Business briefs


POSTED: Thursday, May 14, 2009

Williams replaces Toner on HTA board

Ron Williams, chief executive and president of Atlantis Adventures, has been appointed to the board of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Williams brings 30 years of tourism industry experience to the board. He joined Atlantis Adventures in 1995 as general manager of the company's Maui operations, and in the same year was promoted to regional director. The following year he was named chief operating officer. Currently, he is a board member for A3H (Activities & Attractions Association of Hawaii) and Maui Youth & Family Services.

Williams' term will expire on June 30, 2010. He fills a vacancy on the board that previously was held by John Toner.


Continental cutting 500 phone agents

HOUSTON >> Continental Airlines Inc. said yesterday it is closing a call center in Tampa, Fla., and cutting 500 reservation agents companywide. The carrier cited a weak economy and customers' growing preference for Web-based reservations.

About 100 of the eliminated positions will be in Tampa, about 270 in Houston and 80 in Salt Lake City, spokeswoman Kelly Cripe said.

The company is offering a number of voluntary programs to employees, including “;early out”; severance and leave-of-absence programs.


Taco Del Mar expands in Hawaii

Taco Del Mar is expanding its Mexican restaurant chain in Hawaii with the opening of three restaurants.

The Seattle-based company opened one at Pearl Ridge Center in Aiea earlier this month, and last week made its Maui debut by opening a restaurant at Maui Mall in Kahului. The next Taco Del Mar is set to open at Kona Commons on the Big Island later this month.

With the three new locations, Taco Del Mar will have 10 in the state. The other locations are at Hawaii Kai Town Center, Moanalua Shopping Center, Kunia Shopping Center, Laniakea Plaza in Waipahu, Kapolei Parkway, Windward Mall in Kaneohe and Matsuyama Commercial Center in Kona on the Big Island.

The first Taco Del Mar in Hawaii opened at Kunia Shopping Center in November 2006.


First Hawaiian opening new branch

First Hawaiian Bank is hosting a grand opening for its new Kailua branch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The 6,000-square-foot branch, built behind its existing Kailua branch at 705 Kailua Road, was constructed to make way for a Whole Foods Market that will be built in fall 2011 in part of the space that the old branch currently occupies. The original Kailua branch will close on Friday.

Steve Comes will continue as branch manager and Corbett Kalama as the overall regional manager.

Free festivities include live Hawaiian music by Kaala Boys, Kawika Kahiapo and Kekaniwai; Halau Mauli Hiwa hula dancers; balloon animals for the keiki; refreshments; free giveaways; an opportunity to win gift cards to Kailua merchants, as well as a $1,000 Foodland shopping spree. For more information, call 261-3371 or 844-4444.



; Lanakila Pacific has hired Les Murashige as vice president.  He previously was chief executive officer and chief operating officer of Island Air and has more than 35 years of executive leadership and management experience.



Aqua Hotels and Resorts has announced these promotions: Lendy Ma as general manager of Aqua Waikiki Beachside Hotel from hotel manager at Aqua Palms and Spa and Continental Surf Hotel; Susan Weander as general manager of the Equus from assistant director of sales for Renaissance Ilikai Waikiki; Deanne Takara as hotel manager for Aqua Waikiki Wave Hotel from assistant general manager.

Star-Bulletin staff and news services