November 2022 Vice Chairman’s Message

For all restaurants, it has been a rocky nearly three years of sailing in the dark COVID ocean. Fortunately, we are close to getting out of it. This pandemic has brought us separation, grief, and financial despair. But Hawaii is strong, we see examples of courage, opportunity, and hope all around us.

We have great leaders. I want to thank our executive team, the Board of Directors, and all of the supporting members of the Hawaii Restaurant Association for their hard work during this dark time. The restaurant business is tough but highly rewarding when we work hard and work together.

The restaurant industry is a melting pot for old sailors and newcomers to perform their trade. We compete with each other but we all get along. In my 29 years in the restaurant industry, it has taught me that you could be very daring and creative and make a go of it on your own, but you will benefit more if you learn from the experience of the group.

Less than a year ago after joining the HRA, I’ve become a keen believer in HRA’s mission and core members. Much thanks to our Executive Director, Sheryl Matsuoka for her tremendous effort and contribution to the HRA. Also, much mahalo to our devoted captains, our current chairman Ryan Tanaka and past chairman Greg Maples having tackled the tough issues that have come to us. Besides, we can’t sail in the right direction without our experienced CEOs like Victor Lim, Tom Jones, Tambara Garrick, and Kahili Soon. Nowadays, the HRA sails faster than ever, and thanks to the great support from our allied members such as Russell Hata and Chris Lee from Y. Hata & Co. The HRA is the lucky beneficiary in the various policy-making and numerous events because of these unselfish individuals for their contribution.

For the month of November, I would like to bring awareness to conserve one of our most precious resources, water. With the Red Hill situation affecting our water source, we will face dire consequences if we do not act now. Clean water is so precious in our life and we need every drop of it. So please, conserve it. Water Conservation Table Tents

Hawaii restaurants will stay together and sail forward no matter how high the waves are. We have leaders, we have experience, and we are not afraid. Hawaii Restaurant “Mana” is open for business.

Ave Kwok


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