Hawaii Defense Alliance Workshop & Pau Hana

A panel of speakers on a stage
DBEDT’s Hawaii Defense Alliance (Alliance) hosted its first in-person events with partners Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) and the Military Affairs Council (MAC) July 19-20, 2021 at the Entrepreneurs Sandbox.
Phil Kahue, strategic advisor to Alaka‘ina Foundation and Alliance steering committee member, welcomed guests to the workshop on Monday, July 19. Opening comments were provided by: Wayne Inouye, center director, HTDC; T. Mark Spain, district director, Small Business Administration; and MG Suzy Vares-Lum (Ret), MAC strategic advisor. Jason Chung, vice president of military affairs, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, moderated the panel discussion with senior representatives from Hawaii’s growing defense sector which included:
  • Ed Barnabas, director, PACRIM, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Christopher Loftis, Hawaii site lead, ISR Business, Huntington Ingalls Industries
  • Miguel Martinez, vice president, joint cyber and space, Parsons
  • Shannon Tolliver, program director, Smartronix
Attendees were also invited to participate in a one-on-one a speed dating session with defense companies.
Rick Blangiardi, Scott Saiki and Dennis Ling

Guests were welcomed back on Tuesday, July 20 for a pau hana reception welcoming new members of Hawaii’s growing defense ecosystem. Remarks were given by Mayor Rick Blangiardi; Speaker Scott Saiki, House of Representatives; Dennis Ling, administrator, Business Development & Support Division, DBEDT; and Vassilis Syrmos, vice president for research and innovation, University of Hawai‘i.
Mahalo to all defense companies for the important work you do in defense of our nation, and as economic drivers of our Hawaii economy.