Mufi Hannemann and Cha Thompson, two pioneering community leaders, will be honored as the Sales and Marketing Executives’ Salespersons of the Year at a dinner April 28 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel’s Hawaii Ballroom.
The pandemic is the reason for the dual salutes — Hannemann for 2019 and Thompson for 2021 – and the delay. Both have been impressive movers and shakers, notably in the state’s hospitality industry, demonstrating common and overlapping creds boosting tourism; the award celebrates community leaders who have enhanced the image of Hawaii plus the quality of life in Hawaii.
Hannemann, of Samoan-German-English ancestry, is a former two-term Honolulu Mayor (2004/2008); he also served two terms on the Honolulu City Council. He currently is CEO of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Assn.
Hannemann is the first scholar of Samoan ancestry to attend Harvard, where he graduated with honors in 1976 after attending Iolani School. He has served five U.S. presidents, two Hawaii governors, and his service accomplishments have embraced government, business, education, sports, culture and the arts plus the community at large. He is the proud founder of the Pacific Century Fellows, modeled after the White House Fellows program in which he was a participant.
Thompson and her Farrington High School sweetheart Jack Thompson, co-founded Tihati Productions more than 50 years ago; they were dancers in separate early shows but ultimately created the state’s – and subsequently the world’s – largest entertainment entity with shows on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island employing more than 1,000 dancers, singers and musicians, tapping cultural resources from all of Polynesia, including Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Maori New Zealand, Fiji and more. While now retired after 50 years, the Thompsons transferred leadership to son Afatia Thompson and daughter Misty Tufono. The self-anointed Queen of Kalihi, Cha has served on numerous community boards including Palama Settlement, Aloha United Way, the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Honolulu Police Commission and the South Seas Christian Ministries.
Her hulas and choreography have helped shape the Tihati brand that has prevailed statewide, visited the Obama White House, and prevailed in a mammoth and monstrous luau spectacle staged at King Kong Island in Thailand back in the day.
A cocktail reception at 5 p.m. will be followed by a dinner, program and Polynesian show at 6:30 p.m., with Tihati troupers – naturally – entertaining; Robert Cazimero and Karen Keawehawaii are guest artists.
Tickets: single, $150; corporate tables of 10, $2,500 to $15,000.
Information: (808) 478-0172 or https://smehonolulu.org …
And that’s Show Biz. …