Women in Lodging & Tourism Honors HCC GM

The Hawaii Convention Center/AEG General Manager Teri Orton was named 2018 Woman of the Year, a top honor conferred by the Women in Lodging & Tourism – Hawaii Chapter, an affiliate of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association (HLTA). The annual hospitality industry award goes to a woman with outstanding leadership in her profession and community.

HCC GM Teri Orton named Woman of the Year by the Women in Lodging & Tourism – Hawaii Chapter,

Orton was recognized for her leadership within the hospitality industry, community and the HLTA’s Women in Lodging & Tourism committee.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Women in Lodging & Tourism and the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association and I am thrilled that the industry has seen the fruits of our efforts,” said Teri Orton, Hawaii Convention Center general manager. “This recognition would not have been possible without the help of my hard-working team who truly exemplifies how business and Aloha meet.”

“Teri is truly deserving of this honor and I’m thrilled to see her recognized as ‘Woman of the Year’ by the Hawaii chapter of Women in Lodging & Tourism,” said Brad Gessner, senior vice president and general manager of the Los Angeles Convention Center. “As a result of her dedication and leadership, she and the entire Hawaii Convention Center team have accomplished so much in the four years that AEG Facilities has managed the (Hawaii) convention center, and it’s great to see her recognized for all of her efforts.”

The Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association (HLTA) is a statewide organization representing hotels, condominiums, timeshares, other lodging entities, suppliers, and related firms and individuals. HLTA is dedicated to supporting Hawaii’s visitor industry through education, political action, and membership benefits, and raising awareness about its contributions to communities throughout the state.

To view the latest issue of Hawaii Hospitality Magazine featuring Orton, click here.

Hawai`i Convention Center Wins Premier Traveler Magazine’s ‘Best Convention Host’ Award

photo of Randy Tanaka, Chad Michael Murray, Linda Vaughan

Accepting the award for the Hawai`i Convention Center was Randy Tanaka, Assistant General Manager, pictured here with actor/director/singer Chad Michael Murray and publisher Linda Vaughan.

We are thrilled to have been selected as the “2012 Best Convention Host” by the readers of Premier Traveler magazine.

This prestigious distinction recognizes Hawai`i and the Center as an ideal gathering place for business, political and cultural meetings, as decided by the more than 11,000 readers who participated in an open-ended survey with no suggested choices.  The Center is the only Hawai`i facility to win an award, and the only convention facility in the country to be honored.

“Few meeting destinations evoke the kind of excitement generated by Hawai`i, which is no doubt why our readers named it the Best Convention Host of 2012,” said Adam Rodriguez, executive director of Premier Traveler magazine.  “They are seasoned and demanding travelers, who know what they want after traveling the world for both business and leisure, so their choice is clearly among the most informed there is.”

premier traveler logo“The enhanced productivity, top-notch facilities, incredible service and global opportunities offered by meeting in Hawai`i are what allows us to continue to be a leader for meetings of international importance,” said Joe Davis, SMG general manager of the Hawai`i Convention Center.  “This recognition from such a seasoned group of travelers honors the hard work of our staff and partners in providing an exceptional meetings and travel experience that stands up to the highest standards of every guest.”

The Best of 2012 winners are featured in the November/December issue of Premier Traveler magazine, and were honored at an awards gala November 8 in Los Angeles.  With 104,000 subscribers, Premier Traveler is the world’s leading publication geared toward frequent international travelers.

Hawai`i Convention Center Among Top Five Meetings Facilities in U.S. to Receive 2012 “Distinctive Achievement Award” for Service

The Hawai`i Convention Center has received its first-ever “Distinctive Achievement Award” from Association Conventions & Facilities magazine for excellence in meetings assistance and service.

The prestigious honor was awarded to the five convention centers nationally in 2012 that were the most helpful in assisting meetings professionals with their meetings and conventions, as voted by the magazine’s more than 20,500 subscribers.

“Hawai`i’s legendary Aloha Spirit offers an attitude and level of service that no other destination can capture, enhancing enjoyment and productivity for our meetings attendees,” said Joe Davis, SMG general manager of the Hawai`i Convention Center.  “Our team is fully committed to providing the best service available in the meetings industry, and we are pleased to receive this recognition from our valued clients.”

Winners of the award are featured in the August/September issue of Association Conventions & Facilities magazine, which services association meeting and convention planners.

Hawai`i Convention Center Awarded $80,000 Rebate for Energy Efficiency Upgrades to Air Quality System Fans

The Hawai`i Convention Center recently completed another major effort to enhance the conservation of Hawai`i’s natural resources and reduce its impact on the environment.

The Center installed new variable frequency drives (VFDs) to loading dock area fans to ensure optimum air quality.  A VFD improves efficiency by adjusting motor speed to more closely match output requirements, which typically results in energy savings.  The installation was supported by a $79,781 rebate from Hawai`i Energy, the energy efficiency and conservation program for Hawai`i, Honolulu, and Maui counties, and will result in an energy savings of nearly 445,000 kilowatt hours annually.

The Center’s previous rebates and awards for energy-saving measures have totaled nearly $350,000 for projects including lighting upgrades and a new jockey chiller.  When it opened in 1998, the Center was also awarded Hawaiian Electric Company’s Energy Project of the Year for its efficient design.

Hawai`i Convention Center Receives 14th Consecutive Prime Site Award

The Hawai`i Convention Center has received its 14th consecutive Prime Site Award from Facilities & Destinations magazine.

Prime Site Awards are decided by meetings and conventions industry leaders directly involved with site selection, including promoters, booking agents, and event planners.  Voting is based on convenience of location, facility attractiveness and maintenance, professionalism of staff, cuisine, and technological capabilities.

Facilities & Destinations magazine, a monthly publication for professional planners of meetings, entertainment, and special events, described Hawai`i as “An ideal place for an international meeting of political, cultural, and business significance,” and noted the significance of hosting APEC’s 21 member economies, which drew an estimated 20,000 visitors to Honolulu in November 2011.

The magazine also highlighted the Center’s high-value global marketing strategies, which include custom-designed collateral and the multi-language microsites to assist organizations in building international attendance.

Hawai`i Convention Center Attracts National Buzz as APEC Host

Hawai`i: A Place for Serious Business Meetings. Photo: apec.org

The Center capped off 2011 as one of the hosts for the 19th APEC Leaders’ Meeting, which drew an estimated 20,000 visitors to the state for the largest-ever gathering of its kind in Hawai`i, and the first APEC in the U.S. since 1993. During APEC, the state showcased four pillars of importance to Hawai`i: meetings and conventions; ocean, earth and sky; health and life sciences; and renewable energy. As the President said during an APEC address, “On the business side, this is where the action is going to be.”

And the President wasn’t the only one buzzing about the meeting. Here are some highlights from coverage around Hawai`i and the nation:


Meetings Enhance Communities Through Educational Outreach, Support, and Public Events

Three of the Hawai`i Convention Center’s largest meetings of 2011 made significant contributions to Hawai`i schools, hospitals, nonprofit organizations and communities, all while attracting more than 25,000 participants from around the world, resulting in more than $120 million in state revenue.

Photo courtesy of Sacred Hearts Academy

American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP):  Under its philanthropic arm, The Chest Foundation, 45 volunteers and medical professionals worked with Honolulu’s Sacred Hearts Academy to educate more than 100 students about tobacco prevention and lung health.  The Foundation’s OneBreath initiative also donated $10,000 to support ongoing health programs and activities at the school.  In addition, renowned specialists delivered “grand rounds” lectures at select Hawai`i hospitals to provide their expertise on specific patient cases.


The "APA Gives Back Program" donated over $7,000 for Mental Health Kokua.

American Psychiatric Association (APA):  As part of the “APA Gives Back Program,” meeting participants donated $7,158 for Hawai`i nonprofit Mental Health Kokua, which helps people with mental illness achieve optimum recovery and the ability to function in the community.  APA’s contribution will support the organization’s tele-health program, which provides care to dozens of people across the state, many of whom live in rural areas, who are recovering from mental illness.  The American Psychiatric Foundation also hosted the Hawai`i Aloha Classic 2011 golf tournament in partnership with the Waipahu Aloha Club at the Waikele Country Club to assist in raising funds.

The AAN Foundation's Brain Health Fair drew 1,400 participants.

American Academy of Neurology (AAN):  The AAN Foundation, which supports education and research in neurology, held its first-ever Brain Health Fair, a public event that drew more than 1,400 participants to the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki.  The free event included a film festival, interactive exhibits, giveaways, family-friendly activities, and Q&A sessions with experts – all to promote brain health.


“The positive impact of groups meeting in Hawai`i often reaches much further than room nights and visitor spending.  The wealth of information, resources, and generosity that these meetings have brought to Hawai`i will enhance our islands for years to come,” said Joe Davis, SMG general manager of the Hawai`i Convention Center.  “We are proud to see our guests and partners carry on the spirit of Na Mea Ho`okipa – the unconditional aloha spirit that the Hawai`i Convention Center holds at the center of its mission.”

Community Comes Together to Beautify Public Areas in Preparation for APEC

Hawai`i Convention Center employees joined cleanup efforts in the neighboring areas.

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Nakayama, Hawai`i Convention Center.

Hawai`i Convention Center employees joined a group of state government officials, organizations, community members, schools, and businesses to remove graffiti and clean up public areas around Honolulu during the Community Wide Cleanup & Graffiti Paint-Out event on October 29, 2011.

More than 1,000 volunteers joined clean up efforts sponsored by Totally Against Graffiti (T.A.G.) and organized by the APEC Hawai`i Host Committee in preparation for November’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.  Cleanup locations included the Kapahulu, McCully, and Moiliili neighborhoods.

Efforts were featured by Hawai`i News Now on October 29 :

Hawaiʻi Convention Center Unveils First Permanent Native Hawaiian Mural

Kumu (teachers) and Haumana (students) gather to celebrate the completion of the Hawai`i Kakou Community Mural project at the Hawai`i Convention Center.

On October 19, 2011 “Hawai‘i Loa Ku Like Kākou (Hawai‘i Kākou)” the Hawai‘i Convention Center’s first permanent native Hawaiian indigenous artwork was unveiled. The mural was created by the Hawai‘i Kākou Community Mural Project headed by Lead Artist Meleanna Meyer. She was joined by fellow kumu (teacher) artists Solomon Enos, Kahi Ching, Al Lagunero and Harinani Orme together with six alakai (leaders) and featured a team of 17 talented haumana (students), ages 12 to 19, that came from various public, private, charter and Hawaiian immersion schools.

Kumu Meleanna reveals that the idea for a community mural project started a few years back she and her fellow kumu and alakai mentored young artists in painting a mural for the Sheraton Waikīkī. They were also involved in creating various mural projects such as the “Kuakeahu” Mural at Camp Mokule’ia, the “Ho’ohuli” Mural at the Bishop Museum and the 250-ft long mural near Kalihi Waena Elementary along Kalihi Stream.

Located at the Level 1 Lobby of the Hawai‘i Convention Center, the 10’ x 64’ mural was made possible through funding from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Painting began on October 3rdand during a short opening ceremony guests were invited to put their fingerprints on to the mural to mark the starting point of this project. It symbolizes that each person is indigenous to a certain culture and that the imprints we leave behind are something we all have in common.

Joe Davis at the Hawaii Kakou mural

Hawai`i Convention Center/SMG General Manager Joe Davis puts his fingerprint onto the Hawai`i Kakou Mural during the opening ceremony held on October 3, 2011.

“New Old Wisdom”

Apart from mentoring young artists, the Hawai‘i Kākou Community Mural Project also serves as a venue to share the indigenous voice through art. As a visual response to the gathering of world economies in Hawai‘i, this mural serves as a reminder that lessons from Hawaii’s indigenous past are alive and relevant in helping to influence our future. It is a Hawaiian perspective on the economy rooted in indigenous values.

Kumu Harinani Orme works with haumana (students) as they help paint the Hawai`i Kakou Community Mural.

The theme of practicing “New Old Wisdoms” is a prominent message embedded into Hawai‘i Kākou. Symbols and icons representing various indigenous economies throughout Asia and the Pacific are included in the design. Among them, the ‘auamo (carrying stick) is symbolic of everyone’s shared responsibility of keeping the land and our resources in balance. Images of Po’e (people) working and being “pushed, pulled, woven and gathered by the land” reveals our direct relationship with the environment. Throughout the mural, the haumana added small dots and “fish” forms that move through the piece, representing “the currents, winds, veins, and arteries that weave elements together.”

working on the hawaii kakou mural at the hawaii convention center

Talented young artists put their mark on the Hawai`i Kakou Community Mural at the Hawai`i Convention Center.

Color choice is also indicative of the artwork’s message. Shades of amber, ocher, yellow and blue suggest “colors of hope and the urgency of fire.” Crimson is also visible and denotes the “internal bleeding” of people and the environment impacted by exploitation and imbalance.

Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Harinani Orme, and Solomon Enos put on the final touches of the Hawai`i Kakou Mural

Kumu artists (from left) Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Harinani Orme, and Solomon Enos put on the final touches of the Hawai`i Kakou Mural.

True Collaboration

Throughout the seven days that the Hawai‘i Kākou Community Mural team worked, many hands have touched the artwork and inspired the design.  Sketches and drawings can be seen surrounding their work area providing guidance and inspiration as the group worked throughout the day and well into the night.

This made the mural dedication held on October 19th even more special because they were unveiling not just a great piece of indigenous artwork but a product of true collaboration.  Friends and family of the haumana, alakai and the kumu were present to witness this occasion.

Maile Meyer (center) shares a few words of thanks during the mural dedication on October 19

Maile Meyer (center), one of the principal organizers of the mural project, shares a few words of thanks during the mural dedication on October 19. There were also the five kumu who helped mentor the young artists: (from left) Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Solomon Enos, Harinani Orme, and Kahi Ching.

Maile Meyer, sister of artist Meleanna and one of the principal organizers of the mural project expressed gratitude towards everyone supporting the effort. The kumu also took the time to recognize and thank each of the alakai and haumana who participated in the mural as well as everyone who worked behind the scenes to make this community mural project possible.

The mural’s unveiling occurs just in time for the APEC Leaders Summit in November and is another way to showcase Hawai’i’s culture to the world leaders and future visitors of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Beyond the art styles and skills involved in creating the mural, Hawai‘i Kākou is a strong medium that gives Hawaiian artists a chance to share the indigenous perspective of community economics – an economy that is based on sharing, relationships and aloha. Kumu Meleanna puts it more aptly, “Art is our visual currency. We trade in heartworks; we trade in spirit; we trade in aloha.”

Hawai`i Loa Ku Like Kakou

"Hawai`i Loa Ku Like Kakou" is located on the Lobby Level, outside Kamehameha Exhibit Hall 1, at the Hawai`i Convention Center.

Hawai`i Convention Center Receives 13th Consecutive Prime Site Award

The Hawai`i Convention Center has received its 13th consecutive Prime Site Award from Facilities & Destinations magazine and is one of 29 convention center facilities managed by SMG nationally to win the award this year.

Prime Site Awards are decided by meetings and conventions industry leaders directly involved with site selection, including promoters, booking agents, and event planners.  Voting is based on convenience of location, facility attractiveness and maintenance, professionalism of staff, cuisine, and technological capabilities.

Facilities & Destinations magazine, a monthly publication for professional planners of meetings, entertainment, and special events, described Hawai`i as a place that offers an ideal strategic location between east and west, and the Center’s team as “well versed in the nuances of conducting business on an international level.”  The magazine highlighted the Center’s various global marketing tools and effortless information sharing and application process for international attendees.

The Hawai`i Convention Center continues to strengthen its international outreach program, drawing thousands of participants from countries throughout the world at its largest meetings and tapping into growing interest from Korea, China, and other areas in the Pacific Rim.