Biz Wrap: Shipping Firms Lower Surcharge; Solar Expert

March 15, 2013, 9:55 AM HST
* Updated March 15, 12:06 PM
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In business news this week a PTA employee was recognized for his work that has saved the US Army thousands of dollars, while Y. Hata created a general manager position to help manage its growth.

Hawaiian Solar is also growing and has brought in a renowned engineer from Australia to handle their commercial solar operations. Here’s a look at what’s happening in the world of Big Island business.

Maintenance Specialist Receives PTA Employee Award

Anthony Texeira, a maintenance specialist at the Pohakuloa Training Area, has received the quarterly employee award for his exceptional work.

A Kona native, Texeira has worked at the military installation since 2008 and is assigned to the range maintenance division, operated by the US Army’s Mission Support Element Hawaii.

He has been instrumental in the redesign and fabrication of the trench system and grenade bunkers on PTA’s Range 10, a system that has saved the Army thousands of dollars.


His award noted that Texeira’s performance has positively and professionally elevated the work environment at PTA’s range maintenance division. His support to range facilities has allowed all units to fully exercise their training objectives, and has greatly contributed to maintaining their combat readiness.

Aughe Named GM for Y. Hata’s Hilo Branch


Y. Hata & Co. recently announced it has named Ted Aughe as the general manager for its Hilo branch. Previously an account manager with the food service distributor, Aughe will be responsible for all operations.

Founded in Hilo in 1913 by Yoichi Hata, the firm is celebrating its centennial this year. It currently represents roughly 9,000 items from 400 manufacturers.

Hawaiian Solar Welcomes Mel Gear 

Mel Gear recently joined the Hawaiian Solar team. He relocated to Hawaii after spending 13 years in Australia overseeing commercial solar water heating projects. Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Solar.

Mel Gear recently joined the Hawaiian Solar team. He relocated to Hawaii after spending 13 years in Australia overseeing commercial solar water heating projects. Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Solar.

Hawaiian Solar & Plumbing, Inc. announced that Mel Gear has joined their firm. Educated in England, Gear holds two masters degrees in engineering and physics and was a Senior Research Fellow at Exeter University in England.


Gear relocated to Hawaii from Western Australia, where he was chief international engineer for Solahart. In that capacity he was responsible for system design and engineering  management of large commercial solar water heater projects in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, India, South Africa, and Europe.

At Hawaiian Solar he will be responsible for growing the company’s domestic market in solar water and solar photovoltaic to include large-scale commercial projects.

Pasha and Horizon Lines Reduce Fuel Surcharges

Earlier this week we reported that Matson Inc. will reduce its fuel surcharges to Hawaii and Guam by 3.5% starting this Sunday.

In response to Matson’s announcement, two of its competitors, Horizon Lines and Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines, announced they were also reducing their fuel surcharges.

In a released news statement, Horizon Lines said it will decrease its fuel adjustment factor from 43.5% to 40% effective this Sunday, matching Matson’s reduction. Pasha’s surcharge will drop from 39.5% to 36%.


If your business has an opening, closing, promotion, retirement, new product release, special event, award, new location, or expansion, please let us know. Email us at [email protected].

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