What a year. #Blessed.


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.


The Fun of Business Travel


There was a time in my corporate PR life where business travel was all about rushing to the destination, running around with a jam-packed itinerary, going in and out of meetings, and not having any time at all to experience the city.  Well, that was a long time ago.  Luckily for me, business travel is still a bit of work, but  at least a bit more fun.  Ok, I confess.  It is a lot more fun.  Case in point, on a recent business trip to LA with the team from KoAloha Ukulele.  We were there to participate in a large community festival in downtown LA with the lovely folks from JANM (Japanese American National Museum).  Performances and a few meetings were on the schedule, but was balanced out with a few activities.

What activities you ask?  Well, no visit to S. California is complete without a visit to see Mickey and the gang at Disneyland.  Did I mention that we are all adults?  And that the team is comprised of all men and I’m the only woman?  When I’m hanging out with them, I’m just one of the dudes in the group.  We go on rides, check out the attractions, and basically ate our way through the park.  Another visit was made to Universal Studios Hollywood, where for years, I assisted the LA Tourism Board with bringing journalists there, yet I hadn’t gone to experience it myself in many years.  All I can tell you about that park is that you must go on the Transformers ride.  Thankfully, I didn’t puke, but instead found myself screaming and laughing along with the rest of the team.  And that’s the point of it all-  bonding, spending time together, and just allowing ourselves a little break.

In between the work and activities, there are the usual stops at the neighborhood Nijiya market for snacks, the mandatory stop at Cafe Dulce for a box of bacon donuts and local coffee by Stumptown Roasters, and meals at local restaurants such as Daikokuya, El Coyote, and at least one stop through the drive through for In-n-Out Burger or Del Taco.  Oh and… Joe’s Crab Shack!  Friends and colleagues have actually asked me if they could join me on one of these trips because they sound like so much fun?  My answer is this:  “Sure, as long as you can pay your way and handle the pranking to be had.”  Didn’t I tell you?  The guys like to pull pranks all along the way.  And I do mean ALL the way, literally from the time you sit in your seat on the plane.  That in itself is another story.  Still I’d take this type of business travel over the old trips I used to take, any day.  Until the next one…