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Rosalie Lokelani Fernandez

For the first time in the history of the tourism and hospitality industry’s Pineapple Awards, Pacific Business News (PBN) has selected an honoree from the higher education sector. Kapiʻolani Community College Professor Rosalie Lokelani Fernandez is among 16 Hawaiʻi residents recognized through the 2021 Pineapple Awards.

“Rosalie’s receiving PBN’s Pineapple Award highlights her two biggest passions: the tourism and hospitality industry, and educating the industry’s next generation of ambassadors. She always puts students first and instills in her students the value of ho‘okipa with generosity and grace,” said Kapiʻolani CC Chancellor Louise Pagotto. “She is a consummate professional and a caring educator. With a big, open heart, Rosalie inspires her students to excel.”

Fernandez has a long and dedicated career in travel and tourism operations. Besides owning and managing travel agencies, she is a certified travel consultant from the Institute of Certified Travel Agents. She joined the Hospitality and Tourism Education (HOST) department at Kapiʻolani CC in 2001.

Preparing students for future careers

Dave Evans, chair for HOST, said that Fernandez led the development of the department’s travel program, enhancing the rigor and robustness of the curriculum and securing the use of Travelport, a live reservations and ticketing program that prepares students for careers with airlines, travel agencies and tour operations. The use of Travelport to train students on the industry’s Apollo Reservation System also required Fernandez to conceptualize and write a student manual/workbook to guide students through various scenarios and cases.

Evans said, “As the travel program coordinator, she has been instrumental in coordinating the cohesiveness and consistency of the curriculum with the hospitality and tourism programs at UH Maui College, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Community Colleges.”

According to PBN, “The Pineapple [award] seeks to honor individuals—wherever they may work in or with the visitor industry—for their leadership in the industry, their achievements in presenting an authentic Hawaiʻi visitor experience, and their community involvement.”

In lieu of a gala recognition, all recipients will be featured in a special edition of PBN in early June.

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