Biz Wrap: New Hires and Travel Awards

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Around the island this week, Parker Ranch named the former CEO of US Biodiesel Group to its board of directors, while the Bay Clinic added a pediatrician to its Pahoa Women’s Clinic and Volcano House named a new general manager.

In other business news, the town of Kailua-Kona, several island restaurants and a Kona activity company received national recognition by popular travel websites.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in business news around the island this week.

Foreclosed Ka‘u Acreage Sold to Lehman Brothers

Earlier this week we reported that more than 5,800 acres of land in Ka‘u was set to be sold at a foreclosure auction on Tuesday. Creditor Lehman Brothers was the highest bidder, offering more than $12 million for parcels at multiple sites in the Ka‘u district, including Waikapuna, Moaula, Honu‘apo and Na‘alehu.

Owned by WWK Hawaii Holdings since 2006, the property went into foreclosure after plans to develop high-end homes on large lots fell through. The development deal, which at the time hinged on a $105 million loan from Lehman Brothers, fell apart after Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in 2008.

A hearing to finalize the bid will be made in the next few weeks.

Parker Ranch Appoints Datta to Board of Directors

Parker Ranch appointed E. Kyle Datta to its board of directors. Photo courtesy Parker Ranch Inc.

Parker Ranch appointed E. Kyle Datta to its board of directors. Photo courtesy Parker Ranch Inc.


Parker Ranch Inc. announced this week that it appointed E. Kyle Datta to the Board of Directors of Parker Ranch Inc. Datta, a founding partner of Ulupono Initiative, will replace Herbert “Monty” Richards Jr., who is retiring from the board after 13 years of service.

Parker Ranch Inc. is the for-profit corporation that is responsible for managing the cattle operations and the real property development activities on behalf of Parker Ranch Foundation Trust.

Datta was formerly the CEO of U. Biodiesel Group, a national biodiesel firm funded by private equity; managing director of research and consulting at the Rocky Mountain Institute; and a vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton where he served as managing partner of the firm’s Asia energy practice and head of the US utilities practice.

Fao Named General Manager of Volcano House

Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company has hired Rodolfo “Rudy” Fao as general manager of the Volcano House.

Located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the historic Volcano House closed in 2010 for renovations. Now part of Aqua’s Monogram Hotel collection, it has been reopening in phases since March with the final spaces opening next month.


Fao has 13 years of experience in the hospitality industry, most recently with Outrigger Hotels where he worked his way up from housekeeping manager to assistant general manager.

A graduate of Hawaii Pacific University with a degree in business administration and travel industry management, Fao was born in Macao, China, and is fluent in English and Cantonese.

Penlund Named Pediatrician for Pahoa Women’s Health Center

Bay Clinic, Inc. announced that pediatrician Dr. Richard W. Penland has joined the team at the Pahoa Women’s Health Center.

Penland, who is currently a pediatric hospitalist at the Hilo Medical Center, is also chair of the hospital’s pediatric department.

He earned his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Colorado’s Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in 1994 and completed his pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of New Mexico in Albuquerque in 1997.

Kailua-Kona and Kona Tour Company Receive TripAdvisor Honors


Kailua-Kona has been ranked among the top 25 US destinations, according to TripAdvisor travelers.

The TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Destinations awards ranked Kailua-Kona at No. 22, up three spots from last year. Rankings can be viewed at

Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides and Fair Wind’s Hula Kai recently received TripAdvisor’s 2013 Certificate of Excellence award. Photo courtesy of Fair Wind.

Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides and Fair Wind’s Hula Kai recently received TripAdvisor’s 2013 Certificate of Excellence award. Photo courtesy of Fair Wind.

TripAdvisor also recognized a West Hawaii company for outstanding customer service. Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides and Fair Wind’s Hula Kai recently received the travel site’s 2013 Certificate of Excellence award.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months. The travel site issues the award to only the top 10% of reviewed companies on its site.

The Fair Wind II and Hula Kai offer snorkel trips to Kealakekua, sea rocket rentals and nighttime manta ray snorkel and dive trips.

Seven Big Island Eateries Make Top 100 List for Outdoor Dining

Seven Hawaii Island eateries that offer outdoor dining made the list of Top 100 Outdoor Dining Restaurants in the United States.

With 20 restaurants across the state on OpenTable’s 2013 Diners’ Choice list, Hawaii came in second place nationwide for outdoor dining.


Brown’s Beach House. Courtesy image.

Hawaii Island restaurants making the list include Island Lava Java Bistro on Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona, Blue Dragon Restaurant in Kawaihae, Brown’s Beach House at the Fairmont Orchid, the Beach Tree Bar and Lounge and ‘Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Kamuela Provision Co. at the Hilton Waikoloa Village and Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai in Kailua-Kona.

Around the rest of the state, Maui had seven restaurants on the list, while Oahu and Kauai tied with three restaurants each.

Click here for the complete list of OpenTable’s Top 100 Outdoor Dining Restaurants.

 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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