2022 Hawaiʻi Small Business Fair Class Schedule

The Hawaiʻi Small Business Fair provides actionable information for small businesses recovering from economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Expert speakers will present step-by-step methods and concrete examples for attendees. Please see the schedule below and be sure to register ahead of time at  

Class Schedule

Class TimeLocationDescription
8:30-9:30ED 101Filing General Excise Taxes: All You Need To Know
Gordon Zane, State Dept. of Taxation
The workshop will aim to demystify the General Excise Tax by focusing on what people looking to start their own business should know about the tax, as well as areas of the tax people who are already operating their own businesses may not be clear on and would like to understand better.  The workshop will cover the basics from obtaining a license to knowing who must file, what to file, when to file, how to file, and tips to keep in mind to avoid any pitfalls along the way.  
ED 102Protecting Your Business Brand and Products: Patterns and Trademarks
Martin Hsia, Cades Schutte LLP
Learn about the different types of intellectual property, why you need to protect it, and how to do just that for your business.
ED 104Introduction to Federal Income Tax
Lisa Wells, My Personal CPAs and Financial Planner LLC
In this class you will learn the fundamentals of how to research your tax questions and how form 1040 works. We will even touch on business entities and how they integrate with personal taxes.
ED 112The Right Product in The Right Store at The Right Time
Faustino Dagdag, Leeward Community College
Seven tips on getting your product into a “Brick and Mortar” retail store.
9:45-10:45ED 101Hiring Independent Contractors vs. Employees
Noela Napoleon, Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership
This workshop is ideal for those who want to set up a business as a “self-employed” Independent Contractor. The workshop covers:
•The difference between employees vs. independent contractors
•How to set up a new business as an independent contractor
•State and federal tax filing requirements for independent contractors
ED 102How to Develop Your Creative Business
Georja Skinner, DBEDT
Creative Lab Hawaiʻi (CLH) is a workforce development program committed to strengthening and growing Hawaiʻi’s creative economy. CLH connects Hawaiʻi’s youth, emerging artists and creative entrepreneurs with industry-specific expertise in music, new media, film, performing arts, fashion, game development, animation, and more for immersive training and mentorship to bolster their business acumen and increase the global export of Hawaiʻi’s creative content. Learn more about exciting upcoming CLH opportunities with this session
ED 104Introduction to Federal Income Tax
Lisa Wells, My Personal CPAs and Financial Planner LLC
In this class you will learn the fundamentals of how to research your tax questions and how form 1040 works. We will even touch on business entities and how they integrate with personal taxes.
ED 112Grow Your Business Using Social Media
Lance Royle, Hello Momentum
This session will offer an overview of several popular social media platforms which have been used for business promotion, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok. The session will also include the types of content that will be best served on each platform and how each platform can be utilized for a handful of different kinds of businesses—finally, a blueprint on how to start creating content for the various platforms.
ED 113Is Exporting for Your Business?
Mary Dale, Small Business Administration
This session presents to you how to expand your business internationally to reach larger markets. What export programs are available for small business to get there products or services into the overseas market and succeed.
11:00-12:00ED 101The Business Plan
Lori Hiramatsu and Andra Tejero-Gaspar – VBOC of the Pacific
This workshop highlights the importance of a business plan, all the elements of a good business plan, including revenue growth, marketing, management, budgeting; how to write an effective business plan, and how to avoid pitfalls.
ED 102Lease Agreement: All You Need to Know
Norman Cheng, Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher
This session presents potential legal issues to consider when entering into a lease agreement. What are the key provisions to focus on? How much can you expect to negotiate? Where to focus your energy and efforts for a better negotiation process.
ED 104Quickbooks Basics and Tips
Lisa Wells, My Personal CPAs and Financial Planner LLC
In this class we will cover how to determine the right version of Quickboks for you, and how use the different features. We will also touch on how to read financial reports.
ED 112Grow Your Business Using Social Media
Lance Royle, Hello Momentum
This session will offer an overview of several popular social media platforms which have been used for business promotion, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok. The session will also include the types of content that will be best served on each platform and how each platform can be utilized for a handful of different kinds of businesses—finally, a blueprint on how to start creating content for the various platforms.
ED 113Access to Capital Panel
Moderated by Mary Dale, with Panel of Bankers: American Saving Bank, Lawrence Pai; First Hawaiian Bank, Brandon Park
; and Central Pacific Bank, Susan Utsugi
Find out how lenders determine if your application gets approved. What are the red flags in the business plan or loan application. Ask the experts to avoid this mistakes.
12:15-13:15ED 101CONTINUED – The Business Plan
Lori Hiramatsu and Andra Tejero-Gaspar – VBOC of the Pacific
ED 102Access to Non-Bank Lending Sources
Moderated by Joseph Lapilio with Panel of Waianae Economic Development Council (WEDC), Nainoa Logan and Shavone Lave; Council for Native Hawaii Advancement (CNHA), Chris Kuwaiwa; and Department of Business & Economic Development (DBEDT), Mark Ritchie

This workshop will provide information on loans available to small business owners that are an alternative to loans from commercial institutions.  The presentations will provide a brief description of several local loan programs, the application process, and the support services available to potential borrowers to qualify for loans and to build their businesses. 
ED 104Value-Added Product Business Development
Ron Umehira and Will Castillo, Leeward Community College
Learn about a new Center in Wahiawa that will provide facilities, equipment, expertise, and other resources for farmers, small business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and students to create value-added food products for the market.
ED 112E-commerce
Brian Dote, Tapiki
This session will provide an overview of e-commerce, including a map of the various components that comprise an e-commerce business. The session also includes an overview of top representative platforms and a comparison of each. Finally, e-commerce product pages, merchandising, and analytics will also be covered.
ED 113Understanding and How to Analyze Financial Statements, Profits, and Cash Flow
Dennis Wong, Hawaiʻi Small Business Development Center
This session presents what you need to know about understanding financial statements; how to use the information to determine the financial health of your business and improve cash flow and profitability.
LA 105Business Registration: Selecting a Legal Entity
Gregory Kim and Catherine Taschner, Business Laws Corps

Our expert speakers, both with several years of advising start-ups and new companies, offer their guidance on selecting the legal entity that fits your business.


Our speakers are all subject matter experts with several years of experience. They are all dedicated to supporting small business growth in Hawaiʻi.



Norman Cheng, Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher

Norman H.Y. Cheng is Managing Director of Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher. Mr. Cheng concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate, commercial leasing, business structuring, hotels and resorts and general commercial transactions.

Faustino Dagdag

Faustino Dagdag is an Assistant Professor in the Business Division of Leeward Community College, teaching courses in management, marketing and entrepreneurship. He has taught these courses for over 20 years utilizing his experience from an extensive career in international marketing, having held various corporate executive positions in marketing, operations and sales with prominent Hawaiʻi, national and international corporations as well as building start-ups. He is an ardent advocate for small business owners and operators, who play a vital role in Hawai`i’s economic growth and societal wellbeing.

Mary Dale, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

SBA Logo

Mary is a Business Development Specialist at the U.S. Small Business Administration Hawaiʻi-Pacific. Mary supports various programs organized by the SBA, and works with Hawaiʻi banks to faciltate SBA-guaranteed loans to small businesses.

Brian Dote, Tapiki

Brian Dote is the founder of Tapiki, a mobile/web/game development company. Tapiki has designed and developed 100s of websites since 2009 and currently manages and hosts nearly 50 websites for local businesses. Brian is also the Founding Mobile Engineer at Ecobot, an early stage startup with the only software to bring true efficiency and accuracy to wetland scientists. Formerly Brian was the Senior Vice President and Director of Mobile and Digital Commerce at Bank of Hawaii and the first Chief Innovation Officer at Mid-Pacific Institute. At Apple, Inc., he led the MobileMe User Interface Engineering team and worked on the iPhone, MobileMe/iCloud, iTunes Music Store, iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, Motion, and OS X. Brian was nominated as a Webby Honoree for web development work at Springfield Town Center in 2009. In 2017, Brian was an honoree in Hawaii Business Magazine’s 20 for the next 20, a list of 20 individuals in Hawaii whose talents, accomplishments, and potential set them apart as emerging leaders in Hawaii.

Lori Hiramatsu, Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)

Lori has more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry serving in various capacities including district manager overseeing several branches, a business and consumer banking team, and operations. She served 6+ years as a Senior Business Advisor with the Hawaii SBDC and assisted Hawaii businesses in various stages of their business life-cycle including start-ups, expansions, exports, manufacturing, agriculture, selling/buying businesses, and assisting them with access to capital for their business needs. Besides her business banking and lending background, she is knowledgeable of the various SBA financing programs, and is experienced in the financing of commercial PV and PPA systems. She holds a BBA from the University of Hawaii- Manoa, a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington (honors thesis), certified U.S. Export advisor, certified HiSBDC business advisor and active volunteer in the community.

Martin Hsia, Cades Schutte

Martin is a registered patent attorney, one of the few patent attorneys in Hawai‘i. He practices patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, right of publicity, computer, licensing, Internet, and entertainment law at Cades Schutte. Martin is Chair of the Intellectual Property Group and Co-Chair of the Internet, eCommerce & Information Technology Group.

Gregory Kim, Business Law Corps

Gregory Kim has over 30 years of experience as a corporate and securities attorney representing emerging growth companies and public companies in private and public offerings, mergers & acquisitions, SEC filings and reports, venture capital, joint ventures, business formations, and licensing and other technology transactions. Greg is the founder of Vantage Counsel LLC, which he launched in 2004 and restated in 2019.  Vantage Counsel is one of the first virtual law firms in the United States. Greg is committed to serving the community.  Greg is a co-founder of Business Law Corps, a nonprofit corporation that provides a platform to connect talented entrepreneurs with experienced corporate attorneys who are willing to provided pro bono services.  Greg is recognized as a leading corporate attorney by Best Lawyers of America, Chambers USA and SuperLawyers.

Christopher Kuaiwa, Council for Native Hawaii Advancement (CNHA)

Christopher Kuaiwa is the Loan Fund Manager at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), where he oversees the day-to-day operations and underwriting functions of CNHA’s Native Community Development Financial Institution. His extensive experience in business development and ownership, along with years of community advocacy and engagement, provides a deep sense of understanding and confidence in the lending process, for both clients and partners. Chris earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Alaska Anchorage and has also studied abroad at Peking University in Beijing, China. He is a Veteran of the United States Air Force and a father of five children. His passion is helping others and spending quality time with family and friends.

Joseph Lapilio, Wai’anae Economic Development Council

Joseph has worked on the Wai’anae Coast for more than forty years. He is a community and organizational development consultant. He was executive director of the Wai’anae Coast Coalition for eleven years and coordinated community projects focused on economic development. he was appointed to the Governor’s Economic and Community Navigator Task Force and is a member of the State House of Representatives Select Committee on Economic and Financial Recovery to help with post-COVID planning. Joseph is the immediate past president of the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, active in the community including the Wai’anae Coast Rotary Club, the Lualualei Hawaiian Civic Club, among others. Joseph is a Native Hawaiian and a resident of the Wai’anae Coast.

Shavone Lave, Wai’anae Economic Development Council

Shavone Lave is a Business Developer for the Wai’anae Economic Development Council, and utilizes her education, background, and experience to assist entrepreneurs in the development of their businesses. Shavone has a Master’s degree in Psychology and a background in counseling and education. Prior to joining WEDC, Shavone owned and operated The Sugar Hut, a bakery located in Ma’ili, Hawai’i. She is currently a Business Strategist and helps other business owners create strategies that increase their profitability and time freedom.

Nainoa Logan, Wai’anae Economic Development Council

Nainoa Logan has a background in Business Finance but his pasion stems from supporting the community through Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurial education. Nainoa founded the 501c3 Non-Profit organization, Hiamana, through which he offered classes on finance and business to organizations and families. Nainoa is also owner of multiple LLC’s. Currently, Nainoa oversee grant-writing and progrmas for The Wai’anae Economic Development Council and delivers both the Financial Lo’i and Maolipreneur programs.

Noela Napoleon, Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership (MCBL)

Noela Napoleon is the Lead Business Counselor and Instructor with the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership (MCBL). MCBL is an SBA Women’s Business Center Resource Partner who provides help to local businesses at all phases of development. Noela’s specialized knowledge and training in Independent Contractor relationships was built as a former Contracts Specialist managing sub-contracts under the National Parks Service, Dept. of the Interior; as well as her 27 years of experience as a private business owner/employer in Hawai′i.

Lawrence Pai, American Savings Bank

Lawrence has 36 years of banking experience in Hawaii and is currently Senior Vice President and Business Banking Manager at American Savings Bank. He was born and raised in Hawaii and is a graduate of Pearl City High School, University of Hawaii at Manoa (BBA), Chaminade University of Honolulu (MBA), and the Pacific Coast Banking School. He currently in on the board of the Susanna Wesley Community Center and previously served on the board of Na Koa and was on the finance committee for the Aloha Council Boys Scouts of America (Lawrence is an Eagle Scout). Married since 2006 and resides in Ewa Beach.

Brandon Park, First Hawaiian Bank

Employed by First Hawaiian Bank since November 2002. Residential Real Estate Division (Loan Processor Trainee): November 2002 – November 2003 Credit Administration Division (Small Business Credit Officer): November 2003 – July 2020 Paycheck Protection Program Department (Assistant Vice President & Team Leader): July 2020 – March 2022 Main Banking Center (Assistant Vice President & Business Banking Officer): April 2022 – present

Mark Ritchie, Dept. of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

Mark Ritchie joined DBEDT eight years ago as the Branch Chief for Business Support services. Mark oversees several programs including: Community-based Economic Development (CBED), which provides grants and loans for small businesses; Enterprise Zones, which gives businesses tax benefits in exchange for job creation; HiSTEP (Hawaii State Trade Expansion Program), which assists Hawaii companies to sell products and services to larger overseas markets. Prior to DBEDT Mark has held positions in a Hawaii Life Science start-up, a major Silicon Valley tech company in addition to economic development positions in several global trade and inward investment organizations.

Lance Royle, Hello Momentum

Lance Roylo is a digital marketing content producer with 12+ years of project management and production experience. He has served as the social media manager and content producer for publicly traded corporations and small businesses, with a wide array of knowledge of social media tactics and strategies. He is currently the co-founder of the digital marketing agency Hello Momentum, which focuses on content production and social media management.

Georja Skinner, Dept. of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

Georja Skinner is the Chief Officer of the Creative Industries Division (CID) at DBEDT since 2007. Skinner’s career in prime-time television led to an Emmy nomination for sound mixing, the first woman to hold this honor. Under her leadership, Hawaiʻi’s creative sectors have grown to 54,000 gig workers, small businesses and entrepreneurs representing $4.1 billion to the state’s GDP in 2019. The Creative Lab Hawaiʻi Accelerator has helped Hawaiʻi residents to elevate their craft through industry mentorship while developing the business acumen required to succeed in the global entertainment industries. Skinner’s mantra is “Making the Impossible, Possible.”

Catherine Taschner, Business Law Corps

Cat Taschner is the Deputy Director of the City & County of Honolulu’s Department of Land Management. Previously, Cat was a partner at McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon, where she concentrated her practice on complex real estate transactions with an emphasis on acquisitions, dispositions, development, land use and entitlements, and corporate and securities law. Catherine is the Co-Founder and Vice President of the Business Law Corps, a non-profit organization that provides pro bono legal services to Hawaii’s small business owners and entrepreneurs. She has been recognized by the Hawaii State Legislature, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission, and the United States Small Business Administration for her volunteer work with the Business Law Corps.

Andra Tejero-Gaspar, Hawai’i Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Andra has served at the Hawai’i SBDC, Oahu Center for over 13 years. Prior to her time in economic development, she has dedicated 18 years as an educator in the Education Department at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. She brings a cultural perspective and over 30 years of customer service to the program. She graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. As a member of a military family, Andra has lived in Fort Lewis, Washington, Stuttgart, Germany, Montpellier, France but home is here in Hawai’i. 

Ron Umehira

Dean of Career and Technical Education (CTE) at Leeward Community College from 2009, overseeing CTE programs and workforce development programs, and the Wai‘anae Moku Education Center. Oversees the new Wahiawa Value-Added Product Development Center which is anticipated to open in fall 2023 and is a facility that will provide education, training, research, consultancy, value-added product development, and business incubation services and resources for farmers, small businesses, secondary and post-secondary students/faculty, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Susan Utsugi, Central Pacific Bank

Susan Utsugi is Senior Vice President & Division Manager of Business Banking at Central Pacific Bank. Susan has been with Central Pacific Bank for 22 years and has over 30 years of banking experience. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree of Business Administration in Finance from Seattle University and is a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School. Susan has worked with small businesses for most of her career and enjoys helping business owners achieve their dreams. She serves as Second Vice-Chair of the Board for Hale Kipa and Advisory Board Member for Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership. She was the 2022 Small Business Administration Women in Business Champion for the State of Hawaii and 2017 PBN Women Who Mean Business. She was awarded CPB’s Leadership Award in 2016. Susan celebrated her 31st wedding anniversary this year and has two daughters. During her spare time Susan enjoys golfing with her husband and thrifting for treasures.

Lisa Wells, My Personal CPA & Financial Planners LLC

I am a graduate of Pearl City High School and Bachelor’s Degree achiever from our very own University of Hawaii. I hold professional credentials as an IRS Enrolled Agent, specializing business development, accounting, tax education. I am the president of the Hawaii Society of Enrolled Agents, a group of professionals dedicated to spreading knowledge throughout the tax community. I am on the board of Friends of CASA, a nonprofit dedicated financially supporting the Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused or neglected children. I am a married mother of 3, and grandmother . My passion is to give back to the community by helping entrepreneurs learn and grow their businesses. I am blessed to be a part of My Personal CPA & Financial Planners LLC, as it is the organization that has allowed me to pursue my dreams and goals.

Dennis Wong, Hawai’i Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Dennis Wong is a Senior Business Advisor for Hawaii Small Business Development Center. Dennis has 45 years of financial experience (including many years at the senior managerial level). Graduate of the Advanced Commercial Lending Graduate School in Oklahoma and Pacific Coast Banking School in Seattle. He has assisted businesses in many different industries including manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, retail, service, hospitality, agriculture, and restaurants. Also, he is a Board of Director for Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority and has been a long time advisory council member of the SBA, worked extensively with the USDA, and HEDCO 504 loan program.

Gordon Zane, State Department of Taxation

Hawaii State Seal

Gordon has a JD-MBA, and has had extensive experience in financial analysis, contract administration, and financing. He has worked for the State Department of Taxation for over 10 years, and currently supervises the Department’s civil investigation unit dedicated to insuring tax compliance in all areas of Hawaii’s economy.