Compiling The Top 250

Behind the Scenes of Hawaii Business' Top 250 List

August, 2001

How is the annual Top 250 list compiled? Here’s the process, in a nutshell. In February, Hawaii Business’ editorial department received a list of companies that either were new or displaced from past Top 250 compilations. Chris Tomoyasu, the lead researcher for The List over the past 18 years, provided the information via multiple searches of on-line databases. She was assisted this year by fellow researcher Elaine Schultz, a business librarian at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Our editorial department then chose 250 companies from Tomoyasu’s initial list based on revenues. (The cut-off point for this year’s revenues, by the way, was $23 million, approximately $500,000 less than last year.) The initial stack of 250 – plus companies from last year’s Top 250 list – was delivered to Mattson-Sunderland Research and Planning Associates Inc. for verification. For about a month, Mattson-Sunderland’s team phoned, e-mailed and faxed the companies to review information and confirm revenues.

A month later, Tomoyasu input the verified data into her computer. She organized the companies into categories, including companies with incomplete information, companies that refused to participate and companies with revenues that were too low. Hawaii Business received the data (at least five pounds of paper). And for about two weeks, our department contacted companies to once again verify information, or convince companies to participate.

By mid-July, this issue was laid to rest – something that we, at Hawaii Business, also wanted to do by then. We hope you find this year’s list as informative and exciting as we did.The bulk of work ended in June, but not for Hawaii Business’ Web master Dan Cameron, who coded the data. The charts and tables were laid out by our art director, Jayson Harper, and were then proofed and edited by our editorial staff. Meanwhile, photographers Ronen Zilberman and Arna Johnson ran around the island, shooting photos for the cover and stories.


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