August AfterHours Takes Center Stage at Kahilu Theatre
By John Sukup, Photos by John Sukup
NETWORKING -- On a beautiful, clear night in Waimea, members of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) gathered at Kahilu Theatre for an evening of networking while admiring the arts and enjoying delicious pupus provided by Macaroni Grill.
The theater has been a staple for the arts community in Waimea and the rest of the Kona-Kohala coast since opening in 1981. While the theater’s main attraction is its 490-seat performing arts stage, it also operates as an art gallery with a regular rotation of exhibits year round.
Event hosts Kahilu Theatre and Macaroni Grill were both given the opportunity to speak to attendees about their businesses, upcoming events and place within the community.
Both Kahilu Executive Director Deborah Goodwin, and Artistic Director Chuck Gessert treated the audience to a preview of their upcoming season at the theatre, their 37th since opening. “We have incredible talent lined up,” Goodwin told the crowd.
“We have exhibits that will blow your mind all year. They are deep art from Hawai’i artists.” Goodwin continued on to describe the volunteer programs she and the rest of the staff regularly participate in.
Gessert, recently took his position in January after serving as managing director of the South Bend Civic Theatre in Indiana. Describing Kahilu, he said, “What a place to walk into! A beautiful theatre and a rich history and whether you know it or not, we bring in artists from all over the world,” Gessert said.
Gessert highlighted the theatre’s connection with the local education system and explained how students in K-12 are frequently given the opportunity to see artists perform. “A lot of the artists we bring in we take out to the schools or have school performances here.”
Macaroni Grill GM Ron Gonzales spoke about the restaurant’s upcoming changes in an effort to reconnect with the local community as a place to enjoy a dining experience, not just focused on Waikoloa’s tourist population. One component of this is the recent hiring of Hawai’i born-and-raised Chef Keola Valdez (who also prepared the pupus for hungry guests). “We need all the locals. The locals are the backbone, the foundation,” Gonzales explained.
The evening’s events wrapped up with a montage screening of Kahilu Theater’s upcoming season of performance artists and musicians.
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce welcomed four new members during the evening’s events and allowed them a moment to speak about their businesses:
Hiplan (Jim Wyban, Fred Hornbruch): Hiplan is the Hawai’i Island annual business plan competition giving local residents and students the chance to win a top prize of $25,000 to fund their businesses. “All businesses are welcome: business startups, existing businesses, small and medium-sized,” Hornbruch explained. The deadline for the submission of the first draft is September 10, followed by two rounds of presentations for plans given approval. The final round will be November 11 at NELHA. Public is welcome. Info: www.hiplan.biz.
InScentive (Anna White): InScentive is the nation’s premier, full-service solution for both employees and employers seeking to achieve a greater level of productivity through the use of properly implemented essential oils throughout the workplace. “If you think about it, buildings and developments are designed using all our senses, except for smell. Smell is huge,” noted White. By combatting pain-points associated with smell, she said you can significantly improve worker productivity and ultimately a business’s bottom line. Info: www.inscentive.us.
Live Aloha Realty (Kai Ohuchi): Live Aloha Realty provides top-notch real estate and property management services, while giving back to the community. “We just opened our brokerage this year. We deal with buyers, sellers, vacation rentals and have new offices opening across from Waimea’s First Hawai’ian Bank, Ohuchi stated. “Fifty percent of our brokerage commission is donated to Big Island charities. This year so far, we are at about $25,000.” Info: www.livealohahawaii.com)
Quality Image Embroidery (Mike Durand and Lloyd Noppe): It’s newly opened in Kuakini Plaza (down from Umeke’s on Kaiwi), “We embroider basically anything you can reasonably imagine putting a needle and thread to,” says Noppe. While Noppe is new to the industry, Durand has been working in it for 25 years. What’s Quality Image Embroidery’s ideal client? “We work with anyone who wants to work with us,” Noppe detailed. Info: email@example.com.
The next AfterHours is 5-7 p.m. September 20 at Big Island Honda in Kailua-Kona and co-hosted by the car dealership, Lavakids and PATH. Signup at www.kona-kohala.com or phone 329-1758.
- Posted in: September 2017
Upcoming Chamber Events
- Economic Development Committee
October 17, 2017 (11:30 am)
- October AfterHours hosted by Sustainable Island Products
October 18, 2017 (5:00 pm)