Leaders Connect At Farm To Table Lunch

Hawaii Society of Business Professionals (HSBP) hosts its delicious signature event Farm to Table Feb. 26 at Hawaii Prince Hotel’s Mauna Kea Ballroom.

Among this year’s speakers is acclaimed chef Russell Siu, who wears many hats, including that of managing director of Kakaako Kitchen and executive chef and co-owner of 3660 on the Rise. Lesley Hill, co-owner and operator of Wailea Agricultural Group, is a grower of specialty crops like heart of palm. (An additional speaker is to be announced.)

Moderator for the event will be Patti Chang, CEO of Feed The Hunger Foundation, which works to eliminate poverty by providing microloans and support.

Farm to Table, which began in 2010, makes it a point to feature local products and Hawaii markets.

“Here in Hawaii, we import most of our food, so our goal is to raise awareness on why it’s so important to buy local,” explains Harvey Rackmil, CFO of technology company HONBLUE and HSBP president.

According to Rackmil, as people buy more local products, more jobs are created, which means the state’s dependency on importing food diminishes.

Other than good food, HSBP also hopes that its annual event can be full of useful information.

“That’s really HSBP’s main goal,” says Rackmil. “We’re a networking organization, but our goal is to educate the community on different topics.”

HSBP is comprised of about 130 registered members. Rackmil has been with HSBP for 10 years, and has sat on the board for six years.

“What I love about HSBP is that every month I get to go and see folks whom I wouldn’t normally see,” he explains. “I get a chance to catch up with them, and I get a chance to meet new people in the business community that I wouldn’t get to meet.

“You get to generate not only connections but also friendships, which is really nice,” he adds.

Originally known as Hawaii Society of Corporate Planners when it was founded in 1974, HSBP changed its name in 2009 — but it still aims to bring together members who represent a wide variety of local businesses. Because it doesn’t cater to a single profession, members are able to network with an eclectic group.

“We’re folks from all different businesses and walks of life coming together to network and be educated,” Rackmil continues.

The group addresses topics of relevance in the community at its monthly luncheon meetings.

Registration for Farm to Table is requested by Feb. 23, and cost is $38 for HSBP members and partners, or $45 for guests and nonmembers. Tables of 10 are $400. There is an additional $10 charge after Feb. 23. To purchase tickets for Farm to Table and for more information, visit hsbp.biz, or find them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @hsbp_808.