e-Voice of Business February 13, 2019

President’s Message

Aloha Chamber members,

This morning, the Chamber, in partnership with members Dentons US LLP and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, held our Health Summit. The theme focused on the culture of wellness in the workplace with discussion on steps to Raise the Bar for employee performance and engagement for overall organizational success. Sessions included health care cost curve, business case for healthy employees, managing elder care with work demands, and workplace strategies for mental health and stress. We were honored to have former Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean, cover updates on health care legislation and reform at the federal level.

Dr. Howard Dean addresses a packed crowd at the Chamber’s Health Summit

Healthcare costs are one of the largest cost drivers for businesses and prices continue to increase, and will in the long-term, so this summit was an important discussion on how to mitigate these rising costs in a proactive and preventive way.   
 
On the legislative front, minimum wage and other bills imposing mandates continue to move. Stay tuned for action alerts and a legislative update at the end of the first major deadline, which is March 1.
 
I just returned from the Western Association of Chamber Executives conference.  W.A.C.E. is an organization comprised of local and regional Chambers in the west. I’m pleased to have been elected to the Board of Directors, which will allow me to ensure our voice continues to be represented, learn from peers and showcase some of our initiatives. The main takeaway from the conference is that Chambers serve the 3C’s: Catalyst for business growth, Convener of leaders and influencers, and Champion for a stronger community. We certainly couldn’t agree more. Your Chamber continues to find ways to fill this role and the health summit is one example of that.

Laulima & mahalo,


Sherry Menor-McNamara
President & CEO

“Laulima”
Many hands working together in collaboration and striving for a common goal.

Advocating for Business

Share Your Story on Minimum Wage Impact

The Business Advocacy team continues to stay engaged at the State Legislature as we approach the first deadlines for bills to be heard by committees. As we continue to engage on the minimum wage debate, we have begun to record video interviews of Chamber members who will be negatively impacted by an increase in the minimum wage. These videos will provide invaluable real-life stories of how increasing the minimum wage would hurt businesses across our state.
 
If you are interested in participating in video interviews or would like more information on letting your legislators know how a minimum wage increase would hurt your business, please contact our Communications Director Katie Arita-Chang at karita-chang@cochawaii.org.

Supporting our Military

Former Indo-PACOM Chief of Staff Takes Command of U.S. Military in Japan

 

On February 5th, Lt. General Kevin Schneider took command of U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) and 5th Air Force from Lt. General Jerry Martinez at Yokota Air Base. Prior to this assignment, Schneider served as Chief of Staff at U.S. Indo-PACOM from 2016-2019. During that time, Schneider was very engaged with the Chamber’s Military Affairs Council (MAC), and his experience in the region will serve him well in his new role.
 
As the Commander of USFJ, Schneider is responsible for about 54,000 military personnel, 42,000 military dependents, 8,000 civilian employees and 25,000 Japanese workers. Additionally, Schneider is tasked with enhancing regional security and strengthening the U.S.–Japan Alliance through the execution of joint, multilateral exercises and close coordination with the Japanese government. 
 
The MAC offers Schneider its fondest aloha and best wishes.

Building our Membership

Health Summit Features Industry Leaders

This morning’s Health Summit, sponsored by Dentons US LLP and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, featured presentations from top voices in Hawaii’s health care industry.

 
Left to right: Dr. Aimee Grace, University of Hawaii System Director of Health Science Policy; Christina Hause, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Vice President; Kaleo Kekoolani, Bank of Hawaii Senior Vice President of Human Resources; and David Tumilowicz, Kaiser Permanente Vice President, discussed the benefits of employee wellness programs.


Left to right: Dianne Winter Brookins, Dentons US LLP Partner; Shelley Wilson, Wilson Care Group President & CEO; Dew-Ann Langcaon, iHealthHome, Inc. Co-Founder & CEO; and Cori Lau, Dentons US LLP Partner discussed managing elder care with work demands.


Left to right: Trisha Kajumura, Mental Health America of Hawaii Executive Director; Dr. Peggy Latare, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Assistant Associate Medical Director; and Beth-Ann Kozlovich, Kahi Mohala Senior Development Officer, discuss the importance of including mental health in employee health programs.