Magazine article Independent Banker

Hawaii Awaits You!

Magazine article Independent Banker

Hawaii Awaits You!

Article excerpt

ICBA Convention Proud Traditions, A Promising future March 10-14, 2002

The Aloha State plays host to ICBA's 2002 convention

In March, bankers from across the country will converge on Honolulu, Hawaii, for ICBMs 2002 National Convention and Techworld.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa, set on the widest stretch of Waikiki beach, plays host to this year's convention and offers everything required for a relaxing tropical vacation. Set amid 22 acres of majestically landscaped gardens, the hotel is also home to nearly 60 species of exotic birds, waterfowl, turtles and fish. Guests can absorb the local culture by learning how to play the ukulele, do the hula or make leis out of native flowers.

Spend the day taking in the sights and sounds of Honolulu or relax by one of the hotel's many pools. Then, listen for the conch shells announcing the close of the day as torches are lit in a ceremony held each evening. Or shop at more than 90 upscale boutiques and shops on the hotel's property.

So, get your grass skirts and Hawaiian shirts ready and plans to attend ICBA's convention March 10-14, 2002. You won't want to miss it.

Hawaii Is for Everyone

Travelers to Hawaii often ask friends and family for an account of their experiences when mapping out their trips. For one banker, an account of the wonders of Hawaii not only convinced him to make the islands the site of his 1995 wedding, but after experiencing the beauty of the islands himself, it also led him to a lifelong affinity for the 50th state of the union.

Hailing from the Midwest, Ben Dancer, chairman of Stockbridge State Bank in Stockbridge, Mich., says most of his vacations were spent on the ski slopes. "I never had any desire to visit Hawaii prior to our wedding," he says. "Once we were eating outside and a bird flew up and stole some bread from us. Another time a gecko tried to get into my wife's purse. It's really awesome."

Island Travel Packages Available

Preconvention and post convention Hawaiian excursion packages are available for the 2002 ICBA National Convention and Techworld convention guests. These packages include inter-island airfare, car rentals and overnight accommodations at hotels on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island.

For more information, call the ICBA Excursions Desk at (800) 270-9190 and a reservation agent will assist you in choosing a vacation package to suit your interests.

Les Mergelman, president and CEO of Olathe State Bank in Olathe, Colo., has been to Hawaii twice, both times while attending ICBA's National Convention and serving as auctioneer for ICBPAC's annual silent auction fundraiser. For Mergelman, a must see is Mauna Loa, a live volcano on the big island. "There is lava flowing constantly and you can even venture through some of the old lava tubes."

Mergelman also suggests that attendees see Parker Ranch, a 225,000-acre working ranch with historical houses and beautiful gardens. More than 35,000 Angus and Charolais cattle make the ranch home.

As for Mergelman, this year's trip will be more of a family outing with wife Dorothy and his two grown children. …

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