Chamber of Commerce Hawaii

In this December 28, 2016 edition:

Chamber Introduces 2017 Legislative Package
MAC 2016 Highlights
Check Out the 2017 Events Calendar

President's Message

Aloha Chamber members:

Reflecting back on 2016, it certainly was an exciting and challenging year. Throughout our work on current and new initiatives, facing controversial issues that have polarized our community, and encountering unforeseen situations or changes, such as the political environment or the loss of loved ones, including members, one thing has remained constant – how grateful we are to have you as part of our Chamber Ohana.

It certainly was a busy year…we kicked off the year with our 3rd Annual Chamber Week and Military Partnership Conference in January, followed by our annual Hawaii on the Hill in Washington D.C. in June, which attracted the biggest turnout ever; our Annual Membership Luncheon in July, featuring AEG Worldwide President & CEO, Dan Beckerman; our 23rd Employment Law Seminar in August; Manufacturing Week tours, Small Biz Academy and Business on the Green Golf Tournament with ALSCO in October; FocusOn seminar series, Business After Hours mixers and Young Professionals activities throughout the year; and many more events.

New initiatives included establishing strategic partnerships with the UH System and various sectors in our state to work on a talent pipeline plan that addresses our future workforce, with Kapiolani Community College on a soft skills program for employers and the Hawaii Food Manufacturing Association to strengthen that industry. For the first time, the Chamber participated in FOODEX in Japan to showcase Hawaii manufacturers and supported local fashion designers for HONOLULU Fashion Week. We also continue to partner on many initiatives with INNOVATE Hawaii and Hawaii Energy, as well as our Neighbor Island Chambers. The Military Affairs Council also introduced new initiatives to support the military industry in Hawaii, including the MAC Fellowship program and a Military Spouse Appreciation reception.   

With a new membership team ensuring that our members’ investment in the Chamber is fulfilled and reaching out to prospects to join the Chamber, we are building a stronger voice to advocate for business in Hawaii.
Contributing to this growth is the Young Professionals program, which has nearly doubled its membership over the last year or so. It’s been exciting to see the energy and participation of our YPs in our community. 

On the proactive legislative front, we introduced a business package, and with the support of the Legislature, the Administration and our Alliance, including Neighbor Island Chambers, many of these bills passed and were signed into law, including bills to support our Manufacturing in Hawaii initiative and the innovation community. And, with appreciation to the Legislature, we were able to stop many bills that would have negatively impacted business.

As we continue our mantra of GRIT, GROWTH and GREATER GOOD in 2017, we humbly ask you to continue joining us in our effort to grow our economy and improve the quality of life for the people of Hawaii so that, together, we can make a positive difference in our state. 

Happy New Year!  


Laulima & mahalo,

Sherry Menor-McNamara
President & CEO

Business Advocacy

Chamber Introduces 2017 Legislative Package

Over the past few months the Chamber’s Policy Committees have been working hard to put together the Chamber’s legislative package for 2017. The package includes legislation to support the manufacturing and innovation sectors and small businesses, and improve the business climate for employers. The Chamber’s Board of Directors approved the package and now our Business Advocacy team will be meeting with legislators and stakeholders. Mahalo to our committee chairs, members and our Board.

Learn more about the Chamber's Business Advocacy program.

Military Affairs

MAC 2016 Highlights

2016 marked another successful year for the Chamber’s Military Affairs Council (MAC).  Here is a summary of the MAC’s highlights.

  • 2016 marked the return of the MAC’s annual trip to Washington, D.C.  During the course of our nearly week-long trip, our MAC delegation met with senior leaders at the Pentagon, Navy Yard and Hawaii’s congressional delegation on issues of importance from energy, to training, to the shipyard and missile defense. With this success, we will begin planning for the 2017 DC trip.  Staying engaged and connected will be even more important going forward.
  • This year, we took huge strides in organizing on the Neighbor Islands by working with the Kauai and Hawaii Island Chambers of Commerce to create their own military-focused committees. Their primary focus has been to communicate the importance of the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) and Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA), respectively. These organizations have been amazing partners in helping us ensure that we are able to reach all communities across the state.
  • Finally, with MAC laying the groundwork over the past two years, the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations secured a Phase I grant of nearly $800,000 from the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment to do an economic baseline of Hawaii's defense contracts and supply chain. With this information, we will have good numbers and know the true economic impact of the defense sector. Stay tuned, as many of you will be called upon to assist with this important endeavor.  

The major reason for MAC's success has come from your support and commitment to Hawaii's military. On behalf of MAC Chairman David Carey and the entire council, we thank you for believing in the work we do. We look forward to our continued work together in the new year.

Learn more about the Chamber's Military Affairs program.

Membership News

Check Out the 2017 Events Calendar

The Chamber holds numerous events and seminars throughout the year that provide networking and marketing opportunities, business training, legislative information and resources and opportunities to discuss issues with government officials and top business leaders.

The 2017 Events Calendar is still being finalized, but our current schedule is available here

If you are interested in sponsoring an event or for more information on events, please email our Events Department or call (808) 380-2611.

Check out our Member Spotlights page and special Member-to-Member discount offers.

Chamber Events:
Jan. 17-20: 2017 Chamber Week

Jan. 17: Leg 101 Class

Jan. 17: Inside Look at Rail

Jan. 19: Walk Around at the Capitol

Jan. 19: Legislative Meet and Greet

Jan. 20: Outlook at the Federal Level in 2017

Member Events:
Jan. 19-20: East Meets West Conference

Neighbor Island Chamber News:
Hawaii Island

Hawaii Congressional Delegation News:
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz
U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono
U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa
U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard

Mahalo to our Investors' Circle Members!

Member Discount Offers, Job Postings, Advertising Sponsorship & more.

Copyright © 2016 Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, all rights reserved.

1132 Bishop Street  |  Suite 2105
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
(808) 545-4300  |

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