Kona Kohala chamber announces Pualu recipients


The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce recently recognized 11 individuals, businesses or organizations with Pualu Awards at its annual installation and membership banquet at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

“Meaning to ‘work together,’ Pualu Awards were established in 1979 to honor those in West Hawaii for their dedication and hard work in the community,” said Vivan Landrum, chamber president and CEO. Winners are tapped in seven categories and chosen by an awards committee from nominations received by chamber members and the public.

The Community Education award honors an individual or organization that promotes and supports education and enrichment programs that develop personal skills and lifelong learning. There are three recipients of this award: Kei-Lin Cerf of Kealakehe High School’s Life Plan Youth Mentoring Program, West Hawaii Community Health Center and Jack’s Diving Locker

The Environmental Awareness Award taps an individual or organization that exhibits sensitivity and concern for the environment through innovative environmental practices. There are two recipients in this category: David Chai and the Hawaii Wildlife Center.

The Business Innovation Award recognizes a business or organization that is committed to improving or enhancing employees’ lives, or exhibits creative product development, marketing or customer service. The recipient is Interim Dean Farrah-Marie Gomes of the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s College of Continuing Education and Community Service.

The Lifetime Service Award taps an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to the community exemplified by personal or business achievements. This year’s recipients are Gretchen Lawson and the late Guy Toyama.

The Visitor Industry Marketing Award is presented to a person or group who works to promote the visitor industry in West Hawaii. Gerry Rott of the Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon was this year’s recipient.

The Culture &Heritage Award is given to an individual or organization that has exhibited, through its actions, practices that promote island traditions and preserves our multicultural heritage. This year’s recipient is Rick Gaffney.

Chamber Member of the Year recognizes the individual who advocates, promotes and supports the mission of Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce through active participation on committees, events, membership and/or community service. This year, the organization honors Sharon Sakai.

For more information, call 329-1758 or visit kona-kohala.com.