Sustainable Businesses Showcased at Chamber Networking Event
KAILUA-KONA, HAWAI‘I ISLAND—Sustainable businesses gathered to share their expertise in green business practices and environmental stewardship at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Annual Kuleana Green Business Fair on Wednesday, April 17. The fair took place at the Chamber’s monthly networking event, AfterHours, which was hosted by Hawaiʻi Community College — Pālamanui.
The Kuleana Green Business Program is an original Chamber initiative launched in 2006 to promote environmental stewardship and sustainable business practices. Members understand their kuleana (right and responsibility) to create positive impacts economically, socially and environmentally.
The Kuleana Green Businesses in attendance included: Body Glove Cruises, Cyanotech Corp., Friends of NELHA (FON), Jack’s Diving Locker, Ke Kai Ola/The Marine Mammal Center, ProVision Solar, Inc., Recycle Hawaii, Sunrun Inc., Sustainable Island Products, The Kohala Center and Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, Inc.
Congratulations went to event host Hawaiʻi Community College — Pālamanui for becoming the newest Kuleana Green Business member. Other new Kuleana Green Businesses in attendance this year were CarbonBuddy, Malama Kai Foundation and Pacific Blue Catchment.
As part of the event program, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wendy Laros announced that the winners of the Kuleana Green Business Member of the Year Award for 2019 were Dr. Jacob Head and Jolene Head, owners of Keauhou Veterinary Hospital.
Laros cited the veterinary hospital’s commitment to social, economic and environmental through their involvement with local organizations and events, excellent treatment of employees and work to make their building more energy efficient.
Attendees were engaged and excited as they interacted with the booths and listened to Hawaiʻi Community College — Pālamanui staff members Kalei Haleamau-Kam and Dr. Richard Stevens speak about the sustainability efforts at the college.
“Palamanui is a place for restoration,” explained Dr. Richard Stevens. “Even in the name itself, you can see this happening. Pa (enclosure or fence), lama (the lama tree), nui (big). In ancient times, there was a large lama enclosure here which the ancient Hawaiians built for healing. From the campus is the beginning of what we call the Trail to Save Ancient Trees, connecting 20 ancient lama trees in a big loop.”
The Hawaiʻi Community College — Pālamanui Culinary Arts program students prepared delicious pupus for the event attendees, including mini superfood salad, mojo Cuban pork bao buns, ulu hummus, chocolate ganache cake and more. Hawaiʻi Community College — Pālamanui Culinary Arts Faculty Member Chef Kerstin Pfeiffer introduced the students to the audience and invited everyone to visit their café on campus to enjoy their culinary creations and see the school again.
“I hope that this is not the first and the last time that we meet,” said Hawaiʻi Community College — Pālamanui Interim Director Kalei Haleamau-Kam. “And I invite you to please come back and visit with us anytime again.”
About the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit member organization with nearly 500 business members located on the West Side of the island of Hawaiʻi. The organization exists to provide leadership and advocacy for a successful business environment in West Hawaiʻi and works to strengthen the local economy and promote the community. Find more information at www.kona-kohala.com or 808-329-1758.
About Hawaiʻi Community College – Pālamanui
Hawaiʻi Community College – Pālamanui is West Hawaiʻi's higher education resource. The sustainably designed LEED Platinum campus opened in August 2015 and has been proudly serving the community ever since. Hawaiʻi CC – Pālamanui is the Kona campus of Hawaiʻi Community College and delivers associate degrees and certificates that prepare students to enter the workforce after graduation or seamlessly transfer to a bachelor's degree program. The campus is also home to the University Center, West Hawaiʻi, so in addition to the community college offerings, it allows students to access distance learning bachelor's and graduate degrees offered by other UH campuses.
New Kuleana Green Business members hold up their new Chamber of Commerce membership certificates. From left to right: Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Board Member Teri Leicher of Jack's Diving Locker, Kalai Haleamau-Kam of Hawaiʻi Community College – Pālamanui, Johannes Seidel of CarbonBuddy, Candee Ellsworth of Malama Kai Foundation and Corey Yeaton of Pacific Blue Catchment.
Keauhou Veterinary Hospital owners Dr. Jacob Head and Jolene Head graciously accept their Kuleana Green Business Member of the Year award.
Hawaiʻi Community College – Pālamanui Educational Specialist for Distance Learning Carrie Kuwada-Phipps helps the culinary team serve their delicious pupus to the event attendees.
West Hawaiʻi business leaders meet, greet and connect to build their professional networks at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce AfterHours and Kuleana Green Business Fair.