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June 2018 Chamber Connection Newsletter

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President's Message | May 2018

I always feel I should start by saying something akin to: This was a busy month. I have come to realize – as most of you no doubt have- that they are all busy months. In fact, what strikes me is that with the advent of computers, so many jobs have been simplified (i.e. when is the last time you saw a secretary take dictation – or for that matter saw a secretary) that it seems that we should have more and more free time.

Compared to the mid 1970’s (when I started in industry, following college, the Navy and grad school) I would expect that a 20-hour week would have replaced the 40-hour (+) week by now. But the opposite is true. The more jobs are automated somehow the more work seems to sprout up, the longer the hours we work. I would like to say “the devil is in the detail” but someone has already coined that phrase – and I am not sure it is not simply the devil. So much for ruminating.

The Chamber does a lot to represent and improve the environment for our small businesses, their employees, customers and for the community in general. April’s primary focus was on the Legislature and on Government in general. On the 15th, at the request of the Governor’s East Hawaii Representative, seven of us had breakfast with Governor Ige. The discussion was good, if informal. The Governor did, as far as I could tell, go away with a number of issues that are of concern to our business community. As a note, Fresh Onishi, who is the Governor’s Representative here, is working hard on behalf of both the Governor and this Island Community – we appreciate his work.

The next day, a State Senator asked to meet with a group of business people so the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as our Chamber gathered an informal group together to hear his thoughts on Mauna Kea. Although the meeting was specifically set as a casual talk story session with no decision and nothing formal, some misconceptions did apparently come out. While good points were made on both sides it was not clear that any minds were changed nor that there was consensus on any particular point. That is not to say that the discussion was a waste of time for anyone.

So that there is no question, the Hawaii Island Chamber has continued with its historic, deep and clear commitment to the scientific use of the Mountain including a commitment to the Thirty Meter Telescope and to the Office of Mauna Kea Management. We do this with our eyes wide open, understanding that there have been mistakes and oversights in the past and that through a continuous feedback and correction cycle these have been largely corrected going forward. We do not see a dissonance between having both cultural and scientific activities on the mauna – but rather see that both can coexist in a way that enhances all of these activities. We believe that our Mayor’s concept of a peace park that encourages and recognizes both with respect and honor can provide an excellent pathway forward.

Non government related activities – and very significant activities for the Chamber – included the kickoff of the 2018 HiPlan program that encourages those wishing to start or grow their businesses to enter a contest to win $25,000 towards that end. The kick off meeting on April 19, was well attended generating real enthusiasm. Again, our thanks to the HiPlan group for this program encouraging greatly needed new businesses for this Island. The Chamber encouraged its members to attend the Small Biz Academy sponsored by Hawaii Business Academy. This year’s program featured speakers that included two highly successful Hawaii Island businessmen: Duane Kurisu and Allan Ikawa among others. Programs such as these can give a real boost to all of our businesses, showing us how our neighbors, classmates and friends have successfully built businesses in this economy. We encourage you to take advantage of these activities.

May 2018 Chamber Connection Newsletter