February 2022 Executive Director’s Message

This month we are honoring the Hawaii Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame Pandemic Champions and Industry Advocates.  

I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to attend our Gala on February 28th to recognize and thank our honorees for all they have done and continue to do to support our foodservice industry. 

If you received monies from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, you already know that HRA, along with NRA, met with our government officials to advocate for this program so our members could have access to these funds which were instrumental in some restaurants’ ability to remain open during the pandemic.

If your foodservice establishment received revenue from the Hawaii Restaurant Card, please attend the Hall of Fame to thank those who worked to infuse $75 million directly into our industry in late 2020 and early 2021 as well as in December of 2021. The 2020 and 2021 versions of the Hawaii Restaurant Card could not have been possible without Chair Sylvia Luke, Gwen Yamamoto-Lau and John Ward from American Savings Bank who all spearheaded this unique initiative that directly benefited our Hawaii restaurants.

All of our Pandemic Champions and Industry Advocates sacrificed time and energy for our Hawaii foodservice industry and rose to the occasion during one of the most difficult times our industry has ever faced. Working tirelessly, they continuously gave selflessly of their time, energy, and talents to ensure our industry remained strong. Just when we thought the pandemic was coming to an end, the Delta variant hit us hard. After Delta, we saw the light at the end of the tunnel, then Omicron arrived at our shores. Through it all, our Pandemic Champions and Industry Advocates did not waver in their support for the industry. 

The HRA Pandemic Champions and Industry Advocates remained focused on helping our foodservice industry during the darkest period even after the impacts of two waves of variants.  The pandemic affected many restaurants and businesses in a big way but our comeback will be even bigger! 

As we celebrate all the work and sacrifice our Champions and Advocates contributed to the industry to ensure we remained strong during this time, and to now see our Hawaii foodservice industry emerge from one of the darkest periods in our lives, we want to thank them for all that they did and continue to do for our industry.  

Dear Champions and Advocates, our deepest gratitude for all that you have done. You are now being inducted into the Hawaii Restaurant Association’s 2022 Hall of Fame and we will always be indebted to you!  


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