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Rawlins Named Exceptional Small Business

Rawlins

Shirley Rawlins, left, and daughter Lori-Lei Crivello, right, accepted the awards for Rawlins Chevron. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

At an elegant dinner event overlooking panoramic views of Maui last Thursday, Rawlins Chevron was honored among Maui County businesses as the Exceptional Small Business of the Year in the 11 to 35 employees category.

With eight other nominated businesses from Maui in that category at the 2015 Mayor’s Small Business Awards, the multi-generational family service station with 20 employees in Kaunakakai took top honors. They were one of two Molokai businesses represented as nominees at the event.

“We’re blessed to do what we do in the community each and every day in our community,” said Lori-Lei Crivello after accepting the award. Crivello represented the business with her mother Shirley Rawlins. “I’d like to recognize my grandmother, who started this business some 55 years ago… We continue our business with four generations in Kaunakakai. We’re so proud of that, and blessed and honored to be here.”

Rawlins Chevron was nominated for the award by Ku`ulei Arce of the Molokai MEO Business Development Center, who called the service station “a stop for food, gas, drinks, ice and chat before you head to the beach or head home.”

“Customer service is very important to them and customers are always greeted with aloha,” Arce wrote in her nomination. “If it’s not too busy, they’ll also fill you in on the latest fishing catch or fundraising effort. Running a business on Molokai is tough, the cost of living itself is a struggle, but Aunty Shirley and Lori-Lei are an awesome team that shows strong business leadership.”

Maui County businesses and entrepreneurs were awarded in six categories. The annual event, held at King Kamehameha Golf Club’s Waikapu Ballroom, is put on by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Affairs and the Maui Chamber of Commerce.

Molokai’s other business nominee in attendance was The Molokai Dispatch, nominated by Kimberly Svetin of Molokai Drugs. While the newspaper did not win its category of Exceptional Small Business with under 10 employees, the Dispatch was honored to attend and represent the island.

“I want to thank each and every one of you for putting together the effort to become successful business people that you are,” Mayor Alan Arakawa told attendees.  “Each… of you made a commitment to do something productive, to take a chance, to take a leap of faith… to establish a business that provides a service or goods for our community to help our community become more prosperous.”

All nominees were recognized with a poster displayed at the event, a photo with the mayor and a framed plaque for outstanding achievement.

“It’s people like yourselves that are taking chances, it’s people like yourselves that believe, you’re the ones that are making a differences,” said Arakawa. “My congratulations to everyone in this room, and my thanks.”

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