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2011 Hawaii's Better Business Bureau Torch Awards

Trust • Performance • Integrity

2011 Hawaii's Better Business Bureau Torch Awards

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Hawaii's Better Business Bureau BBB Torch Awards

The BBB Torch Award recognizes those businesses and public charities that hold themselves to the highest set of ethics and integrity in our marketplace.

Receiving a Torch Award is no small feat and each year a distinguished panel of judges, made up of past Torch Awards recipients, has the formidable task of selecting the finalists and winners. This year’s judges were truly impressed with the caliber of the nominees.

Judge Marian Tsuji of Lanakila Pacific was particularly struck by the role the board of directors played in the success of the public charities, their fundraising efforts and their transparency.

What stood out for Dawn Webster of Loomis-ISC was the incredible lengths small businesses went to build rapport and trust with not just their customers, but their vendors and community as well.

Judge Scott Williams President of Lex Brodie’s, noted the medium-sized businesses were deeply committed to continually improving customer service standards and mentoring programs.

Sandra Lacar from Servco Pacific, Inc. applauded the large businesses’ efforts to give back to the community – from internal fundraising efforts to sponsorships to working with local vendors.

Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees. They are now part of the elite group of Torch Awards nominees and recipients.

The Ka Mea O Kako‘o Award

The Ka Mea O Kako‘o Award is the BBB’s Consumer Advocacy honor and means “A person who supports, helps, and assists others.” Kako‘o was used instead of kokua…because it reflects help given in a close relationship by one who will stay the course and does it out of aloha.

KHON’s Action Line has been looking after consumers for 24 years and is a consumer referral and information service created to assist consumers throughout the state in solving a wide variety of problems they have encountered with businesses, service providers and government agencies. In addition, it informs the community at-large of consumer issues. A group of approximately 25 dedicated volunteers take calls from the public and provide guidance designed to assist the callers in resolving their complaints. In 2010, Action Line handled 3,200 calls. From 2009 to 2010, Action Line reported savings and recoveries for consumers totalling approximately $300,000.


Small Business Finalist

Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe on Kaua’i is a fun and internationally welcoming store with an eclectic variety of over 40,000 books. Owned & operated by Ed Justus and his wife Cynthia, Talk Story Bookstore has won five awards in the past six years and has especially become a hub of business and social activity during the town’s weekly “Friday Night Festival” by welcoming local talent and vendors to setup around their store. Their business philosophy of “Something for Everyone” has brought profit increases every year and has increased the number of both tourists and residents shopping in town.


The Wedding Ring Shop has been celebrating love since 1987.
The Wedding Ring Shop is here to honor and celebrate life’s most significant events by creating extraordinary and memorable experiences.

We offer legendary service, exceptional fine jewelry, and a pursuit of excellence in all we do.

The Wedding Ring Shop specializes in engagement, wedding, anniversary, and fine jewelry. Our commitment to caring and personal customer service embodies the spirit of true ‘Aloha.’


As Hawaii’s premier full-service event planning and production company, Current Affairs has earned a reputation for its exquisite taste, unrivaled creativity, personalized approach and supreme attention to detail.

Founded in 1984, the small business has created thousands of exclusive events for a wide variety of private and corporate clients from around the world.

Known for its unique design and décor, Current Affairs specializes in creative conceptual-theme events. The company offers a range of service offerings, event design, floral décor, weddings, catering, entertainment, event production, grand openings, corporate branding events, all done with the utmost style and taste.


Medium Business Finalist

The Audio Visual Company (AVCO) was established 40 years ago in 1970. Initially, AVCO primarily sold educational equipment to Hawaii schools, which included: overhead projectors, paper easels, record players, and tape recorders. Today, AVCO provides audio visual equipment and integrated multimedia solutions for education, corporate, government, and military clients. The multimedia systems include interactive boards, video conferencing systems, projectors, control systems, and document cameras. AVCO has installed multimedia systems in executive boardrooms, command & control centers, military briefing theaters, auditoriums, and healthcare facilities. AVCO is a small local company owned and operated in Aiea and services the Neighbor Islands and beyond.


Entrepreneurs are the backbone of Hawaii’s economy, building countless succesful businesses with passion and expertise refined over decades. Though over time, daily burdens of employment can often chip away at passion and pull attention away from areas of expertise to undermine productivity and subvert quality. As a trusted resource, Hawaii Human Resources (HiHR) eliminates these distractions by taking responsibility for human resource functions, allowing clients to focus on their core business.

Enjoy big-company resources with lower labor costs, reduced fees and higher productivity. HiHR’s flexible, customized, pay-as-you-go programs are designed to be a perfect fit for each and every client, regardless of company size.


Martin & MacArthur has been the premier fine furniture maker in Hawaii for over 50 years. Our 25 expert craftsmen create fine Koa furniture in Honolulu with wood grown on the Big Island. We also partner with over 200 of the best local Hawaii artisans to feature the finest Koa boxes, bowls, ceramics, artwork and beauty care in our stores.

We have grown from 3 stores to 8 stores in the last two years, with our employee base more than doubling. Our fine Koa furniture is found in all major Hawaii resorts, the Governor’s office, and Iolani Palace.


Large Business Finalist

Aloha Air Cargo became an independent cargo carrier in May 2008, serving Hawaii since 1985, when the cargo division began under Aloha Airlines. The company handles over 70 percent of all interisland air cargo to and from major airports such as Honolulu, Kahului, Lihue, Hilo, and Kailua-Kona. Through partnerships with other Hawaii airlines and international carriers, Aloha can arrange shipments to any destination worldwide.

Aloha is the air cargo operator of choice for local businesses, just as Aloha Airlines was the local people’s airline. Guided by President Lee Steele, Aloha has 350 dedicated employees – comprised of Hawaii’s top shipping-industry professionals. We are Aloha. We move Hawaii.


As Hawaii’s largest locally-owned residential real estate firm, Prudential Locations LLC has provided its clients and the community-at-large with residential brokerage, relocation and property management services, as well as property research since 1969. The company focuses on three core areas – excellent client service, cultivating strong real estate agents, and community giving. Since its inception, Prudential Locations has paved the way in technological advancements and techniques. Thanks to its visionary founder and CEO, Bill Chee, Prudential Locations remains at the forefront of the ever-changing real estate industry through innovation and foresight—leveraging its proprietary market research and industry knowledge.


With $188 million reinvested into its product, the Sheraton Waikiki reaffirms its place as best in class amongst Hawaii hotels with the completion of renovations to the resort’s beach level to the top of its 31-floor structure. Following a theme of “contemporary Hawaiian sophistication,” reinvigorated areas at the 1,636-room property include guest rooms, public areas, convention facilities, and exhilarating new food and beverage outlets including Kai Market and RumFire.

The property also unveiled Hawaii’s first Sheraton Club Lounge, Waikiki’s first infinity edge pool, an expansive resort pool at Helumoa Playground, original artwork created through an “Arting-in-Place” program, the Link@Sheraton, and culturally rich guest programs such as its Art & Wine Tour and farm-to-table cuisine initiatives.


Charity finalist

Founded in 1994, the Kauai Independent Food Bank (KIFB) is a unique Food Bank whose mission is to: PREVENT HUNGER; PROVIDE NUTRITIOUS FOODS TO THE HUNGRY; RESPOND TO EMERGENCIES. Prevention and nutrition have potential to “move the needle” on important social issues facing Hawaii, and go beyond the provision of donated products to the needy.

Despite being the smallest Food Bank in the state, the KIFB feeds the largest percentage of its county population (Hunger Study, 2010), and demand for service has more than doubled in the past two years.

Programs include: A Keiki Cafe; Backpack Program; Job Training/Vocational Rehabilitation; SNAP (Food Stamp) Outreach; and Emergency Preparedness.


30 years ago, a heartbroken mother made a pledge in her deceased daughter’s bedroom. She would do something about drunk driving—a decision that inspired a handful of determined volunteers. Together, they initiated one of the great grassroots successes in history. They stood toe-to-toe with politicians. They took on a powerful industry that put profit over safety. They held up photographs and described their loved ones as undeniable proof. As a result, a mountain of traffic safety and victims’ rights legislation has been passed. Alcohol-related traffic fatalities have dropped, and society no longer views drunk driving as acceptable. Looking back over the years, it’s an amazing story. A grieving mother’s determination sparked a volunteer movement that has saved thousands of lives.


The Navy League of the United States was established in 1902 at the encouragement of President Theodore Roosevelt. The Honolulu Council was chartered in 1948.

The primary mission of Navy League is the education of our fellow citizens and elected officials on the importance of sea power in maintaining free and open seas to sustain our way of life.

This includes maintaining our national security and defense, the domestic economy, and international trade with our global neighbors.

We support the Members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine (and their families) who safeguard our freedoms.

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