Richards, Hanalei Colony Resort win big

  • Contributed photo

    Laura Richards, general manager of the Hanalei Colony Resort in Haena.

  • Contributed photo

    Laura Richards, center, general manager of the Hanalei Colony Resort, accepts both the Woman of the Year Award and Excellence in Community Service Award at the 29th annual Na Po‘e Pa‘ahana (the hard-working people) Awards on Oahu recently. At right is Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association.

HONOLULU – Hawai‘i’s hospitality industry recently honored the best-of-the-best of its employees at the 29th Annual Na Po‘e Pa‘ahana (the hard-working people) Awards.

Nearly a thousand employees, family members, and industry representatives from throughout the state gathered for the luncheon ceremony, which was sponsored by the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association at the Sheraton Waikiki.

Mufi Hannemann, HLTA president & CEO, said, “of the 65 total awards we gave this year, nine awards are of particular significance. These recognize the meritorious individuals or companies who go above and beyond, the ones who deserve additional spotlight for their endeavors to support the tourism industry.”

The Hanalei Colony Resort took home two awards; one for the resort itself, and one for General Manager,Laura Richards.

“I think that’s a testament to her outstanding commitment to serving Kauai, as a genuine, hospitable steward of a remote community,” he said.

The Hanalei Colony Resort, a condo resort in Haena, had a strenuous 2018. Between the heavy flooding in April and subsequent road closures in Wainiha, the resort was already closed to outside guests. Instead, it became a hub for the community; displaced residents and volunteers gathered there to assist with relief efforts.

Then, in late July, they were struck with a sudden two-alarm fire. Though their occupancy buildings are still operational, their poolhouse, laundry, and maintenance areas were affected.

“Kauai had a challenging 2018, especially to the far North Shore,” Richards said. “It has brought a small community together for collaboration and supporting and helping one another. We may not be open for rental business and our regular operations, but we are happy to provide what we can to our keiki, our neighbors and our community.”

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