Former Big Island Resident Nathan Kam Named President of McNeil Wilson Communications

Anthology Marketing Group, Hawaii’s largest marketing and communications company, today announced that Nathan Kam has been named President of its public relations practice, McNeil Wilson Communications.

Nathan Kam (It's worth noting that Nathan comes from Hawaii Island, being a graduate of Konawaena High School. In addition, he oversees the PR efforts conducted on behalf of the Big Island Visitors Bureau.)

Nathan Kam comes from Hawaii Island, being a graduate of Konawaena High School. In addition, he oversees the PR efforts conducted on behalf of the Big Island Visitors Bureau.

The appointment takes effect March 1. Kam, who joined the agency 14 years ago as an Account Executive, succeeds David McNeil, who remains Chairman of Anthology and will continue to help direct the firm’s public relations programs for its clients.

“We could not ask for a more qualified individual than Nathan to represent our next generation of leadership,” said McNeil. “Nathan has been my chosen successor for some time and it’s been a pleasure to see him grow into a top-flight professional and leader. He has an intuitive understanding of the market from a community, business and tourism view, and will bring a fresh perspective to the ever-changing communications landscape.”

David McNeil

David McNeil

Kam, who presently holds the title of Executive Vice President, said, “I’m proud to continue the leadership of a firm that has such deep roots in Hawaii’s business community. I consider myself fortunate to have been coached by the best in the business and to have represented some of the most important organizations in our community. We have a deep bench of talented and committed PR professionals and I’m looking forward to seeing our people and clients succeed and prosper in the invigorating marketing environment offered by Anthology.”

Kam represents some of the highest profile clients in the state, including the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. He has a strong background in strategic planning, media relations and emerging media and has become established as a leader in Hawaii’s public relations industry. In 2013, Kam was the recipient of the President’s Leadership Award presented by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Hawaii Chapter for significant contributions to the success and advancement of the profession.

Kam sits on PRSA’s Travel & Tourism Section Board of Directors for the national organization, and is a past president of PRSA Hawaii. He also serves on the advisory board of Kapiolani Community College’s Business Marketing Management Program. Born and raised on Hawaii, the Big Island, Kam graduated from Konawaena High School and is an alumnus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations.

Anthology’s clients include the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Kauai Visitors Bureau, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, Big Island Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaiian Telcom, Bank of Hawaii, Prince Resorts Hawaii, Marriott Hotels, NextEra Energy, Hawaii Community Foundation, Hawaii Gas, Na Hoku Jewelers, Kenworth Trucks, American Savings Bank, and Hawaii Pacific Health.

McNeil Wilson Communications was founded in 1982 and later launched an advertising practice, which became Laird Christianson Advertising. In 2007, the firms acquired Starr Seigle Communications to create Anthology Marketing Group.

Led by CEO Dennis Christianson, Anthology offers a team of more than 100 best-in-practice specialists providing services in Public Relations, Advertising, Digital and Mobile Marketing, Social Media, and Research. Headquartered on Bishop Street in the heart of Honolulu’s business district, the company also operates offices in Guam and Seattle. Anthology is the only marketing company ranked in the Top 250 listing of companies by Hawaii Business Magazine.

 

2014 Focus Luncheon with Mayor Kenoi

Mayor Billy Kenoi and select cabinet members tackle current Hawai`i County issues at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce 2014 Focus Luncheon 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 at the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.

Mayor Kenoi at the APEC Conference

Mayor Kenoi at the APEC Conference

Sponsored by the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, the annual luncheon offers a unique opportunity for the local community to meet with County Department representatives in a casual setting. Attendees will have the opportunity to have lunch with a specific department as well as pose questions to the Mayor and other Cabinet heads. Issues to be included in the discussion include the possible increase of the GET via a county surcharge; the County’s solid waste management plan; the controversial GMO bill; and, the quest to reopen the Kona International Airport international arrivals facility.

Cost for the luncheon is $45 for Chamber and Rotary members, $55 for non-members. No walk-ins allowed. For more information and/or to register, visit kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office at 808-329-1758.

THE KONA-KOHALA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE provides leadership and advocacy for a successful business environment in West Hawai‘i. The result of KKCC’s work is a community of choice as reflected in our quality of life, business and individual opportunity and manifest respect for our culture and our natural resources. For info, 329-1758 or visit www.kona-kohala.com.

 

Bruno Mars Ticket Fiasco Has Lawmaker Introduce Resolution to Assist Local Residents in the Future

If you’re a loyal fan standing in line to purchase a coveted concert ticket, and plan to attend that concert, you should be able to have more than six percent of a chance to purchase that ticket, said Senate President Donna Mercado Kim. The lawmaker has introduced a resolution urging concert and entertainment venues to require only in-person ticket sales for the first 48 hours.

Capital Logo

The resolution was triggered by the disappointment of local residents after the quick sale – three concerts sold out in 2-hours – of tickets for local boy Bruno Mars’ Hawaii shows in April. It was later announced that people from the mainland and Canada snagged 42 percent of the 17,000 tickets. Even more frustrating was for those who stood in the long lines at the Blaisdell box office, only six percent of tickets were bought there. It’s also been reported that scalpers who purchased tickets in bulk are selling them for exorbitant prices. Kim is hoping to change this for concertgoers so that those who will actually go to a performance are able to purchase tickets from the original venue at the actual ticket price, and not from a secondary market at inflated prices.

“Despite waiting in line for hours, many fans were unable to purchase tickets to the upcoming Bruno Mars concert at the Blaisdell Center,” said Kim. “Anyone who takes the time to show up in person should have the opportunity to purchase tickets for at least the first two days before opening up to online sales. It’s unfortunate that out-of-state ticket brokers and scalpers will resell these concert tickets back to local residents for an enormous profit.”

The resolution names and urges the following entities to set purchasing terms: Hawaii Community Development Authority, Stadium Authority, Department of Enterprise Services of the City and County of Honolulu, Board of Regents, President of the University of Hawaii and Chancellor of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

These entities hold concerts at venues such as Kakaako Park, Aloha Stadium, the Neil S. Blaisdell Center, Waikiki Shell, University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center and the Hawaii Convention Center.

“Our residents should enjoy a night of entertainment without having to pay inflated prices,” said Kim.

Big Island Police Investigating Accident that Caused Death of Oahu Man

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a public accident that caused the death of an Oahu man on Sunday (February 9).

At 11:28 a.m. Sunday, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a report that a man had fallen from a cliff in Pepeʻekeo.

The man was reportedly hiking to shore to dive with friends when he fell off the cliff and landed approximately 80 feet below. Fire Department rescue personnel extricated him from the bottom of Loa Road and took him to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m.

Keylan Sato Facebook Profile picture

Keylan Sato Facebook Profile picture

He has been identified as 24-year-old Keylan Sato of Honolulu.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Governor Abercrombie Taps Bhagowalia as Chief Advisor on Technology, Cyber-Security

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment and promotion of Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia as Chief Advisor for Technology and Cyber-Security, effective Feb. 18, 2014. The new executive leadership position was created to establish Hawaii as a premier technology and cyber-security hub in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as to strengthen ties between Hawaii and Washington, D.C. in support of the state’s Business and Technology Transformation.

Sanjeev "Sonny" Bhagowalia

Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia

“Under Sonny’s exceptionally positive leadership and energy, the State of Hawaii has made great strides in developing a strong technology and security foundation, launching key programs to transform business and technology in the state, and charting a strong course for the future with a nationally recognized transformation plan,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Now more than ever, we need Sonny to help our state take the next step by representing Hawaii at a national level to ensure we establish a cohesive technology and cyber-security strategy, position Hawaii for future federal collaboration and investments, and encourage our community stakeholders to continue to support Hawaii’s technology transformation.”

The Governor also highlighted significant accomplishments by Bhagowalia and his extended CIO team over the past two and a half years in a detailed annual report, released today and available for download at the state Office of Information Management Technology (OIMT) website: http://oimt.hawaii.gov

With this change, OIMT’s two deputy CIOs will be promoted into new roles to facilitate the office’s transition from key foundational activities, such as planning and designing new systems, to implementation. Deputy CIO of Operations Keone Kali will succeed Bhagowalia as state CIO, while Deputy CIO of Business Transformation Randy Baldemor will join the Office of the Governor as Director of Strategic Initiatives, both also effective Feb. 18, 2014.

Since its creation in 2011, OIMT has made tremendous progress in three overarching strategic areas:

1. Reengineering “the way we do business” (on-line versus waiting in-line)
2. Modernizing and securing the technology infrastructure
3. Establishing transparency and accountability through governance

Accomplishments highlighted in the comprehensive CIO Annual Report include:

1. Aligning business and IT through four key programs (enterprise resource planning, tax, health IT, and business process reengineering)
2. Strengthening the state’s critical security and technology infrastructure through four key programs (consolidated infrastructure, enterprise shared services, enterprise security/privacy, and the Hawaii Broadband Initiative)
3. Implementing transparency and accountability through two key programs (open government and governance)

Departmental collaboration with OIMT, as explained in the report, further illustrates the depth and breadth of the transformation effort.

“The standard of excellence in leadership, program execution and teamwork set by Sonny provides a solid foundation for Hawaii’s future, and I commend him for his commitment and service to the people of the State of Hawaii,” Gov. Abercrombie added. “This is the right time to transition, and I am confident that Keone will maintain the high-quality execution of the state’s IT transformation plan and management of OIMT. In addition, Randy’s newly established position within my office demonstrates our commitment to furthering this effort, and it will facilitate the strategic alignment of priorities and resources on key business transformation initiatives as well as fostering greater coordination and collaboration across departments.”

Bhagowalia said: “I thank the Governor, my fellow directors, my extended ‘ohana’ of CIOs, all our staff, and the people of Hawaii for their unwavering support of the transformation. We are proud of the major accomplishments so far and excited about the road ahead for the great State of Hawaii. While I look forward to new horizons, I ask everyone for their continuing support of Hawaii’s next CIO, Keone, and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Randy, in their efforts to advance the transformation.”

Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia
Prior to being appointed as Hawaii’s first CIO in July 2011, Bhagowalia served for 11 years as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and one year in as a Senior Level (SL) employee of the U.S. Government. He served as the Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in Washington, D.C., supporting five national White House programs for the Federal CIO. He previously held two CIO executive leadership roles at the U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education within the U.S. Department of the Interior. He also served with the FBI CIO within the U.S. Department of Justice for seven years as a SES (at Assistant Director level) and one year as a SL. In addition to his public sector experience, Bhagowalia served with distinction for 14.5 years as Chief Engineer/Manager at Boeing in support of Systems Integration and Business Development for U.S. Government Civilian, Defense and Intelligence Community Clients. He is a graduate from Syracuse University and Louisiana State University with Masters and Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering and Management.  He is a distinguished graduate (twice) from the National Defense University with CIO and IRM certification. He has won numerous national awards for executive excellence.

Keone Kali
Kali was named Deputy CIO in November 2012 and brings 20 years of experience in information technology, business development, and management in both the public and private sector. He previously served as the Director of Information Technology and acting Chief Technology Officer for the Pacific Disaster Center on Maui. Kali was also the CIO for the City of Beverly Hills, where he designed, executed and managed a comprehensive five-year Information Technology Master Plan, transformed the city’s technology architecture to support highly-available and accessible public services, and formed new revenue generating programs. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Randy Baldemor
Baldemor also joined OIMT over a year ago and brings to his new position 14 years of diverse business and government experience, including as deputy director of the state Department of Taxation, where he led the IT modernization efforts and business process re-engineering activities that significantly improved tax return processing and refund issuances. He has also served as president of software development company DiscoveryBox, assistant vice-president of claims for Island Insurance Companies, and litigation partner at Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel LLP. Baldemor received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Florida and earned his law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.

The new chief advisor and director positions are being funded through a grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting quality of life improvements in the state.

54-Year-Old Hilo Man Arrested in Connection with Hilo Robbery

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged the 54-year-old Hilo man who was arrested Thursday (February 6) in connection with a reported robbery in Downtown Hilo on Wednesday (February 5).

John Michael Kapahu

John Michael Kapahu

At 5:05 p.m. Friday (February 7), detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section charged John Michael Kapahu with second-degree robbery. His bail was set at $25,000. He was being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial appearance scheduled for Monday (February 10).

At about 12:03 p.m. Wednesday, police responded to the Moʻoheau bus terminal after receiving a report of a fight. A 32-year-old Hakalau man reported that an acquaintance took an undisclosed amount of money from him while at Moʻoheau Bandstand. When the victim attempted to retrieve the money, the suspect reportedly punched him several times and fled the area.

The victim sustained facial injuries. Fire Department medics took him to Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated and later released.

Thursday morning, police arrested Kapahu, who has no permanent address, and held him at the police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

South Kona Fatality Update

An autopsy was conducted Friday (February 7) on the body of 52-year-old Matthew B. Lee of Kailua-Kona, who died Wednesday (February 5) in a two-vehicle crash on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway around the 71.5 mile marker.

HPDBadgeThe medical examiner determined that Matthew B. Lee died from a medical condition and not from injuries sustained in the crash.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has reclassified the negligent homicide investigation to a coroner’s inquest.

As a result, the traffic fatality count has been reduced to three fatalities this year compared with seven at this time last year.