Business briefs


POSTED: Friday, March 26, 2010

Expo showcases high-tech devices

The Audio Visual Co. will stage its first high-tech expo from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Neal Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall.

More than 100 manufacturers will present appliances, including the 103-inch Panasonic plasma screen, and myriad gadgets will be on display.

The event will include free classes, seminars and prize giveaways, including a drawing for a 42-inch high-definition TV. Admission is free with preregistration online at


Awards go to Grand Waikikian

The Grand Waikikian by Hilton Grand Vacations Club has received the American Resort Development Association's highest honor for time-share or mixed-use projects.

The ARDA Circle of Excellence Project award recognizes projects that are considered successes by all parties, including unit owners and the local community.

Group 70 International did the architectural design and held oversight over the construction of the property, which opened in December 2008. Interior design was handled by Design Group Carl Ross Inc., which also received the ARDA award for Interior Design — Common Area for its work on the Grand Waikikian.


Mortgage rates inch upward

McLEAN, Va. » Mortgage rates moved slightly higher but remained just below 5 percent this week as a Federal Reserve program that has maintained rates near record lows prepares to end.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched up to 4.99 percent this week from 4.96 percent last week, mortgage finance company Freddie Mac said yesterday.

Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to a low of 4.71 percent in December and have hovered around 5 percent since. Rates have been kept down by the Fed's $1.25 trillion program to buy up mortgage-backed securities issued by Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae.

The Fed's program is set to end Wednesday. Some analysts fear that mortgage rates could rise once the program ends, weakening the fragile recovery in housing and the overall economy.

This week the average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.34 percent, up from 4.33 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac. Rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.14 percent, up from 4.09 percent a week earlier.

The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount.


Fed chair defends low interest rates

WASHINGTON » Record-low interest rates are still needed to rev up the economic recovery, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress yesterday.

Bernanke, in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, essentially repeated the rationale behind the Fed's decision last week to hold rates near zero. He cited still-fragile economic conditions and noted that inflation is low, which gives the Fed leeway to keep rates at rock-bottom levels. The Fed chief didn't offer new clues about when the central bank might reverse course and start tightening credit.



;  The Hawaiian Mission Children's Society/Mission Houses Museum has appointed Thomas A. Woods as the organization's executive director. He has 30 years' experience with museums and historic sites on the mainland and in Hawaii, including being a consultant for the Kona Historical Society, Kona Coffee Living History Farm, Greenwell General Store, Kalukalu Homestead Ranch, Lyman House Museum, Society for Kona's Education and Art, Paniolo Preservation Society and Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii.

; RevoluSun has named Shane Nesbitt as its newest partner. He joined Distributed Energy Partners in 2009 as a project developer and was previously a sales consultant with Sunetric.

Philip K. White & Associates has hired Jane Gray as administrative assistant. She has been a legal secretary and paralegal for several Honolulu law firms.