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Docksider Award | The Big Island, Hawaii

The Docksider Award is a long-standing SHW annual tradition that rewards one individual for embodying SHW’s core values.
SHW Incentive Winner pictured with her family on the Big Island

This incentive award is essential to SHW’s culture and the announcement of the winner is a much anticipated moment at the annual holiday party. Winners feel appreciated because their coworkers voted for them, and winners really love that they can choose their travel destination.  As the VP of Finance, I never thought I’d win. Typically administrative work is behind the scenes and not noticed, so I was very honored to have been chosen as this year’s winner. 

2021 was a challenging year. With fewer team members due to COVID, navigating PPP and other pandemic Tax Incentives while implementing a new back-office system, it felt great to be recognized for all of my hard work.  Winning the Docksider Award helped me take my family on a memorable trip. I am most grateful to my co-workers for selecting me.


Highlights of my experience on the Big Island:

Volcano House National Park
Volcano House National Park

A highlight for our family was staying in the national park at the Volcano House Hotel.  The volcano is still very active and watching it erupt was very exciting, especially for my kids.  The food at the Rim Restaurant was delicious too, and the dinner we ate there was especially memorable because when the volcano erupts after dark they turn off the lights in the restaurant and diners get an exciting dinner show. The 33-room hotel is sparse (it is a National Park Hotel). but it has been recently restored.  The location truly can’t be beat if you want to see the volcano. We woke up to dramatic caldera vistas with a view toward Halema’uma’u crater that you can’t see anywhere else.

SHW tip: Spend the night to have the park to yourself in the morning.  Visitors from Kona or Waimea take at least 2-3 hours to arrive.  Things get quite busy around noon, but in the morning there are no lines and it is really easy to get around. You can see half the park before the crowds arrive, making it even more enjoyable.

Kona Brewery

Kona Brewery is definitely worth checking out for lunch, happy hour, dinner, or any time in between.  We spent several relaxing evenings there enjoying this beautiful spot.  They craft some delicious local brews and there’s always something new to try.   The atmosphere is fun and inviting, the staff are energetic and knowledgeable, and the food and brews are top-notch. Plus, they have an excellent selection of great merchandise so you can take a little piece of Kona with you when you leave. Kona Brewery also has a new state-of-the-art brewing facility with a great tour (reservations recommended).

Kona Brewing Company

SHW tip: Book the sunset version of the tour – you finish the tour on a gorgeous deck watching the sunset while sampling the various brews.

A side note for the Kona Brewery Tour – this activity is not family friendly, as everyone in your party must be 21. 

Fairwind Snorkeling Tours
Fairwinds snorkeling tour underwater yellow fish image

Simply magical snorkeling tours, well run, great customer service, family owned and operated.  The plant-based menu was a hit with the whole family, as were the water slide and diving platform!

Ola Brewery

Ola Brewery Big Island Beer

Another great local brewery that offers beer, hard seltzer, and hard tea with unique Hawaiian flavors all brewed with local ingredients.  They have Taprooms in both Kona and Hilo.

Greenwell Farms
Big Island Kona Coffee Beans Greenwell Farms

100% locally grown Kona Coffee – This is a beautiful coffee farm and well worth the stop on the drive from Kona to Volcano National Park.  They offer unlimited samples of many delicious flavors of coffee, along with fresh grown fruit and locally made ice cream and other treats.  Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and very engaging, and the tour was family friendly.


Incentive travel is a great way to reward employees and reinforce loyalty. Reward programs don’t have to be complicated or fancy to be impactful.  It was wonderful to spend time with my family and create lasting memories. It’s so important to disconnect from work every now and then to fully recharge.  Covid-19 really put things into perspective and made me appreciate travel even more. I’m very thankful SHW provided me with this amazing opportunity, and I feel very appreciated.  Thank you SHW!

If you are looking for ways to incentivize your team and bring more fun into your workplace culture, contact SHW today. We would be happy to help you create an award program that celebrates the unique talents and contributions of all your employees.

Want to join the SHW team culture? Learn more here. Want to learn about other great incentive destinations like Seattle or Tahiti?