HANALEI — In addition to community service projects and addressing island issues, the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay honors individuals and businesses that exemplify the spirit of its mission.
Bill and Joan Porter, owners of Wai Koa Plantation in Kilauea and Kaua‘i Fresh Farms, Kaua‘i Mini Golf and Anaina Hou, were recognized as employer of the year and presented with the honor at a Rotary Club meeting this month.
“I feel very honored to be recognized with this award, and we are grateful to work with such great people here on the North Shore to build businesses and make a positive impact on our community,” Bill Porter said. “It has been a rewarding and challenging experience creating Kaua‘i Fresh Farms.”
The Porters talked about future plans of building an outdoor amphitheater and enclosed pavilion near the Kaua‘i Mini Golf course. He is hoping that the new structures will become a gathering place for the people on the North Shore.
The pavilion would be managed by a nonprofit board that would include Rotarians Joel Guy and Chick Lanphier.
Wai Koa celebrates the legacy with sustainability tours, and ushers in the new age of agriculture with hydroponic growing. The couple credits the abundance of island people with talent, knowledge and respect for Kaua‘i agriculture.
All in all, Bill Porter said he doesn’t think of himself as an employer.
“I set the objectives, hire good people and let them do their jobs,” Porter said. “Joan is a full partner and we work as a team. Joan is the heart and soul of everything we do and she gives our efforts compassion and care.”
The Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay meets every Thursday at the St. Regis Hotel at noon. Lunch is $22 per person. Guests are welcome.