This month, we are putting our Hosts of Hawai‘i Spotlight on Brooke Isa, Talent Management Administrator in Kea‘au. While Brooke joined the Hawaiian Host Group team a year and a half ago, you might say that her journey with the company actually began many years ago when her parents met as employees of Mauna Loa’s former parent company. Brooke shared memories of tagging along on visits to Mauna Loa’s office and Visitor Center with her parents when they worked as Accountants for C. Brewer & Co. Today, her parents are incredibly proud to see Brooke working at Hawaiian Host Group for Mauna Loa. Read all about Brooke’s full circle story below.
HHG: How did you land your job at Hawaiian Host Group?
Brooke: After I graduated from college, I was looking for a position that would help me grow in the next chapter of my life. I happened to see a job opening posted online and although the listing asked for more experience than I had, I decided to go for it and apply. I ended up being contacted to go through the interview process by Joy Takanishi, Senior Director of Talent Management Services. It was my second job interview ever – and through the process, Joy made me feel really comfortable and empowered to talk about my experience and what I was looking for in a role.
At the end of the conversation, we determined the position I applied for wasn’t the right fit at the time, but it still felt like a great culture fit from both ends. I am so grateful that HHG proposed me a different position, Talent Management Administrator, which is the role I’m in today. It totally fits my skillset, and it has allowed me to grow professionally for the last year and a half.
HHG: What exactly do you do here?
Brooke: As the Talent Management Administrator, I support our corporate Talent Management department based in Honolulu from our site in Kea‘au. When Talent Management needs information from team members, I am our boots-on-the-ground contact who can meet with them at all times. Vice versa, when team members have questions or need help, I can lean on the broader Talent Management team to get them the support they need.
In my role, I also support paperwork needs at every stage of the employee life cycle – from new hire forms to promotions and even offboarding, I make sure all our paperwork is complete to ensure HHG remains compliant. As a company with a long history, we also have a lot of physical paperwork that I am in the process of digitizing. While it is not the most glamorous part of my job, it is a key step that gives my team access to tons of historic records at their fingertips, that they otherwise would have to hunt down in file cabinets.
One of my favorite parts of my role is supporting the onboarding process for our Admin, Production and Kea‘au Visitor Center team members on their first days at Hawaiian Host Group. I love getting to meet everyone and being part of welcoming them to HHG!
HHG: What has been your favorite experience working at HHG?
Brooke: Seeing the Mauna Loa Visitor Center reopen was super exciting for me. When I first started, the Visitor Center was closed because of the pandemic. While the production facility kept running, it was pretty quiet on our grounds in Kea‘au. Since the reopening this summer, it has been fun to the significant uptick in activity around our office and production facility. Just last week, the Visitor Center was buzzing with hundreds of guests from full tour buses.
I loved coming to the Visitor Center with my parents when I was younger, and it is amazing to see how far we’ve come as a company since then. The Visitor Center team does a great job educating our guests about how we have evolved. It makes me happy to see people enjoying the Visitor Center because I know that, with each group of guests that walk through our doors, we are getting the chance to share the Spirit of Hawai’i with more of the world.
HHG: What is your proudest accomplishment so far at HHG?
Brooke: While I still have a lot to learn, I am proud that I have been able to take on more of the responsibility of supporting the HR needs of our Kea’au team members. With about 90 of us onsite in Kea‘au, this is no small undertaking. I still very much have the support of the rest of the Talent Management team, but as I continue to grow in my role and deepen my HR knowledge, I have been proud to take ownership of more and more of this work.
HHG: What is your favorite Hawaiian Host, Mauna Loa, or KOHO product?
Brooke: It’s so hard to choose! On the Hawaiian Host side, my favorite product is MacNut Crunch because I like the ratio of chocolate to rice crispy pieces, and because the packaging is purple which is my favorite color. For Mauna Loa, my favorite product is the Mango Liliko‘i Macadamia Milk Ice Cream, and for KOHO it’s the Macadamia Blossom Honey Caramel bon bons.
HHG: What is your favorite place in Hawai‘i?
Brooke: My favorite place in the Islands’ is Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. I went recently with friends and was reminded of how much I enjoy being out there. It’s a beautiful place to be and see a lot of native plants & animals and of course, the volcano “glow.”
Thank you, Brooke, for being a crucial part of our team at Hawaiian Host Group. Your positive attitude and willingness to lean in as a team player deserves to be recognized and celebrated every day. Mahalo for all you do!
Interested in a career with Hawaiian Host Group? Check out our open positions via this link.