Business happenings: 10-08-17

Nguyen named Life Care Center executive director


Nguyen named Life Care Center executive director

KAILUA-KONA — Life Care Center of Kona, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, is welcoming a new executive director, Daisha Nguyen.

Nguyen worked as executive director at Kauai Care Center in Waimea, Kauai. Prior to that appointment, she was executive director at Life Care Center of Puyallup, Washington. She began her career in long-term care as the activity director at Life Care Center of Puyallup. She has 10 years of experience in senior care.

“I love Life Care Center of Kona,” Nguyen said in a press release. “All of the residents have been warm and welcoming, the staff is an extremely dedicated, genuine and hard-working group of people and the families of the residents have welcomed me with open arms. I have a passion for giving our residents the best quality of life possible, and I enjoy supporting resident independence through motivation and encouragement.”

Originally from Seattle, Nguyen earned her bachelor’s degree in outdoor recreation. She currently resides in Captain Cook with her husband, Tam.

Life Care Center of Kona is located at 78-6957 Kamehameha III Road.

Kampachi Farms

gets grant

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono Friday announced that two Hawaii businesses will receive $1.5 million in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding to develop offshore seaweed as a potential clean energy source. The funding was awarded through DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency –Energy (ARPA-E) program.

“These grants recognize the innovative work being done in Hawaii to research and develop renewable energy resources,” Hirono said, member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “This funding will assess the viability of developing seaweed as an energy source, and explore how to use local resources to meet Hawaii’s renewable energy goals.”

Under the grant, Kampachi Farms in Kailua-Kona received $500,000 to develop an offshore seaweed production farm and test harvesting techniques for future use in renewable energy production.

“Marine agronomy – the culture of limu (seaweed) in oceanic conditions – offers potential for increased production of food, feeds and fuel,” said Neil Sims, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Kampachi Farms. “Using the power of the ocean’s primary production, we can increase availability of healthful food for people, feeds for fish and other animals, and biofuels for a carbon neutral planet, with minimal use of land, freshwater or artificial fertilizers.”

15 entrepreneurs to pitch plans Oct. 21

KAILUA-KONA — Fifteen Hawaii Island entrepreneurs will make a pitch for their business plans – in person, on Oct.21 – to judges in the HIplan competition, in hopes of winning a prize of $25,000 in seed money. The 15 semi-finalists’ plans were selected from 39 plans submitted in writing earlier this month.

Big Island Tiny Homes proposes to build small, affordable houses with concrete. Ahualoa Farms proposes to revive a coffee industry on the Hamakua Coast. Ai Pono Mushrooms LLC proposes to grow gourmet mushrooms for local restaurants and consumers. The Alaka’i Academy proposes to build a new facility for its child-development center. Bokoa Farms proposes to process invasive waiawi (strawberry guava) wood into chips for smoking meat.

Renewable Ocean Energy, Inc. proposes to commercialize a hydroelectric generator that operates on shorelines. Cocoa Outlet &The Chocolate Guy Hawaii proposes to build a warehouse and processing center for locally-grown chocolate. Empi Empi Foods proposes to cultivate the legume gandule (pigeon pea) both for food and for soil enhancement. Sunshine Pediatric Clinic LLC proposes to expand access to pediatric medical services on Hawaii Island. The Hawaii Farmers Exchange proposes new approaches to marketing locally grown coffee and tea. Kona Coco Farms proposes to host new fields of dwarf coconut palms and market their products.

The Water Machine proposes to market its countertop water purification system. Lava Zone Lifestyle LLC proposes to manufacture presses for making cannabis “rosin.” Namaka Algae proposes to cultivate spirulina (blue-green algae) as a nutritional supplement. Spicy Ninja Sauce LLC proposes to market its locally produced line of hot sauces and condiments.

The October 21 event is open to the public. It will be held in Hale Iako at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA), 73-987 Makako Bay Drive, Kailua-Kona. The judges will then select a smaller number of entrepreneurs as competition finalists, who will tweak their plans further and make another presentation, as well as a two-minute “elevator pitch,” at the final event – also open to the public – on Nov. 4 at NELHA.


The winner will receive $25,000, which has been donated to HIplan by a hui.

Info: HIplan co-chair Jim Wyban: