Hawaiian Telcom leaders thank Kaua‘i retirees

KALAPAKI BEACH — About 60 former employees of either GTE Hawaiian Telephone Co., or Verizon Hawaii, or both, accepted the invitation of leaders of successor company Hawaiian Telcom to attend the first of a series of statewide Homecoming 2006 events, Friday at the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club.

Daniel “Dan” Smith, vice president of corporate communications for Hawaiian Telcom, explained that Homecoming 2006 was a means for the new owners and managers to connect with and acknowledge the efforts of those who built the company to what it is today.

“It’s good that they do this,” said Pat Ramelb, one of the invitees. Ramelb had 31 years of service in the telecommunications industry before he retired.

He was sitting at a table along with Kalani Dawson, Gary Pacheco, Kenneth Rapozo, and Edward “Mickey” Lake, who combined had 155 years of service between them.

Smith said that, when they went through the employee records and pegged in each person’s start date and retirement date, they averaged out that each person put in about 28 years of service.

The reconnection and acknowledgment statement was reiterated by Hawaiian Telcom’s Kaua‘i Island Manager Steve Yogi, who welcomed the guests to the event, and asked them to make sure to turn in their surveys at the door so they could each get a gift of a windproof Hawaiian Telcom umbrella that was modeled by Ann Nishida, senior manager of corporate communications.

Noreen Kam, a senior account executive with Communications Pacific who handles the Hawaiian Telcom account, said Kaua‘i was the first selected to hold a statewide series of luncheons to honor the retirees, as well as give them an opportunity to meet with Michael S. “Mike” Ruley, Hawaiian Telcom chief executive officer, and Joel Matsunaga, Hawaiian Telcom vice president of external affairs.

During the luncheon, Ruley made it a point to stop at each table and shake the hand of each guest, a gesture of appreciation for their contribution towards the development of the industry, he said.

Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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