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Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
June 17, 2015

In this June 17, 2015 edition:

President's Message
Preclearance Expanded to Narita Airport
MAC Participates in Association of Defense Communities National Summit
Maximizing Your Chamber Membership
Check Out Member Spotlights

President's Message

Aloha Chamber Members,

With more than 85 participants, 50 companies and 350 boxes shipped to Washington D.C., the 2nd annual Hawaii on the Hill was, once again, a huge success. The Chamber is honored to have led this initiative with U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono and her team to showcase Hawaii.
 
Hawaii on the Hill kicked off with a welcome reception at Google’s D.C. headquarters, followed by a legislative policy summit, giving participants an opportunity to hear from agency representatives and ranking Senators, including New York Senator Chuck Schumer.
 
The agenda was capped off by Taste of Hawaii on the Hill, one of the biggest events held on Capitol Hill and, by far, the largest of any state "taste of" events. The largest room on the Hill was filled to capacity, with long lines around corridors of the Senate Dirksen Building.
 
Senator Hirono and I greeted guests, who each received a lei from THE Orchid Lei Company and gift box from Big Island Candies. The 1,000+ attendees learned about Hawaii's various industries and saw that, in addition to our tourism industry, our state is a place to do business, offering products and services that create a positive impact for our nation and global markets.
 
Many U.S. Senators were in attendance, including Senator Schumer, who sampled several pieces of Spam sushi, Illinois’ Dick Durbin, Cory Booker from New Jersey and others. Guests were treated to an intimate, but powerful performance by Willie K. and Amy Hanaialii. Senate President Ron Kouchi and Mayor Bernard Carvalho, honorary co-chairs for the Kauai contingent, appropriately closed the event by leading Hawaii Aloha.
 
Success would not have been possible without participating members and businesses who dedicated a tremendous amount of resources, time and commitment to promote Hawaii.

Laulima & mahalo,
 
Sherry Menor-McNamara

President & CEO

Preclearance Expanded to Narita Airport

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its intent to expand air preclearance operations to Narita, Japan and nine new foreign airports, which would boost tourism and help the U.S. government achieve its goal of attracting 100 million visitors annually by 2021.
 
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, co-chair of the Senate Tourism Caucus, held hearings on the state of the tourism and travel industry last year and worked with the U.S. Department of State to make it easier for low-risk international travelers to visit the United States.
 
“We've been pushing for preclearance for two years, and it has gone from pie in the sky to reality,” said Senator Schatz. “This is the first step towards making it a lot easier for Japanese visitors to come to Hawaii...”
 
The preclearance program stations U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in foreign airports, including Narita, clearing travelers at their point of origin to avoid lengthy processing at busy U.S. airports. Last year, Japanese tourists made up 18% of Hawaii’s visitors and brought more than $2.5 billion into Hawaii’s economy.  

Biz Tip: Free lighting retrofits available to help cut costs. Click on the Hawaii Energy link on our site for more information. 

MAC Participates in Association of Defense Communities National Summit

A delegation from the Military Affairs Council (MAC) will be headed to Washington, D.C. for the 2015 Association of Defense Communities (ADC) National Summit, June 22-24, at the Capital Hilton. This marks the second year that the MAC will join representatives from 200 communities, states and regions with significant military presence. In addition to community and state leaders, representatives from private industry and the military will be in attendance to discuss the future of defense infrastructure during a period of significant transition for the military as a result of an ever-shrinking pool of federal funding due to sequestration.
 
Much of the MAC’s focus will be on having discussions with key decision makers about community partnerships, energy, and base realignment and closure. Additionally, members will be extending their trip to the nation’s capitol to meet with staff from Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation, as well as senior military leaders.
 
This is a critical time for Hawaii to fully understand what other communities are doing to better compete for military dollars. The ADC National Summit is an ideal opportunity for the MAC to connect with other defense communities to learn from their experiences and identify future opportunities that could benefit the state.

Click here to learn more about the Military Affairs Council (MAC) and MAC members.


Maximizing Your Chamber Membership

Members are encouraged to take advantage of the various benefits of a Chamber membership, which include opportunities to promote your business, impact legislation, enrich our community, develop your business and save money. These opportunities are:

For more information on maximizing your Chamber membership, please contact Randy Cain, Membership Relations Executive.  

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