HTLA launches committee focusing on young professionals, entrepreneurs

POIPU — The Hawaii Lodging and Tourism’s newest committee is launching on Kauai to enhance the development of young professionals.

“Our goal is to close the gap between young professionals … and get them in front of the general managers, director of sales, the department heads — getting them more comfortable getting in front of people,” said Samira Siale, president of the Hospitality’s Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs on Kauai.

Today, HYPE will hold a meet-and-greet launch at RumFire Poipu Beach at the Sheraton Kauai Resort from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It is $30.

“Kauai is the first island to follow Oahu in launching this new committee along with our monthly networking events which are going to be mainly focused on these core areas networking, community and education,” Siale said.

The cost of membership is free to anyone under the age of 40 and who is employed by HTLA. Others may sign up for a free newsletter and attend events at additional costs.

After the initial launch, HYPE will offer its members professional development workshops and seminars as well as opportunities for young professionals to engage in community and volunteer projects.

The committee is also looking to establish casual meet ups for all members at different establishments on the third Thursday of the month.

Members will have the opportunity to get to know each other and network on a social level. There is no registration required for these meet ups.

“At most of the networking events, it’s typical to see the department heads (in the tourism industry),” Siale said.

The leisure and hospitality industry gained over 1,100 new jobs in March, according to the Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Of the 645,600 statewide jobs, 117,200 are leisure and hospitality.

HYPE Kauai also welcomes enrolled students of Kauai Community College. All young professionals, not just those who work directly with the hotel industry, are encouraged to join.

“The more they get in front of those department heads, the more they can learn and look up to as industry leaders,” she said.

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