Hawaii Business Wins 8 National Awards and 14 State Awards


Hawaii Business is the state’s best business publication and we just won eight national awards and 14 statewide awards to prove it. The prizes were for work we published in 2016.

In a national competition organized by the Alliance of Area Business Publications, Hawaii Business often competed in the same category as regional business magazines from much bigger markets, including Dallas and Florida (yes, the whole state of more than 20 million people).

The prizes we won included five first-place awards and a third-place for best overall regional business magazine. First and second went to Dallas and Detroit magazines.

Hawaii Business also won first-place gold medals in both of the top design categories, in which all magazines competed: best overall design and best use of photography and illustrations.

Senior writer Lavonne Leong won two gold medals: for best local coverage of a national story for her report on the gig economy, “All Work and No Job” (February), and for best body of work by a single writer.

In the statewide competition sponsored by the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Hawaii Business won three first-place awards and 11 finalist awards.

Here is a list of our prizes in both competitions, including judges’ comments.

Awards from the Alliance of Area Business Publications

Best feature layout, all magazines, gold: “Who We Are” (July)

“The opening spread creates a unique and clever visual composition. The photographs, illustrations and infographics all work together to create a beautiful design solution. Because of the way these elements are composed in smaller bites, the reader can absorb the information in useful pieces, rather than all at once. Additionally, the illustrations are extremely well done, and the graphics clear and useful.”

Best overall design, all magazines, gold: designers Warren Daubert, Jen Tadaki Catanzariti, Janelle Kalawe-Ching, Mary Pigao, Lilian Cheng.

“Like the Islands, Hawaii Business is colorful and active. Most pages have multiple elements arranged to avoid clutter. Color is used in surprising and effective ways. Photography is imaginative and displayed for impact. Nearly every page says ʻRead me.’ ”

Best use of photography/illustrations, all magazines, gold: designers Warren Daubert, Jen Tadaki Catanzariti, Janelle Kalawe-Ching, Mary Pigao, Lilian Cheng.

“The entire publication has a consistent style and visual voice that is bold and unique, beginning with the lighting and portraiture of the marijuana portraits, to the regal photo of the plant’s ‘bud,’ to including a nod to great photography in the ʻParting Shotsʻ section. Photography in the census edition also was particularly strong.”

Best body of work, single writer, medium newspapers and magazines, gold: Lavonne Leong.

“Innovative ideas and story selection lift this entry. The non-narrative ‘Who We Are’ slices up Hawaiian census data and emerges with a revealing population profile. ‘All Work and No Job’ tells people stories from the rising gig economy – in which workers are hired on a contract basis rather than full-time employment.”

Best local coverage of a national story, medium newspapers and magazines, gold: “All Work and No Job,” Lavonne Leong.

Best personality profile, medium-size newspapers and magazines, silver:The Science of Success,” Beverly Creamer, writer.

“The work-hard, play-hard world of a surfer dude comes to life in the profile of Patrick Sullivan, named as Hawaii Business’ CEO of the Year. Over 30 years, he built a high-tech company that’s developed 300 products and the story helps you understand the secret sauce of his success.”

Best magazine, all magazines, bronze

“The tone and feel of the book immediately signals the vibrancy and diversity of the Islands. The covers are filled with bright colors and bold typography, creating excitement. Inside the stories are fun, engaging and useful. … Noteworthy stories include ʻBusiness Leader, Engaged Mom,’ a respectful piece that went beyond scratching the surface; ʻLiving Paycheck to Paycheck in Paradise,’ a data-fueled story that uncovers a hidden dimension; and ʻFuel Leaks, Pesticides, Dengue and Zika,ʻ which does a great job of assessing the environmental challenges to the Islands.”

Best cover, all magazines, bronze: “May 2016 – Best of Small Business.”

“A playful design featuring an equally playful photograph that successfully sets the tone and draws the audience in. Nice details include the way the model appears to be interacting with the headline on the left, and the beautiful color palette.”

Awards from SPJ Hawaii

Informational graphics, first place: “Who We Are,” Warren Daubert.

“Everything about this piece is well done. The imagery, the monotone photos, the charts, graphics and illustrations are clean and well placed.”

Finalist: “BOSS Survey,” Janelle Kalawe-Ching.

“Charts, graphics and typography are great in this piece. Draws the reader in and makes them want to know all about this survey.”

Headlines, first place

Examples: “All Work and No Job”; “Hawaii: Headquarters of the Future”; “Budding Industry” for medical marijuana feature; “Hottest Job in Town” about a volcano expert; “He Doesn’t Draw a Gun But He Helps Catch Crooks” about a police sketch artist.

Best explanatory journalism, first place: “How to Build a High-end High-rise,” Dennis Hollier.

“In a category filled with great entries, this one stood out to me for its originality, tone and combination of words, images and design.”

Finalist: “Living Paycheck to Paycheck” LiAnne Yu.

“Varied look at what living below the poverty line really means.”

Business reporting, finalist: “All Work and No Job,” Lavonne Leong.

“Leong does a nice job explaining the benefits and drawbacks of the gig economy, and this piece excels at showing readers some diverse examples of the people behind this trend.”

Industry or trade reporting, finalist: “How to Build a High-end High-rise,” Dennis Hollier.

Profile, finalist: “Living Paycheck to Paycheck,” LiAnne Yu.

“Excellent use of brief but effective personal profiles to illustrate the economic issues that keep working-class Hawaiians from getting ahead. Going into the specifics of the earning and spending lives of real people brings the issues of minimum wage jobs, affordable housing access, public transportation issues, and overall cost of living into focus.”

Feature writing/long form, finalist: “Who We Are,” Lavonne Leong.

“This infographics feature, which blows all other infographics I’ve seen out of the water, shows the diversity of Hawaii in all walks of life.”

Finalist: “All Work and No Job,” Lavonne Leong.

“A great mix of facts and statistics with actual people to paint the picture.”

Overall design, finalist: Designers Warren Daubert, Jen Tadaki Catanzariti, Janelle Kalawe-Ching, Mary Pigao, Lilian Cheng.

“Subject matter in this publication seldom lends itself to easy illustration, thus many of the designs reflect great creativity, very smart use of typography and line graphics to tell the stories. “

Best single feature layout, finalist: “How to Build a High-end High-rise,” Warren Daubert.

“Innovative art direction, with 3D printing playing a role in the typography. Bold risk taking with turning the cover page orientation. Layered, impactful and consistent typography. Compelling photography and photo editing for a subject that could have been very flat visually.”

Student news reporting in any media, finalist: “Storm Warning,” Noelle Fujii.

“This is an important story that explains an important and somewhat complicated issue of public safety in ways that are easily understood by most readers.”

Student feature reporting in any media, finalist: “Hawaii Loves Horses,” Noelle Fujii.

“This is a well-reported story that shows a somewhat hidden side of the challenges Hawaiian equestrians face.”

Categories: Editor’s Note, Success Stories