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Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, March 28, 2003



[ FAST FACTS HAWAII ]
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Program links youth, business

Hawaii businesses statewide are invited to participate in Business and Youth Working Together, an effort to give students mentored opportunities to apply classroom learning in the real world.

Business and Youth Working Together organizers include the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, state Department of Education, the Hawaii Workforce Development Council, CTA, formerly Computer Training Academy, and Enterprise Honolulu.

Participating businesses will identify projects to work on collaboratively with students, beginning with the upcoming Summer Works Program, which organizers hope will include 400 students. Enterprise Honolulu is the contact point for companies interested in Business and Youth Working Together; its Web site is www.bywt.org.

A&B confirms Alakea purchase

Alexander & Baldwin Inc. yesterday confirmed that it has purchased the 1100 Alakea office building and will convert the 31-story structure into office condominiums, allowing businesses to buy their own space in the Honolulu central business district.

A&B Properties, the subsidiary that did the buy, said the purchase price was not disclosed by agreement with the seller, 1100 Alakea Corp.

Michael Wright, an A&B Properties vice president, said the lowest interest rates in 40 years should make the condominium units attractive to business operators and investors.

The acquisition means A&B now owns 10 properties on Oahu. The 1100 Alakea building was completed in 1993 by Japanese developer Toa Kogyo (Hawaii) Corp., parent of 1100 Alakea Corp. It has never enjoyed strong occupancy and now is less than 50 percent full, according to local real estate sources.

Nurses' contract provides raises

Registered nurses at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific have ratified a contract that gives them a 21 percent raise over three years and an additional longevity step.

The new agreement provides pay and benefits for the approximately 40 union members that are competitive with Hawaii's Big Five medical centers, according to Sue Scheider, the chief negotiator for the collective bargaining organization of the Hawaii Nurses' Association. The contract also recognizes certified rehabilitation registered nurses with experience and expertise in caring for those with physical disabilities and chronic illnesses.

The Big Five hospitals are Kaiser, Queen's, Kapiolani, St. Francis and Kuakini.

Rehabilitation Hospital is the only acute rehabilitation hospital licensed to serve Hawaii. The hospital treats nearly 10,000 patients a year, typically admitted for strokes, injuries to the brain or spinal cord, orthopedic injuries and sports injuries.

Aquila Management wins Lipper award

Aquila Management Corp., which sponsors Hawaiian Tax-Free Trust and six other single-state municipal bond funds, was one of four mutual fund families honored by Lipper for delivering consistently strong relative performance for their fund shareholders.

Lipper, a fund research firm, honored Aquila as the best fixed-income group. Other awards went to American Funds for best overall group, Baron Funds for best equity group and MFS Investment Management for mixed equity group. Lipper also presented award to funds in 22 separate categories for consistent performance compared with their peers.

Hawaiian Tax-Free Trust, founded by Aquila in 1985, invests primarily in tax-free municipal bond obligations of Hawaii issuers, for projects such as schools, highways, airports, hospitals and water facilities. The trust has approximately 12,000 shareholders and nearly $730 million in assets.

Fleming struggling to obtain financing

LEWISVILLE, Texas >> Fleming Cos., the largest U.S. grocery distributor, said it needs to secure new short-term financing to pay suppliers after existing lenders declined to extend further credit.

Fleming this month lost a contract with retailer Kmart Corp., its biggest customer.


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[Hawaii Inc.]

NEW JOBS

>> Firefly has hired Valentine Pfyl and Anelia Manova as project coordinators. Pfyl works on the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Ala Moana Center accounts. Manova handles the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii and First Hawaiian Bank accounts. Firefly is an interactive marketing firm affiliated with Milici Valenti Ng Pack.

>> The Hawaii Uninsured Project has named Gwen Ouye-Nakama as policy and planning associate director and Jacquelyn Smith as community relations and grant management associate director. Ouye-Nakama has five years experience in health care policy and administration. She also served as clerk for the state Legislature Health and Human Service Committee. Smith has eight years of experience in public relations and marketing, most recently as an account supervisor at The Limtiaco Co.

>> Kraft Foods Hawaii has named Norine Yoshizawa CCM coordinator, and JoAnn Baidack and Brian Luna as sales representatives. Yoshi-zawa has 18 years of experience in the brokerage business. Baidack was formerly the sales account manager for Eastman Kodak Co. Luna was previously a Pepsi Bottling Group account manager and a manager at a Sack 'N Save Foods.

PROMOTIONS

>> Patrick Ihu has been named general manager of Jamba Juice Lahaina, which will open at the Old Lahaina Center in mid-June. It is the third Maui store for Jamba Juice Hawaii, which is a joint venture between Jamba Juice Co. of San Francisco and JJC Hawaii LLC. Ihu will oversee all aspects of daily operations including scheduling, purchasing and employee management. He joined Jamba Juice in December 2000 as the assistant manager of both the Maui Marketplace and Piilani Village Shopping Center stores.

>> Kerstin Busse has been promoted to sales manager for the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on the Big Island. She will be responsible for group sales efforts in the U.S. Southeast region, as well as travel industry sales efforts. Busse has more than eight years of hospitality industry experience, most recently as a sales representative for the resort, handling travel industry sales.

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