Local Industry for Sunday — March 05, 2006

NEWS & NOTES

Miller joins Blue Hawaii Properties

  • Blue Hawaii Properties, Inc. announced the addition of Dionne Miller as the newest member of its professional sales staff. A Kaua’i resident for 17 years, Miller has been involved in the visitor and vacation-rental business for most of that time.

She was employed at Lihu’e Airport for four years handling private jet arrivals and departures with Air Service Hawaii. Her experience with Air Service officials and their clients, including celebrities and former President Bill Clinton, allowed Miller to showcase her excellent customer service skills, Blue Hawaii Properties leaders said in a press release.

Miller decided to start a career in real estate after she and her husband recently purchased land in South Kona on the Big Island. “I found the process of searching for and buying property interesting and satisfying, and realized that becoming a Realtor associate would enable me to help others find their dream home or property,” Miller said.

She said she looks forward to helping her clients with purchasing or selling real estate, combining her love of Kaua’i’s natural beauty, her dedication and knowledge with caring for her clients being her top priority.

Blue Hawaii Properties, Inc. was founded in 2001 by Tito and DaniŠle Castillo. Tito Castillo, principal broker, said, “We’re pleased and excited to have Dionne on board with us. With her background in customer service, enthusiasm and natural ability, she is a great addition to our team.”

Miller may be reached at the Blue Hawaii Properties office, located in Kapa’a at 4-1526 Kuhio Hwy., at 823-8375, via e-mail at dionne@bluehawaiiproperties.com, or via cell phone at 634-4338.


Hawaiian still flying high

  • Hawaiian Airlines employees started out 2006 the way they finished 2005, as the nation’s No. 1 airline for service excellence, company officials said in a press release.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently issued its monthly Air Travel Consumer Report for January showing that Hawaiian had the best on-time service, fewest flight cancellations, and top baggage handling of all carriers.

Hawaiian led the nation’s airlines in punctuality, with 95.9 percent of its flights arriving as scheduled in January, exceeding the industry average of 78.8 percent by 17.1 percentage points.

January also marked the 27th consecutive month that Hawai’i’s biggest and longest-serving carrier has led the nation in on-time performance. To meet DOT standards, as flight must arrive within 15 minutes of schedule to be considered on time.

Hawaiian’s industry-leading punctuality was complemented by a perfect score of zero flight cancellations out of 4,140 total flights, also placing it No. 1 in that category.

In addition, Hawaiian ranked as the nation’s best airline for handling customers’ luggage, with only 2.99 mishandled baggage reports for every 1,000 passengers.

Hawaiian also finished third overall in consumer complaints, with DOT receiving only two complaints from the more than 486,000 passengers served in January.

The DOT report covers 19 airlines, including eight carriers currently providing service to Hawai’i. The full report is available on-line at http://airconsumber.ost.dot.gov/reports/atcr06.htm.


Murakami promoted at PBR Hawaii

  • PBR Hawaii executives announced in a press release the promotion of planner Grant T. Murakami, AICP, from senior associate to principal.

As principal, Murakami will continue to serve as the lead planner and urban designer for a wide variety of planning and urban-design projects in Hawai’i, including the Lihu’e urban design plan for leaders of the County of Kaua’i.

Murakami will also be responsible for assisting PBR Hawaii in growing its customer base.

“Grant is very skilled in the art of planning and urban design,” said Thomas Witten, ASLA, president of PBR Hawaii. “He has demonstrated his expertise and leadership in our profession through his dedication and devotion to his clients and the profession, which is reflected in a number of successful, award-winning projects,” he added.

Murakami joined PBR Hawaii in 1994. He is a certified planner with more than 12 years of experience specializing in the preparation of land-use master plans, urban design plans, site plans, design guidelines and land-use entitlement applications for private developers and public agencies in Hawai’i. He has served as the project manager and lead urban designer for resort, residential, commercial, educational, recreation and community-based planning projects in Hawai’i and the Pacific region.

“I am grateful for having the opportunity to work at a firm that continually strives to be on the cutting edge of creativity and innovation,” Murakami said. “Our firm makes every effort to provide our clients with the most innovative and feasible planning solutions to their projects. As planners, we pride ourselves in listening to our clients’ needs, and then working collaboratively toward creating projects with a strong sense of place that are a positive contribution to our built environment,” said Murakami.

“We are fortunate to have such great clients that are willing to listen to our ideas during the collaborative placemaking process,” he continued.

Murakami served as president of the Hawaii Chapter of the American Planning Association from 2001 to 2003. The Chapter recognized his contributions with a Distinguished Service Award. He is also a member of the Urban Land Institute, Congress for New Urbanism, Society of College and University Planners and Nature Conservancy. Murakami has also served as a lecturer at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

Murakami received a master’s degree in urban planning and a certificate in urban design from the University of Washington. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in geography and a marine option program certificate from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.


Wal-Mart customers gave plenty

  • Officials at Wal-Mart indicated in a press release that their customers contributed over $94,000 to The Salvation Army’s 2005 Red Kettle Campaign, an increase of 104 percent over 2004.

“Here in Hawai’i, we are proud of our long-standing relationship with Wal-Mart and the results of this campaign, which helped to impact the lives of thousands of needy individuals in our island home,” said Maj. Dave Hudson, Hawai’i divisional commander. “These are the people who really benefited at the local level, and who are the most grateful for the company’s efforts.”


Realtors’ scholarships available

  • The Kauai Board of Realtors recently announced that applications are available online and through school counselors for the Fifth Annual Scholarship Program. For more information, go to www.kauairealtor.com, or see a guidance counselor at school. The application deadline is April 1.

Royal Hawaiian Movers blessing coming

  • Officials at Royal Hawaiian Movers in the Lawai Cannery complex host a Kaua’i Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours function March 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., doubling as a blessing and grand-opening ceremony for the business new to Kaua’i. There will be food, drinks, door prizes, live entertainment, and much more. The cost is $10 per person for Chamber members, and $20 for all others. The registration deadline is Tuesday. Call 245-7363 for more information.

Hilton has kama’aina special

  • Officials at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa in Waikiki have a Kama’aina Spring Special, $150 a night, now through March 26, for Hawai’i residents.

The resort boasts Waikiki’s largest swimming pool (the 10,000-square-foot Super Pool) along the widest stretch of beach. The resort’s wildlife collection includes more than 60 species, including penguins, flamingos, ducks, swans, parrots, turtles and fish.

Equally impressive is the magnificent art collection, accessible via a self-guided walking tour brochure. In addition, there is the Bishop Museum Collection, Mandara Spa, and more than 20 different dining outlets. On Friday evenings, the Aloha Friday King’s Jubilee takes place, culminating with a fireworks display.

For room reservations, call the resort directly at 1-808-949-4321 and ask for rate code P3.

Kama’aina rates also are available at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island, 1-808-886-1234, and the Doubletree Alana Hotel — Waikiki, 1-808-941-7275. For more information about Hilton hotels in Hawai’i, visit www.hiltonhawaii.com.

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