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Tenth annual Business Fest to highlight intergenerational business lessons

By Staff | Sep 15, 2016

KAHULUI – The Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce announced that registration has opened for its tenth annual Business Fest on Friday, Oct. 7, at the Grand Wailea in South Maui.

This year’s theme, “Navigating Our Future Through Business,” features both emerging and experienced speakers with different business perspectives.

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, MNHCoC will honor its past presidents – Boyd Mossman, Howard Kihune, Jimmy Haynes, Chubby Vicens, Kai Pelayo and Doreen Pua Canto – during the dawn protocol on Wailea Beach scheduled for 6 a.m. The protocol will be held under the cultural direction of Kahu Lyons Naone, Kimikeo Kapahulehua and Kainoa Horcajo.

“With the impending closure of HC&S, Maui’s economy is in between what it has been and what it will become,” said chamber President Teri Freitas Gorman. “While tourism continues to drive our economy, we also acknowledge that our fragile island cannot survive unlimited growth. Nearly 30 percent of Maui’s residents have Native Hawaiian ancestry, so it’s important for the generations to work together toward a future that is in alignment with our cultural values.”

Opening speaker Samuel ‘Ohu Gon III, senior scientist and cultural advisor for The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, will report on the outcomes of the IUCN World Conservation Congress that was first announced on Maui during last year’s event. Dr. Gon is known internationally for his unique ability to integrate Hawaiian cultural values with his work as a conservationist.

Featured speaker Livingston “Jack” Wong, CEO of Kamehameha Schools, will speak about how his organization manages the inherent tension between making business decisions and honoring cultural values. He is into the second year of operationalizing a new strategic plan for the venerable 129-year-old institution.

Panelists Kui Gapero, Manaola Yap and Napua Hueu will join moderator Kainoa Horcajo for a fascinating discussion about “Cultural Preservation or Perpetuation in Hawaiian Businesses.” These emerging Hawaiian business leaders will discuss the conflict between tradition and innovation.

Inspirational speaker Maile Meyer, owner of Hawaiian Books/Na Mea Hawai’i in Honolulu, will speak about the importance of stories in determining the future. She has successfully blended commerce, culture and community through her unorthodox business model.

Lunch Keynote Speaker Na’alehu Anthony is the founder of Paliku Documentary Films and CEO of ‘Oiwi Television Network, the first and only Hawaiian owned and operated television network. ‘OiwiTV is the only all Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian language content station in Hawaii. He is also passionate about voyaging, having crewed aboard Hokule’a in many roles, including recently as a captain. He will speak about navigating the future through business.

Panelists Brian Kohne, Kathy Collins and George Kahumoku Jr. will close the event with a discussion about the business of arts and entertainment moderated by Wayne Wong. These creative entrepreneurs will consider what it takes to produce “profitable and pono” experiences and products for others.

A 10th Anniversary Reception with pupus and a complimentary beverage will follow the traditional closing of the festival with “Hawai’i Aloha.”

In between speakers and panels, attendees are encouraged to visit the exhibit area featuring displays by MNHCoC members who work in health and wellness, community and social services, food and beverage, cultural practitioners, business consultants, designers, artists as well as MNHCoC partner organizations: KOKO Hawaiian Radio and the Maui Food Innovation Center at the University of Hawaii Maui College.

As part of the MNHCoC’s commitment to the next generation of business leaders, 50 students from Kamehameha Schools Maui will receive scholarships to attend this event.

Festival sponsors enable free admission to all sessions except for the Keynote Luncheon; the meal cost is $60 for MNHCoC members or $70 for non-members. To register, or for more information, visit www.mnhcoc.org/ Business-Fest/20156.