• 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 Hawaiʻi.

    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 Hawaiʻi. In the end, while we all want to make a difference for Hawaiʻi 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 within myself, to far-away mountaintops, and 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 Hawaiʻi.

    Bob Lietzke, Cohort IV



Cohort II

Ben Ancheta is the president of Inkinen & Associates, Hawaii’s premier executive search firm, which he acquired in July 2018. Before joining Inkinen & Associates, 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 – Kapalama, 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 sits on the boards of Hospice Hawaii and KCAA Preschools, and serves as a member of the State of Hawaii’s Information Technology Steering Committee. Ben, his wife and three sons live in Manoa.

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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.


Gabe Amey

Cohort VI

Gabe Amey is the founder and president of Hawaii VA Loans, the oldest VA loan specialized lender in Hawaii, and the founder and executive director of RISEHI Foundation, with a mission to increase economic sustainability and cultural preservation in Hawaii. With Hawaii VA Loans, he is responsible for leading a team in all areas including marketing, training, company culture. Prior to entering the mortgage industry in 2004, he played professional football in the Arena Football League for five seasons. Additionally, Gabe is the board chair for the Hawaii VA Foundation and previously served as the board chair for Operation Homefront Hawaii.



Cohort IV

Vincent Baldemor serves as the associate athletics director at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. In his role, he oversees external affairs which includes fundraising, ticket office, corporate partners, marketing, media relations, digital media, and the letter winners club while also acting as the sport administrator for softball, as well as men's and women's tennis. Vincent graduated with a bachelor’s degree from De Paul University, a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and is in his final year at the University of Southern California for his doctorate in educational leadership. He is an active participant in community relations, currently serving on the board of the City and County of Honolulu Grants-in-Aid Commission, the Filipino Community Center, the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Superhero Academy, and Maui Hui Malama. He is a past board member of the US Tennis Association Hawaii Pacific Region, the NFL Pro Bowl Host Committee, and Palama Settlement. 

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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.

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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.

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Brad Bennett

Cohort V

Brad Bennett served as 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.

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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.

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Cohort II

Giorgio Caldarone is the managing director, Hawaii real estate, for the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. He is responsible for overseeing the Foundation's real estate portfolio of more than 250 properties (over $1B) held by the Foundation in Hawaii. Giorgio previously worked as the senior director, planning and development, for the commercial real estate division of Kamehameha Schools and held other real estate management positions during his time at Kamehameha Schools. Giorgio also previously worked as an independent consultant and as a senior consultant in KPMG Consulting’s Honolulu office. He is a commissioner to the Clean Water and Natural Land Advisory Commission. 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.

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Cohort II

Vijoy Paul Chattergy is the founder and president of VMLH, LLC, a consulting firm for global institutional investors. He is often invited to speak at conferences or to comment on industry trends by the financial media and expert networks. He was was the chief investment officer for the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) of the State of Hawaii. He was 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.

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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.


Stuart Coleman

Cohort VI

Stuart Coleman is the Hawaii regional manager of the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our ocean and beaches. He oversees the five chapters across the islands and helps coordinate their major campaigns and programs, which include water quality, marine plastic pollution, beach access, and conservation of Hawaii's coastal areas. Before working at Surfrider, he taught graduate leadership courses at the East-West Center and coordinated their Service Learning and Leadership Program. A graduate of American University's Master of Fine Arts program, Stuart has published three books and scores of articles. He currently serves on the UH Sea Grant Advisory Board and the steering committee for the Hawaii Department of Health's Clean Water Branch.

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Cohort III

Kippen de Alba Chu is chief of staff with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Texas. Previously, he was the executive director of The Friends of Iolani Palace from 2006 through January 2019. Kippen has also worked for the Hawaii Insurers Council, State Representative Bertha Kawakami, and the Insurance Division with the Department of Commerce and 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.

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Cohort I

Donalyn Dela Cruz is the vice president of communications at Strategies 360 – Hawaii. She leads S360 Hawaii’s communications strategy arm. Donalyn is the former director of communications and community affairs at the Hawaii Department of Education where she served as spokesperson and established the communications office, oversaw all communications for the department including its 256 public schools. She served as communications and public affairs advisor to HIDOE leadership. Donalyn is the former deputy director of communications for the State of Hawaii, Office of the Governor. She previously worked at the Pacific Management Consultants, Inc., Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, 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 a master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School.

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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.

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Cohort I

Jodi Endo Chai is the executive officer at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. She is also owner of Endo Consulting, specializing in leadership development and strategic planning. She also is a business partner for a group of Hawaii-style eateries in the Bay Area. Jodi was most recently the deputy executive director for the Hawaii Government Employees Association, with primary responsibility for the union’s operations, organizational management and strategic planning efforts, and oversaw the its communications, fiscal, field services, human resources, information technology, and member and community engagement 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 serves as a board member of PBS Hawaii, Lanakila Pacific, UHAA (University of Hawaii Alumni Association) and HELP (Hawaii Employees Lifeline Program).

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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. 

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Cohort IV

Pualani Enos is the community change initiatives lead at Liliuokalani Trust. Formerly, she was 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.

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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. 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. Forest has a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. 

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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.

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Elisia Flores

Cohort V

Elisia Flores is the vice chair and chief executive officer for L&L Hawai'i, the leading Hawai'i-based restaurant franchise. Her responsibilities include overseeing strategic planning, business development, and the L&L Foundation. Elisia joined L&L in 2014 as  chief financial officer after 8 years in senior finance roles with General Electric. 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 serves on the boards of the Diamond Head Theatre, Hawaiian Humane Society, Hawaiʻi Restaurant Association and American Savings Bank, where she is the audit committee chair. She also serves on the advisory boards of the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership, the Kapi‘olani Community College Culinary Arts program and the Family Business Center of Hawaiʻi. 



Cohort III

Sulma has worked in​ the fields of health, human service and education, with emphasis in violence​ prevention and intervention, for the past two decades. Sulma provides facilitation, training, curriculum design, and coaching for organizations throughout Hawaii. Most recently she has worked with Kupu, One Shared Future, Early Action Childhood Strategy, Ceeds of Peace, and SMALLIFY. Previously, Sulma was the director for student health and wellness programs at the University of Hawaiʻi 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 Hawaiʻi Suicide Prevention Taskforce.

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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 is vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Electric and serves as executive vice president of the HEI Charitable Foundation. AJ earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce from University of Virginia, an MBA from University of Hawaii, and a JD from UCLA School of Law, and attended Stanford’s executive program for nonprofit leaders. He chairs the Honolulu Grants-in-Aid Advisory Commission and After-School All-Stars Hawaii board. AJ also serves on the boards of directors of Aloha United Way (AUW), Aloha Medical Mission, Filipino Community Center, Hawaii Catholic Community Foundation, Hawaii Presidential Center, HawaiiKidsCAN, and UH Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE). He helped found AUW’s Hawaii Cares and the Blue Zones Project in Manoa.

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Cohort II

The most important thing to know about Jan Harada is that she is a 17+ year practitioner of traditional Southern Chinese Kung Fu, Lion Dancing, and Qigong. In 2019 she also began learning the practice of zen meditation and Kendo. All of these things are critical components of her ability to manage and lead in her day-to-day duties working as the executive director of the H.T. Hayashi Foundation, where she began in mid-June 2019 after a 3 month sabbatical following 12 years as a ceo/executive director for two different community-based nonprofit organizations. Jan also serves on the boards of the Henry & Colene Wong Foundation and the Island Insurance Company, Ltd. Jan is a graduate of Punahou School, the University of Oregon, and the University of Oregon School of Law. After graduating from law school, she returned home, took the Bar, passed the Bar, got sworn in, and then decided not to practice (she is inactive status with the Hawaii State Bar Association). Instead, she has spent the last 19 years in service-oriented roles.

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Cohort III

Alex Harris is the strategic adviser at the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, where he leads efforts to help students obtain a postsecondary credential and transition to a rewarding career. Alex has consulted widely with clients such as the Council for Chief State School Officers and worked previously 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 co-founded Kanu Hawaii, Envision Hawaii, and the Education Delivery Institute.

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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.


Lia Hunt

Cohort VII

Lia Hunt is the chief educational officer and president of Goldwings Supply Service, Inc. Lia designs and executes strategic plans while preserving corporate culture. Her multi-dimensional perspective is based on over twenty years of government contracting experience in improving organization’s efficiency and resilience with innovative solutions. She is a graduate of Santa Clara University in business administration and earned her aviation maintenance technician certification from Honolulu Community College. Lia is on the advisory board of the Shidler College of Business Family Business Center and Honolulu Community College Department of Aeronautics.

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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. Elizabeth is actively involved in our community, serving on numerous boards and committees, and serving as a volunteer orthopedic surgeon to UH Athletics. 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 therefor three years as teaching faculty, before moving back home to Hawaii. 



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.


Meli James

Cohort VII

Meli James is a co-founder of Mana Up, an initiative designed to build Hawaiʻi’s next generation of CEOs in the retail and food product industry. She co-manages the biannual 12-week accelerator program and the product showcases, and is the lead mentor and sponsor recruiter. Meli founded her first company, Nirvino, a wine app in 2007. She is an entrepreneur in residence at Cornell University’s Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship. She holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. She is president of the Hawaiʻi Venture Capital Association and sits on the boards of University Health Alliance, Oʻahu Workforce Development Board, and the Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership.

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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.

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Cohort I

Noelani Kalipi assists clients with project development and management, with specific emphasis on strategic planning and meaningful community engagement. As president of Kalipi Enterprises, Noelani specializes in the areas of systems planning, food security, energy security, and community empowerment. As senior director for Arizona State University, she facilitates partnerships between Arizona State University and Hawaiʻi-based entities. In her role as vice president – development for Progression Energy, she leads the development of utility-scale renewable energy projects. Noelani 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. She 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.

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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, Ahahui Koa Anuenue and the Diamond Head Classic. 

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Cohort III

Danny Kim is founder of the Aloha Living Project, specializing in resiliency programs through mindfulness, positive psychology and principals of Aloha. Danny is also founder of The Aloha Journal, a program designed to help individuals successfully navigate through important pivotal transitions in life. Danny’s background is in banking and finance. His 25-year career at Bank of Hawaii included various assignments in retail, personal and private banking. Most recently, he was the manager of leadership development in the Community Bank. In 2015, Danny was recognized by Honolulu Magazine as one of 20 people to watch for the next 20 years. His current mission and passion includes speaking, facilitation, and helping individuals and organizations recapture their purpose and joy for life. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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 and past president of Hawaii Women Lawyers, vice president of the Rural Community Assistance Corporation, and director with the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.


Brent Kakesako

Cohort VI

Brent Kakesako is the executive director of the Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development (HACBED), a nonprofit that strengthens the strategic readiness of communities and the capacity of community-based organizations to achieve their vision of genuine wealth. Brent is humbled to carry on HACBED’s 26-year legacy by overseeing its management, operations, and strategy; developing and coaching the team; and providing capacity building, facilitation, network building, and other technical support. Brent co-facilitated a local chapter of a global accelerator that led to the launch of three companies and co-founded a consultancy that supported local entrepreneurs with creating community-focused programs. He received his MBA from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law, and a bachelor of arts cum laude from Harvard University. Brent is a board member of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Oahu Workforce Development Board, and Community Steering Committee Member for Prosperity Now.

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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.


Kalani Kaʻanāʻanā

Cohort VII

Kalani Kaʻanāʻanā is the director of Hawaiian Cultural Affairs for the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. His role includes providing Hawaiian cultural expertise in implementation of programs which relate to Hawai‘i’s cultural initiatives for the visitor industry, identifying ways to provide assistance regarding the perpetuation and preservation of Hawai‘i’s host culture, its language and values, and assures that all activities are guided, conducted, and evaluated with a high sense of cultural awareness toward both the Hawaiian culture and Hawai‘i’s multi-ethnic communities. He graduated with distinction from the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa earning dual bachelor of arts degrees in Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies. Kalani is a member of the Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club.

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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.

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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.

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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. John serves on various boards including Corps Network, Trust for Public Land, and YMCA Metro. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. 

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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 the chief executive officer 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. 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. 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). Dawn graduated cum laude from Yale University with a bachelor's degree in environmental studies. She received her master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Management. 

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Keoni Lee

Cohort V

Keoni is the chief executive officer of Hawaii Investment Ready, a social enterprise accelerator focused on building capacity in the impact sector. He brings to this role a wealth of impact entrepreneurship experience as a founder of two successful social enterprises. ʻŌiwi TV is an independent media production company that leverages the power of media to reshape the narratives of the modern Hawaiian experience as a strategy for social justice and cultural revitalization. Waiwai Collective is a contemporary Hawaiian gathering space that is catalyzing a community and movement grounded in collective values and shared responsibilities as a foundational strategy to scale impact and mobilize systemic change in Hawaii. He received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Oregon State University and his masters in business administration from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii. Keoni is active in the broader community and is committed to his belief in servant leadership. He volunteers his time on numerous nonprofit boards that focus on impact in education and local food production, and also coaches his sonʻs soccer team. 


Chris Lee

Cohort VI

Christopher Lee's childhood passion for food has taken him around the world and back to Hawaii where he was born and raised. He serves as the vice president of farm development for Pono Pacific where he is helping to drive the vision of achieving food sustainability in Hawaii. His experience included the development and opening of ChefZone in Honolulu, Hawaii; director of restaurants in Tokyo, Japan; and director of food and beverage in Seattle, Washington. He is a graduate of Iolani School and the University of Washington and a certified sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Chris has served as the president for the West Oahu Economic Development Association, and he is currently a trustee for the Pacific Buddhist Academy and Hawaii Restaurant Association.  


Sondra Leiggi Brandon

Cohort VII

Sondra Leiggi Brandon is the director of systems behavioral health programming for psychiatric/mental health nursing at Queen’s Medical Center. Her past professional experience includes working as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner serving clients on Hawaiʻi Island via telemedicine and clinical instructor for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Nursing. Sondra has a post master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, a master’s degree in nursing, a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner certificate from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, a master’s degree in public health in international health from Loma Linda University, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing and psychology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her board involvement includes being the treasurer of the Hawaiʻi Association of Professional Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau, and the National Nursing Honor Society’s Hawaiʻi  Chapter.

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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.

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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.

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Cohort II

Leslie Mullens is the president and chief executive officer 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.


Aki Marceau

Cohort VI

Aki Marceau is director of policy & community, Hawaii at Elemental Excelerator (EEx), a growth accelerator program headquartered in Hawaii. Each year, EEx funds 15-20 companies up to $1 million to improve systems that impact people’s lives in energy, food, agriculture, water, and mobility. Aki leads EEx’s policy and community engagement initiatives and collaborates closely with business leaders, policymakers, and government to increase opportunities for innovation in Hawaii. Prior to joining EEx, she served as land use and sustainability manager at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and transportation planner at WSP (formerly Parsons Brinkerhoff). She earned a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Cornell University and bachelor’s degree in growth and structure of cities from Haverford College. Aki serves as chair of the Sustainable Transportation Coalition of Hawaii, board member of Women in Renewable Energy, and associate member of the US Japan Council. 


Amy Marvin

Cohort VI

Amy Miller Marvin is the senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. In her current role, she oversees museum operations, including public programs, building and grounds, finance, development, and communications. She previously spearheaded the Museum’s Hawaiian Hall restoration campaign as the vice president for institutional advancement. She also served as the vice president for institutional advancement at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, where she helped foster an innovative partnership between the Academy and Drexel University. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and public policy before earning her master’s degree in psychology - marine mammal behavior and biology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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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.


Kawika McKeague

Cohort VII

Kawika McKeague is a Kanaka Maoli practitioner serving as planning principal to G70, a Hawai‘i-based design firm. Kawika facilitates the integration of indigenous knowledge systems towards sustainable design solutions that are responsive to Hawaiʻi’s exceptional environment. His diverse portfolio includes master planning with a focus on affordable housing, community economic  development, community resiliency and disaster preparedness, and renewable energy. Kawika holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He is the board president of PAʻI Foundation. Kawika is a Native Hawaiian rights advocate trained as a ho‘opa‘a and ‘ōlapa under Kumu Hula Victoria Holt Takamine and a kīhōʻalu artist by the late Cyril Lani  Pahinui.


Brandee Menino

Cohort VII

Brandee Menino is the chief executive officer of HOPE Services Hawaiʻi, Inc., an affiliate organization of the Roman Catholic Church, and is focused on ending homelessness in Hawaiʻi. She has served as a nonprofit administrator, crisis counselor, outreach worker, board officer, and advocate. Brandee holds a master’s degree in professional counseling with emphasis in marriage and family therapy from the American School of Professional Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Inspired by the belief that serving others is a privilege, she currently volunteers her time serving on three local nonprofit boards including as treasurer for Bay Clinic, Inc., as secretary for the Foodbasket, Hawaiʻi Island’s Foodbank, and as director of the HMSA Foundation Board.


Jeff Mikulina

Cohort VI

Jeff Mikulina is the executive director of the Blue Planet Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to clear the path for 100% clean energy in Hawaii and beyond. Jeff heads all aspects of Blue Planet's work to champion scalable policies and programs that transform Hawaii’s energy systems to clean, renewable energy solutions. He previously served as the executive director of Hawaii’s largest environmental advocacy organization, the Sierra Club, for a decade. He received a master of science degree in engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying decision theory.  Jeff is vice chair of the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, which oversees $150 million in bond funding to help democratize access to clean energy solutions.

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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.


Jess Munoz

Cohort VII

Jess Munoz is a clinical emergency nurse practitioner, and president and founder of Hoʻōla Nā Pua. She provides executive leadership and development of a growing social service agency. She has 15 years of health care experience, entrepreneurship, and community advocacy and leadership. Jess has a master’s degree in nursing, a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and is a nationally board certified nurse practitioner.



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. 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. 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. 

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Cameron Nekota

Cohort V

Cameron Nekota is senior vice president of bank properties and government affairs at First Hawaiian Bank. Previously, he was 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.


Kanakolu Noa

Cohort VII

Kanakolu Noa is the manager of strategy development with Kamehameha Schools’ Community Engagement and Resources division where she facilitates the building of ecosystems to encourage social change. Previously, she was the curriculum coordinator for Kamehameha Schools Maui campus and has served in various capacities for the past nine years. After many experiences that allowed her to study, travel, and live across the globe, Kanakolu returned to Hawaiʻi in 2007 and worked in the nonprofit sector in both public and independent schools. She has a master’s degree in business administration from Argosy University, a master’s degree in indigenous studies from the University of Otago, and a bachelor’s degree in education from Gonzaga University. Kanakolu is a volunteer board member at Hālau Kū Māna PCS and Hoʻōla Nā Pua.


Mark Noguchi

Cohort VII

Mark Noguchi is the chef and co-founder of Pili Group, a food organization conducting business through consultations and catering. Mark is also a curriculum specialist at Punahou School where he develops food and ʻaina-based curricula for students and faculty. He has been a cook and chef for 18 years. He holds an associate of occupational studies degree with Kapiʻolani Community College, as well as the Culinary Institute of America. He is a board member for the Hawaiʻi Community College Culinary Program and the ʻAina Pono program with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education.

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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.


Kapā Oliveira

Cohort VI

Katrina-Ann R. Kapaanaokalaokeola Oliveira was born on the island of Oʻahu and raised on the islands of Maui and Oʻahu. Kapā is a full professor and the graduate chair of Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa where she mentors undergraduate and graduate students. She is the author of the book Ancestral Places: Understanding Kanaka Geographies. She previously served as the inaugural director of Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language. Kapā is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies as well as a master’s and a PhD in geography. She is currently pursuing an executive master of business administration degree from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. She currently serves on the board of the John and Kamaka Kukahiko of Makena Corporation.  


Tammi Oyadomari-Chun

Cohort VI

Tammi Oyadomari-Chun is currently academic program officer for the University of Hawaii Community Colleges. She leads statewide initiatives that enable more students to achieve their educational and career goals. Tammi has held key positions in the government and nonprofit sectors including assistant superintendent for the Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance at the State of Hawaii Department of Education; vice president for programs at Hawaii Community Foundation; policy analyst for the Office of the Governor; and executive director for Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education. She earned an educational doctorate from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education; a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government; and a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College. Tammi is the chair of the Aloha United Way Education Impact Council and on the board of Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders.

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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.

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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.

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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


Mahina Paishon-Duarte

Cohort VI

Mahina Paishon-Duarte is co-founder and managing partner of Waiwai Collective, a contemporary Hawaiian space for community, culture and commerce. Mahina is a social entrepreneur who has worked in a number of educational and cultural organizations. Most notably, she is the founding executive director of Paepae o Heeia, served as policy program manager with NOAA Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, and held the position of head of school at Halau Ku Mana and Kanu o ka Aina public charter schools. In addition, she studies and hones her practice as a cultural practitioner with Na Kalai Waa, Halau o ke Aalii Ku Makani and at Heeia fishpond. Mahina holds degrees from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Hawaii at Hilo, and Hawaii Pacific University. She also serves on the boards of Kahilu Theatre, the Oahu Economic Development Board, Friends of Iolani Palace, and the Trust for Public Land.

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Cohort III

Kawika Riley leads the Community Change Initiatives program at the Liliuokalani Trust, a perpetual trust established by Hawaii’s last reigning monarch. In this role, he manages a statewide program focused on breaking the cycle of poverty for Native Hawaiian children. Previously, he spent five years as the Chief Advocate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, an independent state agency and trust  established to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians. Prior to returning home, Kawika led the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ DC Bureau, 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.

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Cohort I

Marissa Sandblom is chief operating officer of Common Ground, located in Kilauea on beautiful Kauaʻi. Marissa previously served as Vice President of Grove Farm Company, one of the island’s largest private landowners and as president of the Grove Farm Foundation.  She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Hawaiʻi Pacific University. Marissa is a director for the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaiʻi and Shioi Construction and has served as Board Chair of the Agribusiness  Development Corporation, Kauaʻi Planning & Action Alliance and the Kauaʻi Economic Development Board.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 UC Berkeley School of 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.


Chris Sakuda

Cohort VII

Chris Sakuda is the executive director of Transform Hawaiʻi Government, a nonprofit coalition established to promote an accessible, accountable, and responsive Hawaiʻi government that enhances the quality of life for Hawai‘i’s citizens through an empowered workforce, innovative technology, and effective ways of doing business. Previously, Chris served in multiple nonprofit leadership roles, including executive director for a technology-related start-up called the Hawaiʻi Health Information Exchange, and information officer for the Hawaiʻi Primary Care Association. Chris received an MBA from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Santa Clara University. She currently serves on the state government's IT Steering Committee. Her prior board membership includes the Hawaiʻi Health Connector, Hawaiʻi Island Beacon Community, and the Hawaiʻi Health Information Exchange Board.


Stephanie Shipton

Cohort VI

Stephanie Shipton is a policy wonk, systems thinking nerd, and innovation explorer who is passionate about education as liberation and
connecting policies and systems with people and communities. As the director of early engagement and strategic initiatives at Teach For America Hawaii, she is responsible for curating and cultivating leadership development opportunities for high school students and, as chief of staff, serves on the organization's leadership teams. Her career journey includes co-founding and building Education Incubator and experiences in local, state, and federal education policy work through roles at the Hawaii Department of Education, National Governors Association, and Alliance for Excellent Education. Stephanie has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a  master's degree in political management from The George Washington University.  


Rachel Solemsaas

Cohort VII

Rachel Solemsaas is the chancellor of Hawai‘i Community College. In this capacity, she is the chief executive officer for the college and an officer of the University of Hawai‘i System. She provides executive leadership in academic affairs, undergraduate education, professional training, student affairs, administration, and campus operations. She previously served as the vice president for administrative services at community colleges in Nevada and Washington State. She earned a doctorate of education in higher education with an emphasis on community college leadership from Washington State University, a master’s degree in public  administration from the University of Washington, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. Rachel is the past president of the National Asian Pacific Islander Council and is a board member for Hawaiʻi Island Chamber of Commerce.


Claire Sullivan

Cohort VII

Claire Sullivan is the director of development and impact at MAʻO Organic Farms where she is currently supporting the scaling social-enterprise model. She has dedicated her career to serving the Hawaiʻi agricultural community and to building an economically dynamic, ecologically sound, and culturally vibrant future for Hawaiʻi nei. Previously, she started her journey at Maui Land and Pineapple Company, then developed Whole Foods Market’s Hawaiʻi purchasing program, establishing sourcing relationships with local businesses, and fostering innovation and growth in the Hawaiʻi food and agricultural sector. She has a master’s degree in nature, society, and environmental policy from Oxford University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations and history from the London School of Economics.


Susan Tai

Cohort V

Susan Tai is the manager for New Initiatives for Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer funded energy efficiency and conservation program under contract with the Public Utilities Commission. Prior to Hawaii Energy, Susan established her career in economic development, strategic planning, and grant-writing at public and private organizations focused on economic development and resiliency for Hawaii. Most recently, she consulted with the Partnership for Pacific Resilience, an Oahu-based nonprofit organization focused on resiliency and disaster management, and served as the president and chief executive officer of Kauai Economic Development Board (KEDB), overseeing its strategic planning, program planning, and fund development. Her other leadership roles have included serving as 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 Michael P. Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago, where she pursued her bachelor’s degree in biology. Susan received the US SBA Women in Business Advocate of the Year - Kauai award, and 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 and Steering Committees. 


Karen Tan

Cohort VI

Karen Tan is the president and chief executive officer of Child & Family Service (CFS). Karen is responsible for setting the strategic direction and spearheading the goals and objectives of CFS in meeting its mission of strengthening families and fostering the healthy development of children in Hawaii. She is a licensed clinical social worker and has 24 years of management experience in human service nonprofit organizations. Karen received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and her bachelor of arts from Seattle Pacific University. She also attended the Executive Leadership Institute in partnership with the University of Michigan and the Alliance for Strong Families & Communities. Her board involvement includes PHOCUSED (Protecting Hawaii’s Ohana, Children, Under-Served, Elderly and Disabled); Hoomaluhia Advisory Council; Hawaii Accountable Health Communities Advisory Board; and the Kupuna Life Advisory Board.


Ann Teranishi

Cohort VII

Ann Teranishi is the executive vice president of operations at American Savings Bank where she leads over 150 teammates, delivering operational improvements to positively impact customer experience. Previously, she headed the retail credit team and led the customer experience team. Prior to banking, Ann was a commercial litigation attorney at Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda. Ann holds a juris doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, a bachelor’s degree in international relations and economics from Claremont McKenna College, and is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School. Ann is on the board of Catholic Charities Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiʻi Cellular Therapy and Transplant Laboratory, and also serves as Hawaiʻi Regional Chair of the U.S. Japan Council.


Ben Trevino

Cohort VI

Ben Trevino is an experienced executive, entrepreneur, and technologist. He currently serves as the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's sustainability planner. Prior to that, he was the president and chief operating officer of Bikeshare Hawaii and was a co-founder of Interisland Terminal, a Honolulu-based nonprofit organization with projects including community innovation spaces, the Kakaako Agora, and R&D Bookstore and Cafe. He has held previous positions with University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO), Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, the Hawaii International Film Festival, and Google. Ben holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Stanford University and an MBA from the Shidler College of Business at University of Hawaii at Manoa. He serves on the boards for Common Cause Hawaii, Hawaii Open Data, The Entrepreneur's Foundation, The SEEQS Foundation, and Sustainable Transportation Coalition of Hawaii.

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Cohort III

Kerrie Urosevich, is the lead, Network Design and Collaboration for Early Childhood Action Strategy, 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

Stephany Vaioleti is the manager of Hawai‘i Energy’s Affordability & Accessibility programs. She will oversee strategic and task-oriented planning and campaigns in two primary focus areas: Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed (ALICE) populations and nonprofits striving to reduce their energy costs. Prior to joining Hawai‘i Energy, Stephany worked as senior vice president of member operations at HMSA and CEO of Kahuku Medical Center. She also services as a board member for Hospice Hawai‘i and the Ko‘olauloa Health and Wellness Foundation. Stephany has a master’s degree in social work and a law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law.

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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.


Quinn Vittum

Cohort VI

A. Quinn Vittum is the executive director of Re-use Hawaii. His responsibilities include leading a staff of 50, overseeing programs and projects, fundraising, manager training, and Board development. His past professional experience was dedicated to the building material reuse industry with a focus on developing a model for high-impact whole building deconstruction and large project waste reduction efforts. He attended three colleges: State University of New York at New Paltz, University of New Hampshire, and Evergreen State College. Quinn currently sits on the board of directors of Hawaii Employers Mutual Insurance company, a workers compensation carrier serving Hawaii companies and organizations.

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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.

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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. Beth chairs the Women’s Fund of Hawaii and serves on the boards of the YWCA, YMCA, and Hawaii Theatre. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Mississippi and a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law.



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 imagines a positive future for Hawai‘i and brings people together to collectively create that future. This is achieved through the nurturing of safe space, strengths-based professional development programs, and experiences that accelerate the public, private, and non-profit sectors’ capacity for and practice of collaboration and innovation.  

Rachael has dedicated her career to improving quality of life for others: in nonprofit leadership roles at the Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i, Kōkua Mau (state hospice & palliative care organization), and the Hawaiʻi Consortium for Integrative Care; as director of the State of Hawai‘i Department of Human Services, where she led the creation of the state’s ʻOhana Nui multigenerational framework; and now through OSF’s professional development programs and the Safe Spaces and Workplaces initiative that will collaboratively address workplace sexual harassment. She 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-Mānoa, and a doctorate in public health from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


George Yarbrough

Cohort VI

George Yarbrough is an entrepreneur dedicated to Impact Hub Honolulu and Laulea Engineering. Both companies strive to make a better Hawaii. His responsibilities for both include operations, marketing, strategic business development, network and business development, and getting done what needs to be done. His mission for Impact Hub Honolulu is to create a safe place where innovation, collaboration, and growth can happen for all sectors. George’s mission for Laulea Engineering is excel the level in which Hawaii treats and disposes its wastewater. His past professional experience is tied to the public health sector. First, he was with Operation Smile, a global charity that gives free surgeries to those who suffer with cleft lip and cleft palates. George started as a global coordinator and then moved into managing the Africa and Middle East programs. He then moved into the medical team response research field working with the US Department of Defense Center at the Center for Excellence. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a focus on economic geography and a minor in economics. 


Darcie Yukimura

Cohort VII

Darcie Yukimura is the director of community philanthropy on Kauaʻi for the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. She oversees nearly 70 charitable funds and over $2 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and scholarships for students on Kauaʻi annually. Youth success has been a focus of Darcie’s career and service. Previously, she was the director of communications at Saint Louis School and a communications specialist at the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health. Darcie received a master’s degree in public health and a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Arizona. She currently serves on the corporate board of the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaiʻi and the County of Kauaʻi, Commission on the Status of Women Committee.


Kuhao Zane

Cohort VII

Kuhao Zane is the creative director and chief of operations at Sig Zane Designs and SigZaneKaiao where he inspires, sparks, refines, and educates the design team, retail, and production managers. He is still learning how to tell stories with every project and every medium leading up to present day. Kuhao holds an associate’s degree in graphic design from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. He is the president of the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation, serves on the advisory board of the Moku O Keawe Foundation, and is a consultant for Ala Kukui.