SBA Hawaii’s 2019 Small Business Winners

PRESS RELEASE – Announcement

SBA Winners
Some of the U.S. SBA Small Business Persons of the Year were honored last month at the Hawaii State Senate during a floor session. Photos by Hawaii Senate Majority office.

National Small Business Week- May 5 to 10, 2019

The 32st Annual Statewide SBA Small Business Awards for Hawaii will be presented to an impressive roster of top performing, savvy small business owners, exporters, contractors and small business advocates at a ceremony and pau hana celebration May 3, 2019, at the Hawaii Prince Hotel in Waikiki from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  Twenty nine award winners will also be honored for their achievements during these special presentations for their achievements and contributions to the vitality of our local economy.

The Small Business Person of the Year Award recognizes staying power, increases in revenues and sales, job creation, response to adversity and innovation in small business operations, products or services as well as commitment to their community.

Rolf Klein, CEO, and Alvin Bongolan, COO, of Hawaii Energy Systems of Aiea have been selected as the 2019 Small Business Persons of the Year for the State of Hawaii by the U.S. Small Business Administration Hawaii District Office.   Hawaii Energy Systems will represent the State of Hawaii in Washington, D.C. at the celebration of National Small Business Week beginning on May 5.

In addition to State of Hawaii winner, the top small business owners representing the counties include:

  • County of Maui:  Angela Leone of Maui Leones, LLC, dba Coconut Condos
  • County of Hawaii:  Delwin Bothof of Volcano Vineyards
  • County of Kauai:  Bob and Christine French of Brennecke’s Beach Broiler
  • City and County of Honolulu:   Tracy Lawson of Lawson & Associates

SBA’s Entrepreneurial Success Award is presented to individuals who own and operate a business that started as a small enterprise and, with SBA assistance, grew to a much larger business entity that now exceeds the size classification of a small business.  Ross and Anna Scott of Sunshine Helicopters on Maui were honored with the 2019 title for the State of Hawaii.

The Small Business Exporter honors individuals who own and operate a small business that is  engaged selling products or services outside the United States, uses creative marketing strategies and advocates and supports increasing export opportunities for other small businesses.  The outstanding exporter selected for the 2019 awards is:

  • State of Hawaii:  Ken Hirata of Hawaiian Shochu Company

The SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award goes to individuals who have shown the likelihood of success during a minimum of three years of operation and ownership of a small business before reaching the age of 35 and demonstrates increasing sales and job opportunities.

  • State of Hawaii: Kristal Muhich of Kauai Juice Company
  • County of Maui:  Ray Michaels of Maui Plumbing Inc.
  • County of Hawaii: Alfred R. Pacheco III of A P Construction
  • City and County of Honolulu:  Zak Barry, Matthew Hong, and Luke Untermann of Banan

The Family Owned Small Business of the Year Award goes to small business owners who have continued to operate a going concern that is at least 15 years old and has transferred a portion of ownership from one family member to another and integrates family members in a variety of employment roles and opportunities.

  • State of Hawaii: Craig Yoshikawa and Max Yoshikawa of McKinley Car Wash
  • County of Hawaii: Michael Nakashima of Rannikks Auto Specialists
  • County of Kauai: Edward M. Kawamura, M. Kawamura Farm Enterprises, Inc.
  • City & County of Honolulu: Drs. Mark, Mitchell and Norman Chun of Kamaaina Dental Associates dba Dr K B Chun and Sons

Small Business Advocacy Awards are presented to those individuals in our communities who assist small businesses through demonstrated efforts to increase the awareness of the contributions of small businesses to the economy and the availability and effectiveness of resources, tools and support of small firms, key industry segments  and underserved communities.

Small Business Advocate for Business and Industry

  • State of Hawaii: Mary Begier, Mary Begier Realty in Hilo
  • City and County: Kiran Polk, Kapolei Chamber of Commerce
  • County of Hawaii: Miles Yoshioka, Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce

Small Business Advocates for Innovation

  • State of Hawaii: Omar and Tarik Sultan, XLR8UH and Sultan Ventures
  • County of Hawaii: Jim Wyban, Hawaii Island Business Plan Competition (HIPlan)

Small Business Advocate for Minorities

  • State of Hawaii: Melanie Martin, State of Hawaii Department of Transportation

Small Business Advocate for Women in Business

  • State of Hawaii:  Leslie Wilkins, Maui Economic Development Board

Small Business Advocate for Financial Services

  • County of Hawaii: Jacob Burrill, Jacob Burrill, CPA           

Small Business Advocate for Media & Journalism

  • State of Hawaii: Jay Fidell, ThinkTech Hawaii

Small Business Advocate for Veteran Owned Small Business

  • State of Hawaii: Noela Napoleon, Patsy Mink Center for Business and Leadership

Makana Ho‘okō no Ke Ola – SBA Special Award for Lifetime Legacy

  • State of Hawaii:  Naomi Masuno, Bank of Hawaii

Make your reservations to celebrate with the small business community as we honor the best of Hawaii’s small business with the annual SBA Small Business Awards!

For more information on Small Business Week and SBA Awards presentations, please contact the Hawaii District Office at or (808) 541 2990. – Jane Sawyer


Melvin Ah Ching is a photographer, consultant, blogger, desktop publisher, and computer enthusiast living and working in Hawaii. The Hawaii Files have been online since 2006.