Mayor Billy Kenoi’s nominations for the Hamakua CDP Steering Committee have been announced.
- Dorothy Ku‘ulei Badua
- Glenn D. Carvalho
- Scott Edward Enright
- Farrah-Marie Kawailani Gomes
- Richard Ha
- Brad R. Kurokawa
- Matthias W. Kusch
- Lorraine M. Mendoza
- Marc W. Miranda
- Myles Y. Miyasato
- Jason D. Moniz
- Craig A. Neff
- Ka‘iulani Pahio
The county provided a brief introduction to the nominees, many of them already well known in the Hamakua region:
Dorothy Ku‘ulei Badua is a lifetime resident of Kukuihaele and has held several leadership roles in community organizations, including the Kukuihaele Community Association and the Waipi‘o Taro Farmers Association. Ms. Badua is a respected kupuna and currently works as a Community Building Facilitator for Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center where she is active in perpetuating the Hawaiian culture through education. In addition, Ms. Badua is currently involved as a CDP ‘Talk Story’ Facilitator.
Glenn D. Carvalho is a 29 year resident of Pepe‘ekeō and a former ILWU organizer who currently works as a paralegal for the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i. Mr. Carvalho has held leadership roles in numerous community service organizations in Rural South Hilo. Mr. Carvalho was instrumental in helping to educate, train, and prepare displaced sugar workers for other employment opportunities. In addition, he helped provide for the needs of workers and their families through the Office of Social Ministries. Due to his extensive work in planning area communities, Mr. Carvalho will be effective in getting people to participate in the CDP process. Mr. Carvalho understands the challenges facing residents and has been through three previous visioning/planning processes for the area over several decades. In addition, Mr. Carvalho is currently involved as a CDP ‘Talk Story’ Facilitator.
Scott Edward Enright is a 19 year resident of ‘Ō‘ōkala and a founding member and past president of the ‘Ō‘ōkala Community Association. He is a current member of the county’s Environmental Management Commission and is the East Hawai‘i representative on the Governors Council of Neighbor Island Advisors. Mr. Enright was Cultivation and Irrigation Superintendent for the Hāmākua Sugar Company where he was responsible for the agricultural water systems and human management aspects of the operation. After the plantation closed, Mr. Enright was instrumental in helping displaced workers stay in their homes. His approach to community work has always been on a faceto-face, person-to-person level and, as a result, is well respected in the community. Mr. Enright also received a Masters Degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution andwill bring a spirit of servant leadership to the Steering Committee.
Farrah-Marie Kawailani Gomes was born and raised in North Hilo and Hāmākua and is currently the director of the North Hawai‘i Educational and Research Center (NHERC) in Honoka‘a and runs a tutoring business in Pa‘auilo. For the past three years, she has been the Hāmākua/North Hilo Healing Our Island (HOI) liaison and during the early input gathering phase for the Hāmākua CDP, she has served as a Community Liaison. Through these and other community service roles, Ms. Gomes has built relationships with many individuals, organizations, and businesses in Hāmākua and North Hilo. Ms. Gomes supports childhood development, education, and eldercare within the community and will effectively represent young, working families in the area.
Richard Ha has owned and run Hāmākua Springs Farms in Pepe‘ekeō Maukafor 16 years. Having grown the business from just two acres of land with no water, Mr. Ha now employs 66 workers in his farming operation and is thoroughly familiar with both the business and operations aspects of agriculture. Mr. Ha is an advocate for alternative energy sources, food security, sustainability, and both small and large scale agriculture. He is a pragmatist who understands the need to listen to all sides of an issue. In addition, Mr. Ha’scommunity service includes membership on the Hāmākua Farm Bureau and Hāmākua Soil and Water Conservation District, as well as director-ships for both the KohalaCenter and The Hawai‘i Island Economic Development Board.
Brad R. Kurokawa is a former Deputy Planning Director for Hawai‘i County and is currently a LEED Accredited Landscape Architect and Land Planner. His professional experience and tenure with the County provides him with a strong understanding of local and broader planning issues. Mr. Kurokawawas born and raised in Hawai‘i, and has worked for 30 years on the mainland so he is comfortable working with and can relate to long-time local residents and new-comers alike. Mr. Kurokawais a skilled facilitator and has been active in community work across the planning area since returning to the island six years ago, including board membership on the Hilo-Hāmākua Community Development Corporation (HHCDC). He resides in Honomū, and is well connected and respected in Hilo-Hāmākua communities. In addition, Mr. Kurokawais currently involved as a CDP ‘Talk Story’ Facilitator.
Matthias W. Kusch is a 5 year resident and currently the president of the Pepe‘ekeō Gardens Homeowners Association. Mr. Kusch is a Captain with the County of Hawai‘i Fire Department in Laupāhoehoe, and runs a small-scale avocado orchard and field–stock palm business. Mr. Kusch was formerly on the West Hawai‘i Fisheries Council where he developed an understanding of coastal ecology, environmental conservation, and access issues for fishermen. Through his work with the Fire Department and other community work, Mr. Kusch has experienced a wide spectrum of people’s lives and is comfortable working with diverse groups of people. Mr. Kusch is skilled at synthesizing broad ideas into goals, objectives, and actions, and is effective at managing productive meetings.
Lorraine M. Mendoza is a lifetime resident of the planning area (Hakalauand Pepe‘ekeō) and has been involved in community activities for over 20 years, including active involvement in coordinating assistance for displaced sugar workers upon the closure of the plantations. Ms. Mendoza’s background includes leadership roles in the Pepe‘ekeō Filipino Association, the Rural South Hilo Community Association, the Pepe‘ekeō Community Association, and the HHCDC. She also has experience with and has advocated for aquaculture, recreational development, primary education, and community-based economic development, through her role in the State’s CBED board. In addition, Ms. Mendoza is currently involved as a CDP ‘Talk Story’ Facilitator.
Marc W. Miranda was born and raised in Honoka‘aand recently moved to Pāpa‘ikou. For the past seven years, Mr. Miranda has been the Governors East Hawai‘i liaison, where he has gained a deep understanding of the issues of the people in the planning area, as well as built relationships with individuals and organizations in many Hāmākua communities. Mr. Miranda has also been a staff coach for UH Women’s Soccer since August 2008. He has expressed an interest in representing the youth of his generation (Mr. Miranda is 30) on the Steering Committee, as well encouraging them to participate in shaping the future of the area. Mr. Miranda supports the creation of employment opportunities for Hāmākua residents so they can work closer to home and afford to stay in the area.
Myles Y. Miyasato is a 9 year resident of Laupāhoehoeand currently works as a representative of the Operating Engineers Stabilization Fund. Mr. Miyasatobrings a background in construction and development from his previous experience as a foreman for two construction companies. In addition, Mr. Miyasatoranches cattle and horses, is an avid hunter, sits on the County’s Transportation Committee, and is a former chair of the Cost of Government Commission. Mr. Miyasatobelieves in regional planning and smart development that balances the need for employment, businesses, agriculture, and affordable housing with environmental conservation. He is active in getting the community involved in important issues and will do the same on the Steering Committee.
Jason D. Moniz is a 25 year resident and rancher in Pa‘auilo and is employed as a Veterinary Program Manager for the State Department of Agriculture. He is presently the vice-president of the Hāmākua Farm Bureau and is active in the 4-H program for kids. Mr. Moniz brings a wealth of knowledge of agricultural industries, especially cattle ranching. In addition, Mr. Moniz has vast knowledge of and is an advocate for rebuilding the plantation Ag infrastructure (including water transmission lines) needed to keep Hāmākua viable for diversified agriculture. Mr. Moniz knows the land, is experienced in planning processes, and will represent the ranching perspective.
Craig A. Neff is a 12 year resident of Pāpa‘ikou and owner of Hawaiian Force in Hilo. He is a current vice-president of the Rural South Hilo Community Association and also serves on the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission. Mr. Neff has been actively involved in eliciting participation in community issues through the creation of road signs and other methods. Mr. Neff desires to maximize community participation in the planning process and is especially interested in representing those who won’t normally step forward and have their voices heard in a large venue. As a member of the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission, Mr. Neff gained knowledge of land-use as well as coastal and ocean issues. In addition, Mr. Neff is extremely knowledgeable about historical and cultural sites throughout the planning area.
Ka‘iulani Pahio is a lifetime resident of Honoka’a and is employed as a Project Director for Kanu o ka ‘Āina Learning ‘Ohana. Her community work has included advisory board membership for the Salvation Army-Honoka’a Corp, Community Advisory Board membership at NHERC, Hāmākua Eldercare Advisory Council, as well as numerous leadership positions in native Hawaiian education. Ms. Pahio’s will bring her extensive local and cultural knowledge, ability to learn from others, desire to get people involved, and passion for community improvement to the Steering Committee.
The nominations will go before the Hawaii County Council Planning Committee on Tuesday, May 18th.