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New BIA of Hawaii chief outlines her plans for the building industry

Thursday, October 09, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Article via Pacific Business News - October 8, 2014

By: Duane Shimokawa


Gladys Quinto Marrone, the new head of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii, wants to utilize its $7.8 million training center and headquarters in Waipahu in Central Oahu better by increasing the amount of events and training sessions held there. Marrone, who recently took over from longtime CEO Karen Nakamura, told PBN in an exclusive interview that the BIA-Hawaii’s Construction Training Center of the Pacific, which encompasses two stories and 15,800 square feet at the site of the old Mill Town Center, is underutilized. The center has been open since 2009.


"We want to utilize the building better,” Marrone, the former government affairs director for BIA Hawaii, told PBN. "We are fully wired. We have great use of projectors, screens and sound systems. They can come here and have meetings. There’s also good parking.” Marrone, who took over the CEO role from the retiring Karen Nakamura, who had been the organization’s top executive for almost two decades, noted that it does a lot of the training to keep the industry abreast of new products, trends in construction and best practices. "We have people from [the Mainland] that teach some of the classes,” she said. "We have lots of Mainland companies that do training here.”


Besides utilizing its center more, Marrone, who has been on the job for about a month, also wants to continue to grow its membership. The BIA currently has 460 members, but Marrone hopes to grow that number to 600 members by 2017 or 2018. At its peak, the organization had about 600 members. And there has been some recent momentum with the number of members growing by 10 percent in the last year, she said. "The biggest benefits we provide are networking opportunities, events and education with our construction training,” said Marrone, who is one of five paid staff members at the BIA. "We’re meeting with everybody and trying to formulate how we are going to get there. We want to get to a point where we are operating at a higher level.” Besides her CEO duties, Marrone also is the chief lobbyist in Hawaii for the BIA, an affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders that serves as an advocate for the construction sector.

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