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Success Stories

Jason Stenger, Alpha Inc. 2015 SBA Young Entrepreneur, Maui County

In 2008, Jason Stenger established Alpha Inc., a construction company specializing in heavy civil site projects, water well drilling and pump installation, underground utility installation, excavation and grading and renewable energy. Now, he is 100% owner of a thriving enterprise with 25 employees and revenues increasing considerably year over year. This young small business owner attributes much of his success to his employees so he strives to establish a quality work environment, providing good wages, training, an apprenticeship program and generous benefits. He also gives back to community-oriented projects such as construction of the Hana Skate Park, the rope challenge course at Neighborhood Place of Wailuku, and wetlands restoration at Kawainui Marsh.

In 2015, Jason Stenger, representing Alpha Inc., won SBA Young Entrepreneur for Maui County. Nominated by Bard Peterson, First Hawaii Bank.

Pictured: Jason Stenger and the crew of Alpha Inc.

Danny Boren, Skyline Eco-Adventures LLC, 2015 Business Person of the Year, Maui County

Started in 2002 as the first commercial zipline tour operation in Hawaii and the U.S., Skyline Eco-Adventures LLC launched a new outdoor phenomenon with a cumulative economic punch of $40 million in Hawaii alone. The tours feature professional guides to escort guests along multiple ziplines, remote hikes, and offer captivating information about Hawaii's unique environment and culture. Now, with operations on the islands of Maui, Kauai and the Big Island, Danny Boren, owner of Skyline Eco-Adventures, remains an innovator, conducting significant research and development in safety equipment and practices, and a much sought after consultant across the nation. 

In 2015, Danny Boren won Small Business Person of the Year, Maui County. Nominated by Alvin Santander, Bank of Hawaii.

Pictured: Danny Boren.

Russell Ruderman, Isalnd Naturals companies, 2015 Small Business Person of the Year, State of Hawaii

Russell Ruderman, president of the Island Naturals companies, had an expansive vision of success. Riding the momentum of healthy, natural and organic food trends, he established locations in Hilo, Pahoa and Kailua Kona and has become the “go-to” source for produce, prepared food items, and nutritional supplements. The company employs 150 people and sales have increased more than 40% over the last three years. The Island Naturals companies have also been honored as the Best Health Food Store for 9 years on Hawaii Island, inspiring customers and businesses with its healthy offerings and environmentally conscious operations. Russell is also an involved citizen and community activist who has supported fair trade, food safety and other initiatives. He was also elected to the State Senate in 2014. 

In 2015, Russell Ruderman won Small Business of the Year for the State of Hawaii. Nominated by Keene Fujinaka, Bank of Hawaii.

Pictured: Russell Ruderman.

Jean Jeremiah with nominator Naomi Masuno, 2015 Small Business Advocate for Minority Business - State of Hawaii

In her role as administrator of SCORE Hawaii, Jean Jeremiah matches entrepreneurs with SBA's volunteer mentors to promote the education, growth and success of Hawaii small businesses. She established outreach locations at Oahu Worklinks, Kapiolani Community College, in Kapolei and on Maui, and has worked with various community groups to plan and conduct training and network events. She has assisted more than 75 individuals with obtaining financing through SBA's pilot Community Express program, and helped to establish the SCORE Women's Initiative, a mentoring project specifically designed for women in any stage of business ownership.

In 2015, Jean Jeremiah won Small Business Advocate for Minority Business for the State of Hawaii. Nominated by Naomi Masuno, Bank of Hawaii.

Pictured: Jean Jeremiah and Naomi Masuno.