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Business Briefs

For Wednesday, July 14, 2010

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


Hawaii 48th as place to do business

It might come as no surprise that Hawaii ranked 48th on CNBC's list of "America's Top States for Business," released yesterday.

It's also not much of a shocker that Hawaii was No. 1 in the nation in the "Quality of Life" category, as measured by the business news cable network.

CNBC said it scored all 50 states based on 40 different measures of competitiveness. Those measures were separated into 10 broad categories: cost of doing business; work force; quality of life; economy; transportation and infrastructure; technology and innovation; education; business friendliness; access to capital; and cost of living.

Makena Resort on Maui sells for $95M

WAILUKU » Circuit Judge Shackley Raffetto has confirmed the sale of the Makena Beach & Golf Resort on Maui for $95 million.

In May a high bid of $55 million was submitted on behalf of Wells Fargo Bank as trustee for the mortgage lending trust that foreclosed on the property last year. At the time, the only other bid was $50 million.

The lender group prevailed yesterday with the $95 million bid after Raffetto agreed to reopen the bidding at the confirmation hearing to allow two additional bids.

The lending trust was owed more than $192 million in principal plus interest and other costs on its mortgage loan.

Ownership of the property will transfer from court receivership to a new owner designated by the lender.

Ulupono invests in ClearFuels

Local nonprofit Ulupono Initiative said yesterday it has made a "significant financial investment" in ClearFuels Technology, an Aiea-based biofuel company.

The investment allows ClearFuels to close its bridge financing as it moves forward with plans to build a biofuel refinery in Hawaii.

The Ulupono Initiative, sponsored by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and wife Pam, invests in Hawaii-based organizations in the areas of waste reduction, local food production and renewable energy.

"We are extremely pleased to have investment participation by Ulupono," said Eric Darmstaedter, ClearFuels chief executive officer.

"They have a long-term view and the capacity to support us in a variety of ways to help reduce Hawaii's dependence on imported fossil fuel in a sustainable manner," he said.

Ulupono Initiative also has invested in local alternative-energy companies Hawaii BioEnergy LLC and Sopogy Inc.


Hawaii Dental Services has named Paul Amog director of underwriting. He worked for 24 years at Delta Dental of California, an affiliate of HDS, as an enterprise marketing manager, product manager, marketing service representative, sales analyst and senior underwriter.


Team Clean has appointed and named the following:

» David J. Debelbot to vice president of business development and executive committee member.
» Jenny Pettingill as vice president of accounting and executive committee member.
» Pearl Jean Kamalu to vice president of human resources and executive committee member.
» Diane L. Lum to client services director.
» Sean M. Enoka to operations director of the commercial team.


» Baldridge & Associates Structural Engineering has announced Heidi Jones as its new administrative assistant. She was previously a vacation services coordinator with Starwood Vacation Ownership on Kauai.

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