Business Briefs


POSTED: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Economy gauge jumps 1.4 percent

NEW YORK » A gauge of future economic activity jumped 1.4 percent in March, the fastest pace of growth in 10 months.

The rise in the Conference Board's index of leading economic indictors suggests economic growth is likely to continue for the next three to six months. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had expected the index to grow 0.9 percent last month.

The report says the leading indicators' growth was 0.4 percent in February and 0.6 percent in January, up from previous estimates of 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent.

“;The indicators point to a slow recovery that should continue over the next few months,”; Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board, said.

Central Pacific pares management

Blenn Fujimoto, president and chief executive officer of Central Pacific HomeLoans Inc., will focus solely on those duties after his positions as vice chairman of Central Pacific Financial Corp. and its subsidiary, Central Pacific Bank, were eliminated.

“;As we move forward with a flatter and leaner management structure, I am counting on Blenn's leadership and depth of industry experience being fully dedicated to a key component of our core business,”; said John Dean, executive chairman of Central Pacific. “;Supporting homeownership and small businesses in Hawaii continues to be our focus going forward.”;

Dean joined the bank as executive chairman on March 16, pending formal regulatory approval, in conjunction with the launch of the company's recovery plan announced last month.

Continental adds isle-Majuro flight

Continental Airlines will begin new year-round service from Honolulu to Majuro in the Marshall Islands and Guam on June 5.

The airline has operated this route on a seasonal basis over the past few years.

“;We are excited to add Majuro to our Hawaii service,”; said Jeff Moken, Continental's Honolulu general manager. “;We continue to see demand for travel between Hawaii and Guam and are pleased to offer expanded travel options with a new destination to the Marshall Islands.”;

The once-a-week Saturday service will be operated by Continental Micronesia with a 155-seat Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The new service is in addition to the current thrice-weekly “;island hopper”; service between Honolulu and Guam via Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Kwajalein and Majuro.

MLP's new president gets pay raise

Ryan Churchill, the newly appointed president and chief operating officer of Maui Land & Pineapple Co., has had his annual salary increased to $225,000 by the board of directors' compensation committee.

Churchill, who had a salary of $191,539 in 2009 and a total compensation package of $563,983, previously served as senior vice president of business development. He was appointed president and chief operating officer on Feb. 8.

HEMIC expands with Texas client

HEMIC Insurance Managers Inc., a subsidiary of Hawaii Employers' Mutual Insurance Co., has become the exclusive managing producer in Hawaii for American Hallmark Insurance Co. of Texas, a regional standard property and casualty company based in Fort Worth, Texas.

“;As the exclusive managing produce for American Hallmark, we expanded our portfolio of insurance programs to include a competitively priced business owners policy, business auto and excess policy specially designed for small businesses,”; said David Doehm, president of the subsidiary.



Castle Resorts & Hotels has announced the following promotions and appointments:

» Crystal Del Rosario to manager of contracts and sales distribution. She has been with the company for nine years as a reservations sales agent, sales coordinator and interim reservations manager.

» Stanley Fujioka as sales manager. He has 34 years' experience in Hawaii's travel industry, including as regional director of sales at Outrigger Hotels and Resorts and in sales management with Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.

» Eric Burgoyne was appointed to senior director of marketing. His has been general manager and marketing and sales director at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Lufthansa German Airlines and has directed marketing and sales functions at Atlantis Adventures Hawaii.


Pacific Capital Home Loans has announced the following new hires:

» Linda Char as mortgage banker and certified mortgage planning specialist. She has more than a decade of real estate and mortgage experience and was previously a mortgage banker at Central Pacific Financial Corp.

» Lori Ann M. Fukumoto as executive loan officer. She has 16 years of sales and management experience.