By Blake Isobe, Event Co-Chair
Every year there comes a time to thank the most important people in the HJCC: the members! On February 23, the Pomaikai Ballrooms held the 2017 General Membership Gathering. For the first time in many years, the General Membership Gathering featured an expo with member companies promoting their services.
Over 150 guests attended, including more than 50 prospective new members, and 13 member companies in the expo! It was a great networking opportunity for our members and guests, with a chance to reflect on the successes of the past year and updates on the Chamber’s initiatives and strategic planning.
The main event of the evening was the presentation of the Outstanding Member of the Year Award to Mr. Steve Teruya. The selection was made by HJCC Chair Dave Erdman, who noted Steve’s vision and tenacity as he brought new ideas to the Chamber. Steve chaired the Shinnen Enkai, breathing new life into the event with yatai-style food booths and the inaugural Uta Matsuri (Red & White) song contest!
Another highlight of the evening was the recognition given to Gregg Mueller and Chris Anjo. They received the Kuroko (Behind the Scenes) award for their continued support of various programs/events as volunteers. Each year the honorees are selected by the Chamber staff.
On behalf of co-chairs Blake Isobe and Chris Anjo, we would like to thank our planning committee consisting of Myles Shibata, Brandon Miyagi, Cathy Tong, Clayton hill, Deborah Huebler, Matt Kagawa, and our emcee for the evening, Cynthia Yamasaki. The committee implemented many new ideas which helped lead to a successful turn out, good fun, and great networking opportunities. A special thanks also goes to Kyo-ya Hotels (Sheraton Maui), Island Air, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car, who all donated for our grand prize staycation!
Thank you all for a great 2016 and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s event celebrating a successful 2017! Members supporting members!