‘Paniolo Party’ Fun and Games at March AfterHours, Hosted by Parker Ranch Center

By Suzi Patterson, photos by John Sukup

Business First! Pau Hana

NETWORKING—Parker Ranch Center transformed their food court into a paniolo party for March AfterHours, complete with multiple carnival games, excellent live music and delicious pupus. Attendees were all smiles as they mingled and networked in the decorated space, enjoying the warm hospitality of the Waimea host.

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) attendees savored an array of tasty pupus generously provided from Parker Ranch Center restaurants Noodle Club and Village Burger.

During the program, gracious host and long-time Parker Ranch Center General Manager Frank Zablan welcomed all of the guests with well-wishes and invited everyone to enjoy the evening’s food, games and music. For more information about Parker Ranch Center and their upcoming events, visit www.parkerranchcenter.com.

Several KKCC Board Members also addressed the audience. South Kohala Vice Chair Stephanie Donoho of Kohala Coast Resort Association gave attendees a peek into the work that goes on behind the scenes of the ongoing Hawai‘i State legislative session. Thousands of bills are proposed, and she wakes up at 5 a.m. to see which bills have progressed, requiring written testimony within 24 hours. Donoho is a key figure in the KKCC Board of Directors, helping KKCC advocate and testify on behalf of Chamber member businesses.

March 2018 ambassadorsKKCC Board Member Randy Kurohara of Parker Ranch Store and Creative Arts introduced his staff and commented on the importance of networking events like AfterHours. “On this island, business is built on relationships that are fostered through the years,” observed Kurohara.

North Kona Vice Chair Teri Leicher of Jack’s Diving Locker spoke about the KKCC Sustainability Committee and the upcoming Kuleana Green Business Fair. The Sustainability Committee discusses solutions for issues relating to Hawai‘i Island parks, recycling, waste water and more. Leicher encouraged Chamber members to join any of the KKCC committees as a great way to get involved in the business community past the AfterHours events, pointing out that members can call into the monthly meetings if they are unable to attend in person.

By the end of the evening, event guests were still soaking in the live music performed by Kevin Kealoha and Hoku and Grammy Award-winner Sonny Lim. Host Zablan summed it up best with a smile, saying it was “nothing but the best” for this Chamber networking event.

The next AfterHours is 5-7 p.m. April 18 at NELHA in Kailua-Kona and includes the annual Kuleana Green Business Fair, hosted by the KKCC Sustainability Committee. Signup at www.kona-kohala.com or phone 329-1758.

AFTERHOURS HOST PARKER RANCH CENTER—From left: M&J Wilkow VP of Marketing Darcy Rutzen and Parker Ranch Center General Manager Frank Zablan were the gracious hosts of the event.

AFTERHOURS AMBASSADORS—KKCC Ambassadors pose for the camera in front of a Parker Ranch Center Backdrop. From left: Jill Izuno of Kings’ Shops, Mitch Tam of Sunrun, Tambara Garrick of Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and Lynn Rosteau of Kings’ Shops.