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Employers will be honored for helping disabled

The East Hawaii Chapter of the Business Leadership Network (HIBLN) will host its fourth annual Ho‘omohala Awards banquet to recognize and honor businesses who promote the hiring and advancement of employees with disabilities.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, business leaders, employees, friends and supporters will gather to celebrate the crowning of this year’s outstanding winners at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. Business networking begins at 5:30 p.m. The dinner and awards ceremony start at 6:30 p.m. A silent auction and live entertainment will complement the evening’s program.

Mayor Billy Kenoi, business leaders and other luminaries are expected to attend this event. Emcee will be Rhea Lee, BLN member and HELCO administrative manager.

Please assist the HIBLN by nominating businesses that exemplifies and advocates for the hiring and advancement of persons with disabilities. There are four business categories: small (with one to 50 employees); medium (with 51-100 employees); Large (with 100-plus employees); and government employers. Nominations are gladly being accepted and can be submitted by individual businesses, employees, disabilities advocates, or consumers who have personally experienced or witnessed a supportive work environment for all employees. Deadline for nominations is Monday, Sept. 16.

For more information, please contact Raymond “Kauwa” Elia at 981-2860, ext. 228, or e-mail Ho‘

The group also is currently seeking corporate sponsors for the banquet. To learn more about corporate sponsorship, please contact Lee at 969-0273 or at

Members of the Business Leadership Network, East Hawaii Chapter are: Big Island Toyota, Hawaii Electric Light Company, Suisan Co. Ltd., Tradewinds Hawaiian Woods, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hawaii Island Workforce & Economic Development Ohana (HIWEDO), Puna Kamali‘i Flowers, PKF Document Shredding Services, Employment Network Hawaii, UH Center on Disability Studies, county Department of Human Resources, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and the state Workforce Development Division-Hawaii Branch.


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