Small Business , Success Stories – May 10, 2016

Best of Small Business – SBA Awards 2016

SBA Awards County Winners

City and County of Honolulu

People of the Year

John Katahira, Jason Lau, Ian Arakaki, Corey Arakaki, Kyle Kaneshiro
Principals, The Limtiaco Consulting Group

Sponsor: Scott Hew, Hawaii State Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1997 by Felix Limtiaco, The Limtiaco Consulting Group is an engineering firm specializing in water and wastewater infrastructure. A focus on teamwork and client retention has allowed the company to prosper, with revenue growing an average of 14 percent a year since 2005.


Entrepreneurial Success

Bruce K. Ekimura
President, Alternate Energy Inc.

Sponsor: Lawrence P.C. Pai, Central Pacific Bank

Ekimura started Alternate Energy in 1993 and it has become one of Hawaii’s most reliable renewable-energy companies, operating on Oahu and Maui. It offers energy-efficient home systems, including solar panels, HVAC and solar water heating.


Exporter of the Year

Hai Shi, President & Jackie Wong Shi, Treasurer
Hawaii Global Holiday Inc.

Sponsor: Angeline Shiroma, First Hawaiian Bank

Hawaii Global Holiday provides tour packages to tourists from China. After years of strong growth, it now handles about 50,000 people annually, and has received awards and recognition from Chinese travel agencies.


Family-Owned Business

Marc Delay
President, Jayco Hawaii, Inc.

Sponsor: Alison Lee, Bank of Hawaii

Jayco Hawaii has passed through three generations of Delay’s family since its founding 41 years ago. Jayco designs and installs custom metal and glass architectural products, such as railings and canopies. Plans include a new production shop and office, and national expansion.


Young Entrepreneur

Mike Fairall
Principal, Mokulua High Performance Builder

Sponsor: Richard Tran, Hawaii National Bank

Mokulua celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Fairall, the 34 year old founder and self-taught businessman, says he has built his construction company with employee well-being as the highest priority. Mokulua also prides itself on sustainable and green construction methods and supplies.


Advocate for Financial Services

John B. Schuyler
President, Dorado-Schuyler Inc.

Sponsor: Naomi Masuno, Bank of Hawaii

Schuyler has volunteered for four years at Score as a mentor and workshop instructor. In his educational workshops, he shares his more than 40 years of accounting experience with those who want to start businesses and invest in their dreams.


Advocate for Business & Industry

Constance Smales
President, Plywood Hawaii Inc.

Sponsor: Russell Loo, First Hawaiian Bank

Smales’ five-year effort with the nonprofit Citizens for Fair Valuation resulted in state legislation that lowered commercial lease rents in Mapunapuna. She is past president and current board member of the Pacific Coast Wholesale Hardwoods Association, and secretary for the Hawaii Lumber Products Association.

Maui County

People of the Year

Steven Sturdevant, President and Debra Sturdevant, VP
Sturdevant Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Inc.

Sponsor: Bill Russell, American Savings Bank

The Sturdevants started the company in 1980 and today it has 40 employees and also handles environmental and electrical systems, with an emphasis on clean air and energy efficiency. The company is a welcoming workplace: 80 percent of employees are trained within the company.


People of the Year

Moonstar Greene, VP/Treasurer and Yuri Soledade, President/Secretary
Paia Fish Market & Restaurant Inc.

Sponsor: Karen Frampton, Bank of Hawaii

The lines outside Paia Fish Market & Restaurant speak to its reputation. Greene and Soledade bought into the company in 1993 and 2001, respectively. Together they opened a sushi restaurant called Nuka in 2013, and another Paia Fish Market in Kihei last year, with a third set to open in Lahaina this year.


Family-Owned Business

Lynn Solu, President and Hunkins Family
Kihei Rent a Car Inc.

Sponsor: Kelli Myers, Central Pacific Bank

Solu’s parents, Dave and Sugar Hunkins, and sister Marj started Kihei Rent a Car in 1990. Lynn has since taken over the company, where three generations of the family are involved. The business, which began with 26 cars, now has over 400.


Young Entrepreneur

Kehau Kamoku, Member/Contractor
Kamoku Contracting LLC

Sponsor: Bard Peterson, First Hawaiian Bank

The company handles all sorts of construction, from remodeling bathrooms to renovating resorts. Kamoku himself is hands-on and often oversees work at job sites. He says the company’s quick, quality workmanship is especially popular with resorts and restaurants that require minimal disruptions to guests.


Exporter of the Year

Kelly Davison
Owner, Mr. Pineapple

Sponsor: Aaron Acpal, American Savings Bank

Mr. Pineapple is a reliable exporter of USDA-certified, Hawaii-grown fruits, vegetables and flowers. Davison is the second owner of Mr. Pineapple, and he broadened the company’s reach nationally and internationally. In 2015, it exported more than 16,000 pineapples.


Kauai County

Person of the Year

Bob Gunter
President & CEO, Koloa Rum Co.

Sponsor: Randall Francisco, Creative Industries & Small Business Coordinator, County of Kauai

The company sells six types of rum, as well as cocktails and Kukui Brand jams and jellies, distributed in 18 states and four countries. The next step is construction of a new distillery and a museum in Koloa to memorialize Hawaii’s sugar industry.


Young Entrepreneur

Taryn Rodighiero
Founder, KaiKini Bikinis

Sponsor: Joyce Vidinha, First Hawaiian Bank

Rodighiero says she started sewing her own bikinis from scratch when store-bought ones frequently came apart. After a long process of teaching herself to sew and assembly-line production in her home, she opened the KaiKini manufacturing facility in Kapaa in 2014.


Family-Owned Business

Shari Makizuru
Owner, Up-to-Date Cleaners Kauai Inc.

Sponsor: Joyce Vidinha, First Hawaiian Bank

Up-to-Date Cleaners was founded in 1941 by Zenzo  and Shizuyo Makizuru, Shari Makizuru’s grandparents, and she became owner in 2011. The commercial laundry and dry cleaner services the health-care and hospitality industries on Kauai, employs 45 people and has two locations in Koloa.


Advocate for Financial Services

John Latkiewicz
Director, Hawaii Small Business Development Center

Sponsor: Susan Tai Kaneko, Kauai Economic Development Board

Latkiewicz provides business consulting and workshops that help entrepreneurs launch startups or expand their businesses. His service on local economic development boards and committees has further supported Kauai’s small businesses, and he also fosters entrepreneurship among college and high school students.


Advocate for Minorites

Dirk N. Soma
Business Program Coordinator, Kauai Community College

Sponsor: John Latkiewicz, Hawaii Small Business Development Center

Soma’s roles at KCC and Naupaka Consulting let him share his experience with small-business owners. He especially supports Native Hawaiians with his involvement and leadership in the Kauai Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, Kauai’s Native Hawaiian Education Council and Kulia Career Development Services.

Hawaii County

People of the Year

Robert Pacheco, President/Treasurer & Cynthia Pacheco, VP/Secretary
Hawaii Forest & Trail Ltd. and Kohala Zipline LLC

Sponsor: Amy Honda, Bank of Hawaii

The Pachecos share Hawaii’s natural history with others and teach about conserving Hawaii’s environment. Their tours include Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, waterfalls, stargazing and bird-watching. They opened Kohala Zipline in 2011, the only zipline on the Big Island.


Exporter of the Year

Richard Schnitzler
President, Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co.

Sponsor: Milton Kwock and Jamie Lum, DBEDT

Schnitzler founded the company in 1994 after 12 years in the macadamia-nut industry. In addition to macadamia nuts, the company sells coffee and skin-care items. It processes up to 10 million pounds of nuts a year and exports are about 8 percent of sales.


Young Entrepreneur

Catarina Zaragoza-Dodge
Owner/Member, The Locavore Store

Sponsor: Judi Mellon, Hawaii Small Business Development Center

Zaragoza-Dodge and her husband, Arthur, originally sold produce from their neighbors’ farms at farmers markets. Today, over 200 vendors supply the Hilo store. She plans to create Locavore-brand products and hopes to open more locations on Hawaii Island and perhaps other islands.


Advocate for Minorites

Nancy Ginter-Miller
Business Advisor/Co-owner, Hawaii Small Business Development Center & Produce to Product Inc.

Sponsor: Ida Ferris, Central Pacific Bank

Ginter-Miller has been a business advisor for over six years at HSBDC and has run her company, Produce to Product, since 2006. Her advocacy work with the Hawaii Agricultural Tourism Association and managing the Keauhou Farmers Market supports local agriculture and small businesses.


To learn about loans through the federal Small Business Administration, go to www.sba.gov or ask your banker.



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