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2004, A Year For Firsts

Kelli Abe Trifonovitch

The annual Hawaii Business Top 250 issue is always a logistical challenge. First off, there is the sheer size of the book - more than three times the number of pages than in some other months.

Then there is the volume and scope of research that goes into surveying Hawaii's top companies in order to rank the Top 250 by gross annual sales. 2004 was a year for a number of "firsts" in our continuing efforts to improve the Top 250's accuracy and efficiency of the process we use in putting the project together:

o The first time companies were asked to use Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for their industry or industries to compile their annual gross sales.

o The first time we enlisted the assistance of the Hawaii office of the accounting firm of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, if any questions arose regarding GAAP.

o The first time a company official, equal to or higher than a chief financial officer, was asked to sign the company's survey sheet to verify the information.

o The first time that Honolulu-based Ward Research Inc. has partnered with us in researching and surveying companies for the Top 250.

These are all changes that were made in our continuing quest for improvement or kaizen. What hasn't changed is the commitment of the team here at Hawaii Business to excellence and reader service in putting together the state's premier listing of top businesses.

Managing Editor Jacy L. Youn, Contributing Editor David K. Choo and Senior Editor Maria Torres-Kitamura expended both sweat and brain cells and put in long hours to compile and double-check the Top 250 listings and to report and write the stories that bring those numbers and names to life. We would be remiss at this point if we did not thank AIO Group Chief Financial Officer Gaylen Shintaku and retired business librarian Martha Laxson for their invaluable advice and assistance with the project.

In 1999, then Webmaster for Hawaii Business (today he's director of IT for the AIO Group and our hawaii e.biz columnist), Dan Cameron, wrote the code we use to change the electronic data files into something our magazine layout programs can use. This year, as in years past, Dan continues to be instrumental in getting the data into a manageable magazine format.

Assistant Creative Director Wes Funai put his creative eyes and hands to the data and the stories and, along with the PacficBasin Communications production team, designed effective and eye-catching ways to tell the stories.

What we ended up with is a business resource that will be kept on desks and tabletops across the state, at least until the new and improved Top 250 appears in August of 2005.

CORRECTIONS:

The TIGR department of the July 2004 issue should have said that New Horizons Computer Learning Centers of Hawaii guarantees its graduates internships with many partners, not just Queen's Health Systems. Also, the time frame for New Horizons programs is six, seven or 10 months, not weeks. Hawaii Business regrets these errors.

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