Po`okela Award

Po`okela Awards
Description & General Rules

Download the 2017 Po'okela Awards Official Entry Form

The Po‘okela Awards are designed for the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association to honor certain individuals as well as a superior overall property and business that contribute to Maui’s hospitality industry through exceptional service, professionalism, and the “Aloha Spirit”. We have always been an organization that represents Maui County’s visitor industry, and therefore, we would like to give recognition and show our appreciation for those who continue to make Maui a premier destination.

Recipients of the 2017 Po‘okela Awards will be honored at this year’s MHLA Annual Membership Meeting in September.

  1. Participants may submit one entry per category
  2. All entries must be submitted by a MAUI HOTEL & LODGING ASSOCIATION MEMBER in good standing, or a public-relation agency acting on behalf of a MHLA member property.
  3. All nominees must have served in the lodging industry for a MINIMUM OF THREE (3) YEARS; MINIMUM OF FIVE (5) YEARS FOR LEGACY AWARD.
  4. EXPLAIN IN DETAIL (no more than two pages) why this nominee should be honored for exemplary professionalism and exceptional service. Include your nominee’s name on the write-up.
    • Be very specific and detail-oriented on your write-ups by citing as many detailed examplesand stories on why your nominee should be selected for the award.
    • All materials should be submitted in an organized, easy-to-judge format with the NAME OFYOUR NOMINEE ON ALL INFORMATION SUBMITTED.
    • All category write-ups should be well thought out since they will be compared to everyoneelse in that category.
    • Original Write-up
    • Support materials that substantiate the award entry such as: guest comment cards andletters, news clippings, certificates, awards, and other materials for judging consideration(e.g. company newsletter, advertisements, videos, etc.).
    • One color photo/head shot of nominee and/or property
    • Official Entry Form
    • And submit to:

1727 Wili Pa Loop, Suite B
Wailuku, HI 96793

Or for additional information, please contact us.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING ALL ENTRIES IS JULY 21, 2017 . All entries must be received in the MHLA office by 4:00pm or postmarked no later than the deadline date. THERE WILL BE NO EXTENSIONS!

Download the 2017 Po'okela Awards Official Entry Form

Po‘okela Awards Categories


The Outstanding Property award is extended to all properties of the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association (MHLA) in good standing.

Overall ranking of property as a whole based on aesthetics, cleanliness, friendly, courteous, and knowledgeable staff, etc.


The Outstanding Allied Member award is extended to all Allied Members of MHLA in good standing.

This award is based on the overall ranking for Allied Members when doing business with MHLA properties.


The Outstanding Employee award is extended to all non-management employees.

This category gives lodging properties and allied members the chance to recognize exemplary professionalism and exceptional service by non-management employees or supervisory employees.

All nominees are judged on performance that goes “above and beyond” normal job responsibilities and outstanding and unusual service to the property, guests, and/or community. Some examples of outstanding service include taking on special services, showing outstanding leadership qualities, performing heroic deeds, and/or consistently adding to the general well-being of guests, fellow employees, and clients/associates.


Open to all current or previous employees in the industry who have worked for at least 5 years.

The Legacy Award honors one who exemplifies visionary leadership and/or who has made a lasting contribution to Maui’s hospitality/visitor industry.

Our 2016 Award Winners!

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

VIP Foodservice

Our employees are our most important asset. They are the initial touchpoint with our visitors, the ones that assure dreams come true and visit our island go smoothly.

Kirk Togashi, Security Officer

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

“Over the span of 20 years, Kirk has touched countless lives with his genuine kindness, intuitive helpfulness and his unique ability to connect with visitors in a way that truly makes them feel as if they have known him for many years. This gentleman has saved guests lives, recovered guests’ property and has shown our visitors what aloha truly looks like.”

A significant award and honors one who exemplifies visionary leadership and/or who has made a lasting contribution to Maui’s hospitality/visitor industry

Gilbert Sablas, Concierge Manager

Royal Lahaina Resort

“Lovingly known as “Uncle Bobo”, Gilbert is described as embodying the word Ho’okipa! He has served 48 years at his property, touching thousands of lives with his kindness, generosity and warm smile. He is a blessing to his property as well as the community which so passionately volunteers his time. He lives by the saying “always give, don’t expect and you will certainly receive a life of happiness and fond memories”.

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