Po'okela Award

Po'okela Awards
Description & General Rules

Download the 2018 Po'okela Awards Official Entry Form

Maui Hotel & Lodging Association’s (MHLA) 3rd Annual Po‘okela Awards honors certain individual employees, as well as a superior overall property and business who best symbolize the “Aloha Spirit” of Maui’s hospitality industry. 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.

All nominees will be recognized and honored at MHLA’s Annual Membership Meeting luncheon taking place on September 12 at the Andaz Maui at Wailea.

Nomination deadline EXTENDED: July 20, 2018 July 27, 2018

Award Luncheon, Annual Meeting: September 12, 2018

  1. MHLA Members may submit one entry per category.
  2. Property Members are also encouraged to submit a nomination for “Outstanding Allied Member”
  3. All entries must be submitted by a MHLA Member in good standing, or a public-relation agency acting on behalf of an MHLA member property.
  4. All nominees must have served in the lodging industry for a MINIMUM OF THREE (3) YEARS; MINIMUM OF FIVE (5) YEARS FOR LEGACY AWARD.
  5. 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 examples and 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 OF YOUR NOMINEE ON ALL INFORMATION SUBMITTED.
    • All category write-ups should be well thought out since they will be compared to everyone else in that category.
    • Original Write-up
    • Support materials that substantiate the award entry such as: guest comment cards and letters, 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 by email to the address listed in the entry form.

For additional information, please contact us.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING ALL ENTRIES IS JULY 27, 2018 . All entries must be received in the MHLA office by 4:00pm or postmarked no later than the deadline date.

Download the 2018 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 2018 Award Winners!

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

Maui Electric Company

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.

Lucie Ormsby, Banquet Waithelp

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

Lucie has been a part of the Hyatt Regency Maui ‘ohana since 2003. She goes above and beyond every single day displaying care, attentiveness, positivity and most importantly, Aloha to everyone that she comes into contact with. For just about every single group that comes in house, days out, Lucie is asking for the names of incoming guests to ensure to greet them as Mr. or Mrs. Once she has their name and greets them, she digs deeper and find out where they are from, how many kids they have, what are their names, do they have any pets, what is their favorite part of Maui or if she can help them find anything else on island that they have not seen before. Lucie truly cares about her guests and just loves meeting people and being a true ambassador. Aside from providing excellent service within the workplace, she goes above and beyond in the community as well – when requesting a rare day off it is more than likely for a volunteering opportunity for our community. Lucie has a heart of gold and truly makes a difference in the lives of people each and every day.

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

Jim Coon, CEO

Trilogy Excursions

Jim is a dedicated family-person, an environmental steward, and the co-founder of the oldest sailing company on Maui. Jim has always loved the ocean. As a child raised in Alaska, his first mainstream job was at the age of 12, commercial fishing off the Alaskan Gulf for 2 months. Though originally pursuing medical school after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Biology, Jim’s backup plan was becoming a professional fisherman, with a boat and the sea being his “home” address. And then came Maui! Perhaps from his genuine love for science and the ocean, or from having been raised in Alaska he fostered a deep respect and appreciation for animals and nature. Jim truly understands that resources are not, in fact, infinite and propelled him to ensure that his eventual business, would practice sustainable tourism, a term that hadn’t been coined yet. Jim’s vision and leadership grew his company from a one-boat company with a handful of employees, to the 6-vessel 100-employee operation that it is today. Jim also has a special place in his heart for our Maui community and has always made it a priority to be involved and connected. He serves on many boards and has always been happy to assist other businesses and nonprofits with his specialized skillset, industry knowledge, and lobbying skills. In short: Jim aims to inspire, and it’s no secret that he has had lasting impacts to not only his own company, but also the island community.

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