Editor choice

Goldwings Provisioning Service: 2022 SmallBiz Editor’s Choice Award Winner – Native Hawaiian Ownership

At 35, the company continues to expand and diversify beyond its origins as an aircraft parts supplier.
Lia Young Hunt, President and Chief Education Officer of Goldwings. | Photo: Aaron Yoshino

Goldwings Supply Service was opened in 1987 by Frank Young as “NAPA’s store with aircraft parts”. But aviation parts now represent only 10% of the company’s overall turnover, even if the demand for these parts remains the same.

Lia Young Hunt, president and chief education officer of Goldwings, explains that the company began to diversify its services in the 1990s by providing airfield lighting. Today, this represents approximately 60% of the company’s turnover. Over the past decade, the company has begun adding contracts for lighting and signage, asset monitoring software, and solar-powered lighting products accounting for the remaining 30% of the revenue pie.

“We’re still an aviation-focused company,” says Hunt. “It’s only been in the last five to ten years that we’ve really diversified into asset monitoring and management and critical power.”

One example of diversification is its partnership with the state Department of Transportation, national manufacturer Econolite, and the UH College of Engineering on a pilot project to integrate “Cell Vehicle to Everything” technology along the Nimitz Highway and Ala Moana Corridor in Honolulu.

Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can download an app, TravelSafely, which provides real-time alerts to traffic conditions at 30 intersections from Kalia Road in Waikiki to Sand Island Access Road.

Goldwings employs 11 people, five of whom have been hired in the past four years. “One of my goals is to grow this business using people from here – whether they’re here in our neighborhood or we need to bring them home,” says Hunt, who became a majority shareholder of Goldwings in 2015 and served as Chairman. from.

She hopes to expand a new work-study program that allows aviation-focused students to work for Goldwings while progressing to their pilot’s license or learning aviation mechanics.

The program’s first student, Abigail Dang, was born and raised in Hawai’i and is now a flight instructor in Kalaeloa. She is also studying for her bachelor’s degree with the intention of eventually enlisting in the Hawaii Air National Guard.