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Session Schedule

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM


Event welcome

Keynote Speaker: Maria Vargas, Senior Program Advisor at the Department of Energy

10 min break

9:40 AM - 10:40 AM

Session 1A

Connected Company: Incorporating the Internet of Things (IoT) into your Business

What is the internet of things and how is it relevant to my building? Can it really improve tenant comfort AND save me money on my electric bill? Realistically, what does it take to get started on upgrades to my building automation hardware and software? Get these questions and more answered by our experienced speakers!


Featured Speakers:

  • Harry Sim, CEO of Cypress Envirosystems
  • (More speakers to be featured)



Session 1B

How to get your energy projects funded

Often the initial upfront cost becomes a barrier that stops projects which have an attractive rate of return from moving forward. This panel will tackle how to better frame and present your projects to gain approval, as well as present innovative latest funding mechanisms available to help make your energy-savings vision a reality.

Featured Speaker:


  • Brad Punu, HSWAC
  • Gwen Yamamoto Lau, Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority


11:10 AM - 12:10 PM

Session 2A

Making your building more resilient, and Hawai‘i too!

Natural disasters are inevitable, and with climate change looming as a growing issue, it is critical that we increase the resiliency of our buildings here in the islands and be able to adapt to our changing world. Fortunately, our islands can become resilient to withstand the shocks and stresses. Cities that are resilient can evolve in the face of disaster and stop failure from rippling through systems; they can reestablish function quickly and avoid long-term disruptions. Learn what can be done in your building to improve the 4 R’s (robustness, resourcefulness, recovery, and redundancy) while playing an important role for our community.


Featured Speakers:

  • Josh Stanbro, Chief Resilience Officer for the City & County of Honolulu
  • Maria Vargas, Senior Program Advisor at the Department of Energy
  • (More speakers to be featured)



Session 2B

Room Service: Generating Smart Energy Solutions for Hotels

As a 24/7 business, hotels often use massive amounts of energy. So what can be done to minimize energy usage while still providing a top-notch experience to guests? Hear from those in the industry who are exceeding goals in both areas and how they are doing this, as well as the new technologies and solutions they are employing.

Featured Speaker:


  • Derek Bacigal, Director of Engineering at the Hale Koa Hotel
  • Stephen Weldon, Regional Director of Engineering at Kokua Hospitality
  • Eric Au, Area Director of Engineering & Facilities at Marriott International


12:10 PM - 1:20 PM


10 min break

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Session 3A

Establishing Control: How to Let Lighting Technology Achieve Deeper Energy Savings

Featured Speaker:


  • Steve Mesh, CEO of Lighting Education & Design



Session 3B

Being green is more than just installing solar

Electric vehicles and energy storage are the hot topic right now, but how much do you really know about the challenges of integrating them or what technology you should start with? Maui Brewing Company was named the Small Business of the Year last year, in part due to their environmental leadership. Hear from MBC, the University of Hawai‘i, and Hawaiian Electric Company on the best ways you can integrate these technologies into your business for both financial and environmental benefit, as well as being a benefit to the electric grid.

Featured Speakers:

  • Matt Lynch, University of Hawai‘i Office of Sustainability
  • Garrett Marrero, Owner and Founder of Maui Brewing Company
  • Ka'iulani Shinsato, Director of Distributed Energy Resources at Hawaiian Electric Company
  • Melissa Miyashiro, Chief of Staff at Blue Planet Foundation


3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Session 4A

Topic: TBD



Featured Speakers:



Session 4B

Your Data + Your Employees: Your All-Star Energy Saving Team

The best resources that support your business are your employees, so who better to lead the charge in helping your company be more energy-efficient than those most invested in its success? Learn to manage energy savings through a holistic, data-driven, strategic approach and effective methods to empower all your employees – from your facility managers to your marketing team – to play a part in your business’ energy future.


Featured Speakers:

  • Alex Da Silva, Senior Manager of External Communications at Hawaiian Airlines
  • Tim Dantoin, Senior Engineer at Leidos
  • Maria Vargas, Senior Program Advisor at the Department of Energy


10 min break

4:10 PM - 5:00 PM


5:15 PM - 7:00 PM

PAU HANA NETWORKING - Presented by Hawaii Energy


Keynote Speakers

Maria Vargas

Maria T. Vargas serves as the Senior Program Advisor at the Department of Energy, and is the Director of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative. Her work at the Better Buildings Institute involves engaging with hundreds of chief executiveofficers, university presidents and state and local leaders to move the needle in upgrading buildings across their portfolio and sharing innovative solutions and strategies.


About the Innovation Symposium

Innovation Symposium at the Seraton Waikīkī

Join us at our Innovation Symposium, an informational and networking expo designed to help you evaluate the actions you’re currently taking to balance your energy usage. Energy-efficient measures aren’t just good for the planet, but also can improve customer satisfaction. Bringing together speakers at the forefront of their fields, local energy experts, and the people of Hawai‘i who each and every day, strive to make our island a better place for our keiki, we’ll cover ways to harness your technical skills to electrify your profits.

There’s no day like today to save energy. We invite you to connect with us and others as you make achieving your business goals a reality!


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Media Contact

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