What a year. #Blessed.

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What a year 2014 has been. It was  full of wonderful projects, promotions, publicity, and special events. I’ve been blessed to attract work that I love and care about. Not many can say that. And while I’m excited to see what will be in store for 2015, I thought I’d share just a few highlights of the blur that was this year.

Ola Ka Ha was a great first time event put together by the hard working #bossgirls, Mailani Makainai and Kau’i Dalire at HA Enterprises. It brought attention to the Iolani Palace and the repairs needed to keep it pristine. It was so well attended and showcased some of the best of our island talent. Even more exciting is that it built community awareness and hopefully, the event will become an annual one.

Hula Nation Filmworks and Keo Woolford have been on a wild ride with its first feature full-length film, The Haumana. If you haven’t heard of it, you may have been under a rock. This has been one of the most successful projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of representing. In short, the film is what I affectionately term as “the gift that keeps on giving,” because it does just that. It has won numerous film festival awards, has been in over 200 theatrical screenings, and is now on its international tour in Japan and Mexico, with Europe on the horizon.

KoAloha Ukulele is like family to me. The team led by Mom & Pops Okami and sons, Alan & Paul Okami, are some of the hardest working individuals I have ever met. I’m always inspired by their work ethic and also their huge hearts. They create one of the most beautiful instruments in the world, the ukulele, and have brought love into the world through their woodcraft via community performances and workshops at the Grammy Museum and the Japanese American National Museum, among others.

Sean Olanui Robbins and Kaimi Hanano’eau- two artists that make me so happy for the future of music in Hawaii. Both are up-and-coming stars and full of talent, yet very humble and respectful. Sean is known for his progressive slack key style and is the protege of Cyril Pahinui. Kaimi is known as the lead of the alternative/rock/reggae band, HiRiZ, but also recognized as a soloist with an extensive music background. It will be fun watching these two rise to the top.

When I relocated back home to O’ahu from L.A. a few years ago, my goal was (and has always been) to help others by sharing their stories. I’m hoping to continue same in 2015, and by the way things are shaping up, it looks like there are more exciting projects on the horizon. Happy holidays and I hope we get to work together in the new year. I am truly #blessed.

 

In The Beginning

Tracy2With more than 28+ years of experience in public relations, marketing and advertising, and a passion for the arts, Tracy Larrua has been described as a communication jade-of-all-trades.  A local girl from Hawaii, she spent 17 years honing her career in Los Angeles where she is regarded as a publicist and marcom specialist with a focus on integrated public relations.

Since relocating back home to O’ahu in late 2009, Larrua now splits time between Hawai’i and L.A. where she also conducts pr workshops for large companies, small business owners, and non-profit organizations, as well as specializes in one-on-one client training and pr coaching.

Larrua consults for a variety of clients including LA INC (The Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau), Parents and Children Together, Peace Bridge, FX-Group, Tom Moffatt Productions, Hula Nation Filmworks, KoAloha Ukulele, Aloha Pet Care, Doraku Sushi, Blue Tree Café, Hello Makana, Mele Mei/Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, Loading Zone Arts, and Hawaii Duck Tours. Most known as a MarCom specialist for luxury hotel companies, Larrua has also worked for The Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts (Regional PR Director), Starwood Hotels (Director of MarCom), and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (PR Director).

Prior to her move to LA, Larrua created and supervised public relations, promotions, and special event campaigns for a variety of advertising, retail, entertainment and travel industry clients including Peck Sims Mueller Advertising and the Kula Bay Tropical Clothing Company.  In addition, she played a key roll in the development and promotion of special projects including the Hawaii Jazz Festival, Okinawan Music Festival and the Kalihi-Palama Summer Festival.

With a background in entertainment and the arts, and alumnae of the popular James B. Castle High School and Ronald E. Bright Theatre, Larrua was the recipient of the very first dance scholarship.  After a long career as a dancer and choreographer (and a kid at heart) in Hawaii, she has been able to take her experiences in performing arts and continued to work with children in various promotional projects that included The Hawaii State Literacy Campaign “Read To Me,” Recycle Hawaii Project, The Oceanic Keiki Club, The University of Hawaii Rainbow Dancers and Catholic Charities’ Youth-At-Risk Program.

In both Hawai’i and Los Angeles, Larrua is very active in the culinary, visual and musical arts scene.  She created numerous ground breaking gallery shows including Art & Soul at The Bel Age Hotel and Arts 4375 at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey, showcasing established and emerging artists from the local community, as well as produced the annual May Day in L.A. event for 13 years, which perpetuated Hawaiian culture and music.  When not working or volunteering, she can be found at her favorite beach in her O’ahu neighborhood, enjoying the art galleries in LA, or relaxing with her family in Pt. Dume, Malibu.