Pacific Business News: The Hawaii Restaurant Association will induct 10 industry professionals into its Hall of Fame this month.

By   –  Reporter, Pacific Business News

The Hawaii Restaurant Association will induct 10 industry professionals into its Hall of Fame this month.

The inductees include chefs, restaurateurs, executives and other industry representatives. They will be recognized at a gala from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Sheraton Waikiki.

“The inductees are select individuals who have demonstrated dedication and commitment to the growth of the restaurant and food service industry in Hawaii, contributed to the enhancement of its quality and image, and demonstrated service through outreach,” HRA said in a statement.

This marks HRA’s 14th annual Hall of Fame event. This year’s awards focus on individuals who have “meaningfully contributed to the Hawaii restaurant industry during the Covid pandemic as leaders, change makers and innovators as we faced uncharted territory and emerged stronger as an industry than ever before,” the association said.

The honorees include six “Pandemic Champions:”

  • Denise Hayashi-Yamaguchi – CEO of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, and executive director of the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation
  • Victor Lim – owner/operator with McDonald’s Corporation
  • Greg Maples – vice president of culinary services at Polynesian Cultural Center, and chairman of the Hawaii Restaurant Association
  • Amanda Corby Noguchi – owner of Under My Umbrella Inc., and co-owner of Pili Group
  • Mark Noguchi – co-owner of Pili Group, and food and sustainability curriculum specialist at
  • Punahou School
  • Ryan Tanaka – principal and CFO of KAI Hawaii, president of Island Business Management, and co-owner of Giovanni Pastrami

Another four are being inducted into the Hall of Fame as “Industry Advocates:”

  • Gwen Yamamoto-Lau – executive director of the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority
  • Representative Sylvia Luke – chairperson of the state House Committee on Finance
  • Sheryl Matsuoka – executive director of the Hawaii Restaurant Association
  • Sherry Menor-McNamara – president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii

“The Hawaii Restaurant Association is excited to honor these inductees and we look forward to celebrating the many achievements they have contributed to the restaurant and food service industry,” HRA stated.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the event, visit (Feb. 23 is the last day to purchase tickets.)

A portion of the proceeds from the gala will go to the Hawaii Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the nonprofit arm of HRA that focuses on workforce development.


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