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November 2017 Chamber Connection Newsletter

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President's Message | October 2017

It’s good to be back after an eventful trip to the mainland, which took me away for much of September. My youngest daughter, Whitney, asked to celebrate her 30th birthday with as much of the family as possible at Harry Potter World (Part of the Universal Studios Park) in Orlando, Florida. By this time in life one embraces such requests so off we went. Suffice it to say that a rather significant weather event decided to intersect our plans.

Fortunately we flew to Columbia, South Carolina first for a few days and then drove south to Orlando – about a six-hour drive. This let us sidestep the weather arriving in Orlando after Irma and on the Park’s second day of operation after the storm. HINT: If you are to go to one of the major amusement parks, arriving there a day or two after a very significant weather issue is an excellent plan. Very few other people will be in the park and there will be no lines requiring more than a 5 minute wait. Of course planning for this to happen is virtually impossible – but for those who can (I know not who you are) – go for it! On the serious side we actually saw very little damage in the areas that we went through.

Those who were still here had a busy month with a variety of activities. I will point in particular to the Membership Committee which held a welcome party for new members (actually on August 31). These events are excellent opportunities to meet new members. The committee knocks itself out putting together truly unique and well thought out lunches. Hats off to them as it makes a real impression and is an exceptional way to welcome new members into our organization.

At the end of the month, the County Administration invited a number of business organization leaders to meet and have a casual discussion with the Mayor and Managing Director. As I was out of town, Gordon Takaki and Miles Yoshioka attended on behalf of the Chamber. Meetings like this present both our businesses and our government officials an opportunity to discuss issues from perspectives that are often different – giving our community an opportunity to then move ahead with a better understanding of what is happening and what may be driving it.

Should there be future meetings, we will have an increased opportunity to explore ways to address one of our County’s most difficult long term problems: Unemployment and underemployment. We have a very real need to bring in jobs and industries that require higher skill levels, create greater value added and more innovative products. If we can do this (and we can) we will see a much brighter future for our businesses, our employees, our families and our community. Towards this end a group of business leaders continues to meet and to put together an organization to address this topic as a major focus. We are, after all, left with the question: if we do not do this, who will. Really this is our kuleana!

October 2017 Chamber Connection Newsletter