Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, September 19, 2003




Members of ILWU Local 142 held a rally in front of the Pacific Beach Hotel yesterday to draw attention to a ruling in their favor handed down on Feb. 27 by a National Labor Relations Board administrative judge. The union challenged the conduct of the hotel prior to a vote by employees on whether they should join the union. The judge found that the hotel violated the law by unduly trying to influence employees to vote against joining the union. The hotel has since appealed the judge's findings to the full National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. A decision is pending.


Hawaiian Water gets new CEO

Hawaiian Natural Water Co. will get a new president and chief executive officer on Oct. 1. He is Willard Irwin, who has been serving as chief financial officer at the firm.

Jack Stern, who has been president and CEO, will move out of the day-to-day operations to the position of chairman of the Honolulu-based drinking-water company's board of directors.

Hawaiian Natural Water Co., founded in 1994, bottles and sells water from a spring deep under the Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island and also operates a purified-water business in Kona.

The company was sold in December 2001 to Nebraska-based Amcon Distributing Co. for about $2 million in Amcon shares. Amcon later invested more than $2 million in improvements to its Big Island bottling plant.

Job fair to offer at least 80 firms

More than 80 companies will be hiring at the sixth annual Job Quest Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Neal Blaisdell Center.

Recruiters will be present from local businesses, mainland organizations, military branches and government agencies to accept applications, conduct interviews and answer questions.

Job positions vary from entry level to management. In the past, some companies have hired qualified candidates on the spot, according to organizers.

Oahu WorkLinks will be providing information and workshops throughout the day on topics such as online searching for federal and state job opportunities.

Admission is $1. Attendees should dress appropriately for a job interview and bring multiple copies of their resume.

More than 4,000 job seekers have attended previous Job Quest events.

For more information, call Success Advertising at 536-7222.

Dole Food reduces debt

Dole Food Co. said it has reduced its senior secured credit by $167 million and now has three loans outstanding worth a total of $292 million. At the end of June the total of those loans was $459 million.

Based in Westlake Village, Calif., Dole is a worldwide food company with substantial land holdings in Hawaii.

It was taken private in March and is now owned by its chairman, David H. Murdock.

Lanihau gets OK for Big Isle land

The state Land Use Commission has given its final approval to reclassify a 337-acre parcel of land along Queen Kaahumanu Highway at Honokohau between Kona Airport and Kailua-Kona from conservation to urban district.

The landowner, Lanihau Properties LLC, is planning a new commercial industrial park for the site, which will be named West Hawaii Business Park.

Lot sizes will generally range from one to three acres with sales anticipated to start within 18 months.

Straub seeks outstanding pros

Straub Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2003 Guy Champion and John C. Milnor Professional Activities Award.

Physicians Champion and Milnor both had distinguished careers at Straub.

The honor established in their names recognizes a health care professional who has made extraordinary contributions as a volunteer.

Nominations for the award should cover the period between July 2002 and June 2003. The application deadline is Oct. 15.

To request an application, call the Straub Foundation at 524-6755.

Enron boosts payment in reorganizaton plan

HOUSTON >> Enron Corp. is offering to pay most of its creditors more money under a revised reorganization plan, while lowering to $63.6 billion its estimate of how much the company owes. The energy company also offered financial projections yesterday for the trio of businesses likely to emerge from its scandal-ridden bankruptcy.

Enron's initial plan, filed in July after five deadline extensions, said 80 percent of the more than 20,000 creditors would receive less than 20 cents on the dollar, in a range of 14.4 cents to 18.3 cents. The revised plan projects 16.6 cents to 22.5 cents on the dollar -- two-thirds in cash and the rest in stock in the new companies.

GM, Delphi reach contracts with UAW

DETROIT >> The United Automobile Workers union concluded its contract negotiations with the Big Three and two major suppliers yesterday after granting its most significant concessions in two decades.

The deals will result in thousands of job cuts as roughly a dozen plants are closed or sold.

The UAW said it had reached deals with General Motors and Delphi, the world's largest auto parts company, which GM spun off in 1999. The agreements came three days after the UAW reached tentative agreements with the Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Group, as well as with Visteon, the parts subsidiary spun off by Ford in 2000.

In other news ...

>> Microsoft Corp. is expanding its board of directors with outsiders and an international flavor -- the head of Germany's BMW and a former AT&T vice chairman -- to help highlight the board's independence and experience with international affairs.


[Hawaii Inc.]



>> General Growth Properties Inc., owner and manager of Ala Moana Center, has appointed Jasmine Tso to promotions manager and hired Michelle Burke as marketing sales assistant. Tso is responsible for the planning and implementation of special events, promotions and marketing activities at Ala Moana Center and Centerstage. Burke is responsible for providing support to Ala Moana's regional vice president of marketing and tourism director. Before joining Ala Moana, Tso served as marketing manager of another GGP mall, Montclair Plaza in Southern California. Burke previously served as an executive assistant and associate editor at Media Venture Partners Inc. in Honolulu.


>> Teresa Sakurada has been elected president of the American Business Women's Association, Na Kilohana O Wahine Chapter. She is a certified public accountant with Alan B. Richardson CPA LLC. Other officers elected were Vice President Cheryl Fernandez, sales manager of Sheraton Hotels in Waikiki; Secretary Alison D. Zecha, professional and life coach; and Treasurer Corinne Nakamura, accountant at Egami & Ichikawa CPAs Inc. ABWA is a nonprofit association with the mission to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow. It has eight local chapters.


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