Local Industry

Aqua Engineers Inc. completes Schofield upgrade

� Kauai-based Aqua Engineers, Hawaii’s leading water and wastewater management company, celebrated the completion of its Schofield Barracks Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements Wednesday with a blessing, plant tours and speeches by representatives from the military, banking industry and Aqua Engineers.

The wastewater treatment plant upgrade enables the plant to provide premium recycled water � known as R-1 quality � to irrigate lawns, golf courses, parks and other sites on base, positively affecting the nearly 28,000 military personnel and their families, and civilians who work on base and nearby.

Aqua Engineer’s president and CEO, Eassie Miller, praised the team effort involved in completing the upgrade, which has turned the plant into an asset and made it the largest, privately owned R-1 facility in Hawai�i. “The upgrade enables the military to conserve water, decrease pollution, and contribute to sustainability goals,” Miller said.

In connection with the award of a $419 million, 50-year contract from the Army in 2003, Aqua Engineers acquired the wastewater treatment plant at Schofield Barracks, Hawai�i’s largest Army post.

Aqua Engineers was founded in 1981 to meet a need for trained operators for privately-owned wastewater treatment plants on Kauai. The company now operates and maintains 30 wastewater systems and more than 100 pumping stations and eight water stations throughout Hawai�i.

With its subsidiary companies (Kauai Precast LLC, which specializes in precast concrete products; A-Vac LLC, which handles sewer and storm system maintenance; and Briant Construction Inc., a mechanical contracting company) Aqua Engineers has nearly 100 employees specializing in engineering, construction, operations, maintenance, and management of water and wastewater systems.

During the past six months, the company has been re-structuring. In March, it transitioned from a four-person ownership organization to an employee-owned company. In September, Eassie Miller was named president and CEO, replacing co-founder and former president Ian Kagimoto. Kagimoto, who previously had a majority ownership of the company, continues in his role as chairman of the board.

Grove Farm president, CEO to speak to chamber

� Warren H. Haruki, president and CEO of Grove Farm, will be the keynote speaker for the Kaua�i Chamber of Commerce annual general membership meeting Thursday at the Kaua�i Marriott Resort and Beach Club.

Grove Farm is a Kaua�i-based company that has transitioned from a sugar plantation into a land development and management company. Haruki will share with guests Grove Farm’s perspective on social entrepreneurship and its current initiatives.

Haruki is increasing Grove Farm’s focus on positive economic growth while enhancing its land and water resources to meet Kaua�i’s housing needs and to promote diversified agriculture.

Born and raised on Kauai, Haruki is a former president of GTE Hawaiian Tel and Verizon Hawai�i. He serves as a trustee for the Parker Ranch Foundation Trust on the Island of Hawai�i and is on the board of Maui Land & Pineapple Company, First Hawaiian Bank, and Pacific Guardian Life Insurance Company.

In addition to Haruki’s presentation, the swearing-in ceremony for the 2007 Board of Directors will be conducted by the Honorable Judge Trudy Senda. And more than 100 items will be available for bidding during the 18th annual silent auction, which begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m.

Registration and no-host cocktails are at 5:30 p.m. with dinner and meeting to follow. To register, call 245-7363.

Two Princeville pros achieve PGA status

� Andrew Schmidt and Ryan Forster, assistant golf professionals at the Princeville Golf Courses, have successfully obtained membership into the PGA of America, an achievement that requires several years of study and internship under the PGA’s Professional Golf Management (PGM) University Program. Schmidt and Forster are both now Class A members of the Professional Golfers Association of America.

Schmidt began his employment at the Princeville Golf Courses in 1996 as a part-time starter at the Prince Course. In 1998 he decided to make golf his career and entered PGA’s PGM program. He apprenticed in the Prince Pro Shop as a golf sales associate and was promoted to shop manager in 2003. Schmidt stepped into the position of assistant golf pro at the Prince Course in 2004.

Forster is a Mississippi State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and professional golf management.

In 2003, he began working at the Makai Course Pro Shop as a golf sales associate, then transferred to the Prince Course where he managed the Pro Shop and eventually assumed the position of assistant golf pro.

Last year, Forster returned to the Makai Course where he currently serves as assistant golf pro.

Sales to begin soon for

upscale condos in Po�ipu

� Royal Palms at Po�ipu Beach will begin accepting reservations for its custom condominiums on Dec. 17.

This newest resort condominium project is being developed by Po�ipu Palms Limited Partnership, a joint venture between Honolulu-based developer U.S. Pacific Development LLC and Canadian developer Ledcor Properties.

The resort community offers 120 upscale condominium residences. Completion is estimated to be in May 2008. Prices will range from the $600,000s to $1.3 million for one-, two- and three-bedroom custom condominiums.

Honolulu-based The ONEILL Group, LLC has been named real estate broker for Royal Palms at Po�ipu Beach.

Royal Palms is located on the southern shore near Po�ipu Beach, which has consistently been rated among the “World’s Best Beaches” by The Travel Channel for its sandy bottom, protective bay and monk seal watching.

The developer’s internationally recognized Hawai�i team includes architect Pacific Atelier International, Inc.; interior designers Philpotts & Associates; and landscape architect Brownlie & Lee.

Royal Palms offers “Konomai �imi a loa�a,” an invitation to discovery, when visitors sign up for more information at www.RoyalPalmsKauai.com.

Hawai�i company sold

to investor group

HONOLULU � AMCON Distributing Co. of Omaha, Neb., announced Tuesday that it has sold substantially all of the assets of Hawaiian Natural Water Co. Inc. to a newly formed investor group, Hawaiian Springs LLC.

The purchase price was $3.8 million, and Hawaiian Springs assumed operating and capital leases, AMCON said.

Pearl City-based Hawaiian Natural Water began bottling water in 1995 on the Big Island from a well located on Mauna Loa.

“Historically HNWC has incurred significant operating losses which have hampered earnings,” Andrew Plummer, AMCON’s acting chief financial officer, said in a statement.

“With this transaction, we will no longer have to absorb reported losses from this business which totaled approximately $6.2 million before tax for all of fiscal 2005 and $1.6 million before tax for the nine months ended June 30, 2006.”

AMCON is a wholesale distributor of consumer products, including beverages, candy, tobacco, groceries, food service, frozen and chilled foods, and health and beauty care products. It has distribution centers in Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

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