Separate Mainland road trips target businesses, visitors

Representatives of the Kaua’i Economic Development Board (KEDB) and county Office of Economic Development (OED) are taking the island’s business-friendly message on the road this week, accompanying a virtual Gov. Linda Lingle to California to drum up potential establishment of new businesses in the islands.

The coordinated business-development mission this Wednesday and Thursday, May 7 and 8, stops in Palo Alto, Calif., and will feature a video conference with Lingle focusing on promoting Hawai’i business opportunities, including high technology, diversified agriculture, energy, and film and entertainment.

A private gathering of venture capitalists and key technology executives is one venue, utilizing the local contacts of former Hawai’i residents who have relocated to that Northern California town, home of Stanford University.

A reception for convention planners and a gathering of former Hawai’i residents in business there is also a part of the plan.

“This mission is a unique opportunity to speak directly to venture-capital brokers on behalf of Hawai’i firms,” said Theodore E. “Ted” Liu, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT).

“In addition, we will update Hawai’i expatriates on new developmental business opportunities in the state, and address meeting and convention planners who may be considering Hawai’i as a conference destination,” said Liu.

DBEDT officials are coordinating participation by a broad spectrum of public and private organizations, including the Bay Area Pau Hana Association, Hawai’i Chamber of Commerce of Northern California, Hawai’i Strategic Development Corporation, High Technology Development Corporation of Hawai’i, Hawai’i Tourism Authority, Hawai’i Visitors & Convention Bureau, KEDB and OED.

“This administration is breaking new ground by looking for new efficiencies in government and business development,” Liu said. “Instead of many different entities making business-development trips, we have created a team approach where we can appeal to selected venues with a very powerful and impressive message about Hawai’i’s business opportunities,” he said.

“When you look at Hawai’i as a package, including our high-tech potential, the strength of our visitor industry and the potential of our film and entertainment sector, we have a lot to offer,” Liu said.

Hawai’i’s stature as the Pacific military command and defense technology center make it a natural magnet for new homeland security technologies, and makes Hawai’i one of the safest locations for representatives of North American companies wishing to reach out to the markets of Asia, and representatives of Asian companies reaching out to the United States, he added.

Hawai’i’s broad technology sector employed more than 13,000 people in 2001, with a payroll of nearly $690 million. Liu said there are tremendous opportunities for further expansion of that industry in Hawai’i.

He will host a gathering of Hawai’i kama’aina living in the Bay Area, and ask their assistance in promoting Hawai’i business-development opportunities.

Representatives of companies wishing to accompany the mission to Silicon Valley, or get more information on the coordinated campaign, “Hawai’i is Open for Business,” should contact Jamie Lum, toll-free at 274-3141, then 7-2753# after the recorded message, or e-mail

Images of Lingle and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona will be seen across the Mainland, and from coast to coast and border to border, as a 65-foot truck doubling as a mobile theater and classroom will be rolling into 100 cities.

The Hawai’i Update: 2003 tour, presented by the Hawai’i Travel Academy, is taking aim at travel agents and the general public, providing updates on all the islands, activities and happenings. Images of Lingle and Aiona adorn the side of the truck.

An invitation to visit Hawai’i from the leaders will be seen by millions of people as the truck moves from city to city. The Po’ipu Beach Resort Association, Aston Hotels and Resorts in Hawai’i, and other companies and organizations with Kaua’i presences will participate.

“Return to Paradise” is the theme of the road show, and Bud Andress, Hawai’i Tourism Academy founder, will personally present all the travel-agent seminars.

The official host in each of the cities will be representatives of the local Automobile Association of America (AAA) office, and presentations will be made to travel agents and the general public at each location.

“The high turnover of personnel (in travel agencies) makes the job of bringing quality information about Hawai’i to travel agents more important than ever,” said Dr. Richard Kelly of Outrigger Hotels and Resorts.

“We’ve participated in the Bud Andress travel-agent training from the beginning,” said Peter Fithian, chief executive officer of Greeters of Hawai’i. “It’s thorough, the agents become the best-informed Hawai’i experts in the country, and it’s a service that can’t be topped.”

Greeters of Hawai’i has a shop at Lihu’e Airport, doing business as Tiare Enterprises.

More information on the road show is available by contacting Andress, 1-808-883-0496, or e-mailing him at


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.