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Travel // Tourism Matters
Mufi Hannemann

It’s Time For Citizenship Awards

Most folks are very familiar with the annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk, Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association’s statewide event that has raised more than $23 million for local charities over the years. While the walk is our signature event, the association is very active in the community, particularly in the educational arena.

HLTA sponsors internships, provides college scholarships, coordinates partnerships between member companies and schools, and supports learning in other ways. Industry representatives participate in career fairs, speak about tourism to students, and contribute to the community both professionally and personally.

Another prime example of the strong partnership between the visitor industry and the schools can be found in our annual Citizenship Award, which will celebrate its ninth year this April. The Citizenship Award is collaboration among HLTA, Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Department of Education where we join in honoring seniors from each of Hawaii’s 42 public schools for their service to school and community. The teens have chosen a path of civic service, and we believe these exceptional students merit our attention for their praiseworthy deeds.

A $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a top senior from each school. Recipients are standouts among their classmates, though not necessarily by dint of their scholastic achievements or other traditional yardsticks. The award honors those young people who have contributed to making Hawaii a better place and who best exemplify the Department of Education’s vision of a model public high school graduate who, among other things, exercises the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

In addition to the scholarship, the honorees will be featured in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and will be saluted at a luncheon April 12. Each honoree is being sponsored by an HLTA member and will be seated with that member at the luncheon.

This will not be the last time we hear about or from these promising citizenleaders. Their achievements should not only salute them for their contributions, but emulate their example of civic duty at its finest.

The impressive list of business sponsors of the 42 Citizenship Awards points to the vitality of the visitor industry’s partnership with Hawaii’s schools and tourism’s commitment to ensuring the strength and longevity of that relationship.

HLTA member businesses that are supporting this endeavor deserve our applause. These businesses hotels, suppliers, financial institutions and a host of other enterprises have answered the call by generously donating to this endeavor. The companies and the schools they are sponsoring are as follows:

Oahu: Aiea, Aston Hotels & Resorts; Campbell, Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel;

Castle, Miramar Waikiki; Farrington, Royal Hawaiian Hotel; Kahuku, Turtle Bay Resort; Kailua, Oceanic Time Warner Cable; Kaimuki, Ala Moana Hotel; Kaiser, New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel; Kalaheo, Moana Surfrider Hotel, A Westin Resort; Kalani, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa; Kapolei, Honolulu Star-Advertiser; Leilehua, Sheraton Waikiki; McKinley, First Hawaiian Bank; Mililani, Pacific Beach Hotel; Moanalua, Hilton Grand Vacations; Nanakuli, Hawaiian Electric Company; Pearl City, Outrigger Enterprises Group; Radford, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel; Roosevelt, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa; Waialua, Toka Media; Waianae, Halekulani; and Waipahu, American Express TRS.

Kauai: Kapa’a, Kaua’i Chapter of Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association; Kaua’i, Starwood Hotels Kaua’i; Waimea, Kaua’i Marriott Resort & Beach Club.

Maui: Baldwin, Grand Wailea; Hana, Sheraton Maui; King Kekaulike, Maui Hotel & Lodging Association; Lahainaluna, Kaanapali Beach Hotel; Maui, Island Movers.

Larry Triplett

Hawaii: Hilo, Ken’s House of Pancakes; Honokaa, Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort & Spa; Ka’u, University of Hawaii School of Travel Industry Management; Kea’au, to be named; Kealakehe, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa; Kohala, Mauna Kea Resort; Konawaena, Island of Hawaii Chapter of Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association; Laupahoehoe, Farmers Insurance; Pahoa, Big Island Candies; Waiakea, KTA Super Stores.

Lanai, Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association; Molokai, Chelsea Group.

Sponsor Frances Ching, president and owner of Ken’s House of Pancakes in Hilo, said, “The Citizenship Awards is an excellent program. The awards recognize and reward the young people who exemplify the finest qualities of our public school graduates and who are making meaningful contributions to the betterment of our state and nation. It is our honor and privilege to recognize their good deeds.”

MUFI’S VISITOR HEROES

Larry Triplett

Position: Security Officer
Location: Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Larry Triplett of the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, this year’s security person of the year in the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association’s Na Po’e Pa’ahana awards program.

Larry is “knowledgeable, dependable, supportive, available, caring and a leader,” according to those who know him best. Although he’s been with the resort for only six years, Larry has been instrumental in developing many of its security practices and policies, helped introduce defibrillators to the hotel and trains new officers. He took it upon himself to become a certified first aid, CPR and defibrillator instructor and now instructs the staff on all three. Larry’s leadership was evident when he organized the evacuation of the hotel’s guests during last March’s tsunami, supplied food and water, and made sure all the guests were promptly escorted by hotel officers to the evacuation site.

Larry Triplett’s selfless spirit extends to his support for the Visitor Industry Charity Walk and Hawaii Island Food Basket drives, and in his volunteer service for the Ford Ironman Triathlon and his church.

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