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Business Briefs

For Saturday, June 18, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

LAST UPDATED: 11:35 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Hawaii gets 2 TravelAge awards

Hawaii received two 2011 WAVE Awards in the categories of Best Destination for a Beach Vacation and Best of the West: Beach Vacation and Favorite Destination for a Family Vacation as part of the TravelAge West WAVE (Western Agents' Votes of Excellence) Awards.

The state beat out Jamaica, Mexico and Tahiti in the Beach Vacation category. It also bested the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., Alaska and San Diego to top the Best in the West: Family Vacation category.

Other businesses with Hawaii ties were also honored, including Pleasant Holidays, which was named "Best Tour Operator, Hawaii"; Hilton Hawaiian Village as "Best Resort for Families, Hawaii"; and Kaanapali Beach Hotel as "Best Resort for a Hawaiian Cultural Vacation."

Travel agent professionals throughout the 14 Western states and readers of TravelAge West were asked to vote on the best-of-the-best from a list of Editor's Pick award recipients that were chosen after review by Editor-in-Chief Ken Shapiro and the editorial team of TravelAge West. Review methods included product analysis, on-site visits, a survey of a select group of travel agents and online research.

Hawaii received three 2011 Editor's Pick Awards in the categories of Best Destination for a Honeymoon/Romance Vacation, Best Destination for a Beach Vacation and Best of the West: Favorite Destination for a Family Vacation.

Horizon taps new GM for Hawaii

Ali Nikkhoo has been named vice president and general manager in Hawaii for Horizon Lines LLC.

He will replace Mar Labrador, who is leaving the company at the end of the month. Nikkhoo will report to Brian Taylor, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief commercial officer for the Charlotte, N.C.-based parent company. Taylor previously held the GM post in Hawaii before transferring to North Carolina and being replaced by Labrador. Nikkhoo will oversee Horizon's weekly transportation services between the mainland and Hawaii.

Nikkhoo joins Horizon from Honor Truck and Transfer Inc. in Long Beach, Calif., where he was owner and president for eight years.

Savio takes over Maui student housing

Real estate developer Peter Savio has taken control of the Kulanaa‘o student housing project in Kahului. The facility is associated with and is a block away from the campus of the University of Hawaii Maui College.

This is the first building on Maui for Savio and his student housing management company.

Wells Fargo out of reverse mortgages

The nation's two biggest providers of reverse mortgages are no longer offering the loans as the economics of the business have come under pressure. Wells Fargo, the largest provider, said Thursday it was leaving the business, following the departure of Bank of America, the second-largest lender, in February.

With the two biggest players gone — together, they accounted for 43 percent of the business, according to Reverse Market Insight — prospective borrowers might find it more difficult to access the mortgages, which have increasingly become a riskier proposition as home prices continue to slide.

Failed U.S. banks hit 47

WASHINGTON » Regulators shut down small banks in Georgia and Florida on Friday, lifting to 47 the number of U.S. bank failures this year in the wake of economic distress and mounting soured loans. The pace of closures has slowed, however, as the economy improves and banks work their way through the bad debt.


» Aston Hotels & Resorts has named Harry Kerr Jr. revenue manager. He was previously director of revenue management for Turtle Bay Resort, and he has worked at the resort as reservations manager, front desk manager, reservations agent, guest service agent and linguist. He has also served as guest service agent and linguist at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

» Feed My Sheep, a nonprofit organization providing food distribution to individuals in need on Maui, has received $41,500 total in donations from the following local foundations:

— The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation granted $25,000 to assist with the organization's recovery and repairs of vehicle and refrigeration unit damage due to a fallen eucalyptus tree last November.
First Hawaiian Bank has granted a $5,000 matching grant to launch the organization's major gifts program. Proceeds will directly underwrite its mobile food distribution program.
Bank of Hawaii Foundation has granted $5,000 toward food delivery to the organization's six distribution sites on Maui.
Friends of Hawaii Charities granted $5,000 toward purchase of a new replacement delivery truck.
Alexander & Baldwin Foundation has granted $1,500 to replace equipment needed to load and unload of food supplies.

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