Big Island tourism standouts win awards
The Big Island Visitors Bureau gave its Aikane Awards to William "Uncle Billy" J. Kimi Jr., Frank Kamahele
and Carl Hayashi
Kimi, founder and owner of Uncle Billy's Hilo Bay Hotel and the Kona Bay Hotel, and an entrepreneur for 70 years, has worked to improve education and health care for children.
Kamahele is the former district manager of the Hilo and Kona airports. He boosted the island economy through the severe slump of the 1980s by fighting for the lengthening of the Kona runway, which paved the way for direct flights by domestic and international carriers.
Hayashi is the Kona station manager of Japan Airlines, and played a key role in establishing direct flights between Japan and Kona, and three other American cities. Notable achievements during his 42 years of service include his part in keeping flights alive during the travel industry crisis following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks; and the transportation of Big Island products to worldwide markets.
The Center for Disability Studies
at the University of Hawaii's College of Education won the 2007 Multicultural Council Award for Leadership in Diversity. The award was given by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities in Washington, D.C. CDS has organized and sponsored the Pacific Rim Conference the past 23 years.
Shining Stars appears several times a week in the Star-Bulletin