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SBA Hawaiʻi’s Small Business Person of the Year prizes corporate culture

Aloha Termite & Pest Control
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What does it take to be named the Small Business Person of the Year? The head of Aloha Termite & Pest Control knows.

 Jon Montalbo accepts award from Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi for National Small Business Week.
Aloha Termite & Pest Control
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Jon Montalbo accepts award from Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi for National Small Business Week.

The U.S. Small Business Administration Hawaiʻi District Office has announced its Small Business Person of the Year for the Islands and the honoree is Jon Montalbo, president and owner of Aloha Termite & Pest Control.

The award recognizes staying power, increases in revenue and sales, job creation, response to adversity, and innovation in operations, products and services.

The SBA recognized Montalbo with a ceremony this week.

Montalbo told Pacific Business News that when he was younger, college was out of reach, so he got into the pest control industry as a fumigator. His uncle started Aloha Termite & Pest Control on Kauaʻi in 1999 and Montalbo joined the business, working in both the field and the office.

Eventually, he bought out his uncle to become president and owner.

The company has grown from 5 employees to more than 100 — and has expanded to Oʻahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi Island. They now serve over 8,000 customers.

It’s grown so much in the past 18 months that Montalbo has hired a full-time employee specifically to help look after the company culture. He said creating a workplace where people feel valued and have fun is an important competitive advantage.

That’s especially true as the pest control industry faces the same labor shortage being felt statewide.

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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