2017 Business Achievement Award Winners
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Maryellen Markley
CEO of First Impressions, Inc.
Psychologist, activist and businesswoman Maryellen Markley has been a fundraiser, strategic planner and grant writer in Hawai’i since 1992. Before moving to Hawai’i, she wrote health care legislation on Capitol Hill, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Orphan Drug Act that helps drug companies develop treatments for rare diseases.
Dr. Markley has served as board chair or director for more than 25 local nonprofits since 1995. She currently sits on the board for Habitat for Humanity and serves as chair of the Hawaii Professional Firefighter’s Foundation, which raises funds to help local firefighters battle job-related cancers. Dr. Markley has also worked with Hawaii News Now to develop a program to support the media needs of local charities. Her business, First Impressions, has raised more than $14.5 million over the past six years for nonprofits that provide human services to those in need.
Sales & Marketing Executive of the Year
President & Chief Marketing Officer of Hawaii Dialogix Telecom (HDT)
As HDT’s president and chief marketing officer, Jared has successfully transformed a bankrupt telecom company into the third‐largest and fastest-growing internet service provider in Hawaii. Applying his extensive startup experience and more than 16 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, he was able to raise more than $12 million in investment capital within the last two-and-a-half years and increase company revenue by 90% over the last three.
Jared has been the company’s driving force in winning large projects and pursuing underserved markets. Thanks to his exceptional leadership and marketing expertise, HDT has sustained 30% growth over the last year and expanded operations to 12 states. In the last 12 months, HDT has signed over $18 million in contracts.
Young Professional of the Year Award
Executive Director of Hawaiian Eye Foundation
Darrah Kauhane is the executive director of the Hawaiian Eye Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and improvement of people’s vision in the Pacific Basin through charitable service, education, and research programs.
She is a graduate of the John A. Burns School of Medicine and was the youngest member of the University of Washington Medical Center’s Board of Directors. She is also the area coordinator and mentor for half of The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life events on Oahu and has conducted medical missions around the world, providing free eye care services to marginalized populations.
This past March, Darrah led the Hawaiian Eye Foundation in launching the first annual Cataract Day, when free eye surgeries were conducted at community health centers, homeless shelters, and through outreach screening programs. Since January, she has organized charitable surgical missions to Botswana, the Bahamas, Fiji, Yap and Palau.
Business Executive of the Year Award
Mary Ann Barnes
President of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii
Mary Ann Barnes began her career as a nurse and, over the past 43 years, has risen through the ranks from care provider, to administrator, to president of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, the largest health maintenance organization in the state. As president, she oversees Moanalua Medical Center, 21 medical offices and clinics across the four major Hawaiian Islands, and more than 4,400 employees serving 250,000-plus members in Hawaii.
Under her leadership, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has seen an all-time high in membership and member satisfaction, as well as some of the highest cancer screening rates in Hawaii. The organization’s Medicaid, Medicare and commercial health plans are consistently rated the highest in Hawaii and a top plan nationally.
Most recently, she spearheaded Kaiser Permanente’s successful bid to operate Maui County’s three state-run hospitals in the first public-private partnership of its kind. The transfer to Kaiser Permanente’s affiliate, Maui Health System, will improve access to affordable, quality care for Maui County residents.
Commitment to Green Award
The Howard Hughes Corporation
The Howard Hughes Corporation is dedicated to developing Ward Village into a vibrant urban community, home to green spaces and initiatives in environmental sustainability. As the nation’s largest Platinum-certified LEED for Neighborhood Development project and the only one of its kind in the state of Hawaii, Ward Village is a leader in sustainable development and taking steps to becoming one of the most sustainable communities in the country.
The Howard Hughes Corporation has allocated resources specifically to increase
sustainability throughout Ward Village, including installing a marina trash skimmer at Kewalo Basin Harbor, which has since collected 4,500 pounds of trash. This year, Ward Village will retrofit 140 street lights throughout its 60 acres with LED lamps, while expanded sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes create a pedestrian-friendly community to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
Corporate Social Responsibility Award
The Howard Hughes Corporation
Combining expertise in community development and property operation with a local team that understands the importance of island values and culture, The Howard Hughes Corporation has set a standard for corporate social responsibility in Hawaii. The 60-acre master planned community is on track to being a dynamic urban neighborhood combining residential, retail, dining, entertainment and other mixed-uses in a way that respects the history of the land and celebrates everything that makes Hawai’i unique.
In 2014, The Howard Hughes Corporation launched the Ward Village Foundation, a charitable organization that benefits local nonprofits supporting the arts, education, environment and Hawaiian culture. Since its establishment, the nonprofit has awarded $1 million of its $2 million to over 25 local organizations.
Best Social Media Campaign Award
Hawaii Gas is committed to providing clean, affordable and reliable gas service, and to advancing Hawaii’s clean energy future.
On a platform where content is king, Hawaii Gas has succeeded in encouraging steady audience growth and engagement on a limited budget and without a dedicated social media manager. The company uses social media to distribute existing content from its website and YouTube channel, strategically deploying Facebook ads and boosted posts and focusing on quality over quantity when it comes to new content development.
Best Family-Run Business Award
Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salts
Specializing in tropically infused seasonings and Hawaii-grown cane sugar, Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salts has grown from a small part-time business to a nationally recognized, family-owned company.
Founder Laura Cristobal-Andersland started the business in 2008 with $800 cash. The company is now projected to reach one million in gross sales this year. Salty Wahine products can now be found at over 200 stores around the world and at hotels and restaurants throughout Hawaii, the mainland, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Salty Wahine also produces custom seasoning blends for chefs worldwide.
Laura’s son Sean serves as the company’s operations manager and heads up new product development and manufacturing. His fiancé Jessika provides innovative sales training, does social media marketing, and supervises the shipping department. Laura’s daughter Kendall works in customer service and her other daughter, Nicole, reviews company policies to ensure they’re in keeping with Salty Wahine’s founding Hawaiian values.
Best New Business Award
Kunoa Cattle Company
Kunoa Cattle Company is a vertically integrated beef startup launched three years ago by Jack and his co-founder Bobby Farias, a third-generation Kauai rancher. Instead of shipping cattle to the mainland for processing, Kunoa raises and processes its beef in Hawaii, creating local jobs and helping the state achieve its mission of doubling local food production.
In November, the company acquired Oahu’s only USDA-inspected livestock harvest facility and is completing a series of major upgrades to the nearly seven-acre Kapolei property, focused on enhancing animal welfare, preserving meat quality and improving food safety.
This spring, Kunoa announced its largest partnership to date with a Hawaii grocer, offering 100 percent Hawaii-grown ground beef at all 15 Times Supermarkets throughout Oahu and at its two supermarkets on Maui. Also available at select Times Supermarkets on Oahu are Kunoa’s meat bars, a high-quality, shelf-stable snack similar to beef jerky.