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CPB customer wins 2024 Hawaii Small Business Person of the Year award

Ron Panzo (middle) accepted the SBA 2024 Hawaii State Small Business of the Year award at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on April 28-29, 2024 from SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman (left) and SBA Associate Administrator for Field Operations Jennifer Kim (right).

HONOLULU, HI (May 6, 2024) – Central Pacific Bank (CPB) is proud to recognize Nalu’s South Shore Grill owner, Ron Panzo, as the winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2024 Hawaii State Small Business Person of the Year award. This award acknowledges outstanding achievements and contributions of small businesses across Hawaii and the nation.

Panzo’s dedication to Nalu’s South Shore Grill, a beloved Kihei restaurant, exemplifies entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to the community. The SBA recognizes small businesses like Nalu’s for embodying the grit and determination that help power the local economy.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award. Being born and raised in Hawaii teaches us the importance of community and kuleana,” said Ron Panzo, Nalu’s South Shore Grill owner. “Here on Maui, especially during these challenging times the saying "It Takes a Village" is taking to heart, that we all play a role in making a difference, and the blessings received along the way are immense and a byproduct of serving others. This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team at Nalu’s. We are committed to providing delicious food, exceptional service, and a welcoming atmosphere for our guests, while also being a positive force in the Maui community.”

“Ron is a valued CPB customer and we congratulate him on this well-deserved and prestigious honor,” said CPB President and CEO Arnold Martines. “Small businesses are the backbone of the local economy and CPB is proud to have a storied legacy of believing in these dedicated and determined entrepreneurs on their journey to success.”

The SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year award is a significant recognition for Hawaii’s vibrant small business landscape. The selection criteria included staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales, net profit and net worth for three years, response to adversity and contributions to community. Nalu’s South Shore Grill stands as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and a testament to the power of small businesses in driving the state’s marketplace.

Panzo and awardees from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico were proudly honored in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 28-29, 2024.

Ron and Sandy Panzo were honored at the SBA 2024 National Small Business Week celebration in Washington D.C.

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About Central Pacific Bank

Central Pacific Financial Corp. is a Hawaii-based bank holding company with approximately $7.41 billion in assets as of March 31, 2024. Central Pacific Bank, its primary subsidiary, operates 27 branches and 55 ATMs in the State of Hawaii. Central Pacific Financial Corp. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol "CPF." For additional information, please visit: cpb.bank