Biz Quickies: HMSA, KTA, BOH, PISCES

January 17, 2014, 4:06 PM HST
* Updated January 21, 8:59 AM
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HMSA Building Under Way In Keaau
Construction of HMSA’s new building in Keaau, which will consolidate four existing offices in Hilo, is under way on a 2-acre site in the center of town.

HMSA wanted a site that was close to shopping and activities and central Keaau was a good fit for the state’s largest health-care provider, said Bill Walter, president of W.H. Shipman Ltd., which sold the site to HMSA. Walter, who recently spoke to the East Hawaii Kiwanis Club, said more than 50 employees will be working in the new two-story building which will have retail stores on the ground floor. Walter said the project highlights a growing job market in the Keaau area.

KTA Matches HPR Donations
KTA Super Stores will match $20,000 in donations from Hawaii Public Radio fans eager to bring HPR-2 to East Hawaii, HPR announced this week. HPR-2 carries a wider variety of programs than HPR-1, which is the only HPR station currently heard island-wide. For years East Hawaii has been the largest area in the state without access to both stations. The gift, made in memory of KTA founders Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi, is the largest commitment yet in a $150,000 grassroots capital campaign to get the station on the air, said the release. No date was announced. For more info and to make donations, visit or call 808-955-8821.

Bank of Hawaii ranked 5th in US
Forbes Magazine has named the Bank of Hawaii the 5th top performing bank in the nation, according to a study Forbes published online. Hawaii’s second largest bank was cited by the magazine in its top 10 among the nation’s largest 100 banks for the past five years. Only US-owned banks were considered. Hawaii’s largest bank, First Hawaiian, is owned by Paris-based BNP Paribas.

PISCES Hires Project Manager
The Pacific International Space Center for Space Exploration Systems has named Rodrigo Romo of Hilo as its full-time project manager. Romo is formerly vice-president of engineering for Zeta Corporation, where he adapted green technology to water conservation projects. At Hilo-based PISCES, Romo will lead a number of projects including the development of planetary robotics.


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