 11-35 employees) is a licensed contractor who identified the limited supplies of windows and doors on Maui. Prior to opening Maui Windows & Doors in 2014, choices included generic products from big box stores or specialty items ordered from Oahu. Keenan’s 3,000 sq. ft. modern showroom features dozens of top window and door brands and full-sized displays. They also offer free on-site measuring, consultations and installations by a licensed and insured contractor. Keenan involves his employees in community activities and his Vice President, Trisha Egge, is a CIM Board Member who helped bring back the Maui Home Show in 2016 and regularly hosts CIM events. In addition, Keenan teaches the “Becoming a General Contractor” class at UH-Maui College. He also hosts a free “Ask the Contractor” event every Saturday where the public is encouraged to come to his store, enjoy coffee and doughnuts and ask construction-related questions free of charge.
Small Business Awards applications were scored by judges Paul Felix, Debbie Finkiewicz, Susie Thieman, Brian Thomas and Wayne Wong.
For more information on awards, grants and programs managed by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, visit Mauicounty.gov/OED.
Photo (L to R): Pamela Tumpap, Maui Chamber of Commerce President; James Doran Jr., Ceramic Tile Plus & Exclusively Yours; Don & Donna Shearer, Windward Aviation, Inc.; Mayor Alan Arakawa; Trisha Egge (for Andrew Keenan), Maui Windows & Doors, LLC; Chantal Ratte, Ka Lima O Maui, Ltd.; Brian Bowers, Artistic Builders Corporation; Teena Rasmussen, Mayor’s Office of Economic Development Director.
Photo courtesy County of Maui