Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Sunday, May 27, 2001


New jobs

>> Dennis J. Simonis has been named executive vice president and chief financial officer for ML Macadamia Orchards LP. He was formerly the chief financial officer for Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp.

>> Roger Khlopin has been named senior vice president and managing director of equities for Financial Management Advisors. He will oversee the firm's equity investments for institutional clients, equity funds and individual retail clients. A 20-year veteran of the investment industry, Khlopin was the lead portfolio manager for Pacific Century Trust's equity funds at Bank of Hawaii before joining Financial Management Advisors.

>> Raymond Sato has been named vice president of Kauai operations for SSFM International. Sato, former director of the state Department of Accounting and General Services, will be responsible for opening and establishing the company's new Kauai office.

>> Elizabeth Miller was named coordinator of Hawaii Pacific University's satellite programs for the Fort Shafter, Camp Smith and Tripler locations. Miller will be responsible for academic advising and the scheduling and staffing of classes. She was also appointed assistant director of the Soldier Leadership Development Program.

>> Steven R. Sampson has been named director of sales and marketing at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. Sampson was previously the director of sales and marketing for Carefree Resorts.

>> Ivette Gutarra has been named creative director at Myers Advertising. With more than 20 years of creative/graphic design and marketing experience, Gutarra will oversee the Myers Advertising art studio.


>> Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties named Penny Bradley director of its Previews International Division. She will continue to serve as chairman of the company. In her new position, Bradley will oversee the operations, training and marketing for CBP's luxury home sales.

>> Gail Nakama has been named vice president and business banking officer at American Savings Bank. An ASB employee since 1998, she was previously an assistant vice president and business banking officer.

>> John Lopianetzky has been named regional manager at Ruth's Chris Steak House. He will be responsible for the operations of the company's Restaurant Row, Lahaina Shopping Center and The Shops at Wailea locations. Lopianetzky joined the company in 2000 as general manager of the Lahaina restaurant. A 20-year veteran of the restaurant management industry, Lopianetzky has served in positions at Bobby McGee's, Nick's Fishmarket, the Pacific Beach Hotel and the Royal Lahaina Resort.

On the board

>> Michael Fisch was elected president of the Historic Hawaii Foundation 2001-02 Board of Trustees. Fisch is president and publisher of the Honolulu Advertiser. Other board officers named at the foundation's recent annual meeting were: Mary M. Cook, first vice president; Michael Pfeffer, second vice president; Easton Manson, treasurer; Eric J. Masutomi, secretary; Gary Gill, at-large executive committee member; and John Lyles, at-large executive committee member. Thomas S. Dye, Jan D. Goessing, Frank A. Haas, Alan Hoffman, Cheryl L. Kauhane, Jeffrey M.C. Lum, Greg Marshall, Lurline Wailana McGregor and Sharon Narimatsu were named new trustees.


>> Lenora L. Lorenzo was named Nurse of the Year by the Hawaii Nurses Association at its annual awards banquet May 10 at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort. Sara Fitzpatrick was named Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year; Louis Casorla and Karen Murai, Staff Nurses of the Year; Gloria Woodwell, Nurse Educator of the Year; and Elaine Slavinsky won the Ruth Kemble Award for Volunteer Service.

>> Dan Yamaguchi of Kauai and Eric Mita of Oahu have been named commercial and life agents of the year at Business Insurance Services Inc. The two achieved top records in bringing in new business. Yamaguchi is manager of Business Insurance's Kauai office. Mita has been a life insurance agent for Business Insurance since 1992.



Marriott International is sinking a boatload of money into Oahu time shares at the same time the market for the products is expanding. The Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club will add 750 time shares to the state's 4,600 existing units when completed in 2003. Marriott has pledged $1 billion for projects and marketing in Hawaii, where it has seen success in other time-share developments. For example, Marriott's Kauai time-shares sold out five years ahead of schedule.

Theater owners are looking at blockbuster crowds for "Pearl Harbor" with the triple boost of a movie set here about a monumental event here and with an epic-size marketing budget, much spent here. The owners of the Signature and Consolidated theater chains are also unleashing campaigns to fill their new theaters on this holiday weekend. Don't forget the mochi crunch with your popcorn.

About 53,000 island residents who rent their phones from Verizon (who knew?), will be able to keep them for no cost as the phone company gets out of the rental business. Probably a good thing, too, since at prices of $5 to $17 per month, the customers have certainly paid for them.


Overall island tourism is running smack into the mainland and Japanese economic troubles. Hotel occupancy statistics for April show drops across all levels, for the third straight month, and forecasts are for a weak summer period. While lower numbers do a number on the Hawaii economy, they should be easier to bear, since they are falling from record-high levels.

Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone may end up alienating their customers through their public blame game. Neither company comes off as very credible, massive public relations efforts notwithstanding. All the hot air leaking seems more likely to push consumers to GM and Goodyear.

The economy, both in the islands and on the mainland, seems stuck in the soft part of the landing. Statistics released this week show that the leading economic indicators for Hawaii continued to fall, for the ninth straight month. On the mainland, revised gross domestic product estimates reflect an econo

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