Tuesday, December 7, 1999

Stryker Weiner
sold to executive

Sharon Weiner is
joining DFS Hawaii

By Russ Lynch


Public relations consultant Sharon Weiner has sold the firm she started in 1979 and will join retailer and duty-free shops operator DFS Hawaii in a key executive position.

Stryker Weiner Associates Inc., a 14-employee agency that handles public relations for such clients as AT&T Corp., United Airlines, Starwood Hotels and Resorts in Hawaii and Campbell Estate, is being taken over by its executive vice president, Neil Yokota.

On Jan. 1, the agency will be renamed Stryker Weiner & Yokota Public Relations. Yokota, who joined the firm in 1987, will become president and chief executive officer. Yokota is known for handling marketing and communications for commercial clients as well as government and community relations in controversial issues such as rapid transit, geothermal energy and the Waiahole Ditch water controversy.

Terms of the agency sale were not disclosed. Weiner will remain involved as chairman emeritus and a director.

On Jan. 4, she will join DFS Hawaii as group vice president of administration. She has been a consultant for DFS for more than 20 years. Weiner will report to Bob Coe, president of DFS Hawaii. Kate Ardona, who has held human resources posts at DFS Hawaii since 1981, will become the company's vice president of human resources, reporting to Weiner.

The current human resources vice president, Barbara Stewart, has been promoted to vice president, worldwide employment, at the international headquarters of the parent DFS Group LP in San Francisco.

DFS Hawaii has held the duty-free concession rights at Honolulu airport since 1962 and has a major duty-free store in Waikiki. Overseas-bound travelers are able to avoid the often-high U.S. import duties on international brand-name luxury goods by paying for them at a duty-free shop and picking them up at the airport once they are past the U.S. Customs area.

The exclusive airport contract, for which DFS Hawaii pays the state government a minimum $100 million a year, will come up for bid in 2001.

DFS Hawaii owns a number of well-known retail businesses in Waikiki and the Ala Moana Center and is building a $65 million DFS Galleria retail complex in Waikiki.

It employs 1,300 people. DFS Group is majority owned by Paris-based LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

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