Aloha to the Grammys

Richard Hoopii, George Kahumoku Jr. and Daniel Ho (back), from the Grammy Award-winning album “Legends of Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar,” were just a few of the musical stars to play at a recent event at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. The event, sponsored by the Oahu Visitors Bureau, Hawaiian


Richard Hoopii, George Kahumoku Jr. and Daniel Ho (back), from the Grammy Award-winning album “Legends of Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar,” were just a few of the musical stars to play at a recent event at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. The event, sponsored by the Oahu Visitors Bureau, Hawaiian Air, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts and Signature Travel Network, was in honor of the Hawaiian musicians that were in town for the Grammy awards.





Asato Is Hawaii's Best

Jean Asato, guest relations supervisor at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, won the award for 2006 Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year award from the Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association, beating out 30 other hopefuls.

“Jean best exemplifies the meaning and spirit of aloha,” said Gerald Nakashima, director of rooms at Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. “The lasting friendships and strong bonds in which she has nurtured the past 20 years between herself and guests or associates are immeasurable. It’s no wonder that repeat customers ask for the genuinely kind and considerate Jean.”

Jean’s service with a smile won her the award. She spends her days aiming to please clients by creating memorable vacation experiences, whether it be from scheduling hula dance lessons or flower-lei making sessions to arranging surf lessons on Kuhio Beach.





Kong Joins Outrigger

Outrigger Enterprises Group has announced that Burton Kong has joined the marketing team as marketing projects manager. In this position, Kong manages marketing projects that promote the Outrigger and Ohana Hotels & Resorts brands to consumers and travel agents. His duties include developing print and online marketing promotions designed to increase room revenue by managing relationships with various travel partners and consortia. Kong also handles marketing activities for the company’s business traveler program, value-added program for travel wholesalers and affiliated hotel properties.

Kong brings 15 years of experience in marketing and public relations to Outrigger and has worked with a number of companies in Hawaii, most recently the Ilikai Hotel.





Ensemble’s Romano Named to Board

Ensemble-member and partner of San Francisco-based Fugazi Travel Agency, Inc., Robert Romano was appointed to the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Luxury Travel Advisory Board.

“It is indeed an honor to be invited to serve on Starwood’s dynamic and industrious board,” said Romano. “I also feel a great sense of pride that Ensemble Travel Group is so well represented.”

The Luxury Travel Advisory Board is comprised of senior executives from Starwood’s key accounts, representing primarily the retail travel leisure distribution channel. The board aims to provide a complete perspective on the luxury/leisure/travel industry and marketplace trends.

Romano joins two other Ensemble members on the board. Peter Carideo of CRC Travel in Chicago and Ensemble president Jack E. Mannix.

“We are fortunate to have the expertise of all three Ensemble Travel Group leaders serving in such a key capacity for Starwood,” said Chris J. Austin, vice president, global customer partnerships, leisure & luxury sales, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

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