​Visitor Industry Executive Lisa Paulson Recognized as Leader in Hawaii

​Visitor Industry Executive Lisa Paulson Recognized as Leader in Hawaii

Recently featured in Maui Now, click here to read more.
Recently featured in Maui Now, click here to read more.

WAILUKU, MAUI – Maui Hotel & Lodgingʻs Executive Director, Lisa Paulson, has been honored with numerous recognitions this year including the “Hospitality Executive of the Year” Business Achievement Award by Pacific Edge Magazine in September, following a notable feature in the magazine “Women in Business” issue and in November, a “Most Admired Leader in Hawaii” by Pacific Business News. In June, Paulson was also asked to present at the PRSA “Changing the Conversation About Tourism” at the 2023 Travel & Tourism Section Conference in Wisconsin where she presented the MHLA campaign “Faces of Aloha”, showing the many benefits the visitor industry offers to residents of Maui. As as esteemed expert she serves on numerous panels including the Vegas Chamber Business Panel in October and coming up on December 7th, the Maui Business Panel put on by Pacific Business News.

As stated in her recent nominations: Lisa Paulson is an effective liaison between the government, visitor industry and Maui’s communities. As a registered lobbyist, she advocates for hotel properties, tourism and foodservice related entities, nonprofits, and their employees, navigating economic and cultural impacts on Maui’s community as a whole. Her knowledge of legislature, experience in marketing, public relations, crisis communications and business background coupled with her service to the county during the pandemic under Mayor Victorino, has given her an advantage in the hospitality world, proven in her respected counsel to state and county dignitaries, charities, and educational realms of Maui.

Lisa is an avid tennis player, playing matches on the weekends in-between book clubs and singing rehearsals. Trained in classical Opera, Lisa’s performances are often requested for celebrations of life, church gatherings or private events. She is a former windsurfer, grew up drag-racing, and is in the process of obtaining a meditation certificate. Her passion for living is what sets her apart. She has a wide network and grand life experiencesmaking her wise yet approachable, open-hearted and able to ease relations across many spheres.

Lisaʻs influence is far beyond the hospitality industry. During the pandemic, she helped facilitate the “Hotels for Healthcare Heroes” program of which hotel properties donated staycations for local doctors, nurses and clinical staff who worked thought the Covid surges. Her recent service on the board for Maui United Way helped oversee and establish much needed programs during the pandemic. She helped with “KauKau for Keiki” food distribution for those children depending on public school meals during the pandemic. Lisa currently sits on Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan, the Women in Lodging & Tourism Advisory Council and the boards of Maui Economic Development Board and Maui Chamber of Commerce. Lisa also serves on the board of directors for Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center and took part in many advisory groups supporting Maui’s wildfire recovery including the DBEDT Housing Working Group and Maui County Economic Recovery Working Group. Overall, Lisa Paulson is a community champion, a dedicated mother, wife, and the prime example of what a leader is.

In a letter of support, HVCB Sr. Director of Member and Community Engagement, Karen Wataru Nakaoka wrote, “Most importantly, Lisa leads with heart. She is a leader with integrity who approaches all issues with empathy and a sincere desire to find positive solutions.”

Lisa Paulson and MHLA hope to use such leadership to further strengthen Maui for generations to come. MHLA is currently accepting new membership applications HERE.

Photo Credit: Dave Livingston, Photo Caption: MHLA at the PEM Award Gala

(top) Photo Credit: Anthony Consillio of PBN, Photo Caption: Scott Cooley, honoree Lisa Paulson and Shaina Manring at the PBN Most Admired Leader in Hawaii Award Event


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