Biz Wrap: Food Producers Sought for Ag Festival

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In business news this week, initial unemployment claims in Kona tied their lowest weekly level of the year, several West Hawaii companies announced promotions and Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is looking for vendors for its festival.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range Looking for Food Producers and Ag Educators

The organizers of one of the state’s largest showcases of agricultural products is looking for local food producers to display and sample their product at the 18th annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival scheduled for Friday, Oct. 4 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

The ag-tourism event is an opportunity for Hawai‘i farmers, ranchers and food producers to present their products to participating chefs and attendees. It is also open for agricultural and sustainability-themed organizations to present informational displays.

Producers and ag-related educational organizations interested in participating can contact Deanna Young at (808) 747-7200 or [email protected].

Signup deadline is Sunday, Aug. 18. For more information, visit

Fairmont Orchid Promotes Samantha Collins

Samantha Collins. Photo courtesy of Fairmont Orchid.

Samantha Collins. Photo courtesy Fairmont Orchid.


The Fairmont Orchid has promoted Samantha Collins to the position of director of Leisure Sales. Collins, a Pacific University graduate, previously held the position of leisure sales manager.

In her new role she will be responsible for leading the leisure sales team and will oversee transient sales for the 540-room resort.

Collins began her career in the hospitality industry at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa as executive meetings manager and group sales manager. She also worked as a senior group sales manager at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa.

Cheryl Cagampang Joins Coldwell Banker Maryl Realty

Realtor Cheryl Cataraha Cagampang has joined the Coldwell Banker Maryl Realty office in Kailua-Kona.


Specializing in residential sales, including buying, selling and relocating, Cagampang will focus on the areas of Waikoloa and North and South Kona.

She previously worked as a market manager in the hospitality industry.   

Julie Keller Promoted to Statewide Training Director at Hawaii Life

Julie Keller. Photo credit Hawaii Life.

Julie Keller. Photo courtesy Hawaii Life.

Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers has promoted Julie Keller, R(B), to Broker-in-Charge of statewide training.

In her new role, Keller will be responsible for training the brokers, salespeople and support staff at Hawaii Life in the use of the company’s software, website and cloud-based transaction management system.


Keller, who joined the real estate company in 2010, previously served as the firm’s Big Island broker concierge.

Unemployment Claims Decrease on Island

Although initial unemployment claims barely decreased statewide compared to the same week a year ago, they were down 5.6% on the Big Island this week over a year ago.

According to the latest data from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, there were 1,790 total filings statewide, a decrease of 0.5% compared to 1,799 filings during the same week in 2012.

In Hawai‘i County, there were 303 claims filed this week compared to the 321 claims filed the same week last year.

Of the 303 initial unemployment claims, 206 were filed in Hilo and 97 were filed in Kona. The latter tied the amount of clams filed during the week ending March 30.

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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