Chamber to Manage HFMA’s Operations, Bolstering Programming for Both Organizations and Chamber’s Manufacturing in Hawaii Initiative

HONOLULU (July 6, 2016) – The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and the Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) today announced that it has joined forces by entering into an operations management agreement.  As part of this agreement, the Chamber will manage HFMA’s operations including marketing communications, events and administrative functions, including membership. This agreement and partnership will serve to continue to grow HFMA’s and the Chamber’s programming and, in particular, its Manufacturing in Hawaii initiative.

“With the continued growth of the Chamber’s Manufacturing in Hawaii and other programs, we are pleased to announce this management agreement with HFMA,” said Chamber President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “We have been a strong supporter of our state’s food manufacturers, particularly with our annual Hawaii on the Hill initiative. Our commitment to serving this industry and all of our members continues with this agreement with HFMA.”

The Chamber recently hosted its 3rd Annual Hawaii on the Hill to share Hawaii’s food, culture and industries with Congressional leaders, national association executives and other representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The two-day agenda included a legislative policy summit, providing participants with the opportunity to hear from key Congressional members and ask questions of them regarding areas of interest and concern. The agenda culminated with a Taste of Hawaii on the Hill event, which attracted nearly 1,500 guests, who had the opportunity to sample many Hawaii-made foods and learn about the variety of industries in the state.

“This operational agreement will serve our members well with both organizations moving towards the same goal of growing the manufacturing industry and promoting Hawaii-made products,” said Rudy Balala, HFMA’s board president and vice president of Maui Gold Pineapple Company. “Consolidating our operations and more closely aligning ourselves with the state’s leading business advocacy organization will maximize support to our members and the food manufacturing industry, providing us with a larger voice at the legislature, additional resources and heightened visibility.”

The Chamber is leading a Manufacturing in Hawaii initiative to increase and diversify this industry in Hawaii and promote the importance of this growing industry to our state. Over the past two legislative sessions, the Chamber successfully lobbied for a total of $3 million in grants in support of manufacturers. The Chamber is the exclusive state affiliate for the National Manufacturers Association.

“Having had the opportunity to serve as a member of both the Chamber’s and HFMA’s board of directors, I have seen the positive synergies that have been taking place between the two organizations, particularly over the past couple of years,” said Bernie Coleman, HFMA’s immediate past board president and president of Pacific Allied Products.  “This agreement between the organizations will serve to boost promotion and growth of made-in-Hawaii products and, in particular, our food products, which are highly valued here, throughout the U.S. and internationally. “

There are over 1,000 manufacturers in Hawaii with 71 percent of the state’s export share, providing over 13,500 jobs with an average annual compensation of over $42,800 per year or 15 percent more than other private non-farm jobs.

For more information on the Chamber’s Manufacturing in Hawaii initiative, visit the manufacturing portal on the Chamber’s website at

About the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
As the “Voice of Business” in Hawaii, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is the state’s leading advocacy organization. Established in 1850, the Chamber works on behalf of its approximately 1,000 member companies and the business community, as a whole, to advance the state’s economic climate and help businesses succeed. The Chamber supports its members with training, business building and networking opportunities; coordinates advocacy activities for members’ involvement; and serves as a liaison between civilian and military communities in Hawaii. Visit

About the Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association
The Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) is a non-profit organization of approximately 120 members, that has been promoting Hawaiian grown or manufactured products since 1977. The HFMA works to increase the understanding and appreciation of the unique flavors, quality, and care that go into the production of Hawaii’s fine foods and beverages represented by our membership.  HFMA is the only food manufacturing association in the United States. Visit

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Contact: Lori Abe
808-282-4398 (mobile)

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