Author: Mark Brislin

Meaning Built Into the State Capitol

Some say symbols are all around us if we know how to look and that’s certainly true at the state Capitol, which is imbued with representations of Hawaii’s culture, history and aina. One major theme of the design is the…

Managing the Flood

In a world in which too much information can be as dangerous as not enough, Contix offers a solution. The app sifts through millions of social-media posts about events – such as when a celebrity promotes a company or brand…

How to Ask for a Raise

Thirty-nine percent of Americans believe they are underpaid – 42 percent of women versus 33 percent of men, according to a survey this year by the career website Glassdoor.com. If you are in that group, be aware that there are…

From Hawaii to Halfway Around the World

Just 25 years ago, Outrigger did not have a hotel outside of Waikiki. Today, it owns or operates 31 properties spread across the Hawaiian Islands and another 11 as far away as Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Quite an achievement…

How to Earn a Promotion

The keys to getting a promotion are not what you say when asking for one, but what you do to make the promotion more likely. Some of those actions may be obvious, but others might surprise you. Earning a promotion…

Innovation: KonaRed

The old saying that “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” holds true for Dana and Shaun Roberts. The owners of KonaRed are taking the red fruit of the whole coffee bean, which is usually thrown away, and processing it…

"Five-O" by the Numbers

13 Number of new episodes already ordered by CBS 12 Seasons for the original series 278 Original episodes 250 Estimated millions of dollars that will be spent on film-industry production this year in Hawaii 3,000 Jobs expected to be created…

Kava in a Can

Dustin Shoedel and Brian Brooks have an interesting new product – a relaxing drink made from kava and orange juice – and plan to tell the story of bringing it to market month-by-month on the Internet. The pair created RZO…

Creating the Blue Economy

A conference in Honolulu next month aims to collect and discuss innovative ideas from around the world that help protect the environment and improve quality of life, while also creating jobs and wealth. The World Congress on Zero Emission Initiatives:…

What’s it Worth?

The philosophy of Annie Favia and Andy Erickson, husband and wife owners of Favia Erickson Winegrowers, is to “create soulful wines that express the true nature of the vineyards from which they come.” They succeeded with their 2005 Cerro Sur…

Mediation Lessons

John Bates’ job as a mediator is to help find common ground. He has overseen thousands of mediations since opening his firm in 1991 and says mediation gives disputing parties power over a settlement’s outcome while providing confidentiality and certainty…

Innovation: Ship Harvests Ocean Water

Deep Ocean Hawaii is taking Hawaii’s most abundant resource — ocean water — desalinating it and selling the purified product in bulk to companies in countries like China, where water is polluted or in short supply. “Hawaii can become an…

Hunger in Hawaii

The Hawaii Foodbank and its network feed one of every seven people in the Islands — a dramatic increase in just three years, the charity says. The Foodbank completed its Hunger in Hawaii study in 2006 and again this year,…

Passionate Smoothie

Lanikai Juice’s most popular smoothie is the Pacific Passion, which is made by blending passion fruit, pineapple, mango, papaya, banana, yogurt and honey. “We use fresh yogurt and we don’t use any concentrate juice,” says Pablo Gonzalez, owner of Lanikai…

Customer Service Lessons

Pacific Pump and Power’s motto is: “We say what we are going to do, we do what we said we would do, and we check to make sure that we did it.” Jeremy Leonard, CEO of the Hawaii-based company that…

5 Steps to Saving on Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Bob Dove, president of Hawaii Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company (HEMIC), offers these ways to save on the premiums for workers’ compensation insurance. 1. Run a safe operation This is by far the most important step. “Prevent the accidents before they…

Innovation: Do-It-Yourself Sustainability

Susanne Friend wants Hawaii to take back its food supply. “Over the last 50 or 60 years, we’ve let our food supply be taken over by agro-businesses with massive transportation lines,” Friend says. In response, she and her husband, Tim…

Meth in the Workplace

Crystal methamphetamine not only ruins lives, it can also ruin businesses. A meth-addled employee raises your risk of absenteeism and workplace theft, increases healthcare costs and lowers morale, says Cindy Adams, executive director of the Hawaii Meth Project.  “Costs associated…

Preservation’s Payoffs

Preserving historic buildings and sites in Hawaii makes sense culturally and morally, says Rep. Cindy Evans, but it also makes good economic sense. Preservation boosts the economy by attracting tourists, who enjoy visiting Iolani Palace, heiau, museums, Pearl Harbor, fishponds…

Pick a Color, But Not Just Any Color

Colors are all around us, but most people rarely think about how colors subtly influence our decisions. “Color Professor” Jill Morton, who has been studying color psychology since 1988 and has advised clients such as Tylenol and Xerox through her…

5 Steps to Buying an Existing Business

Making a smart business acquisition “all comes down to how well your team can analyze the business,” says Gabe Lee, executive vice president of commercial marketing at American Savings Bank. Lee recommends hiring an attorney with experience in acquisitions and…

Vaccine Tests Continue Despite Chapter 11

Developing a vaccine is a “pretty rigorous, complex process,” says Elliot Parks, CEO of Hawaii Biotech, which is deep into development of West Nile and dengue vaccines, and beginning to develop a vaccine for tick-borne encephalitis. “Further back” in the…

How Much Will That Cost Me?

Until teleportation is invented, mail and package services will remain essential to Hawaii businesses, who are served by three major providers: FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service. William Donohoe, who worked at FedEx for 19 years before opening the…

Hurricane Popcorn

For many locals, a movie or a sporting event wouldn’t be complete without Hurricane Popcorn. The combination of nori, liquid butter, arare and popcorn has been a local favorite ever since the Hawaii Popcorn Co. began as a pushcart in…