The gala event is the largest annual fundraiser for the MPI Aloha Chapter. We also take this opportunity to recognize Hawai’i’s industry leaders that have made an impact on our businesses.

The recipients of our 2017 Gala are Peter Merriman for his strong leadership; Danny Akaka, Jr. for cultural sustainability and Pris Texeira, for her legacy in the hospitality industry.



Distinguished Industry Leader Award

Peter Merriman / Chef, Restaurant Owner and Pioneer of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine

A culinary innovator in Hawaii for over 25 years.

Known as the original “locavore”, Peter is a vocal champion of Hawaii’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen

Legacy Award

Pris Texeira / Managing Director Hawai‘i Tourism Global MCI

Founder and producer of PRIME (Pacific Rim Incentives & Meetings Exchange)

Former Vice President of Meetings, Conventions, and Incentives for the Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau

Memberships included: MPI Aloha Chapter, served on the MPI international board, member of ASAE Aloha Chapter, Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association and Hawaii Society of Business Professionals

Cultural Award

Danny Akaka, Jr. / Director of Cultural Affairs Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows

Respected as a long-standing kahu, teacher, musician, storyteller, explorer, and preservationist – truly a keeper of the spirit.

As an explorer, Danny was a crew member of the Hokule‘a, Hawaii’s double-hulled voyaging canoe, on its voyages in 1995, 1999 and again in 2007, providing the crew with his extensive knowledge of Polynesian cultures.

MPI Gala Dinner 2017 from Keith Uehara Photography on Vimeo.