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Na Po‘e Pa‘ahana Awards recognize the best in Hawaii’s hospitality industry

January 24, 2019
Lahaina News

HONOLULU - Hawaii's hospitality industry recently honored the best-of-the-best of its employees at the 29th annual Na Po'e Pa'ahana (the hard-working people) Awards.

Nearly 1,000 employees, family members and industry representatives from throughout the state gathered for the luncheon ceremony sponsored by the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association and held at the Sheraton Waikiki.

Mufi Hannemann, HLTA president & CEO, said, "We're proud to recognize the hard-working individuals who are the heart and soul of our visitor industry. They number in the tens of thousands across the state, and this year we've been able to recognize more than 60 of the best across small, medium and large hotels throughout the state. All of the Na Po'e Pa'ahana honorees embody the aloha spirit at work and in the community, and we are truly grateful for their contributions to the success of our industry."

Article Photos

Front Office Person of the Year, Medium Property (200-450 rooms) Awards went to (from left, front): Kalili Pavao of The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas (second place), Samoa Leilua of The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas (first place) and Lynn Sato of The Kahala Hotel & Resort (third place). In the back row (from left) are Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association Chairman Glenn Vergara, President & CEO Mufi Hannemann and Senior Director of Operations Edgar Palafox.

Recipients of HLTA's accolades are selected based on nominations submitted by their supervisors and co-workers. They are judged on the basis of outstanding and exceptional service to lodging guests, co-workers and the community.

A total of 65 awards were presented at the event, emceed by KHON2 Co-anchors Howard Dashefsky and Marisa Yamane.

This year's event introduced two new awards. The first, entitled Pulamahia, which means "to care for and cherish Native Hawaiian culture" in Hawaiian, was presented to the Kaanapali Beach Hotel and accepted by General Manager Mike White.

"Mike started 'Project Po'okela' in 1986, which put employees through quarterly Native Hawaiian culture classes. The Kaanapali Beach Hotel offers their staff a wide range of over 70 language and cultural classes, on paid time, which encourages the staff to create special initiatives on property, like the hotel's Hula O Na Keiki competition, which just celebrated its 28th year," remarked Hannemann.

The second, the Allied Individual of the Year Award, was presented to Carol Shimomura, vice president for employee benefit sales for Pacific Guardian Life.

This year's Na Po'e Pa'ahana award winners from Maui are:

Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year - Oralani Koa, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, third place;

Manager of the Year - Tylun Pang, Fairmont Kea Lani, third place;

Bell/Valet Person of the Year, Medium Property (200-450 rooms) - Vance Patao, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, second place;

Bell/Valet Person of the Year, Small Property (under 200 rooms) - Mark Guerrero, Maui Beach Hotel, first place;

Engineering/Maintenance Person of the Year, Large Property (over 450 rooms) - Daven Arcangel, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, second place;

Engineering/Maintenance Person of the Year, Medium Property (200-450 rooms) - Neal Nitta, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, first place;

Engineering/Maintenance Person of the Year, Small Property (under 200 rooms) - Juan Baptista, Aston Mahala at Kaanapali;

Food & Beverage Person of the Year, Medium Property (200-450 rooms) - Roger Arrieta, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, third place;

Front Office Person of the Year, Medium Property (200-450 rooms) - Samoa Leilua, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, first place;

Housekeeping Person of the Year, Large Property (over 450 rooms) - Merlita Bagalcsa, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, second place;

Security Officer of the Year, Large Property (over 450 rooms) - Marcus Curimao, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, third place;

Security Officer of the Year, Medium Property (200-450 rooms) - Si'i Savou, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, second place;

Hospitality Educator of the Year - Lorelle Peros, University of Hawaii Maui?College.

 
 

 

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