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Kaikor Construction Company, Inc. is a Honolulu-based general contractor specializing in concrete structure contracting, with services including bridge construction and repair, precast installations, foundations, marine superstructure and pervious concrete, a porous, more environmentally-friendly material than the traditional concrete material. Although a well-established company with a 25-year history, Kaikor has remained a nimble operation, successfully navigating the ever-changing business environment and adapting to Hawaii’s unique island economy.
Garrett Sullivan, CEO, has been at the helm, shifting the business’ position and engaging employees in proactive problem solving. With his leadership and innovative approach, the company competes with the larger contractors by focusing on core competency and being a leader in a specialized field.
Focused on cultivating a healthy workforce environment, the CEO supports the Kaikor team by providing tools and training to help them master their trade and maintain a competitive advantage. Sullivan and his employees are involved in community service projects, supporting key projects with Moanalua High School, the Hawaii Foodbank, Kidney Foundation and Hawaii International Child. With 36 employees currently on the payroll, Kaikor is consistently recognized as one of the “best places to work” in Hawaii. Employees also enjoy 401K and health plans and other wellness benefits.
This savvy CEO is also a resource to his industry, balancing the competitive edge as a provider of niche products with the attitude that helping others in the industry raises the standards overall. Sullivan is on top of best practices for his industry and is an active leader in the General Contractors Association and the Construction Financial Management Association, an organization that measures financial performance in the construction industry.
In 2002, Kaikor Construction received assistance from the SBA in the form of a 504 loan to assist in the purchase of their current office and warehouse facility in Kalihi. Sullivan has steered Kaikor through economic downturns, emerging more profitable and reslient each time. Since inception, Kaikor Construction has completed more than 407 projects valued at more than $147,000,000, with on-time delivery every time.
Garrett Sullivan has been named SBA’s 2010 Small Business Person of the Year for the City and County of Honolulu.
Infusing values taken directly from his Hawaiian culture – cooperation, leadership, family, generosity and harmony – Vaughn Vasconcellos opened Akimeka LLC, in 1997. Armed with $35,000 and his vision of creating a small business that could provide innovative information technology for the military medical industry, Vaughn sought out the assistance of SBA’s Small Business Development Center. There, he received helpful technical advice which helped him develop the business. He also took advantage of SBA’s 8(a) program, which provides business development and federal contract support to small disadvantaged businesses.
Today, Akimeka has grown from a Hawaii company with 20 employees in 2001 to a firm with a staff of 161 with offices in Texas, Florida and Washington, D.C. The company has been able to sustain strong profitability and has grown revenues to almost $20 million, with a 54 percent increase in the revenue base in the past five years.
Through a supportive and values-driven leadership, Akimeka has developed into a sound company that provides cutting-edge technology systems to federal agencies and the military. Some Akimeka projects include the Joint Medical Asset Repository program that tracks military medical supply inventories. Medical units in Iraq and Afghanistan use the company’s Joint Medical Work Station surveillance software to track systemic outbreaks of disease among the troops.
Several years ago, the company developed a Web-based telemedicine application for community health centers on the island of Hawaii. This electronic medical record tracked patient encounters in remote locations and shared the information with healthcare providers, dramatically improving the delivery of healthcare to patients. Akimeka is also focused on introducing information technology systems that support military medical operations and help provide enhanced medical response and care. A company team is in the process of developing the Joint Medical Readiness Tool that will support rapid medical response nationwide for emergencies, including pandemic outbreaks and terrorist attacks.
A West Point graduate who was raised by his grandmother and aunt, Vaughn learned early in life the importance of serving his community. In 2004, he organized the Alaka’ina Foundation, a non-profit organization that creates leadership and education programs for Native Hawaiian children. He also serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations.