Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Hawaii's Best Places to Work 2013

(page 2 of 4)

Medium Companies

Approachable bosses, family atmosphere and twice-yearly bonuses

1 Bowers + Kubota Consulting Inc.
U.S. Headquarters: Waipahu

Employees: 109 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 6

One reason employees love working for Bowers + Kubota is the interaction among all levels.

Most employees feel comfortable going directly to the top with their ideas, suggestions and concerns, says Amy Matsushima, human resources manager at the architectural and engineering consulting firm.

“Oftentimes, when we do surveys, you’ll see Brian and Dexter’s names show up as far as what they love about the company,” says Matsushima, using the principals’ first names. “They like the family atmosphere and we try to maintain that.”

Both Bowers and Kubota get to know each employee well, making a point to remember the names of spouses and children. B+K holds an annual golf tournament as well as an annual Christmas party in which the company pays to fly in employees and spouses from the Neighbor Islands.

“Looking for ways to improve and listening to them, I think, is all part of them recognizing that management is on their side, and that we as a team can be successful both as individuals and collectively as an organization,” Bowers says.

The firm pays bonuses twice a year based on individual and company performance, and hasn’t skipped a bonus in 16 years. The company also contributes about 12 percent of annual pay into each employee’s retirement account.

Health and wellness are also important at B+K. It reimburses employees up to $200 per year for wellness-related expenses, everything from gym club memberships to running shoes. But, Bowers says, of all the benefits, the one that is most appreciated is the 100-percent-paid healthcare coverage for employees and their families.

“People that come from other firms are just shocked we do that,” he says.


Strong Benefits and 3 Ways to Advance Your Career

2 Kiewit Infrastructure Group
U.S. Headquarters: Omaha, Neb.

Employees: 60 (Hawaii) / 11,230 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 4

Kiewit offers strong benefits and a three-point method to keep its employees happy and growing professionally.

The benefits include time off that grows with each year someone is with the company, a 6-percent 401K match and reimbursement for health-club memberships.

Ben Prock, Kiewit’s Hawaii-area manager, says the first part of the three-point plan is rotating salaried employees from one skill set to another. For example, a hired engineer may spend six months estimating and then be moved to office duties or field operations.

“We keep the people that work for us challenged on a very regular basis,” Prock says. “We don’t let people sit doing the same thing for very long before we rotate them to another type of job classification or responsibility.”

The second part of the program is succession planning: preparing employees to advance their careers by giving them needed experience, whether by placing them on certain types of work sites or with a specific supervisor who will help them advance.

“The third thing would really boil down to the team-building activities we do as a group,” Prock says. “We have area meetings, typically twice a year, where we get the entire group together, have a meeting and go through some training. We go through communications. Normally, the second half of the day, we bring in families.”


Good People, Teamwork and Half-day Fridays

3 Austin, Tsutsumi & Associates Inc.
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 61 (Hawaii) / 63 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 3

President Terrance S. Arashiro says the employees are what make Austin, Tsutsumi & Associates a special place to work.

Founded in 1934, the civil engineering and surveying company values people who contribute to the company from their hearts, not out of self-interest, Arashiro explains. “It’s in their nature to make this a better place.”

This is markedly different from a more typical view of work in which one climbs the ladder and “grabs what you can,” he says.

When people work as a team, results are better. In turn, the company makes sure to give back even more, Arashiro says. Perhaps the most popular policy is that work on Fridays is only a half-day. The company has also gone to unique lengths in some cases to keep employees, even, for example, after they have moved to Vermont and San Diego.

Paul Arita started working for Austin, Tsutsumi & Associates right out of college and has been there 18 years so far. Early in his career, he contemplated leaving to do different types of work, but decided to stay because he was allowed to grow and take on new challenges of his own choosing.

“The company wants you to do as much as possible, to develop as an engineer and also as a person,” says Arita, who enjoys mentoring newer employees.


Medium Employers, 50 to 249 Employees (listed alphabetically)


Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 187 (Hawaii) / 195 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 5

Part of this federal credit union's wellness programs includes a free, onsite lunch with a health speaker and exercise classes, like Zumba, on location. The company subsidizes the annual Halloween contest, helping each department with the cost of decorations and supplies.

Associa Hawaii (formerly Certified Hawaii)
U.S. Headquarters: Dallas

Employees: 126 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

Employees at the community-association management company can access a bank of funds to pursue personal growth through outlets such as health-club memberships, educational classes, smoking-cessation and weight-loss programs, and cultural programs. 


Atlas Insurance Agency Inc.
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 110 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 5

The insurance company has a profit-sharing program and a 401K program in which the company matches 4 percent of employee contributions. Atlas pays expenses for insurance and career-related classes, including books, exam fees, study time and the costs of attending conferment ceremonies.


U.S. Headquarters: New York City

Employees: 77 (Hawaii) / 47,183 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 8

Employees have plenty of opportunities for career and professional growth, with access to resources across the nation and to Deloitte University. During the busy audit and tax season, office leaders host regular team lunches.


Edward Jones
U.S. Headquarters: St. Louis, Mo.

Employees: 96 (Hawaii) / 36,619 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 9

The financial-services firm’s business model includes one financial advisor and one office administrator for every branch. Every associate with three years of experience can be offered a partnership and 40 percent of all associates are part owners. Associates are able to set their own schedules and work locations.


Expedia Local Expert
U.S. Headquarters: Bellevue, Wash.

Employees: 207 (Hawaii) / 391 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

The concierge-service company recognizes its employees with monthly birthday lunches with the GM, monthly bonus sales emails from a director and a Concierge of the Year awards. The company also cares about four-legged friends, offering pet insurance to employees.


Finance Factors Ltd.
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 115 (Hawaii) / 118 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

he financial-services and loan company matches up to $100 for an employee’s charitable contribution. The company incentivizes with money: $25 cash for Thanksgiving, $25 per month toward a gym membership, $100 toward an annual health screening and cash awards when celebrating anniversaries ending in 5 or 0.


Hawaii State Federal Credit Union
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 218 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

Employees and managers at the credit union can reward each other’s hard work through its ACE program. Staff gives each other vouchers, which can be redeemed for gift certificates or logo items, some valued at $600. The company provides at least four employee-appreciation dinners or lunches a year.


Hickam Communities LLC
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 75 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

The military-residential property manager holds quarterly employee-appreciation lunches for all staff. Employees receive up to 29 paid time-off days a year. During the workweek, there’s a daily five to 10 minutes stretching session and a short walk.


Honolulu HomeLoans
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 65 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

Employees at the full-service mortgage banking company work in a highly professional environment, can work flexible schedules and can telecommute. Employees receive 15 paid time-off days a year.


Island Insurance Co. Ltd.
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 186 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 7

Employees at the property- and casualty-insurance company receive discounts on all types of insurance, from personal auto to pet insurance. On employees' fifth anniversaries (and every five years thereafter), they are awarded $500 and honored at a ceremony. 


Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 169 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 3

Employees at the nonprofit receive free produce from the nature preserve at KKV, which is a healthcare provider to the residents of Kalihi Valley. At the annual staff retreat, employees are recognized for their years of service, some of whom have been there for 35 years.


Maryknoll School
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 179 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 3

Employees’ children receive tuition reimbursement at the K-12 private school. Employees can use the gym facilities for free. Anniversary pins for service of five years and up are awarded to employees and they are honored at events like the monthly all-school mass.


Maui Family Support Services Inc.
U.S. Headquarters: Wailuku

Employees: 55 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 6

Employees at the family-support services provider have flexible schedules and can take a staff holiday up to 30 days before or after the actual holiday to meet family needs or extend a vacation. After two years on the job, paid time-off certificates are given to employees, in addition to their allotted paid time off.


New York Life Insurance Co.
U.S. Headquarters: New York, NY

Employees: 110 (Hawaii) / 15,000 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 5

Employees at the financial-services company have access to mentoring and training programs. The staff takes part in monthly team-building events. Exclusive destination trips are offered to employees to meet goals.


Nordic PCL Construction Inc.
U.S. Headquarters: Denver, Colo.

Employees: 85 (Hawaii) / 1,290 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 7 (*Listed under PCL Hawaii in 2007 & 2008)

When the general contractor is awarded a contract, the company celebrates with a toast and food and drinks. As an employee-owned company, employees can buy shares and annually earn dividends. Employees who reach 100 hours of learning at the company’s College of Construction are recognized with awards.


PKF Pacific Hawaii LLP
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 51 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 3

The firm providing audit, tax and advisory services has many perks for its employees, including an office playroom for employees’ children, flexible schedules and a trip to Las Vegas. During breaks, employees can use the flat-screen TV and video-game system in the lunchroom.


ProService Hawaii
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 115 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 4

Employees at this professional employer organization celebrate holidays (including National Payroll Week) with games, potlucks and contests. ProService has an annual family picnic and an annual company retreat, which includes a weekend getaway.


Saint Louis School
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 114 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

Employees at the private school receive birthday bonus checks and participate in quarterly potluck socials. Staff is eligible for discounts on tuition at Saint Louis School and Chaminade University.


Skyline Eco-Adventures
U.S. Headquarters: Pukalani, Maui

Employees: 59 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 5

Employees at the zipline company receive complimentary tour passes to give out at their discretion. Staff accrue paid days to volunteer at nonprofits of their choice. At the holiday party, the company honors two outstanding employees, who receive plaques and their names engraved on a plaque in the office.


Swinerton Builders
U.S. Headquarters: San Francisco

Employees: 84 (Hawaii) / 996 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

Employees at the construction company like to get together at quarterly employee-owner meetings, and at annual summer picnic, holiday and mochi parties. Employees’ families are encouraged to attend company-sponsored events such as the Great Aloha Run.


T-Mobile Hawaii (U-Mobile LLC)
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 57 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

Employees at the mobile-phone provider receive discounted phone service and can test new phones. The company holds contests with prizes that have included cash and gadgets, like headphones. When teams do well, the company celebrates with pizza or fried-chicken parties.


Toshiba Business Solutions (USA) Inc.
U.S. Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.

Employees: 56 (Hawaii) / 2,300 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

Each employee participates in a kaizen (Japanese for “improvement”) team that focuses on a specific goal to move the company forward, such as fundraising, green initiatives, internal processes, etc. Every year, the company rents a beach house for a holiday weekend where employees and their families can spend the day.


UBS Financial Services Inc.
U.S. Headquarters: Weehawken, N.J.

Employees: 55 (Hawaii) / 64,820 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

Employees at the financial-services firm enjoy half-day workdays around three-day weekends, and can use an employee volunteer day to work at a charity of the employee’s choice.


Wealth Strategy Partners
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 50 (Hawaii) / 86 (U.S.)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

Top employees are celebrated with Advocate of the Month awards and through the Leaders Club and Presidents Club, which include all-expenses paid trips to domestic or international destinations. The financial-services firm celebrates employees’ birthdays every month by buying cake for the office. 


Y&M Radiology
U.S. Headquarters: Honolulu

Employees: 69 (Hawaii)
Years on the BPTW List: 2

Employees enjoy fully paid parking at all locations or reimbursed bus passes. They’re also eligible for cash in lieu of benefits, and can be reimbursed for tuition costs. At the Employee Appreciation Day, the radiologists hand out lunch and gift bags to all employees.


Hawaii Business magazine invites you to comment on our articles and the issues they raise. Comments are moderated for offensive language, commercial messages and off-topic posts and may be deleted. Some comments may be chosen for inclusion in the magazine on the Feedback page.

Old to new | New to old
Oct 30, 2013 10:56 pm
 Posted by  joeshmoe2000

great website. wished I had found it sooner. Aloha!

Dec 5, 2013 04:49 pm
 Posted by  WWJD96744

Hickam Communities Housing is one of the worse places to work for. they put fear in the workplace, large turn around of senior regular employees, who quit because of poor management, maintenance superiors are close minded and will not let you voice opinions, individuals are shyed upon for voice out, employees are harrassed for work related injuries and illnesses, 90% of the maintenance staff are not happy with the system, poor morale, and lack of team spirit. On-call policies are in violation.

This has been flagged
Add your comment:


Don't Miss an Issue!
Hawaii Business,April