Hawaii Kai Chamber of Commerce Started by Honolulu Advertizer

Posted on: Sunday, August 12, 2007

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Writer


Who they are: The officers of the Hawai’i Kai Chamber of Commerce are: Noble Turner, president; Dave Shoppe, vice president; Bill MacDonald, treasurer; Delorese Gregoire, secretary, and Lisa van den Heuvel, public relations.

How to join: Contact Noble Turner for a member application or more information, 223-2001.

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A group of businessmen and women has created a Hawai’i Kai Chamber of Commerce to support community events and to build business bridges in the community.

Already registered with the state, the two-month-old chamber has received the nod from several area politicians and from the Hawai’i Kai Neighborhood Board at its monthly meeting on Tuesday.

“I’m really interested in having a sense of community in Hawai’i Kai,” said Delorese Gregoire, founding director of Winners’ Camp, a confidence-building program for teenagers. “We want to bring families together.”

The plan is for the chamber to support established events in the community — such as the annual Christmastime Boat Parade put on by the Hawai’i Kai Marina Association and tennis tournaments — as well as to sponsor canoe regattas and put on a carnival at Maunalua Bay. Kailua has a chamber of commerce that supports the annual Fourth of July Parade and fireworks and other events.

Chambers generally are formed to advance the business of the founders, said Dick Castner, executive director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Western Region in Los Angeles. As a byproduct, the chamber then does what it can to improve the lot of the community through networking events, community service projects and government affairs. Over the years, chambers have established themselves as the leader in dispensing information about the community.

In Hawai’i, there are 22 different chambers of commerce. To find out where they are, go towww.cochawaii.org, click on the member directory link and search for chamber of commerce in the categorical listing.

“Most members are small-business owners, even on the national level,” Castner said. “A chamber can also give a seal of approval on a business and among other business members. But at its heart, it’s all about business.”

At the moment, the group does not have an address, but applications are available at the Copy Shop at the Hawai’i Kai Towne Center Corporate Plaza.

“We will be virtual to start,” said Bill MacDonald, a founding member of the chamber. “Without any money, we can’t have an office.”

Reach Suzanne Roig at sroig@honoluluadvertiser.com.