The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce recently recognized 11 individuals, businesses or organizations with Pualu Awards at its annual Installation and Membership Banquet at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.
“Meaning to “work together,” Pualu Awards were established in 1979 to honor those in West Hawai‘i for their dedication and hard work in the community,” said Vivan Landrum, KKCC president/CEO.
An awards committee chose winners in seven categories from nominations received by Chamber members and the general public.
Three recipients of the Community Education award were Kei-Lin Cerf of Kealakehe High School’s Life Plan Youth Mentoring Program, West Hawaii Community Health Center and Jack’s Diving Locker. The Community Education award honors an individual or organization that promotes and supports education and enrichment programs that develop personal skills and lifelong learning.
David Chai and the Hawaii Wildlife Center received The Environmental Awareness Award, which is given to an individual or organization that exhibits sensitivity and concern for the environment through innovative environmental practices.
The Business Innovation Award recognizes a business or organization that is committed to improving or enhancing employee’s lives, or exhibits creative product development, marketing or customer service. The recipient was Interim Dean Farrah-Marie Gomes of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo’s College of Continuing Education and Community Service.
Gretchen Lawson and the late Guy Toyama received The Lifetime Service Award, which honors an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to the community exemplified by their personal and/or business achievements.
Gerry Rott of the Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon was awarded the Visitor Industry Marketing Award, presented each year to that person or group who diligently works to promote the visitor industry in West Hawai‘i.
Rick Gaffney was awarded The Culture & Heritage award, given to an individual or organization that has exhibited, through its actions, practices that promote island traditions and preserves our multi-cultural heritage.
KKCC honored Sharon Sakai as Chamber Member of the Year — an award that recognizes the individual who advocates, promotes and supports the mission of KKCC through active participation on committees, events, membership and/or community service.
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce provides leadership and advocacy for a successful business environment in West Hawai‘i. For information, call 329-1758 or visit www.kona-kohala.com.