Waiakea Its A Kakou Thing

President’s Message – January 2022

By: David Bock, President

Aloha, and happy new year to everyone in the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce community.

For many, the holidays are a time to reflect on the past but also contemplate hopes and dreams for the future.

I was pondering my own well wishes for the HICC and its members when I read a column last month by Keli’i Akina, president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, which is a nonprofit public policy think tank based in Honolulu. In the column, he listed three “gifts” he hoped Hawaii residents would receive for the holidays and the year ahead.

Akina admits his aspirations for our state are ambitious, and they are. But as we enter the third year of this nightmare of a pandemic, big dreams are sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered.

This is what Akina wished for:

 “A more prosperous state, characterized by greater opportunities and economic freedom.”

 “A lower cost of living, so fewer people would feel compelled to leave for better opportunities on the mainland.”

 “A greater respect for individual liberty, integrity and government accountability.”

It seems to me Akina’s “gifts” align pretty closely with the goals of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce. We strive to create a more business-friendly environment through networking, lobbying and organizing on behalf of our members and their interests.

That pursuit will be as important as ever in 2022. The challenges created by COVID continue to be immense for businesses, but as always, the HICC is here to help. Together, we shall overcome.

Mahalo, and here’s wishing for a healthy and prosperous new year for all,


David Bock