• Fellowsbanner keonilee

    The Omidyar Fellows program provided the safe space necessary to be open and vulnerable to change which helped me to realize my full potential, both in leadership and in life, and the relationships between Fellows, built on trust and respect, are invaluable assets for the betterment of Hawaii.

    Keoni Lee, Cohort V

  • Fellowsbanner janharada

    The Omidyar Fellows program gave me confidence, helped me find my voice, and started me on the path of honing those all-to-rare soft, higher skills that are essential to game-changing.

    Jan Harada, Cohort II

  • Fellowsbanner noekalipi

    The Omidyar Fellows program has had a tremendous impact on me. The program challenged me and I was able to immediately apply and share what I learned. The biggest benefit has been the relationships established with Fellows which has resulted in a number of projects and endeavors that we have been able to do jointly, leveraging our networks and resources to empower our communities.

    Noe Kalipi, Cohort I

  • Fellowsbanner johnleong

    Courageous leadership is what calls one to the Omidyar Fellows program. This program will not resonate with those just interested in career advancement. Rather, this program is for those who have a bigger vision for the world around them and seek to raise the tide and change the game for the broader community.

    John Leong, Cohort III

  • Fellowsbanner karenlee

    I was incredibly moved and impacted by the passion, drive, and intellect of the other Fellows, all of whom care deeply about the future of Hawaii. In the end, while we all want to make a difference for Hawaii in our own spheres of influence, we realized we could do more as a focused collective.

    Karen Lee, Cohort I

  • Fellowsbanner boblietzke v2

    The Omidyar Fellows program took me on a journey deep within myself, to far-away mountaintops, and well beyond my comfort zone. Along the way, it was inspiring to meet so many people with passion and drive to help others and create positive, lasting change in Hawaii.

    Bob Lietzke, Cohort IV



Cohort II

Ben Ancheta is the founder and president of Huliau Capital, LLC. Ben founded Huliau Capital to acquire a successful Hawaii-based business from an owner-operator who cares deeply about the future of the company, its employees, partners, customers, and community. Previously, Ben served in a variety of executive roles at ProService Hawaii, the state’s largest outsource HR services provider. Following ProService, Ben held executive leadership positions within the 'ike family of companies, including serving as chief operating officer of 'Ekahi Health. A graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Ben received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Carleton College and a master’s degree in business administration from The Anderson School at UCLA. Ben also invests a great deal of time in service to his community. He is secretary and board member of Hospice Hawaii, and also serves as a member of the State of Hawaii’s Information Technology Steering Committee.

20151008 leaders 0019r 2


Cohort IV

Vincent Baldemor serves as the executive director of Athletics for Hawaii Pacific University. In his role, he oversees 14 intercollegiate athletics teams, campus recreation, and spirit programs for the state’s largest private university. Vincent graduated with a bachelor’s degree from De Paul University and a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. His experience in sports encompasses a wide spectrum starting as a scholarship tennis player at De Paul University, internship with the Chicago Bulls, and roles with International Management Group, Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, UH Athletics Department, NCAA, NFL Pro Bowl and ESPN Diamond Head Classic.

Cohort ii joy barua full


Cohort II

Joy Barua is the senior director of government and community relations and community benefit for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. He is a multidisciplinary leader with diverse portfolio in non-profit, health, higher education and economic development sectors spanning two decades. Presently, he leads regional government affairs and serves as advocate on issues, policies and priorities. He also promotes community health via statewide charitable efforts, strategic external relations, community engagement and advocacy.  He served in various non-profit executive roles including CEO, CFO and CMO. Concurrently, Joy serves as lecturer with Hawaii Pacific University. His education includes an MBA in management and MA in organizational change.

Hlf brad bennett 002 3

Brad Bennett

Cohort V

Brad Bennett is the complex area superintendent for the Department of Education Hilo-Waiakea Complex Area, where he has more than 14 years of experience. Most recently, he served as principal of Waiakeawaena Elementary for two years where he created and implemented the Five Year School Improvement Plan based Strive HI metrics and began the implementation of the Intent Based Leadership Initiative. Brad also served as principal of Haaheo Elementary and vice principal of Ewa Elementary. He graduated from Kamehameha Schools and earned his bachelor’s degree in Asian-Pacific history and master’s degree in special education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Cohort i bruhl bob


Cohort I

Robert Bruhl is the president of D.R. Horton-Schuler Division, and oversees Hawaii operations. Bob previously worked at the Cypress Group, a private equity investment firm in New York. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Boston College and is currently on the board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Pacific Historic Parks.



Cohort II

Maxine Burkett is a professor of law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii. An expert in the law and policy of climate change, she has presented her work on diverse areas of climate law throughout the United States and in West Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean. Her work has been cited in numerous news and policy outlets, including BBC Radio, the ABA Journal, the New York Times, and Nature Climate Change. From 2009-2012, Maxine also served as the inaugural director of the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy (ICAP). As the director of ICAP, she led projects to address climate change policy and planning for island communities globally. In 2010, Maxine served as the Wayne Morse Chair of Law and Politics at the Wayne Morse Center, University of Oregon, for the Center’s “Climate Ethics and Climate Equity” theme of inquiry. She is the youngest recipient of the Chair. In 2016, she served as a Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She was also a 2016 recipient of the Bicentennial Medal for Distinguished Achievement, awarded to alumni of Williams College.

Maxine attended Williams College and Exeter College, Oxford University, and received her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Among her many public service responsibilities, Maxine is vice-chair of the board of Global Greengrants Fund, is a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform, and is a member of the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment.

Cohort ii giorgio caldarone full


Cohort II

Giorgio Caldarone is the Senior Director, Planning & Development, in the Commercial Real Estate Division of Kamehameha Schools’ Endowment. His team is responsible for developing portfolio, regional, and market-area plans that enhance economic and non-economic strategic returns for Kamehameha Schools, as well as execute select development plans. Giorgio previously managed Kamehameha Schools’ residential portfolio, as well as O’ahu, Maui, and Moloka’i agriculture and conservation lands. He was also responsible for all utility scale renewable energy developments. Giorgio previously worked as an independent consultant and as a senior consultant in KPMG Consulting’s Honolulu office. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from West Point and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Giorgio serves on the boards of the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, Pacific Historic Parks, and the Land Use Research Foundation.

Cohort i endochai jodi


Cohort I

Jodi Endo Chai is the deputy executive director for the Hawaii Government Employees Association. She serves as the chief of staff with primary responsibility for the union’s organizational and strategic planning efforts, and oversees its communications, human resources, information technology, and member services programs. Jodi was born and raised in Wahiawa and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis on public relations from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is a board member of the Aloha United Way.

Cohort ii paul chattergy full


Cohort II

Paul Chattergy is the chief investment officer for the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) of the State of Hawaii. He is responsible for investment management and the investment office.  In 2010, Paul was a student-fellow and employed by the East-West Center. Before 2009, he was a hedge fund analyst based in Asia. Previously, he worked in the financial industry in New York.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from Holy Cross and master’s degrees from Cornell University and the London School of Economics. Paul is a board member of the Hawaii Council of Economic Education.

Cohort i ching colton


Cohort I

Colton Ching is the senior vice president of planning and technology at Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. Colton oversees the areas of Advanced Planning, System Planning, T&D Planning, Grid Technology, Forecasting, and Asset Management. He previously served as Vice President of Energy Delivery as well as System Operation and Planning. In addition to his work at Hawaiian Electric, Colton serves on the Corporate Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii, the Executive Board of the Aloha Council Boy Scouts of America, and on the State of Hawaii Civil Defense Advisory Council. Colton grew up on the island of Maui, graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and is a licensed professional engineer. He now calls Kaneohe home where he resides with his wife Vicky and their son Jacob.

Cohort iii de alba chu kippen


Cohort III

Kippen de Alba Chu has been the executive director of The Friends of Iolani Palace since 2006, tasked with preserving and perpetuating the former official royal residence of the Hawaiian monarchy. Kippen has also worked for the Hawaii Insurers Council, State Representative Bertha Kawakami, and the Insurance Division with the Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international business from the American University of Paris in France and an executive master’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He serves on the board of directors of the American Alliance of Museums, Western Museums Association, Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations, and Friends of Hawaii Robotics.

20151008 leaders 0157r2 2


Cohort IV

Catherine Awakuni Colon is the director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, responsible for, among other things, business registration, consumer protection, and consumer advocacy in regulated utility and transportation services. Prior to her appointment, Catherine was the cable administrator in DCCA’s cable television division and served as the department’s executive director for its division of consumer advocacy. She previously served as chief legal counsel for the Public Utilities Commission. Catherine obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii and a law degree from the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law.

Cohort i delacruz donalyn


Cohort I

Donalyn Dela Cruz is the director of communications and community outreach at the Hawaii Department of Education. In addition to establishing the communications office and overseeing communications for the department, which includes the state's 255 public schools, she also assists the superintendent with communications strategy and public affairs. Donalyn is the former deputy director of communications for the State of Hawaii, Office of the Governor. She previously worked at Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, the Democratic Party of Hawaii, the office of U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, and KHON TV2. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is also an advisory board member for Aha Punana Leo, a non-profit organization dedicated to the perpetuation of the Hawaiian language.

Cohort ii jim dixon full


Cohort II

Jim Dixon is an attorney in private practice, assisting clients in addressing challenges encountered due to the interplay of laws and regulations governing financial services, healthcare reform, and consumer protection within competitive markets. Previously, Jim served as general counsel and chief legal officer of the Hawaii Health Connector. Earlier in his career, Jim served as staff attorney for the Hawaii State Senate’s Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, before serving as staff attorney for the State of Hawaii Insurance Division. Jim currently serves on the board of directors of the Hawaii Council for Economic Education and the governing board of the Myron B. Thompson Academy public charter school.

Cohort iii enos kamuela


Cohort III

Kamuela Enos is the director of social enterprise for MAO Organic Farms. He was born and raised in Waianae on the island of Oahu. He received an associate’s degree from Leeward Community College, a bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian studies and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He sits on the boards of numerous community-based nonprofits including the Hawaii Rural Development Council and Kaala Farms Inc., and was recently a commissioner on President Obama's White House Initiative on Asians and Pacific Islanders. 

20151008 leaders 0115r 2


Cohort IV

Pualani Enos is the executive director of Hui Malama Learning Center responsible for agency operations, fiscal management, program design and efficacy, board relationships, and community alliances. Previously, as an assistant clinical law professor at Northeastern University in Massachusetts, she directed interdisciplinary education, advocacy and research programs through community-based collaborations. She supervised law, medical, and public health students in abuse protection and family law litigation. Pualani also worked as a researcher and lecturer for the University of Hawaii. She has a bachelor’s degree in government and psychology from Skidmore College and a law degree from George Washington University. She serves on numerous local and state boards and organizations.

Hlf elisia flores 008r 3

Elisia Flores

Cohort V

Elisia Flores is the vice president and chief financial officer for L&L Franchise, Inc. Her responsibilities include overseeing strategic planning, business development, and the L&L Foundation. Previously, she was the senior finance manager for the west region of General Electric’s power generation services business and a corporate auditor at GE consulting on domestic and international audit assignments. Elisia holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Southern California and an executive MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is active in the community and serves on the boards of the Diamond Head Theatre and the Hawaii Pops.

Cohort i frizzell forest


Cohort I

Forest Frizzell is the chief executive officer for Shifted Energy. They allow electric hot water heaters to consume excess renewable energy and provide grid services. Forest has a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He sits on the Board of Directors for Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii and plays a very active role as Board Chair for Purple Maia. In 2012, he was invited to give a TEDx Honolulu talk. He has also received recognition as one of Pacific Business News’ Forty Under 40 Class of 2012, and Hawaii Business’ 20 for the Next 20: People to Watch in 2013.  

Cohort i fujimoto jason


Cohort I

Jason Fujimoto is the chief operating officer for HPM Building Supply, a 100 percent employee-owned company founded by his family in Hilo in 1921. Jason oversees all of HPM’s corporate, distribution, and manufacturing operations on Hawaii island, Oahu, and Kauai. Over the last several years he has helped expand the company's operations statewide, including its most recent acquisition of Kauai Lumber, Inc. in 2011. Prior to returning home, Jason worked at J.P. Morgan Securities and PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York, NY. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and is currently on the board of PBS Hawaii.



Cohort III

Sulma Gandhi has worked in the field of health and human service, with emphasis in violence prevention and intervention, for the past two decades. Most recently, she was the director for student health & wellness programs at the University of Hawaii at Hilo where she oversaw integration of prevention, medical, and mental health services and the development of essential community partnerships. Prior roles include Kamehameha Schools faculty member and director with Turning Point for Families and Hospice of Hilo. She holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in science from the University of Victoria, Canada and a doctorate degree in business administration from California Intercontinental University. Sulma serves on the Hilo Medical Center Foundation board and the Hawaii Suicide Prevention Taskforce.

Lisa hadway high res picture resized


Cohort III

Lisa Hadway is the director for the University of Hawaii at Hilo Conference Center and Hawaiian EDventure Program, promoting international collaborations and strategic alliances through the facilitation of research-oriented scientific, humanities, and educational conferences. She formerly served as administrator for the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, where she was responsible for managing the diverse mandates of the division from watershed protection to outdoor recreation. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa specializing in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. She also has an executive master’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. From 2007-2014, she served on the University of Hawaii Mauna Kea Management Board and serves on several other boards and committees.

Cohort ii aj halagao full


Cohort II

AJ Halagao is manager of corporate and community advancement at Hawaiian Electric Industries and serves as executive vice president of the HEI Charitable Foundation. He is chairman of the Honolulu Grants-in-Aid Advisory Commission and president of Hawaii Cares. AJ serves on the boards of directors of After-School All-Stars, Aloha Medical Mission, Filipino Community Center, Hawaii Catholic Community Foundation, Hawaii Presidential Center, HawaiiKidsCAN, Japanese American Citizens League, UH Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE), and Aloha United Way Community Impact Committee. He is a member of Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and attended Stanford’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders. AJ earned a BS in commerce from University of Virginia, an MBA from University of Hawaii, and a JD from UCLA School of Law.  


Cohort ii jan harada full


Cohort II

Jan Harada is the chief executive officer of Helping Hands Hawaii, with responsibility for organizational management, board relationships, fund development, facilities, program planning, and community collaborations. Jan previously worked at Palama Settlement, first as their administrator of programs/development and then as their executive director. She also worked at the Department of Health in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and then Bioterrorism and Public Health Emergency Preparedness. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a law degree, and is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association. Jan serves on the boards of the Rotary Club of Honolulu, Susannah Wesley Community Center, and Kamehameha Lions Club Foundation.

Cohort iii harris alex


Cohort III

Alex Harris is the senior program officer for education at the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, where he leads efforts to develop transformative public school leaders and their teams. Alex previously worked for the Hawaii Department of Education, the DC Office of the State Superintendent, the National Governors Association, and Good Beginnings Alliance. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Harris cofounded Kanu Hawaii, Envision Hawaii, and the Education Delivery Institute.

20151008 leaders 0068r 2


Cohort IV

Scott Higashi is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Locations, Hawaii’s largest locally owned and operated residential real estate firm. He oversees and directs the overall strategy and operations of the company, notably the firm’s core residential brokerage operations, marketing, property management and institutional and developer client account relationships. Scott’s previous career experience includes leadership roles at Colliers Monroe Friedlander, Hawaiian Airlines, and American Hawaii Cruises. He has served on a number of community boards and committees during his professional career, and is currently a board member of American Red Cross, including its executive committee. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Asian studies from the University of Puget Sound.

Hlf elizabeth ignacio 005r 3

Elizabeth Ignacio

Cohort V

Elizabeth Ignacio is an orthopedic surgeon and managing partner of IMUA Orthopedics, Sports, & Health. She is surgical director of The Queen’s Medical Center Sports Medicine Program, and is an assistant professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine Department of Surgery. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and her doctorate in medicine from Georgetown University. Her surgical residency training continued at Georgetown, followed by subspecialty fellowship training in sports medicine and arthroscopic, reconstructive surgery in Los Angeles. She remained there for three years as teaching faculty, before moving back home to Hawaii. Elizabeth is actively involved in our community, serving on numerous boards and committees, and serving as a volunteer orthopedic surgeon to UH Athletics.



Cohort IV

Pamela Joe is founder of Superpower Academy, a social mission business that promotes social and emotional growth through hands-on STEAM projects and reading. She was formerly a partner within the family of RevoluSun renewable energy companies and president of RevoluSun Solar Corp., Inc. where she led expansion efforts and strategic development. She also helped expand the company’s business lines, including new roofing and cooling divisions and its smart home offerings. Previously, she worked at Goodsill, Anderson, Quinn & Stifel, LLP and Sopogy, Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a law degree from UCLA. Pamela thrives on entrepreneurship and high-growth companies, and provides advice to local start-up and energy companies and volunteers with the Business Law Corps.

Hlf malia kaaihue 012 3

Malia Kaaihue

Cohort V

Malia Kaaihue is the president of DTL, a Hawaiian strategy studio she founded in 2014. Using her expertise in Hawaiian history, politics and language, Malia develops and executes strategies that are culturally appropriate, community minded, and relevant to her clients. Malia previously worked for WCIT Architecture, Pacific Basin Communications, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. She attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian studies and language, as well as a master’s and doctorate degree in political science. Currently, she serves as a board member for the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, Reach the Runway, Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Anuenue, and Na Kama Kai, an ocean safety nonprofit she founded with her husband in 2008.

Cohort ii leila kagawa full


Cohort II

Leila Kagawa is the Enterprise Program Manager overseeing the State of Hawaii Office of Information Management and Technology Program Management Center of Excellence, which was established to promote governance, policies and standards for program and project management and extend program support for statewide business transformation initiatives. She previously served as the deputy director of the Hawaii Department of Human Resources Development, leading the operations in recruitment, classification and compensation, employee relations, training and workers’ compensation administration. Leila also worked for ADP, Inc. as a technology solutions consultant and previously as a human resources manager for Pacific Marine. Leila obtained her bachelor’s degree in public relations journalism and political science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and earned professional designations as a senior professional in human resources and a certified payroll professional. She is a member of the Hawaii Society for Human Resources Management and the National Association of State Personnel Executives.

Hlf nalani kaina 002r 3

Nalani Kaina

Cohort V

Nalani Fujimori Kaina is the executive director of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, which serves approximately 10,000 clients annually with their critical civil legal needs. Nalani began her career as an attorney on Molokai with Legal Aid and served as a managing attorney and deputy director. She was named one of the 20 for the Next 20 by Hawaii Business magazine, and was a Pacific Business News Business Leader of the Year finalist. Nalani graduated from New York University School of Law, Macalester College, and Kamehameha Schools. She is a director of Hawaii Women Lawyers, board secretary of the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, and chair of the Hawaii State Advisory Committee to the US Civil Rights Commission.

Cohort i kalipi noe


Cohort I

Noelani Kalipi is the executive director for the Kohala Institute at Iole, a nonprofit private foundation that features programming in education, sustainability, contemplation, and culture and the arts on its 2400 acre property which includes the intact Iole ahupua. Noelani is experienced in large-scale renewable energy project development and community-based economic development in Hawaii and with native communities across the nation. She gained extensive federal policy experience while working for US Senator Daniel Akaka in Washington, DC. She served on active duty in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and is a board member for PBS Hawaii and Hawaii Island United Way. Noelani has a bachelor’s degree in government politics and economics from George Mason University and a law degree from George Washington University National Law Center.

Hlf micah kane 014 3

Micah Kane

Cohort V

Micah A. Kane is president and chief operating officer of the Hawaii Community Foundation. He has been recognized with various awards, including the Salvation Army Partners in the Community Service Award, the Hawaiian Leader of the Year Award, Menlo College Hall of Fame Football Inductee, and the Housing Advocate of the Year Award from the Building Industry Association of Hawaii. Micah is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, Menlo College, and received his MBA from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He serves as a trustee for Kamehameha Schools and is a corporate board of director with the Hawaiian Electric Company.

Cohort iii kealoha brian


Cohort III

Brian Kealoha is the executive director of Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer funded energy efficiency and conservation program under contract with the Public Utilities Commission. Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian has been involved with energy and sustainability for over 20 years. Prior to joining Hawaii Energy, Brian was the regional director of OpTerra Energy Services, formerly Chevron Energy Solutions. Brian also served as senior vice president for Energy Industries and spent several years with various utilities developing, supervising, and implementing energy programs at Pacific Gas & Electric, Avista Utilities, and Maui Electric Company. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics and marketing and a master's degree in business administration specializing in management from Gonzaga University. Brian serves on the board of the Nuuanu YMCA, ʻAhahui Koa Ānuenue and the Diamond Head Classic.

Cohort iii kim danny


Cohort III

Danny Kim is senior vice president and manager of Bank of Hawaii’s Private Bank Group. He is responsible for the sales and service experience for private banking, personal banking, and international private banking. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University and is a graduate of the University of Washington, Pacific Coast Banking School. He is active in his community and serves on the boards of Family Programs Hawaii, The Hawaii Hotel and Lodging Association, The Retail Merchants Association, and the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation.

Cohort i kimura kaiu


Cohort I

Kaiu Kimura is the executive director at the Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii. She manages and oversees all aspects of the astronomy center operations including the planetarium, exhibit hall, gift shop, restaurant operations and educational outreach. Kaiu has held previous positions at the Imiloa Astronomy Center, working first as the curriculum coordinator, then experience coordinator and associate director. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian studies and a master’s degree in Hawaiian language and literature from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Kaiu is on the boards of Hawaii Island Workforce and Economic Development Ohana, Aha Punana Leo and the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce.

Hlf shelee kimura 010 3

Shelee Kimura

Cohort V

Shelee Kimura is senior vice president of business development and strategic planning at Hawaiian Electric Company. She oversees strategic planning, business development, renewable acquisition, demand response, electrification of transformation, and co-leads the company-wide transformation program. Shelee was instrumental in launching Hawaiian Electric’s transformation strategy and the company’s long-term vision, the foundation that set the course for the company’s ultimate goal for 100 percent renewables by 2045. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she was a presidential scholar, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Shelee serves on the audit committee of Kamehameha Schools and the boards of Olelo Community Media and Hawaii Cord Blood Bank.

Kittinger%20 %20jack%20 %20headshot%20web%20large


Cohort IV

Jack Kittinger is the senior director of the Global Fisheries and Aquaculture Program in Conservation International's Center for Oceans. Under his leadership, CI works to protect biodiversity and improve the well-being of ocean-dependent communities by implementing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture solutions built on partnerships and investments from ocean to plate. As social scientist and marine ecologist by training, Jack takes a comprehensive interest in finding sustainable solutions to complex problems facing the ocean environment and the people who depend on it. He has extensive experience coordinating multi-stakeholder teams and has worked as a consultant, a researcher, and a program director in the nonprofit sector. A lifelong surfer, fisher and waterman, with family ties to the coastal Carolinas, he is committed to ocean-based learning experiences and to being in the water as often as possible. 

Cohort ii erika lacro full


Cohort II

Erika Lacro is chancellor of Honolulu Community College and serves as chief executive officer responsible for the overall management of the college. She administers the college’s $33 million operating budget as well as serving as the principal investigator on several grants including a $24.6 million Department of Labor grant. Erika leads a team of 300 employees that serves approximately 4,500 credit students and 3,500 non-credit students. A strong business background in private industry has facilitated Erika’s rapid rise to her current position in higher education. She holds a PhD from the University of Hawaii in communication and information sciences.

Cohort i lee karen


Cohort I

Karen C. Lee is an associate vice president at the University of Hawaii and the executive director of Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education. Together with the University of Hawaii president, Department of Education superintendent, and Early Learning Council chair, Karen provides leadership and direction to the Hawaii P-20 Council. Hawaii P-20’s programs include the Hawaii P-3 initiative which promotes partnerships in the early learning community, the Statewide Longitudinal Data System which will track student progress across agencies, and GEAR UP Hawaii and the Step Up Initiative, designed to increase student readiness for post-high school success. Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Columbia University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California.

Hlf keoni lee 011 3

Keoni Lee

Cohort V

Keoni Lee is a co-founder and owner of Oiwi TV, a multimedia company established in 2008 that produces top-quality documentaries, news, and content from a uniquely Hawaiian perspective. He received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Oregon State University and his MBA from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii. Currently, he is the board chair for Halau Ku Mana, a Hawaiian-focused public charter school in Honolulu, and the board treasurer for MAO Organic Farms, a social enterprise organic farm that supports youth leadership and education on the Waianae Coast.

Cohort iii leong john


Cohort III

John Leong is the founder of Pono Pacific and Kupu. Pono Pacific was founded in 2000 and today operates on six of the main Hawaiian Islands providing natural resource and conservation land management services for Hawaii’s larger landowners. Kupu was founded in 2007 and today engages young adults in service through multiple programs in the green jobs sectors such as natural resource management, energy conservation, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. John serves on various boards including Corps Network, Trust for Public Land, and YMCA Metro.

20151008 leaders 0082r 2


Cohort IV

Robert Lietzke is a principal at Booz Allen Hamilton where he leads a diverse management and technology consulting portfolio with clients across Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. With over 25 years of leadership experience through his service as an Air Force officer, Robert continues his engagement in the community where he focuses on expanding Hawaii’s high-skills sector through scholarships, STEM education, and university outreach from the business community. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the US Air Force Academy and a master's degree in human resource management and development from Chapman University.



Cohort IV

Dawn Lippert is CEO of Elemental Excelerator and Director of Innovation and Community at Emerson Elemental. Elemental Excelerator (EEx) is a startup program Dawn founded in Hawaii in 2012 that helps startups change the world, one community at a time. In addition, Dawn is the Chair of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative Advisory Board. She also serves on the boards of WiRE (Women in Renewable Energy, an organization she founded in 2011) and Incubatenergy Network (a national network of clean energy organizations organized by the U.S. Department of Energy). Prior to Elemental Excelerator, Dawn was a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton’s alternative energy practice in Washington DC. She also worked on energy and environmental projects in various communities around the world, including Africa, India, and Latin America. Dawn graduated cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in environmental studies. She received her Master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Management.

Hlf rich matsuda 016 3

Richard Matsuda

Cohort V

Rich Matsuda is chief of operations at the W. M. Keck Observatory. He is responsible for the operation of the two most scientifically impactful ground-based telescopes in the world, located on Mauna Kea. Rooted in his upbringing in Hawaii, Rich also leads Keck’s efforts to engage leaders in government and the broader community in building a positive, widely supported future for astronomy in Hawaii. Rich has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington and designed avionics for the Boeing 777 airliner prior to returning home to Hawaii. Committed to education and opportunities for the younger generation, he serves as a Hawaii Preparatory Academy trustee.

Cohort ii scott mcfarland full


Cohort II

Scott McFarland is the senior vice president of EXL Healthcare and general manager of its Population Health Solutions division. Scott and his organization deliver care management, business process optimization, payment integrity, and revenue optimization solutions to 6 of the 10 largest health plans in the United States. Previously, he was the chief executive officer of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) for the Kauai Region. Immediately prior to coming to Kauai in 2010, Scott was president of wellness at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the nation’s top hospitals. Scott proudly serves as an active member of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce, Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce, and the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, and is the co-owner of the Kauai Athletic Clubs.

20151008 leaders 0008r 2


Cohort IV

Sherry Menor-McNamara is the president and chief executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and is the youngest and first female leader in the organization’s 165-year history. She previously worked for the Hawaii State Legislature, ESPN’s Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Sony Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Estee Lauder Company, Elton John Production, US Senator Daniel Akaka, and the Executive Office of the United States President. She serves on numerous boards including the Queen’s Health Systems, Fujitsu’s JAIMS Foundation, Girl Scouts of Hawaii, FILCom Center, East-West Center Foundation, and Move Oahu Forward. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a master's and law degree from the University of Hawaii.

Hlf alicia moy 018r 3

Alicia Moy

Cohort V

Alicia Moy is the president and chief executive officer of Hawaii Gas. Under her leadership, the company is committed to supporting the positive transformation of Hawaii’s energy landscape and achievement of the state’s renewable energy goals. Her energy vision in Hawaii is to support, develop, and collaborate on clean energy solutions. Previously, Alicia was senior vice president of MIC, which owns, operates, and invests in a diversified group of US infrastructure businesses. She oversaw corporate strategy, funding, and management of several utility companies. Alicia holds a master’s degree in finance from INSEAD and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami. She serves on numerous local and national boards and committees.

Cohort ii leslie mullens full


Cohort II

Leslie Mullens is the president and CEO of PlayBook Consulting Group, a Maui-based management consulting firm focused on statewide strategic planning, and organizational effectiveness. She has developed and facilitated hundreds of planning, community outreach, and team development workshops and retreats for Hawaii’s leading corporate, small business, nonprofit, and government communities. An expert in change management, cultural transformation, and cross-sector collaborative problem solving, her approach builds team capacity and confidence to get the job done. Prior to launching PlayBook in 2004, Leslie led Cisco Systems’ global e-commerce strategy and integration. Leslie is a change management consultant for the Aspen Institute’s national policy initiatives on mobility from poverty. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA and is past president of the Rotary Club of Kahului.

Hlf cameron nekota 027 3

Cameron Nekota

Cohort V

Cameron Nekota is vice president at D.R. Horton Schuler Homes LLC, overseeing real estate acquisitions and all aspects of the company’s Hoopili master planned community. Born and raised on Oahu, Cameron earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a law degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law. In addition to his duties with D.R. Horton, Cameron is a business law lecturer at the University of Hawaii West Oahu. He is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association and serves on the board of directors for several community-based, nonprofit organizations, including PBS Hawaii, the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Kahi Mohala, and the Girl Scouts of Hawaii.



Cohort III

Emillia Noordhoek is the cofounder and the executive director of Sustainable Molokai with responsibilities for organizational management, board relationships, fund development, program planning, and community collaborations. Under her leadership, Sustainable Molokai has become a highly successful and trusted organization featuring programs in energy efficiency, food security, and economic development. Previously, Emillia was the resource development and marketing director for Molokai Habitat for Humanity. Emillia holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the University of Oregon and a master’s in real estate development from Portland State University. She serves on various boards including the County of Maui District Council, Molokai Arts Center, and the Hawaii Farm to School, School Garden Hui Statewide.

20151008 leaders 0047r 2


Cohort IV

David Oyadomari is senior executive vice president at Bank of Hawaii. His responsibilities include working closely with the IT, Product, Marketing, and Operations departments to bring new products and channel features to market and develop new processes along the way. Prior to joining Bank of Hawaii, David served in executive roles at Roberts Hawaii, Sprint Hawaii, two internet start-ups, and as a management consultant. David is a founder and elder at Kakaako Christian Fellowship. David holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and philosophy, magna cum laude, from Claremont McKenna College and a master’s degree in business administration from The Wharton School.

Cohort ii lance parker full


Cohort II

As president of A&B Properties, Inc., Lance Parker oversees all of Alexander & Baldwin’s real estate operations. Prior to joining A&B in 2004, he was with Grubb & Ellis in California, where he spent eleven years providing real estate advisory and brokerage services. Lance is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and has a bachelor’s degree in finance with a major option in real property management and development from the University of Southern California. He currently serves as a director on the boards of Historic Hawaii Foundation and Bishop Museum.

Cohort ii margaret pettyjohn full


Cohort II

Margaret Pettyjohn's extensive banking career is marked by a number of successes from transforming call center operations to leading culture shifts resulting in double-digit sales increases. Most recently, Margaret served as executive vice president of retail banking at American Savings Bank, overseeing its 57 branches. Before joining ASB, she was executive vice president of retail support and delivery for South Financial, where she was selected by the CEO for a leadership immersion program and nominated by peers as project team leader. Margaret has a bachelor’s degree from Rhodes College.

20151008 leaders 0078r 2


Cohort IV

William Pieper is the vice president for Barclaycard US where he leads the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard Partnership. He oversees all sales, marketing, and risk management functions of the program. William has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles where he played both football and baseball, and a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in business administration. He currently serves as a trustee for the Bishop Museum and is a director for the Ke Alii Pauahi Foundation. In 2009, he received the Pacific Business News Community Leader of the Year Award

Cohort iii riley kawika


Cohort III

Kawika Riley is the chief advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, an independent state agency and trust established to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians. As chief advocate, he leads a team of 30 in impacting public policy and enforcing Hawaiian rights. Prior to returning home, Kawika led the Office of Hawaiian Affair’s DC Office, served as a national spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration, was a senior aide to Senator Daniel Akaka, and founded a nonprofit focused on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander access to higher education. Kawika is a graduate of Kealakehe High School in Kona, holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University. Kawika is a member of the US Senate Press Secretaries Association and a volunteer co-president of George Washington University's Hawaii Alumni chapter.

Cohort i sandblom marissa


Cohort I

Marissa Sandblom is the vice president of Grove Farm Company, Inc. headquartered on Kauai. As one of the island’s largest private landowners, Grove Farm has transitioned itself from a sugar plantation to a sustainable community and economic development firm. Marissa previously worked as the finance and business development officer at the Kauai Economic Development Board. She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Hawaii Pacific University. Marissa is the director and chair of the Agribusiness Development Corporation, and serves on the board of the Kauai Visitor’s Bureau, PBS Hawaii and Kauai Planning and Action Alliance.

Cohort iii schatz stephen


Cohort III

Stephen Schatz is the deputy superintendent for the Hawaii State Department of Education. He was previously the assistant superintendent for the Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance, leading three branches: Assessment and Accountability, Data Governance and Analysis, and Policy, Innovation, Planning and Evaluation. In 2012, Stephen received the Alakaina award from the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation for excellence in educational leadership for his work on the Race to the Top grant. Prior to returning home to Hawaii in 2002, Stephen worked in California's Compton Unified School District as a teacher, vice principal, and principal. Stephen holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in education administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills. 

Cohort i schreck jerrod


Cohort I

Jerrod Schreck has served in leadership roles at for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in Hawaii, and at sea as a naval officer. He currently serves as director, land stewardship and renewable energy development at Alexander & Baldwin. Jerrod is a graduate of Cornell University and the Institute for the Study of International Politics in Milan, Italy.

Cohort ii suzanne skjold full


Cohort II

Suzanne Skjold is the executive director of Hawaii Literacy. She is responsible for agency operations, financial management, fundraising and community support, partnerships, and for ensuring programs effectively increase literacy. Suzanne previously worked at Harvard School of Public Health and authored a chapter on Gender and Human Resources in Health Care. She began her career with Boys & Girls Clubs of the (Florida) Keys, eventually becoming its executive director. Suzanne holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and history from Williams College, a master’s degree in international relations from Boston University, and serves on the board of the Hawaii Book & Music Festival.

Cohort i sodaro kaiulani


Cohort I

Kaiulani Sodaro is vice president of planning and development with The Resort Group, LLC. Previously, she was director of development and construction with Pulama Lanai, and Kamehameha Schools' director of enterprise planning and sustainability and the interim director of the facilities development and support division. Prior to Kamehameha Schools, Kaiulani worked in residential and resort development at Maui Land and Pineapple, Inc. and Hilton Hotels Corporation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration from Cornell University and a master’s degree in planning from University of Southern California. Kaiulani is member to the American Institute of Certified Planners and serves on the City and County of Honolulu Planning Commission.

Josh stanbro 2014 headshot edited gray


Cohort IV

Josh Stanbro is Honolulu’s chief resilience officer, and also serves as the executive director of the Office of Climate Change,  Sustainability and Resiliency. Josh has a deep background in sustainability and brings a track record of developing cross-sector partnerships to his role in Mayor Caldwell’s administration. He served as environment and sustainability program director for the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) from 2009-2017, where he led the Hawaii Fresh Water Initiative and the Hawaii Environmental Funders Group. Previous to HCF, Josh headed The Trust for Public Land’s Hawaii Office, where he worked with local communities to permanently protect over 25,000 acres and dedicate over $200 million in land conservation funds. Josh graduated from Claremont McKenna College and earned a law degree from Berkeley Law. He also visited the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he earned the Cali Award in Native Hawaiian Rights.


Susan Tai

Cohort V

Susan Tai is the executive director for the Partnership for Pacific Resilience, an Oahu-based nonprofit organization committed to raising awareness, increasing preparedness, supporting response and recovery, and building resilience for Hawaii and the Pacific region. She also provides consulting services in economic development, strategic planning, and grant-writing to public and private organizations focused on economic development and resiliency for Hawaii. Susan recently served as the president and chief executive officer of Kauai Economic Development Board (KEDB), overseeing its strategic planning, fund development, program planning, and community partnerships. Her other leadership roles have included serving as the  community relations manager at Syngenta Hawaii, director of Kauai Economic Development Plan at KEDB, and director of Kauai’s Small Business Development Center. Prior to this, she helped create the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago, where she pursued her bachelor’s degree in biology. Susan has also served on numerous organizations such as the Kauai Chamber of Commerce Board, Kauai General Plan Advisory Committee, Kauai Mayor’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, Wilcox Medical Center - Kauai Medical Clinic Board, Hawaii State Small Business Development Center Board, and the Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Advisory & Steering Committees.

Cohort iii urosevich kerrie


Cohort III

Kerrie Urosevich, is the Early Childhood Action Strategy Coordinator, overseeing a public-private early childhood collaborative focused on improving the system of care for Hawaii’s youngest children and their families. Over the last 18 years, Kerrie’s work has been rooted in local and international community mobilization, peace building and violence prevention, including 10 years working with communities and organizations in transition through her mediation and facilitation consultancy. She serves as affiliate faculty at the Matsunaga Institute for Peace at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, teaching peace and conflict resolution courses, and has co-developed Ceeds of Peace workshops. Kerrie serves as a volunteer board member to the Montessori Community School; EPIC Ohana Inc.; and MPANZI, a Kenya-based family support organization. Kerrie received her Ph.D. in political science with a specialization in conflict resolution and public policy from the University of Hawaii-Manoa; Master’s Degree in international policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies; and Graduate Certificate in nonprofit management. 

Cohort iii vaioleti stephany


Cohort III

Stephany Vaioleti is the chief executive officer of Kahuku Medical Center, a nonprofit 21-bed critical access hospital on the North Shore of Oahu. She oversees 130 employees/physicians and is responsible for overall organizational management, strategic planning, and partnerships. She began at Kahuku Hospital as a social worker and has held numerous positions including director of social services, interim administrator, and assistant administrator. Stephany holds a master’s degree in social work and a law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Stephany currently serves as a board member of both the Koolauloa Educational Alliance Corporation and the Koolauloa Health and Wellness Foundation.

Hlf nicole velasco 013 3

Nicole Velasco

Cohort V

Nicole Velasco serves as the lead for business development in Hawaii for NORESCO, an energy efficiency company. On behalf of NORESCO, she is responsible for creating awareness about Hawaii’s energy opportunities, supporting educational efforts to increase local workforce training in the energy sector, and driving impact through government systems and buildings upgrades at both the city and state level.

Prior to assuming her new role, Nicole served the City & County of Honolulu as the Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development and also as the Executive Secretary of the Neighborhood Commission Office. She has also worked as an analyst for both the Hawaii State Office of the Auditor and the Finance Committee of the Hawaii State House of Representatives. Previously, she served as a Government Affairs Advisor at Ashford & Wriston, LLP, representing a variety of clients with legislative concerns in the State of Hawaii. She is a graduate of Princeton University.

20151008 leaders 0045r 2


Cohort IV

Jennifer Walker is general counsel at the Hawaii Medical Service Association. Jennifer plays a major role in HMSA’s mission to advance the health and well-being of Hawaii and creating a community health system. She is a strategic leader and top problem solver for the executive team. Originally from Kansas, she earned her law degree at Case Western Reserve University and her legal career has taken her across the country. For the past several years she’s lived in Kaneohe with her husband, their two dogs, and many good books.

20151008 leaders 0038r 2


Cohort IV

Beth Whitehead is executive vice president and chief administrative officer at American Savings Bank (ASB), overseeing human resources, training, community development, communications, legal, compliance, and facilities. She has more than 20 years of experience as a banker in various senior management roles. Beth’s significant dedication to employee engagement and workplace wellness led to ASB’s selection as a “Best Place to Work” for six consecutive years and as a “Best Bank to Work” in America for two consecutive years. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Mississippi and a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Beth chairs the Women’s Fund of Hawaii and serves on the boards of the YWCA, YMCA, and Hawaii Theatre.



Cohort I

Joshua Wisch is the executive director of the ACLU of Hawaii. He has over 15 years of cross-sector professional experience in Hawaii, including private sector litigation, congressional office management, state department management, campaign management, and nonprofit advocacy. Most recently before joining the ACLU, Josh served as special assistant to the Hawaii Attorney General, where among other things he worked on the Hawaii v. Trump travel ban case. He is also a member of the advisory board for the Sex Abuse Treatment Center. Josh earned his bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, his master’s degree from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. 



Cohort III

Rachael Wong is the founder of One Shared Future (OSF), which is piloting a strengths-based professional development series to increase the public sector’s capacity to serve local communities through collaboration and innovation. She has dedicated her career to improving quality of life for Hawaii residents: leading the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) as director and developing the Ohana Nui framework; partnering with providers to incorporate population health into the healthcare delivery system as the vice president and chief operating officer of Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH); advocating for patients and those who serve them as the executive director of Kokua Mau (Hawaii Hospice & Palliative Care Organization) and the Hawaii Consortium for Integrative Care; and serving on numerous local and national boards and committees. Rachael earned a bachelor's degree in East Asian studies and certificate in women’s studies from Princeton University, a master's degree in public health from UH-Manoa, and a doctorate in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.