ABOUT


Sharing the Spirit of Hawai‘i with the World 

Our History

Our founders, Mamoru & Aiko Takitani, had a vision to share the Spirit of Hawai‘i with the world. They knew deep down the world would be a better place if more people embraced this Spirit of warmth, openness, and human connection. While this Spirit is intangible, their unique Hawaiian creations became the channel to do just that.

Soon, they became known as the ultimate Hosts of Hawai‘i – the people who went the extra mile in everything they did. From the product finishes to the personal approach in deliveries, their entrepreneurial grit and perseverance laid the foundation for who we are and how we operate today, and long into the future.

Making the Islands’ Future Flourish

Sharing the Spirit of Hawai‘i not only means exporting our product to the world to bring back resources to Hawai‘i, it also means taking care of the Islands’ for generations to come.

SUSTAINABILITY

SUSTAINABILITY

Our team is passionate about preserving and protecting the Islands. Through initiatives such as solar farms across our facilities, a wastewater system we installed on the Big Island, and even sustainable packaging efforts, we aim to minimize our environmental impact and reduce our carbon footprint.

EDUCATION

EDUCATION

Over the years, we have donated over $2 million to the Takitani Foundation, which grants scholarships and educational opportunities to deserving students across Hawai‘i. We also partner with local schools, colleges, and universities, including Kamehameha Schools, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa & Hilo, and Chaminade University. Through guest lectures, tours of our offices & facilities, and more, we help local students understand how we run the #1 branded macadamia company.

Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs

We believe supporting local entrepreneurs is key to Hawai‘i’s future growth. We do this through a range of collaborative partnerships, with two good examples being; Keiki Rise and Mana Up. With Keiki Rise, we aim to empower the next generation of Hawai‘i’s entrepreneurs with tools, resources, and connections to succeed in business. Through Mana Up, we offer executive mentorship to up-and-coming local business owners and provide +25 entrepreneurs access to a global audience through a permanent “store within a store” in our Visitor Center near Hilo.

GIVING

GIVING

We proudly give back to our local community with impactful donations, resulting in us being named one of Hawai‘i's most charitable companies multiple years in a row. We have donated in-kind product and sponsorships to hundreds of local organizations and events such as Hawai‘i Foodbank, Merrie Monarch Festival, Honolulu Little League, and many others across the state.

COMMUNITY

COMMUNITY

We are excited to invest in the success and wellbeing of our broader Island community through meaningful partnerships. One of the many ways we do this is, for example, our partnership with The Arc of Hilo. This is a workforce of adults with disabilities that help manage the landscaping needs at our Kea‘au facility. Additionally, we partner with organizations such as Digital Ready Hawai‘i to educate and provide digital tools to kupuna (elders), bridging the digital literacy gap in our state.

LOCAL JOBS

LOCAL JOBS

Out of our ~500 employees, about 430 are based on the Islands. Beyond this, our operations support an additional 3,000 jobs across the state, including our suppliers, stores, logistics & distribution partners, local farmers, growers, and more.

Our Corporate Brand

Hawaiian Host Group is a leading Hawai‘i-based agricultural, manufacturing, and consumer goods company.

PURPOSE

We are the hosts of Hawai‘i. It is our job to make the Islands’ future flourish.

VISION

Share the Spirit of Hawaiʻi* with the world.

*A Spirit of warmth, openness, and human connection.

MISSION

Exceed expectations with the Spirit of Hawaiʻi – in everything we do.

Our Culture

Our Culture

Besides working on products such as chocolate and ice cream – who doesn’t love that? – you get to collaborate and learn with a team that strives to exceed expectations with the Spirit of Hawai‘i in everything they do.

Yes, we work hard, but we like to have fun while doing it. Expect interactive company meetings, tasty product samples, insightful Lunch & Learns, spirited Office Olympics, sporadic karaoke, and a range of other initiatives.

Executive Leadership

#ED SCHULTZ
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ED SCHULTZ

PRESIDENT & CEO

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Ed Schultz has been President of Hawaiian Host Group since 2018. In 2020, he became President and CEO. Prior to joining HHG, he was President and Owner of Honolulu Coffee. Mr. Schultz’s career started in New York working on growth equity investments and leveraged buyouts for BNP Paribas Merchant Banking Group and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He is currently on the board of the Hawaii Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i. Mr. Schultz is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee with a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

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ED SCHULTZLinkedIn

PRESIDENT & CEO

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Ed Schultz has been President of Hawaiian Host Group since 2018. In 2020, he became President and CEO. Prior to joining HHG, he was President and Owner of Honolulu Coffee. Mr. Schultz’s career started in New York working on growth equity investments and leveraged buyouts for BNP Paribas Merchant Banking Group and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He is currently on the board of the Hawaii Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i. Mr. Schultz is a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee with a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

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#MICHELLE LEON-GUERRERO
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MICHELLE LEON-GUERRERO

CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

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Michelle Leon-Guerrero joined Hawaiian Host Group in 2019 and serves as Chief Administrative Officer. Prior to joining HHG, Mrs. Leon-Guerrero was Director of Benefits for ProService Hawaii, the largest Professional Employer Organization (PEO) in the state. Under her leadership, the benefits and insurance programs grew to serve more than 35,000 employees. Mrs. Leon-Guerrero is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a Bachelor of Science in Travel Industry Management and also holds an MBA in Human Resources.

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MICHELLE LEON-GUERREROLinkedIn

CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

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Michelle Leon-Guerrero joined Hawaiian Host Group in 2019 and serves as Chief Administrative Officer. Prior to joining HHG, Mrs. Leon-Guerrero was Director of Benefits for ProService Hawaii, the largest Professional Employer Organization (PEO) in the state. Under her leadership, the benefits and insurance programs grew to serve more than 35,000 employees. Mrs. Leon-Guerrero is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a Bachelor of Science in Travel Industry Management and also holds an MBA in Human Resources.

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#AMIR ZAHEDI
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AMIR ZAHEDI

CHIEF SALES OFFICER

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Amir Zahedi has been Senior VP of Sales at Hawaiian Host Group since April 2021. Prior to joining HHG, Mr. Zahedi served as SVP of Sales at Truco Enterprises. He has held various roles throughout his career including Category Management, Trade Marketing, and progressive sales roles at Mars Inc., Unilever, and Pinnacle Foods. Mr. Zahedi earned his MBA from Pepperdine University and has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from UC Riverside.

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AMIR ZAHEDILinkedIn

CHIEF SALES OFFICER

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Amir Zahedi has been Senior VP of Sales at Hawaiian Host Group since April 2021. Prior to joining HHG, Mr. Zahedi served as SVP of Sales at Truco Enterprises. He has held various roles throughout his career including Category Management, Trade Marketing, and progressive sales roles at Mars Inc., Unilever, and Pinnacle Foods. Mr. Zahedi earned his MBA from Pepperdine University and has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from UC Riverside.

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#SHANNON CASTELLANOS
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SHANNON CASTELLANOS

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

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Shannon Castellanos joined Hawaiian Host Group as Chief Financial Officer in 2022. Mrs. Castellanos comes to HHG with over 20 years of Finance and Accounting experience in the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) and Retail industry. Prior to joining HHG, Mrs. Castellanos served as VP of Accounting and Finance at The Wonderful Company. Mrs. Castellanos began her career in public accounting at Deloitte, where she focused on consumer products and technology companies. Mrs. Castellanos holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Boston College and is a CPA in the state of California.

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SHANNON CASTELLANOSLinkedIn

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

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Shannon Castellanos joined Hawaiian Host Group as Chief Financial Officer in 2022. Mrs. Castellanos comes to HHG with over 20 years of Finance and Accounting experience in the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) and Retail industry. Prior to joining HHG, Mrs. Castellanos served as VP of Accounting and Finance at The Wonderful Company. Mrs. Castellanos began her career in public accounting at Deloitte, where she focused on consumer products and technology companies. Mrs. Castellanos holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Boston College and is a CPA in the state of California.

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Senior Leadership

#Alejandra Pedemonte
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Alejandra Pedemonte

Director of Global Marketing, Hawaiian Host

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Alejandra Pedemonte serves as Director of Global Marketing, Hawaiian Host. Prior to HHG, Alejandra held positions in brand management and portfolio management at The Hershey Company, as well as at POM Wonderful. She has experience in growing brands, creating and executing integrated marketing campaigns, and developing omnichannel go-to-market strategies. Alejandra began her career on the creative side of the film and TV business before transitioning into marketing in the CPG industry. She holds a Master of Business Administration from University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

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Alejandra PedemonteLinkedIn

Director of Global Marketing, Hawaiian Host

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Alejandra Pedemonte serves as Director of Global Marketing, Hawaiian Host. Prior to HHG, Alejandra held positions in brand management and portfolio management at The Hershey Company, as well as at POM Wonderful. She has experience in growing brands, creating and executing integrated marketing campaigns, and developing omnichannel go-to-market strategies. Alejandra began her career on the creative side of the film and TV business before transitioning into marketing in the CPG industry. She holds a Master of Business Administration from University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

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#Chris Rabago
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Chris Rabago

Senior Director of Manufacturing & Engineering

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Chris Rabago serves as Director of Manufacturing for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Chris founded a Hawai‘i coffee company based in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Prior to Hawai‘i, Chris spent 17 years overseeing operations at a specialty food contract manufacturer in California. Chris is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a bachelor's degree in Food Science.

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Chris RabagoLinkedIn

Senior Director of Manufacturing & Engineering

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Chris Rabago serves as Director of Manufacturing for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Chris founded a Hawai‘i coffee company based in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Prior to Hawai‘i, Chris spent 17 years overseeing operations at a specialty food contract manufacturer in California. Chris is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a bachelor's degree in Food Science.

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#Danielle Laubenstein
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Danielle Laubenstein

Senior Director of Global Marketing, Mauna Loa

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Danielle Laubenstein serves as Director of Global Marketing, Mauna Loa. Prior to Hawaiian Host Group, Danielle was at Godiva on the Global Travel Retail team as well as Chocolove, where she served as Director of Marketing, gaining experience in the naturals channel. She holds a degree in Business from the University of Washington with a concentration in Marketing.

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Danielle LaubensteinLinkedIn

Senior Director of Global Marketing, Mauna Loa

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Danielle Laubenstein serves as Director of Global Marketing, Mauna Loa. Prior to Hawaiian Host Group, Danielle was at Godiva on the Global Travel Retail team as well as Chocolove, where she served as Director of Marketing, gaining experience in the naturals channel. She holds a degree in Business from the University of Washington with a concentration in Marketing.

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#Earl Kurisu
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Earl Kurisu

Senior Director of International Sales

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Earl Kurisu serves as Sr. Director of International Sales for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Earl held positions as International Sales Manager at Hawaiian Sun products and General Manager at Ed & Don’s of Hawaii. Earl has served as a board member for the Hawaii Food Manufacturer’s Association (HFMA) for the past 8 years, holding seats as both Vice President and President of the board.

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Earl KurisuLinkedIn

Senior Director of International Sales

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Earl Kurisu serves as Sr. Director of International Sales for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Earl held positions as International Sales Manager at Hawaiian Sun products and General Manager at Ed & Don’s of Hawaii. Earl has served as a board member for the Hawaii Food Manufacturer’s Association (HFMA) for the past 8 years, holding seats as both Vice President and President of the board.

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#Jeff Lam
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Jeff Lam

Director of Sales, Hawai‘i

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Jeff Lam serves as the Director of Sales for the Hawai‘i region for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Jeff held positions with Anheuser-Busch and Young’s Market as a District Manager gaining 15 years of CPG experience. He holds a degree in Business from the University of Hawai‘i with a concentration in Finance and Marketing.

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Jeff LamLinkedIn

Director of Sales, Hawai‘i

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Jeff Lam serves as the Director of Sales for the Hawai‘i region for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Jeff held positions with Anheuser-Busch and Young’s Market as a District Manager gaining 15 years of CPG experience. He holds a degree in Business from the University of Hawai‘i with a concentration in Finance and Marketing.

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#Joy Takanishi
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Joy Takanishi

Senior Director of Talent Management Services

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Joy Takanishi joined Hawaiian Host Group in 2016 and serves as Director of Talent Management Services. Her extensive experience in leading both HR and accounting teams spans more than 30 years in Hawai‘i and California. Prior to joining HHG, Joy was the Hawaii Market Unit HR Manager for Coca-Cola Enterprises and Vice President and Controller for ITO-EN (USA) INC. Joy is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.

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Joy TakanishiLinkedIn

Senior Director of Talent Management Services

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Joy Takanishi joined Hawaiian Host Group in 2016 and serves as Director of Talent Management Services. Her extensive experience in leading both HR and accounting teams spans more than 30 years in Hawai‘i and California. Prior to joining HHG, Joy was the Hawaii Market Unit HR Manager for Coca-Cola Enterprises and Vice President and Controller for ITO-EN (USA) INC. Joy is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting.

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#Lana Jones
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Lana Jones

Director of Contract Manufacturing

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Lana Jones serves as Director of Contract Manufacturing for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Lana served as the Head of Marketing for Haribo of America – acting as the General Manager of Seasonal & Co-Manufacturing. Over the years, she gained experience across departments and industries for organizations such as Walgreens, Russell Stover Chocolates, and Pabst Brewing Company. In 2018, Lana was selected as one of the National Confectioners Association’s Future Leaders. She graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications.

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Lana JonesLinkedIn

Director of Contract Manufacturing

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Lana Jones serves as Director of Contract Manufacturing for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Lana served as the Head of Marketing for Haribo of America – acting as the General Manager of Seasonal & Co-Manufacturing. Over the years, she gained experience across departments and industries for organizations such as Walgreens, Russell Stover Chocolates, and Pabst Brewing Company. In 2018, Lana was selected as one of the National Confectioners Association’s Future Leaders. She graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications.

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#Natalie Herr
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Natalie Herr

Director of Sales, North America

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Natalie Herr joined Hawaiian Host Group in January 2020 and currently serves as Director of Sales – North America. Prior to joining HHG, Natalie worked for five years at Russell Stover Chocolates and in 2019 was honored as one of five Future Leaders in the Industry by the National Confectioners Association (NCA). Natalie is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science, Marketing degree and a concentration in International Business.

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Natalie HerrLinkedIn

Director of Sales, North America

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Natalie Herr joined Hawaiian Host Group in January 2020 and currently serves as Director of Sales – North America. Prior to joining HHG, Natalie worked for five years at Russell Stover Chocolates and in 2019 was honored as one of five Future Leaders in the Industry by the National Confectioners Association (NCA). Natalie is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science, Marketing degree and a concentration in International Business.

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#Rhiannan Shippen
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Rhiannan Shippen

Director of Supply Chain

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Rhiannan Shippen serves as Director of Supply Chain, overseeing procurement, warehousing, and logistics. Prior to joining HHG, Rhiannan held several roles at Y. Hata & Co. in Honolulu including Director of Purchasing and Director of Operations. She holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Hawai‘i in Travel Industry Management.

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Rhiannan ShippenLinkedIn

Director of Supply Chain

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Rhiannan Shippen serves as Director of Supply Chain, overseeing procurement, warehousing, and logistics. Prior to joining HHG, Rhiannan held several roles at Y. Hata & Co. in Honolulu including Director of Purchasing and Director of Operations. She holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Hawai‘i in Travel Industry Management.

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#Stan Huang
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Stan Huang

Director of Commercial Finance

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Stan Huang serves as Director of Commercial Finance for Hawaiian Host Group. He first joined HHG in May 2021 as Senior Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis. Previously, Stan worked at international consumer goods companies such as Diageo and Heineken, where he held positions in business development, corporate venture capital, and revenue strategy. He began his career in investment banking at Raymond James. Stan graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Public Policy.

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Stan HuangLinkedIn

Director of Commercial Finance

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Stan Huang serves as Director of Commercial Finance for Hawaiian Host Group. He first joined HHG in May 2021 as Senior Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis. Previously, Stan worked at international consumer goods companies such as Diageo and Heineken, where he held positions in business development, corporate venture capital, and revenue strategy. He began his career in investment banking at Raymond James. Stan graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Public Policy.

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#Steven Lim
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Steven Lim

Director of Finance, Operations

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Steven joined HHG in January 2022 as Director of Finance, Operations. He began his career in the financial services industry working for Zacks Investment Management and Bank of America. Later, Steven spent 11 years with Barry Callebaut in a wide variety of management roles – most recently as the Operations and Supply Chain Controller, overseeing the US West and Mexico. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Chicago, majoring in both Finance and Business Management.

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Steven LimLinkedIn

Director of Finance, Operations

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Steven joined HHG in January 2022 as Director of Finance, Operations. He began his career in the financial services industry working for Zacks Investment Management and Bank of America. Later, Steven spent 11 years with Barry Callebaut in a wide variety of management roles – most recently as the Operations and Supply Chain Controller, overseeing the US West and Mexico. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Chicago, majoring in both Finance and Business Management.

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#Stijn Spaas
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Stijn Spaas

Director of Corporate Brand Strategy

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Stijn Spaas serves as Director of Corporate Brand Strategy for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Stijn worked as a brand strategist for consulting firm Innovation Protocol in Los Angeles. He gained international experience as consultant and speaker for organizations including Universal Studios, NXP, PayPal, and TEDx. Stijn graduated from University PXL in Belgium with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and served as MBA Teaching Assistant at the University of Southern California.

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Stijn SpaasLinkedIn

Director of Corporate Brand Strategy

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Stijn Spaas serves as Director of Corporate Brand Strategy for Hawaiian Host Group. Prior to joining HHG, Stijn worked as a brand strategist for consulting firm Innovation Protocol in Los Angeles. He gained international experience as consultant and speaker for organizations including Universal Studios, NXP, PayPal, and TEDx. Stijn graduated from University PXL in Belgium with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and served as MBA Teaching Assistant at the University of Southern California.

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#Stu Haack
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Stu Haack

Director of E-Commerce

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Stu Haack serves as Director of E-Commerce for Hawaiian Host Group. Stu brings experience in marketing leadership from retail, hospitality, gaming, and telecommunications industries. Prior to joining HHG, Stu led advertising, marketing, and technology initiatives at Mars Wrigley, DIRECTV, and Caesars Entertainment. Stu holds a Master’s Degree in Communication Management from University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s Degree in Advertising from Northern Arizona University.

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Stu HaackLinkedIn

Director of E-Commerce

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Stu Haack serves as Director of E-Commerce for Hawaiian Host Group. Stu brings experience in marketing leadership from retail, hospitality, gaming, and telecommunications industries. Prior to joining HHG, Stu led advertising, marketing, and technology initiatives at Mars Wrigley, DIRECTV, and Caesars Entertainment. Stu holds a Master’s Degree in Communication Management from University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s Degree in Advertising from Northern Arizona University.

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#Theresa Tuxhorn
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Theresa Tuxhorn

Managing Director, KOHO

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Theresa Tuxhorn joins Hawaiian Host Group from working in San Francisco for Williams Sonoma Inc. Prior to Williams Sonoma, Theresa built up a decade of global travel retail experience working at DFS, where she lead the global and regional category strategies, marketing campaigns, and growth initiatives across North America, Mid-Pacific, South East Asia, Middle East and Europe. Theresa graduated from California State University, Chico with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a minor in International Business.

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Theresa TuxhornLinkedIn

Managing Director, KOHO

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Theresa Tuxhorn joins Hawaiian Host Group from working in San Francisco for Williams Sonoma Inc. Prior to Williams Sonoma, Theresa built up a decade of global travel retail experience working at DFS, where she lead the global and regional category strategies, marketing campaigns, and growth initiatives across North America, Mid-Pacific, South East Asia, Middle East and Europe. Theresa graduated from California State University, Chico with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a minor in International Business.

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