McDonald’s franchisee honored with business lifetime achievement award

Erlinda Rosario began her career at McDonald’s in 1970

The Mayor’s Small Business award winners and sponsors celebrate during an event Friday at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu. Posing are Maui County Office of Economic Development Director Teena Rasmussen (from left), Nisei Veterans Memorial Center Executive Director Deidre Tegarden, Mid-Pacific Pest Control owner Mark Redeker, Maui Chamber of Commerce President Pamela Tumpap, McDonald’s of Maui owner Erlinda Rosario, Truth Excavation owner Kimo Clark, Positive Apparel owner John Edellstein and Mayor Alan Arakawa. Maui Chamber of Commerce photo

The Maui News

Erlinda Rosario, owner of a half-dozen McDonald’s franchises on Maui, received the 2018 Mayor’s Small Business Lifetime Achievement Award during an awards ceremony Friday at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu.

Other winners were: Kimo Clark of Truth Excavation, Young Business Person of the Year; the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center under Executive Director Deidre Tegarden, Outstanding Nonprofit Business; Positive Apparel LLC under owner John Edellstein, Exceptional Small Business, 10 and fewer employees; and Mid-Pacific Pest Control Inc. under founder Mark Redeker, Exceptional Small Business, 11 to 35 employees.

Rosario immigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii with her family in the 1960s. She began her career at a McDonald’s in Kalihi on Oahu in 1970 while she also was employed at the Dole pineapple cannery, according to the awards announcement.

“Over the next 20 years, Erlinda learned all the aspects of the McDonald’s franchise,” it says. “However, as an immigrant and a woman, she was afraid her dream to own her own McDonald’s would never be realized. Despite the negative feedback she received, Erlinda was determined to own her own business.”

Her dream was realized in April 1990 when she was given the opportunity to buy the Pukalani location of McDonald’s. Now, with a half-dozen franchises and 300 employees, she continues to believe in “a hands-on approach.”

“She personally trains her staff and gets to know each one as she helps them realize their own dreams,” the announcement says.

Rosario provides financial and volunteer support to the Maui Adult Day Care Center, Hospice Maui and the Pacific Cancer Foundation.

Clark founded Truth Excavation in 2011 with a single backhoe and a single-axle dump truck. Now, with continuing investment, he has more than 10 pieces of heavy equipment.

He hires locally, and “he believes his employees are his most valuable asset and offers a healthy work atmosphere, competitive wages, benefits and paid training,” the awards announcement says. “Kimo’s entire team has a passion for what they do, which manifests in their pride and the quality of work they provide, assuring customer satisfaction.”

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center was founded by the soldiers of the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team as they returned home from World War II as the most highly decorated unit for their size and length of service.

“To ensure that they gave back to their community, they saved money each month to build a center to be a community resource in Maui County,” the announcement says. “Their mission encompasses all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, veteran status, gender or national origin.”

The center has more than 200 special collections of Maui’s nisei (some sansei) veterans and an education center. The center also is home to the Kansha Preschool and Maui Adult Day Care, providing intergenerational programs for children to have daily interaction with elders.

Edellstein has reinvested in technology with Positive Apparel to “change the landscape of T-shirt printing on Maui by offering printing capabilities that cater to both large and small businesses.”

In addition to helping smaller companies save money, he offers eco-friendly, sustainable T-shirts made from organically farmed Beech trees and plastic water bottles.

Edellstein also uses eco-friendly chemicals and nontoxic inks in production.

“John leads by example, making ethical choices and is currently working . . . on a feasibility study to bring farming and T-shirt manufacturing to Maui,” the announcement says. “He is able to offer his staff more income than the industry standard by taking less pay himself. The company’s slogan ‘Positive Apparel, fueled by Aloha’ is demonstrated by the significant discounts and donations offered to many local nonprofits, including Maui United Way, and various cancer walks, to name a few.”

Redeker founded Mid-Pacific Pest Control in 1999 and has kept it a family-run business, the announcement says.

“With 27 full-time employees and two generations of family all working together, Mark has grown their company to service all of Maui County and Oahu,” it says. “Mark invests in new and innovative ways to control pests effectively in an environmentally friendly and safe manner.”

That includes purchasing fuel-efficient service trucks, airborne drones and a state-of-the-art crane to take on larger jobs with higher levels of efficiency, shorter turnaround, greater safety and customer satisfaction, it says.

“Mark’s dedication to providing an environmentally safe solution includes the move to zero emission electric motors, minimizing the handling of potentially explosive fuels and lowering the production of toxic fumes from job sites,” the announcement says. “Mark’s technicians are fully trained and licensed as a fumigator before they begin work on a job and their vehicles are equipped with real time tracking to ensure productivity and combat fraud and waste.”

The awards dinner was held in partnership with the Maui Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors included ALTRES, HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union, American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Employers Options, First Hawaiian Bank, Matson and Maui Electric Co.

Applications were scored by judges David Daly, Paul Felix, Debbie Finkiewicz, Susie Thieman and Wayne Wong.