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Business briefs

For Friday, August 6, 2010


Yamanaka named APEC Hawaii CEO

Gregg T. Yamanaka, president of Green Era Corp. and of LearningBiz, has been named chief executive officer of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Hawaii Host Committee. The posting was announced by Peter Ho, Bank of Hawaii CEO and chairman of the APEC host committee. APEC will be held on Nov. 12-13, 2011, in Honolulu. President Barack Obama will host 21 leaders from the Asia-Pacific region at the event.

Yamanaka was born in Hawaii and graduated from Punahou School, Stanford University and the University of California's Hastings College of the Law. He was president of MC&A Inc., which managed meetings, conventions and incentive groups coming to Hawaii for almost 10 years.

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Hawaii to present our incomparable hospitality, world-class facilities and outstanding economic opportunities to the region and world," said Yamanaka in a news release. "A meeting of this size and scope will require immense security, cooperation from residents and businesses big and small, and precise management of hotel, meeting and transportation arrangements."

Hawaiian monthly traffic hits record

Hawaiian Airlines carried more passengers in July than in any previous month in the company's history.

The carrier said yesterday it had 805,925 passengers in July, up 4.4 percent from a year ago. The airline said its load factor, or percentage of seating capacity used, was 86.7 percent in July, up from 85.2 percent a year ago. So far this year, Hawaiian jets are flying 85 percent full.

Alaska Air offers Bellingham special

Alaska Airlines is offering an introductory one-way fare of $149 for its new daily service between Honolulu and Bellingham, Wash., scheduled to begin early next year.

Tickets must be bought by Aug. 17 for travel from Jan. 7 through March 10, the airline said. The fare does not include taxes and fees. The flight is scheduled to leave Bellingham at 5:20 p.m. and arrive in Honolulu at 9:40 p.m. The return flight is scheduled to leave Honolulu at 10:25 p.m. and arrive in Bellingham at 6:05 a.m. the next day.

Grant Thornton's isle office bought

Accounting firm PKF Pacific Hawaii LLP has acquired the Honolulu office of Grant Thornton LLP. PKF Pacific Hawaii, a member firm of PKF North America and PKF International, will open its doors for business Monday. PKF Pacific Hawaii, a newly created entity, has assumed Grant Thornton's office space and hired Grant Thornton's employees in Hawaii.

15-year mortgage rates dip below 4%

WASHINGTON » A plunge in mortgage rates is giving homeowners a rare opportunity to lock in a 15-year fixed-rate loan for less than 4 percent. But the lower rates on short-term loans are not likely to ignite the refinancing market since most people can't afford the higher monthly payments.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed loan dropped to 3.95 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac. That's the lowest on records the company has kept since 1991. The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan fell to 4.49 percent from 4.54 percent. Rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to an average of 3.55 percent from 3.64 percent.

On the Move

Associate professor Tom Kelleher has been appointed chairman of the School of Communications at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His experience includes serving on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2004 to 2006.


The First Hawaiian Bank Foundation has given a grant of $10,000 to Windward Baptist Church. The grant will go toward the church's rebuilders and addictions ministry program, which assists families and individuals who are dealing with substance abuse.


Grant K.T. Kubota, second vice president of wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, has received the designation of Certified Financial Planner. This designation is awarded to individuals who complete the CFP certification process, which includes experience, education, ethical and examination requirements.


Hawaiian Isle Mortgage is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Scott Brewer, president of the mortgage company, is a 29-year banking executive in Hawaii.

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