Business/In Brief • Sept. 20, 2014

Former credit union worker gets prison

HONOLULU – Federal prosecutors say a former credit union manager is being sentenced to 15 months in prison for embezzlement and making false entries in the credit union’s books.

U.S. District Court Judge Helen Gillmor on Thursday also ordered Dona Takushi to pay a $78,000 fine.

Takushi worked for the credit union serving employees of Oahu Transit Services, which operates “TheBus.”

U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni says the 54-year-old obtained online access to the credit union’s VISA payment system and falsely inputted credit card payments for herself and a family member.

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Hotel association installs directors

The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association installed its 2014-15 board of directors at its annual meeting at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui.

The board members are: Nane Aluli, The Mauian Hotel; Matt Bailey, Aston Hotels & Resorts; Tom Donovan, Grand Wailea; Tom Bell, Royal Lahaina Resort; Nancy Chaplick, Oceanic Time Warner Cable; Charles Head, Fairmont Kea Lani; Allan Farwell, Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa; Dawn Kane, Maui Condo and Home; Gregg Lundberg, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa; Gregg Nelson, Napili Kai Beach Resort; Angela Nolan, The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas; Lisa Paulson, Maui Hotel & Lodging Association; Aaron Placourakis, Tri-Star Restaurant Group; Sharon Suzuki, Maui Electric Co.; George Szigeti, Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association; Maynard Torchiana, Destination Resorts Hawaii; Mike White, Ka’anapali Beach Hotel; and Tetsuji Yamazaki, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa.

The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association is a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 to advocate for the visitor industry. The organization also provides educational opportunities and scholarships and runs the annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk.

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HEA hands out awards to Mauians

Jason Lee of Maui Kayak Adventure was named Maui Ecotour Guide of the Year at the Hawaii Ecotourism Association luncheon Wednesday in Waikiki.

Maui-raised Kyle Ellison, author of “Moon Maui: Including Molokai & Lanai (Moon Handbooks),” was named Travel Writer of the Year. The guidebook educates visitors on how to respect and protect the natural resources and culture while enjoying their Hawaiian vacations.

Seventeen tour operators – including five from Maui – were honored for achieving HEA’s Sustainable Tourism Certification for the 2014-2016 term. The Maui companies were Hawaiian Paddle Sports, Maui Kayak Adventures, Pacific Whale Foundation, Trilogy Excursions and Atlantis Adventures.

HEA is a 20-year-old nonprofit organization that protects Hawaii’s natural environment and host culture by promoting responsible travel. The Sustainable Tourism Certification process was developed to ensure tour operator and visitor industry accountability for the impact their businesses may have on the natural and cultural resources and to promote sustainable and restorative practices.