In Brief | Island Inc. 4-1-13

Ecotourism group seeks award nominees

The Board of Directors of the Hawaii Ecotourism Association recently announced creation of a new award for 2013 — Ecotour Guide of the Year. The award is open to any employee of an association member. Nominees should embody the core assets of quality ecotourism: effective interpretation, conservation of natural resources and authentic cultural experiences.

Member operators can nominate their employees for this newly created award. Three finalists will be chosen and the voting process will be opened to the public. The winner will be announced at an annual awards luncheon in May.

Nominees must have good communication skills, exhibit understanding and implementation of traditional Hawaiian hospitality, and set a good example for promoting sustainable tourism in Hawaii.

Nominations will be accepted through April 5. To submit a nomination, email the association at Include “Ecotour Guide of the Year Nomination” in the subject line of the email. The body of the email must include: HEA member organization/employer, guide name (nominee), andecotourism credentials (trainings, certifications, etc.). The nomination should also include a 250 words or less explaination of why the nominee should receive Ecotour Guide of the Year and contact information for person or persons submitting nomination.

Pro teaching communication skills

Andrea Pro will discuss “Empowering Your Relationships,” focusing on building listening skills and learn a process for navigating challenging conversations in which everyone gets heard from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 8, 15, 22, 29 May 6 and 13 at Unity Church in Kona. Tuition is $150 and discounts are available for couples.

Contact Pro at 345-0907, or for more information and registration.

SSFM donated to The Food Basket

The Food Basket Inc. has accepted a donation of $2,000 from SSFM International to support its operations on the Big Island. The monetary donation was accompanied by a donation of food for various feeding programs islandwide.

SSFM International, an engineering, project management, planning and construction management firm with a local office in Hilo decided to sponsor The Food Basket as part of its holiday drive last year. Each year SSFM selects a local nonprofit or charity it believes plays a major role in community assistance.

The staff of 20 employees was able to raise $1,000 and more thatn 75 pounds of food while obtaining a dollar-for-dollar match from their corporate office to assist the Hawaii Island community.

— Movers & shakers —

HMSA changes executive team

The Hawaii Medical Service Association has announced changes to its executive team.

Gwen Miyasato will serve as chief of staff and will lead HMSA’s Corporate Services Division. In her new position, Miyasato will ensure employees have the leadership, tools and resources to interact effectively and focus on members’ needs.

Steve Van Ribbink will lead the company’s Foundational Services Division as chief financial and services officer. He will be responsible for bringing together internal operations to enable HMSA to deliver seamless and exceptional member, provider, and consumer experiences.

Tim Johns has been named chief consumer officer and will lead the company’s Consumer Strategy Division. He will lead efforts to evolve HMSA’s business model to distinguish HMSA as the plan all segments of Hawaii’s population can depend on to deliver the best member service and products.

Hilton Raethel will head HMSA’s Health Division as chief health officer. His focus will be on the continuing evolution of HMSA’s approach to the delivery of care through innovative programs and partnerships to help members advance toward well-being.

Additional changes were announced to align HMSA’s leadership within the new divisions. Michael Cheng, Michel Danon and Linda Katagiri are currently HMSA senior vice presidents. They are joined by Gina Marting, senior vice president for Health Financial Management; Janna Nakagawa, senior vice president for Corporate Services; Michael Stollar, senior vice president for Integrated Health Development; and Elisa Yadao, senior vice president for Consumer Experience.

Peterson honored by timeshare industry

Waimea resident Stephanie Peterson has received the top honor for outstanding service in the Big Island’s resort and timeshare industry. Peterson, an executive vacation counselor at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort, was named the “Timeshare with Aloha” recipient for Hawaii Island and its 2012 Timeshare Employee of the Year for the inauguration of the statewide awards program.

Peterson has worked at the Hilton Grand Vacations Club since 2005 and in just six years was responsible for $10 million in sales.

Arbonne products update planned

Kara Osada-D’Avella Arbonne independent consultant, will speak about Arbonne’s Pure Safe and Beneficial products during a meeting of the Kona Krew chapter of Business Network International from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. April 10 at Island Naturals on Kaiwi Street in Kailua-Kona. There is no fee to attend.

For information or a reservation to attend, call Lynn at 960-9630 or Marie-anne 345-2897.

Crawford named Kaheleaulani director

Family medicine physician Leinaala Crawford had joined North Hawaii Community Hospital’s Kaheleaulani, a Native Hawaiian Health Program. Her addition to the hospital’s team and Kaheleaulani program will help to better meet the needs of Native Hawaiians, who make up nearly 30 percent of the community the hospital serves.

As medical director of Kaheleaulani, Crawford will provide medical and administrative guidance, leadership, oversight and quality assurance for the clinic, in addition to seeing patients as Kaheleaulani’s primary medical physician.

Most recently, Crawford served as urgent care and family practice physician at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Wash.

By local sources