Hawaii Business magazine’s Top 10 Stories of 2016

Ranked by Pageviews on HawaiiBusiness.com

November, 2016

Hawaii Business is thankful to be strengthening the local economy and helping our communities thrive by offering insightful and engaging content for the past 61 years. This attitude of gratitude has us looking back on all of the editorial features from this past year, and we compiled a list of the top 10 stories of 2016 according to web traffic with behind-the-scenes manao (thoughts) from our staff. We hope you enjoyed reading these stories as much as we loved bringing them to you. Kicking off our countdown are two stories that will take you “Back to the Future” because “where we’re going we don’t need roads.”

#10 TURNING PLAY INTO PAY

FEATURED IN

03-2016_HBCover_E-NEWS

MARCH 2016

Author: Brooke LaPorte

When asked what motivated contributing writer Brooke LaPorte she replied, “Sheer curiosity and maybe a little jealousy?”

“These local social media stars are a type of digital talent that don’t fit neatly into professional categories such as celebrity or artist,” says LaPorter. “I wanted to know how these folks transform their online personas into a business. I think a few influencers I reached out to thought I was a creepy stalker! It took some time to convince otherwise. Fortunately, everyone featured in this story were willing and open to share their secrets to success.”

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#9 HAWAII: HEADQUARTERS OF THE FUTURE

FEATURED IN

04-2016_HBCover_E-NEWS

APRIL 2016

Author: Lavonne Leong

“Well, the future is a vast place, and right now it’s a burning topic. I think we just got a big reminder that politically, environmentally, many things are possible. So the future is huge. But feature stories need to be less than 3,500 words. I loved that Hawaii has an almost unknown-to-us, yet world-class group of futurists living here. There were so many compelling ideas about the future that I could only touch on, like geoengineering. Choosing ten things to say among the hundreds I could have said was really hard,” says senior writer, Lavonne Leong. “Everybody I interviewed for this piece, without exception, said things I hadn’t encountered before and that lingered with me long after the piece was done. I had fun talking to Richard Kaipo Lum about ‘the futurist’s curse.’ If you do your job right, what you’re talking about always seems crazy and marginal to other people. And then as soon as it turns into a pressing issue that everyone can see, and people are making tons of money on the lecture circuit about it–you have to move on. And then there was futurist Aubrey Yee’s quote about being mindful of what kind of future we’re creating: ‘If we’re not consciously, collectively creating our future, someone else is going to do it for us.’ That has definitely stayed with me.”

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Continuing the countdown of the top 10 stories of 2016 we look back at your rights as an employee and Native Hawaiians’ right to self-determination. Both of these features raised eyebrows, but they were great conversation starters. Read the writer’s perspectives below, reread the stories by clicking the link and take advantage of the special subscription offer below.

#8 WORKERS: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

FEATURED IN MARCH 2016

Photo by Aaron K. Yoshino

Photo by Aaron K. Yoshino

Author: LiAnne Yu

“The most challenging part (of writing this story) was understanding the legal language that is often used to describe workers’ rights, but explaining it in more everyday terms for people who aren’t lawyers. What researching this piece made me realize is that a lot of people may be signing contracts without fully understanding their rights. That makes it all the more imperative for workers to reach out to their Human Resources teams or other experts to make sure they have support in deciphering what they are and are not entitled to,” explains contributing writer, LiAnne Yu. “Being originally from California, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that “family” is defined more broadly in Hawaii than it is at the federal level when it comes to taking time off to care for family members. Under the Hawaii Family Leave Law, the definition of family also includes parents-in-law, grandparents, grandparents-in-law, grandchildren, and reciprocal beneficiaries – what are typically known in Hawaii as hanai family.”

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#7 CHANGE AGENTS

FEATURED IN

01-2016_HBCover_E-NEWS

JANUARY 2016

Author: Ilima Loomis

“This was an intimidating assignment, because I wanted to do justice to the diverse and nuanced range of opinions in the Native Hawaiian business community, and I knew I’d be called out if I got it wrong or failed to include major voices,” explains Loomis. “Honestly all the interviews were fascinating. Sovereignty and self-governance weren’t issues I’d had much experience covering in the past, so I was relatively new to the issue as a journalist, and many of the people I interviewed raised issues I had simply not considered before. They opened my eyes to the complexity of the issue that went far beyond what most of us think about when we think about Native Hawaiian self-governance. It gave me a new understanding of the issue and a respect for the challenge ahead.”

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It takes a realtor to make a house for sale a home for a family, and it also takes furniture to make a dwelling a comfortable living space. For the past decade, Hawaii Business has recognized the Top 100 Realtors in Hawaii and this feature story always gets a lot of engagement from the real estate industry. At the same time, there is extensive chatter on social media for opening an Ikea in Hawaii. So it makes sense why the two stories below made it into the top 10 stories of 2016.

#6 TOP 100 REALTORS 2016

FEATURED IN

06-2016_HBCover_E-NEWS

JUNE 2016

Author: Hawaii Business magazine

“The Top 100 Realtors awards ceremony is like the ‘Oscars’ for real estate and it was cool to see this industry decked-out to celebrate their peers’ achievements,” says digital media director, Daniel Ikaika Ito. “Perhaps, what is even more fascinating is when you realize that the awardees generate an average of three dollars worth of home re-sales annually.”

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#5 WHAT’S IT WORTH: BRINGING IKEA TO HAWAII

FEATURED IN JANUARY 2016

HB-YIR_5Author: Brandi-Ann Uyemura

“The most challenging thing was all the numbers involved. The shipping costs, turnaround time, and the different sizes that determine the costs,” explains contributing writer, Brandi-Ann Uyemura. “I love Ikea. I used to live near one. But with two boys under age 3, these days I don’t get excited about going to any Black Friday.”

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As we continue to countdown the top 10 stories of 2016 the following two stories are like “Star Wars” Episode IV: a new hope. We’re hoping that “Lodgers and Tax Dodgers” made everyone aware of the financial consequences this sharing-economy platform can have on the State. Furthermore, our annual list of “20 For the Next 20” highlights the leaders to watch in Hawaii as well as makes the rest of us hopeful for the future.

#4 LODGERS AND TAX DODGERS

FEATURED IN JANUARY 2016

HB-YIR_4Author: Meghan Miner

“The Airbnb revolution is people’s own neighborhoods. It’s happening next door, down the street and some people are taking advantage of it by renting to tourists and other are being impact by their neighbors who are renting to tourists,” says editor, Steve Petranik. “The hotel industry has a valid objection to Airbnb and to rentals in similar websites. The hotels say they are paying their fair share of taxes and often these short-term rentals do not pay their fair share of taxes.”

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#3 20 FOR THE NEXT 20 – CLASS OF 2016

FEATURED IN MARCH 2016

HB-YIR_3Author: Hawaii Business magazine

“It was hard to tell who was more honored to be at the Hawaii Prince Hotel for the “20 For the Next 20,” the 18 honorees or audience,” says digital media director, Daniel Ikaika Ito. “There was a buzz in the air that night. It left all of those that attended the event inspired and hopeful for the coming two decades in Hawaii. The talent and diverse skill set of this year’s 20 For the Next 20 class was celebrated with enthusiasm and optimism by the approximately 250 people in attendance.”

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It’s not surprising that the two stories below ranked second and first in our top 10 stories of 2016. First off, we had a tremendous amount of feedback when “Living Paycheck to Paycheck in Paradise” was first published and it was widely-shared on social media as well. Secondly, our annual “Best Places To Work” event is one of – if not – the biggest celebration we put on every year. We hope you enjoyed reflecting on the year’s most popular stories according to web traffic with us. We also highly suggest taking advantage of the offer below and giving the gift of a Hawaii Business subscription to a business person, entrepreneur or student in your life. Mahalo for reading!

#2 LIVING PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK IN PARADISE

FEATURED IN MARCH 2016

Charles Akau IV. Photo by James Rubio.

Charles Akau IV. Photo by James Rubio.

Author: LiAnne Yu

“The most challenging thing was talking about finance,” says contributing writer, LiAnne Yu, when asked about writing this cover story. “Society tends to judge people based on their material well being, and it can be difficult to acknowledge challenges in providing for one’s self as well as one’s family. I was fortunate to find people who were willing to be so open and honest about how much they make, how much they spend, and how they managed their lives living close to minimum wage in Hawaii.”

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#1 BEST PLACES TO WORK 2016

FEATURED IN APRIL 2016

HB-YIR_1Author: Gina Gelber

“Each year, Hawaii Business magazine partners with the research firm Best Companies Group to administer the Best Places to Work survey,” writes managing editor, Gina Gelber. “The main part of the survey is a confidential questionnaire sent to all employees or a statistically representative sample at large companies. There are 78 questions and open-ended statements, and the employee responses make up 75 percent of a company’s score. The rest of the score is based on 80 questions answered by the HR department about benefits, working conditions and more.”

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