APEC: Hawaiiâ€™s Place In The Sun
It seems like it was just yesterday that I received an inquiry from East-West Center president Charles Morrison about the City and County of Honolulu’s interest in submitting a multi-jurisdictional proposal to host the 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Honolulu.
Recognizing that safety and security, traffic control, public transportation, parks and facility upkeep, and myriad infrastructure needs would be largely the city’s kuleana, my administration assessed the idea before joining the EWC, Hawaii Tourism Authority and state government in submitting the proposal. Other cities submitted competing proposals, so imagine our elation when President Obama announced that Honolulu had won the bid.
The event is now four short months away. This November leaders from at least 20 member economies, including President Obama, up to 20,000 business and government delegates and the international news media will be in Hawaii for the talks.
Bank of Hawaii chairman and CEO Peter Ho is head of the host committee, and he’s helped organize a solid public-private partnership consisting of representatives from business, government, education, the military, labor, community organizations and more. He spoke recently to Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association members at a full house at Royal Hawaiian Hotel to fill us in on the committee’s progress.
He pointed out that this showcase event has enjoyed a “broad consensus of support” that has been key. About 80 percent of the funding received thus far has been from the private sector, from the visitor industry, local businesses, international corporations, foundations, labor unions, health groups and others.
APEC will achieve a number of goals, Ho said. Among them: It will deliver a world-class level of support to the State Department, the White House and the president, who are the officials hosts for the summit.
The local host committee wants to share Hawaii stories with the delegates and position our community to shine as brightly as it can by showcasing education, research, health sciences, astronomy and other island assets. APEC will show the quality of Hawaii for both visitor and business travel. And the group has planned Neighbor Island tours before and after the summit as a means of closing the false distance between the islands.
Our efforts in executing a successful summit should portend benefits for Hawaii and our nation. With all of us working together, APEC will be our chance to shine, our time to enjoy a place in the sun.
MUFI’S VISITOR HEROES
Position: Guest Service Agent
Location: Lawai Beach Resort
Guests arriving at the Lawai Beach Resort in the late evening are greeted with a warm smile and welcome from Janine Pagador, guest service agent.
Known for her friendliness and softspoken nature, Janine welcomes owners and guests to their “home away from home.”
She enjoys her work, and thinks nothing of ending her night shift later than usual when emergencies occur.
On those occasions, she takes the extra step of ensuring that guests are accommodated in their new units and helps them be comfortable in difficult situations.
Janine is a devoted parent, volunteering at her daughters’ school as a chaperone whenever an excursion or event is on the calendar.