Economic Development Alliance Names Leadership Team

22 02 2008

VADM Robert Kihune, USN (ret.), Chair of the five-year-old Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii (EDAH), announced the leadership team for the coming year. The statewide Alliance is composed of the four economic development Boards of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui and Enterprise Honolulu, as well as the Hawaii Business Roundable and at-large members in key industry sectors.

Kihune noted that the Alliance is moving from an all-volunteer organization to pro-active partnerships with professional staff and office facilities in Honolulu, as well as hosted support at all statewide Economic Development Boards.

Besides Kihune as Chair, Dennis Teranishi (President, Hawaiian Host) will serve as Vice-Chair, Roberta Chu (Bank of Hawaii Senior Vice President and Hawaii Island Economic Development Chair) as Treasurer, and Carl Takamura, (Executive Director of the Hawaii Business Roundtable) as Secretary. Paula Helfrich has been named as Chief Executive Officer, and will launch new offices and strategic partnerships with federal, state and county support as well as private sector collaborations in marine and life sciences.

Helfrich has served as President of the Hawaii Island Economic Development Board and will continue to support that organization’s programs on an in interim basis. She has also served as Executive Director of the Military Affairs Council and was an airline industry career professional with Pan American World Airways.

The Economic Development Alliance has multi-year commitments for federal programs with the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA, state Foreign Trade Zones with operations in all four counties. EDAH’s strategic plan calls for expanded efforts in agriculture, heritage tourism, workforce development and technology, new programs in affordable housing and statewide marketing initiatives.

Newly named members include Gene Bal (Maui High Performance Computing Center), Herbert M. “Monty” Richards, (retired trustee of Kahua Ranch) and Mike Loo (Chairman of the Kauai Economic Development Board and VP – Princeville Corp.). Other partners include Jeanne Skog (President, Maui Economic Development Board), Mattie Yoshioka (President – Kauai Economic Development Board), Mike Fitzgerald (CEO – Enterprise Honolulu) and Allen Hunter (TREX Hawaii) representing the high tech sector.

Kihune said, “Hawaii’s current boom economy suggests it is a great time to establish a statewide presence, expanded marketing and on-the-ground-planning efforts. We are taking a good hard look at what we do best for Hawaii, and where we need to expand our efforts.”

EDAH was one of the founding entities of “Kama’aina Come Home” programs which encourage repatriation, and is looking at furthering marketing and export partnerships through the expanding the Pacific Rim Consortium with Alaska, Washington and Oregon states.

Kihune said – “Stay tuned. Hawaii has an incredible national and international cachet. We want to tell those stories to a select audience”.

For further information, contact EDAH at 808-989-1899 or

Hello world!

6 07 2007

Aloha and welcome to my new blog, part of the Aloha Living Blog Network. I look forward to sharing with you both a professional and personal perspective on real estate in this area. Stay tuned!