Hawai‘i Women in Lodging & Tourism

Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association | WIL’s February Newsletter
February 01, 2021

Quote of the Month:

There is power in allowing yourself to be known and heard in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.
Michelle Obama

Advice from a WIL Member!

Teri Orton

General Manager
Hawai‘i Convention Center
2020 was an unprecedented year of pivoting and adapting, working together to find our “new normal.” We have as a state faced numerous challenges and are now focused on working to safely welcome visitors back with our legendary aloha spirit.

As leaders, business owners, entrepreneurs and community-minded women, it is important to reflect on 2020 and use the lessons learned to strengthen our resolve and prepare for the coming year. At the Hawai‘i Convention Center, we have made several major changes. This includes developing and implementing extensive health and safety measures, as well as offering new virtual meetings packages so guests can attend meetings remotely.

We took advantage of these quieter times by conducting key improvements, repairs and upgrades throughout the building, allowing for the expedited completion of maintenance projects and the implementation of new safety protocols. We have also worked with state agencies to provide space for important services such as unemployment claims processing, COVID-19 contact tracing, and vote counting.

Hawai‘i offers numerous advantages when holding meetings and events, setting us apart globally as a productive, relaxed and enjoyable place to conduct business. As the State of Hawai‘i opens up additional travel options, we are here to provide large meeting spaces and event options in a safe, open-air environment, while closely following the recommendations of public health officials.

As always, let’s take care of each other. The actions we take today to protect our collective health and safety will help ensure a brighter year to come. I look forward to seeing you all soon and enjoying your company (in person) once again.

Hoʻomaikaʻi to our 2021 Woman of the Year!

We are honored to have Julie Morikawa, President of ClimbHI, as our 2021 Woman of the Year.
Julie has a deep connection to the hospitality industry. She had a vision to mentor our youth and provide eye opening experiences that introduced our future leaders to the vast opportunities the industry has to offer; including the ability to build successful careers without having to leave the islands.

Out of her vision, ClimbHI was born. Established in 2009, ClimbHI seeks to inspire students to finish high school and proceed to post-secondary education or employment by educating them about future career paths in hospitality and the process necessary to achieve those goals. The, LEI (Leadership Exploration Inspiration) program was created under Julie’s leadership. Working with industry and government stakeholders, Julie led the task of creating a statewide workforce development program that helped 7,000 high school and 1,000 college students, volunteering as mentors, and 3 local universities and colleges rolling LEI into their course curriculums.

With the constraints caused by the pandemic, Julie quickly pivoted her model and the ClimbHi Bridge emerged. It was selected by the Hawaii Executive Collaborative and Hawaii Department of Education as a tool to connect educators and businesses safely and efficiently with the goal of inspiring our keiki to achieve economic self-sufficiency through the exploration of diverse income sources such as jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in close proximity to residential areas.

ClimbHI partnered with Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and the Hawaii Tourism Authority to create a custom certificate program for the Hawaii Department of Education. The ClimbHI Service Excellence Certificate has been a great success, especially in a COVID-19 environment since the 9 modules are able to be conducted and completed remotely. Success is also attributed to ClimbHI training 30 teachers to lead discussions to complete the course material for their students. By the end of this school year in June 2021, over 1,000 students will be completing the certificate program.

Congratulations, Julie!

We are looking forward to celebrating Julie with all of you on March 11th: stay tuned for more details.

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Hawaii preserves the island in means of taking care of their people and those who wish to experience the true meaning of aloha. Over time, Hawaii eventually became the most desirable destination to visit, putting the hospitality and tourism as the leading industry on each of the islands. ClimbHI’s effort to promote jobs to local Continue Reading

Sheralyn Soliven University of Hawaii, Maui College April 28, 2017

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