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Behind the Scenes

Here is how Hawaii Business compiled this year’s Top 250 list.

This year, more than 20 people were involved in the Top 250 project: researchers, business reporters, a computer technician, a magazine art director and a team of top-notch photographers.

Top 250 Team: The researchers at Mattson Sunderland Research and Planning Associates Inc.

In late February, librarians Chris Tomoyasu, Audrey Minei and Elaine Schultz used databases to provide Hawaii Business with a list of 500 companies and estimated annual gross sales. These companies were either new or displaced from previous Top 250 lists.

Hawaii Business then handpicked 250 companies from the list and combined them with last year’s Top 250 companies. Then the data was handed over to Honolulu-based Mattson-Sunderland Research and Planning Associates Inc.

Mattson’s researchers spent more than a month contacting these 500 companies via e-mail, phone and fax. Penny Bovard, head researcher at Mattson, managed this year’s telephone team.

“It was a very hard year,” she says. “But it separated the men from the mice. We ended up with some really good [companies] standing and should all be really proud.”

Tomoyasu then organized the verified data into categories: sublists, companies with incomplete information, companies that refused to participate and companies with gross annual sales that were too low (this year’s cut-off was $17 million).

Hawaii Business’ editorial team used the data to write stories; photographers Michelle Tricca, Ronen Zilberman, Karin Kovalsky and Olivier Koning shot photos. The editorial team included Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, television and new media editor; Jacy L. Youn, assistant editor; Ronna Bolante, associate editor; and Cathy S. Cruz, editor.

Hawaii Business’ I.T. Director, Dan Cameron, spent one week preparing the data for Director of Design, Creative Services & Production Jayson Harper, who then designed the pages. But unlike the researchers or writers, Harper and Cameron had only three weeks to do their jobs. The magazine went to press on July 11.

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