June 10, 2015

Hirono Facilitates Second Annual Hawaii On The Hill Policy Summit, Connects Hawaii Businesses With Washington, D.C.

Hawaii On The Hill Policy Summit Headlined By Panels With Officials From Federal Agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, Senator Mazie K. Hirono welcomed Hawaii businesses to Capitol Hill for the second annual Hawaii on the Hill Policy Summit. More than 50 representatives from businesses across Hawaii attended the Hawaii on the Hill Policy summit held in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center for policy discussions with officials from federal agencies and U.S. Senators.

“We’re very far away in Hawaii and it makes a big difference when our people can come directly to Washington, D.C. and meet with officials from the Administration,” said Senator Hirono. “This morning at the Hawaii on the Hill Policy Summit, a wide variety of Administration officials discussed the kind of work they do to help Hawaii businesses and answered questions from businesses in attendance. While Hawaii on the Hill is a two day event that highlights the wide variety of industries in our state, my effort to build relationships and advocate for Hawaii businesses in Washington will continue to be one of my top priorities.

“The Policy Summit is a really important aspect of Hawaii on the Hill—it brings government representatives from different agencies to talk about some of their services and how they can help businesses in Hawaii,” said Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “Connecting with our Congressional delegation and federal agencies is a great opportunity for  Hawaii businesses to get an inside perspective from policymakers in Washington, D.C. on a wide variety of issues that are important to Hawaii.”


Senator Chuck Schumer closes out the Hawaii on the Hill Policy Summit. Also pictured (L-R) are Ann Oliva, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President and CEO  Sherry Menor-McNamara, and HUD Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti

Following opening remarks from Senator Hirono and Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President and CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara, Senator Brian Schatz, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, and Congressman Mark Takai began the summit by stressing the importance of sharing the Aloha spirit on Capitol Hill.

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who serves as Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, formally kicked off the Hawaii on the Hill Policy Summit with a discussion on legislation she is working on to help small businesses in Hawaii, New Hampshire, and across the country.

Next, the Hawaii on the Hill Policy Summit was headlined by three panels: 

The International Commerce, Workforce Development, and Diversity panel included representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Education, and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

The Small Business and Business Development panel included representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Small Business Administration.

The final panel, Newsmakers, focused on homelessness and was headlined by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti.  

The Hawaii on the Hill Policy Summit closed with remarks from New York Senator Chuck Schumer who highlighted his close relationship with Senator Hirono, the urgency to pass immigration reform, and the importance of a strong visitor industry in both Hawaii and New York.  

For additional photos from the Hawaii on the Hill Policy Summit, click here. You can also read tweets from the event on Senator Hirono’s Twitter feed.

Hawaii on the Hill, a partnership between Senator Mazie K. Hirono and the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, is a two day event in our nation’s capital that gives Hawaii businesses the opportunity to meet with federal officials while also showcasing Hawaii businesses and products to Members of Congress, Administration officials, and the Washington, D.C. community.