Hawaii Island Annual Economic Summit to be Held Jan. 18

January 14, 2013, 1:43 PM HST
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Business leaders from across the island and the state will be featured during the upcoming annual Hawaii Island Economic Summit at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on Friday, January 18.

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Hawai’i County Department of Research & Development sponsors the summit, which will run from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

At least 15 speakers on different panels will address five key economic arenas including education, employment, energy, healthcare, and sustainability.

Each panel will last 45 minutes during which time each panelist will discuss their work, ideas that inspire them, and what they see as the future for Hawai’i Island.

Panels will be followed by questions from the audience.


Education panelists include Hawaii State Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and Donald Straney, chancellor, University of Hawai’i, Hilo.


Sustainability panelists include James Babian, executive chef, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, and Neil Hannahs, director of Kamehameha Schools’ Land Assets Division.

Dr. Bruce Anderson, president/CEO of Hawai’i Health Systems

Corporation and Beth Giesting, healthcare transformation coordinator from the Office of the Governor will participate on the healthcare panel.


The energy panel will include Richard Ha, of the Big Island Community Coalition and Hamakua Springs Country Farms, as well as Jay Ignacio, president, Hawaii Electric Light Company, and Mike Kaleikini, plant manager, Puna Geothermal Venture.

The employment panel will feature Sunshine Topping, director of recruitment, Hawaiian Airlines, Barron Guss, president/CEO ALTRES, and Sandra Dawson, site studies manager, Thirty Meter Telescope.

Steve Petranik, editor of Hawaii Business Magazine will serve as moderator for the event.

Registration begins at 8 a.m., with the program beginning at 9 a.m.

Three panels will be featured in the morning, with two additional panels being held after lunch. The program ends at 3:30 p.m.

Tickets for the event are $70 and include continental breakfast and lunch.

For more information, call 329-1758 or go to

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