President and Chief Executive Officer
Aloha United Way
As president and CEO of Aloha United Way (AUW), Cindy Adams has dedicated herself to developing and advancing collaborative, systems-level solutions to address the community’s most deeply entrenched and persistent social challenges.
Cindy’s 30 years of experience includes business—start-up and Fortune 500 companies—and nonprofit leadership. From 2009 to 2011, she was the founding executive director of the Hawai‘i Meth Project, a large-scale prevention campaign and community outreach program that aimed to reduce methamphetamine use among teens. In addition to being widely embraced by local private and public schools, the Meth Project gained White House recognition as one of the most influential drug programs in the nation.
Most recently at AUW, she has focused on disrupting the traditional nonprofit culture, evolving the organization’s strategic direction and operations and raising expectations of engagement in the community. Under Cindy’s leadership, AUW has become an innovative partner, developing deeper relationships cross-sector, strengthening its discipline of operational efficiency, and elevating collective impact to facilitate significant and lasting social change.
She is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and attended Harvard’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.
Lorraine H. Akiba
Public Utilities Commission
Lorraine H. Akiba was appointed to the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission in January 2012 for a term to expire June 30, 2018. She was previously a law partner at McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP and Cades Schutte Flemming & Wright LLP, where she headed each firm’s Environmental Practice Group.
She previously served as Director of the State of Hawai‘i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and as Chair of the State of Hawai‘i Environmental Council.
Commissioner Akiba is a member of the Advisory Council to the Board of Directors of the Electric Power Research Institute. She is a member of the U.S. DOE and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Future Electric Utility Regulation Advisory Group. She also serves on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Board of Directors and its Energy Resources and Environment Committee. She also is a member of the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action) Financial Solutions Working Group.
Roy K. Amemiya, Jr.
City and County of Honolulu
Roy K. Amemiya, Jr. was appointed to the position of Managing Director of the City and County of Honolulu by Mayor Kirk Caldwell in 2015. Previously, Amemiya served as the CEO and President of ‘Ōlelo Community Television. Mr. Amemiya served in a previous city administration and was the first director of the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services when the two departments merged. Born and raised in Wahiawā, Amemiya went to Leilehua High School and graduated from Purdue University. He received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and later completed the Pacific Coast Banking School with honors.
Hawai‘i News Now, KGMB, & KHNL
Rick Blangiardi has led a life of uncompromising service to Hawai‘i, his colleagues and especially his family. Blangiardi has shown the far-reaching nature of his heart and an abundant generosity of spirit. An inspiring and highly effective visionary leader, his passion is infectious to everyone he engages. His ability to drive positive change by bringing out the best in people is his trademark. Rick is the General Manager of Hawai‘i’s largest multimedia company, Hawai‘i News Now, KGMB (CBS) and KHNL (NBC). Prior to his career in broadcast, Blangiardi spent seven years as a college football coach, five of those at the University of Hawai‘i, and left the coaching ranks as the Defensive Coordinator/Associate Head Football Coach at UH.
Hawai‘i Green Growth
Celeste Connors has twenty years of experience working at the intersection of economic, environment, energy, and international development policy. Before joining Hawai‘i Green Growth, she was CEO and co-founder of C•Dots Development LLC, which works to build resilient infrastructure and services in vulnerable communities. Celeste previously served as the Director for Environment and Climate Change at the National Security Council and National Economic Council in the White House where she helped shape the Administration's climate and energy policies. Prior to joining the White House, Celeste served as a diplomat in Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Germany. She also held positions at the U.S. Mission to the UN, served as the Climate and Energy Advisor to the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and worked for the City of New York.
Celeste is faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in the Energy, Resources and Environment Program. She holds an MSc in Development Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BA in International Relations from Tufts University. Celeste is a Term Member on the Council on Foreign Relations, member of Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) Steering Committee, and serves on the board of America’s Service Commission. Celeste grew up in Kailua, Oahu.
Assistant Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Hawai‘i Regional Council of Carpenters
Kyle Chock serves as the Assistant Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Hawai‘i Regional Council of Carpenters -the largest construction union in the state of Hawai‘i representing nearly 7,000 members. In his current role, Chock manages the day-to-day operations of the union and oversees membership services, contract negotiations and administration, industry marketing and government relations. Chock also serves as a trustee on several labor-management trust funds including health and welfare, financial security, training and apprenticeship, and the Pacific Resource Partnership.
Chock currently serves as a Trustee of the The Queen’s Health Systems and is the past Chairman and member of the State Land Use Commission. Past community service includes board positions with Child and Family Services, Kapolei Chamber of Commerce, and the Nature Conservancy Corporate Council for the Environment.
Captain Barry Choy
NOAA Liaison to the US Pacific Command J9
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Captain Barry Choy is a commissioned officer in the smallest of the U.S. uniformed services, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps. He serves as the NOAA Liaison to U.S. Pacific Command. Prior to this assignment Captain Choy led the Office of Hydrologic Development for the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) overseeing the completion and transition of the National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, AL. He has also served as the Chief Science Officer for the NWS, National Centers for Environmental Prediction which is responsible for forecasts and warnings from the sun to the sea. In previous assignments over the last 28 years, he has served in a variety of operational and management positions ranging from ship officer and diver operating several NOAA ships conducting fisheries, oceanographic, and atmospheric research in the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic to Aircraft Commander, Chief of Maintenance, and Chief of Flight Operations at the NOAA Aircraft Operation’s Center in Tampa, FL. As a Hurricane Aircraft Commander and Flight Instructor for NOAA he accumulated over 4500 hours flight time in the NOAA Hurricane Hunter WP-3D and snow survey aircraft. He has flown into many notable hurricanes, including Katrina, to collect valuable data used in research on tropical weather systems and to improve forecast skill. He has also served on scene during a few disasters including the Exxon Valdez’ and Deep Water Horizon oil spills. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from the University of Hawai‘i and completed graduate studies in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Office of Environmental Quality Control, Department of Health, State of Hawai‘i
Scott Glenn is the Director of the State of Hawaiʻi Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC). He serves as Governor David Ige’s environmental advisor. His office administers the state environmental review process and provides advice and technical assistance to government agencies, businesses, and community groups. Glenn also serves as the Co-Chair of the Sustainable Hawaiʻi Initiative, which focuses on five goals: achieving 100% renewable energy, protecting priority watersheds, effectively managing nearshore waters, growing local food, and improving biosecurity.
Prior to coming to the OEQC, Glenn worked as an environmental planner at Cardno. While there, he focused on planning, environmental review, asset management, and risk analysis in clients’ strategic decision making. He has managed project budgets and held key roles on multiple multi-million dollar projects for clients in the public and private sectors.
Glenn earned a B.A. in philosophy and classical archaeology from the University of Evansville and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Hawai‘i. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Helping Hands Hawai‘i
The most important thing to know about Jan Harada is that she is a 15 year practitioner of traditional Southern Chinese Kung Fu, lion dancing, and more recently Qigong. The practice of martial arts, lion dancing, and Qigong are critical components of her ability to manage and lead in her day-to-day duties working as the President & CEO of Helping Hands Hawai‘i , a health and human services nonprofit, while also serving on the Boards of the Hawai‘i Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations, the Henry & Colene Wong Foundation, the Hawaii Employers Council, Susannah Wesley Community Center and Island Insurance, Inc.
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 17+ years in service oriented roles – 5+ years with the Department of Health, 4 1/2 years with Palama Settlement (3+ as their Executive Director), and in her current role at Helping Hands Hawaii for 7+ years. Over her career, she has also been blessed with opportunities that come from being a 2008 Pacific Century Fellow, a 2008 Weinberg Fellow, a 2012 Hawai‘i Community Foundation PONO Program participant, and a member of the Omidyar Fellows Program (2013-2014).
Micah A. Kāne
Chief Executive Officer and President
Hawai‘i Community Foundation
Micah A. Kāne is the Chief Executive Officer and President of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) – the state’s largest and oldest Foundation that works with individuals, families, foundations, government agencies, and organizations. Prior to taking the role in July of 2017 as the third CEO & President in HCF’s history, Micah served as its Chief Operating Officer and President and also served eight years as a Board of Governor before joining HCF. His previous work experience includes being the Chief Operating Officer of Pacific Links International where he was responsible for overseeing the company’s Hawai’i operations, including real estate development and mergers and acquisitions activity. He also served as Chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, a 200,000‐acre native Hawaiian land trust. Micah also served as Chairman and Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Republican Party and prior to that was the Government Affairs Liaison for the Building Industry Association of Hawai‘i. He is raised in Hawai‘i and is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, Menlo College, and received his MBA from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Kāne currently serves as a Trustee for the Kamehameha Schools with oversight of an $11.3 billion asset portfolio and is a corporate Board of Director with the Hawaiian Electric Company.
Dr. Karl Kim
National Disaster Preparedness Training Center
Dr. Karl Kim is the executive director of the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) and a professor in the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Department of Urban and Regional Planning in the College of Social Sciences. Kim received more than $48 million in federal, state, and international research grants on transportation, traffic safety, GIS, environmental management, disaster management and humanitarian assistance. Kim received his undergraduate education from Brown University and graduate education including Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. David Lassner
President and Interim Chancellor
University of Hawai‘i System
Dr. David Lassner is the 15th president of the University of Hawai‘i System and is currently serving as interim chancellor of UH Mānoa. He has worked at the university since 1977, holding the position of vice president for information technology and chief information officer for many years. Lassner led Hawai‘i’s major statewide federally funded project that interconnected all public schools, libraries and campuses on six islands with fiber optics and is an active principal investigator with the National Science Foundation. Lassner earned an AB in economics summa cum laude and MS in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a PhD in communication and information sciences from the University of Hawai‘i. He has been recognized with Internet2’s Richard Rose Award, WCET’s Richard Jonsen Award and as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Hawai‘i.
Constance H. Lau
President and Chief Executive Officer
Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.
Constance (Connie) Lau is President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI). She is Board Chair of HEI’s principal subsidiaries, Hawaiian Electric Company and American Savings Bank (ASB). Hawaiian Electric provides electrical service to 95% of the state of Hawai‘i through five separate island grids and is helping Hawai‘i achieve a 100% renewable energy goal. ASB is Hawai‘i’s third largest financial institution.
Ms. Lau is a nationally recognized leader in the fields of critical infrastructure, resilience and physical and cyber security, banking and energy. Since 2012, Ms. Lau has chaired the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, which advises the U.S. President on the security of the sixteen critical infrastructure sectors and their information systems. Ms. Lau serves on the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council which represents the North American electric sector with the U.S. government and has been highlighted as one of the most successful public-private partnerships. She is a Clean Energy, Education & Empowerment Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Ms. Lau serves on the boards of Matson, Inc., Edison Electric Institute, Associated Electrical & Gas Insurance Services, Elemental Excelerator, Hawaii Business Roundtable, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Punahou School, Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation, and on the advisory boards for Kamehameha Schools, University of Hawai‘i Shidler College of Business and Burns Schools of Medicine.
Ms. Lau graduated from Yale College with a B.S. in administrative sciences. She earned a Juris doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law and a master's in business administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Kupu and Pono Pacific
Mr. Leong is a social entrepreneur and co-founder of two successful organizations that focus on making Hawai‘i more resilient. He founded Pono Pacific in 2000 to meet conservation and natural resource management needs in the state. Today the organization works across our state with some of the largest land owners to develop marine and terrestrial natural resource management solutions, impacting between 25,000-40,000 acres annually. He also co-founded Kupu, a 501c3 Hawai‘i -based non-profit in 2007. Kupu empowers young adults to their potential through service in conservation and sustainability industries. The organization is statewide and also has programming in other parts of the Pacific including American Samoa, Midway, Palmyra, Johnston Atoll, and California. Kupu has engaged over 3,500 young adults and create over $90 million in economic benefits over the last decade. The two companies create around 400 employment and internship opportunities annually.
Mr. Leong was born and raised in Hawai‘i and has worked alongside his wife Julianna. Together they have four amazing children. Mr. Leong is a Punahou and University of Pennsylvania, Wharton alumni. He believes the key to making our islands more resilient is to enlarge the Aloha spirit and engage it in how we operate as a state through empowering the potential in people.
Executive Chairman of the Board
Island Insurance Companies
Colbert Matsumoto has led Island Insurance Company, Ltd. since 1999 after a successful 20 year career as an attorney in private practice. He was formerly the founder and managing partner of the law firm of Matsumoto, LaFountaine & Chow, and prior to that was a partner in the law firm of Fujiyama Duffy & Fujiyama with a practice focused on insurance law. Colbert serves as director on various corporate boards including Central Pacific Financial Corporation, Hawai‘i Gas, Hawaiian Host, Inc., Oahu Publications, Inc. and the U.S. - Japan Council. He also serves as a trustee of the $11 billion Employees Retirement System of the State of Hawai‘i and was previously an at-large member of the Board of Land & Natural Resources of the State of Hawai‘i.
Born and raised in the plantation community of Lanai, Colbert graduated from Lanai High & Elementary School and later attended the University of San Francisco where he graduated magna cum laude and subsequently obtained his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i
Sherry Menor-McNamara is the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i; becoming the youngest and first female leader and the first Japanese-Filipino of the organization’s 165-year history.
She previously worked for the Hawai‘i State Legislature, ESPN’s Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl, Sony Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Estee Lauder Company, Elton John Production, U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka and the Executive Office of the United States President.
Sherry earned a certificate in Expanding Impact in Advocacy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education. She holds a BA from UCLA and JD/MBA from the University of Hawai‘i.
Schatz graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a doctorate in architecture, focusing on transit-oriented development in urban infill locations. She landed at Kamehameha Schools as an intern and then worked her way up to land analyst, then real estate analyst and then development manager. Most of her focus was on the Kakaʻako master plan, which led her to work with Forest City Hawai‘i, where she helped develop Kapolei Lofts, Hawai‘i’s first master-planned community for renters in 20 years.
Schatz brings that expertise and knowledge of community-based development to the roster of development partners and investors she works with as a managing member for her real estate development company Schatz Collaborative. Schatz Collaborative manages real estate development projects for partners and investors, focusing on fee development and servicing real estate companies outside of Hawai‘i that need local expertise. Schatz is responsible for running the projects and managing uncertainty and risk in each deal. She’s also responsible for finding properties, concepts, investors and project teams to execute real estate deals.
Dr. Patrick K. Sullivan
Chairman, CEO and Founder
Dr. Patrick Sullivan founded Oceanit in 1985, a self-funded “Mind to Market” company that produces technology from home-grown research, development and engineering, which employs over 160 scientists, engineers and professionals, providing innovative solutions in the fields of aerospace, energy, engineering, information technology and life sciences. Oceanit’s more than $425M in funding has created cutting-edge innovations in the fields of aerospace, energy, bio-photonics, artificial intelligence, neurotoxin detection, nanotechnology and optics, as well as technology for missile defense, advanced manufacturing, space debris management and environmental applications that are the subject of numerous reports, patents and research programs.
Dr. Sullivan, named Hawaii Business Magazine’s “2016 CEO of the Year”, brings over 37 years of entrepreneurial, business, and scientific experience to Oceanit’s “Mind-to-Market” business model that integrates “Design Thinking” for human-centered innovation with “Intellectual Anarchy,” the art of disruptive innovation. This approach has yielded a variety of disruptive technologies and products, ranging from composites and material treatments, to nano-energetics and sensors with applications straddling disparate markets from medical to energy. Dr. Sullivan's 31 years of CEO experience and his broad background in scientific innovations, team building and business has enabled and launched numerous private equity funded start-up spin-out companies. Dr. Sullivan has been involved with coastal sustainability and resource management across the Pacific for over 30 years.
Dr. Sullivan received his Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Hawai‘i and his BS in Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Polynesian Voyaging Society
Nainoa Thompson is the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and a master in the traditional Polynesian art of non-instrument navigation. Through his voyaging, he has opened a global, multi-generational dialogue on the importance of sustaining ocean resources and maritime heritage. Thompson is the first person in 600 years to practice Polynesian wayfinding: long-distance open-ocean voyaging on a traditional double-hulled canoe without the aid of modern instruments. Nainoa has dedicated his life to exploring the ocean, maintaining the health of the planet and ensuring that the ancient marine heritage and culture of Polynesia remain vibrant into the future.
Dr. Richard R. Vuylsteke
Dr. Richard R. Vuylsteke (pronounced VUL-stek) took office as the East-West Center’s 11th chief executive on 1 January 2017. A former EWC grantee and staff member, he rejoins the Center after several decades living in Asia and serving most recently as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Previously he served as President of the American Chamber in Taipei, Editor-in-Chief of the Taiwan Review, and Area Studies Coordinator for the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute in Taipei. Earlier in his career, he was a research fellow in East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School as well as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Rajasthan, India. His area of expertise is strategic and operational leadership of multicultural organizations; Asia Pacific business and trade; and Asian and Western history and philosophy. Originally from Illinois, Dr. Vuylsteke was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Illinois College and continued to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, specializing in Western and Chinese political philosophy.
Senior Vice President, Chief Communications and Community Engagement Officer
Hawai‘i Medical Service Association
Elisa Yadao is senior vice president and chief communications and community engagement officer for HMSA. She directs product development and pricing, marketing and communications, and consumer advocacy. Elisa has been with HMSA since 2009. Her career includes serving as chief information officer for the City and County of Honolulu’s rail transit system, communications director for Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate, executive director of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, and as a television reporter and news producer for the local CBS affiliate. She volunteers on the board of directors for the American Heart Association’s Hawai‘i Chapter, Hawai‘i Island Economic Development Board, East Hawai‘i Regional Health Improvement Collaborative, and with the Polynesian Voyaging Society.