Current Board Members
Al Humble, C0-Chair
Kathie Lech, Secretary
Lee McIntosh, Treasurer, Scholarship Chair, & Webmaster
Julia Neal, Vice Chair
Alan Stafford, C0-Chair
The Ka’u Chamber of Commerce started in 1992 as the OVBA, the Ocean View Business Association. The OVBA was originally an idea of several businessmen in Ocean View including Ray Rosenthal, Ken Arbo, Brad Freeman, and Rick Howsley who one day over coffee felt there was a need for such an organization. At their second meeting, they drew up a set of by-laws & charter and appointed Ken Arbo as President and Brad and Rick filled the other required positions. After that meeting the OVBA was formed and they proceeded to enlist charter memberships from the local business owners. “It was tough going to get the businesses to sit down at one common table.” At the first official meeting with about 15 people in attendance, they dealt with the basics and scheduled a formal election of officers. Ray Rosenthal was the first elected President and Rick Howsley was the Vice President. John Delaney was the Treasurer and Katherine Gesell was the first Secretary. The other Directors were Walt Fisher, Brad Freeman, Carl Winge, and Jim Steenburg.
They had a lot to keep them busy! Their main concerns at that time were the Telephone and Power service to the community. There were the issues of water, home insurance, property rights, and agricultural land utilization. They wanted to implement plans to improve recreation, education, emergency services and the environment, and of course they were very concerned about the conditions of the roads.
One of their first accomplishments was the “Ocean View Parade of Homes”, organized for realtors and interested buyers from throughout the island and the State. Contractors in the area were asked to participate in formulating and funding a booklet that described some of the very beautiful new homes that had been built in Ocean View.
There was a proposal for a Business Directory which would help the community acquaint itself with all the many services available along with the many cottage industries. The original Ka’u Business Directory (Then called the Ocean View Business Directory) was published in 1993, there are now well over 100 businesses advertising in the 2013 Directory. The Ocean View Business Association became the Ocean View Chamber of Commerce in 1996. In 2007 the membership voted to change the name to the Ka`u Chamber of Commerece so we could represent the entire district, and the Kau Chamber of Commerece is continuing to grow, adding new members every month!
Early Members of the OVBA: Bob Abel, Ken Arbo, Rozy Arno, George Auhoy, Miriam Baker, Brian Baxter, Colleen Bennis, Beverly Byouk, Gene Calvert, Larry Cush, Stew Dawson, Jack Delaney, Walt Fisher, Brad Freeman, Kate Gesell, Michael Gibson, William Goodloe, Shirley Gouveia, James Grady, John Green, Lillian Harper, Rick Howsley, Merle Martin, Randy Newberg, Don Nitsche, Barry Northrop, Dwain Odom, June Rauch, Mike Reichert, John Reynolds, David Robison, Ray Rosenthal, John Rodriguez, Marvin Royce, Dean Schneider, Jim Steenburg, Donna Temple, John Turner, Carl Winge, Jerry Chang, Ron Phillips, Virginia Isbell, Elizabeth Hardy, Jeff Bovee, Lena Perez, Henry George, William H. Graham. Jack Brown, Trudy Mcadam, Eugene Dudoit, Tom Carson, Joan Hughes, Norm Lewis, Jimmy Meigg, Judy Mallis, Mary Anne Maigret, Ann Maxwell, Norman Olesen, Bill Roedersheimer, Kathy Sauer, Greg Santo, Dave Mohler, Lane Ewan, Ric Elhard, and Roger Bason.