HLTA’s HYPE to ‘Hype’ the Millennial Work Force

April 27, 2016, 11:26 AM HST
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HYPE Advisory Board Members. Photo by Travis Okimoto.

HYPE Advisory Board Members. Photo by Travis Okimoto.

An initiative aiming to educate, network, and engage future leaders of the hospitality industry made its official launch on Tuesday by the Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association.

With a focus on the millennial generation, HYPE, Hospitality’s Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs, was created by HLTA President and Chief Executive Officer Mufi Hannemann to “bridge the gap between senior visitor industry leaders and the succeeding generation to develop a synergy benefiting both groups and the industry as a whole.”

Hanneman used his previous development of the Pacific Century Fellows program as a model for HYPE.

Membership to the program is open and free to those under the age of 40 who are employed by an HLTA member. Position within the company does not matter for program membership.

“I’ve always believed that we should leave this place better than we found it, and that adage certainly holds true for the visitor industry,” said Hannemann. “If we don’t nurture and develop our future leaders, if we don’t give them the experience that will enable our industry to thrive and prosper in this very competitive environment, we would be doing a disservice to these future leaders and the entire state. HYPE will provide opportunities for up-and-coming leaders to build ties, exchange ideas, develop mentoring opportunities and collaborate on keeping our industry and economy strong.”


Eleven members make up the HYPE advisory board, along with two HLTA staff members.


HYPE is one of six committee of HLTA and resembles in content and form HLTA’s Women in Lodging & Tourism.

“We really want to engage the young professionals in Hawai’i and connect them with both peers of their own age group and seasoned leaders in the industry that they look up to,” said Alexandra Roth, Director of Communications & Special Projects at HLTA and one of the staff members on the HYPE board.

“Our connections at HLTA allows us to provide excellent venues and speakers for our HYPE committee,” said Jared Higashi, another HYPE board staff member and HLTA’s director of government and community affairs. “We want our members to build strong bonds, and to provide them with opportunities to network in a really fresh way.”

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