Maui Business

Movie Producer Ryan Kavanaugh to Keynote Annual Counties’ Conference in Wailea

May 14, 2011, 12:05 PM HST
* Updated May 16, 9:47 AM
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Grand Wailea fountain. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Sonia Isotov

Every year government officials, business, nonprofit and community leaders and members of the public gather for the Hawaii State Association of Counties Annual Conference (HSAC). This year the event will be held June 22-23 at the Grand Wailea Resort.

The conference theme is “Hawaii Counties Connect: Fostering Unity and Excellence in Local Government.” In particular, the conferences will focus on green jobs, social media, and open government.

The County of Maui is hosting this year’s HSAC Conference, and Maui County Council Chair Danny A. Mateo said in a statement released today that the conference will highlight opportunities for Hawaii’s counties to share knowledge and strategize on Hawaii’s economic, energy and legislative needs.

“The HSAC Conference promises a stimulating array of speakers and panelists who will address timely topics relating to green workforce development, technology and social media, open government, fiscal management and intergovernmental relations,” Mateo said.


The conference offers an opportunity to meet distinguished guest speakers, including government leaders from across the state. Attendees can attend conference session and participate in mobile tours, tour an exhibit hall and attend other informal activities are planned during this two-day event.


The conference’s keynote talk will be presented during the afternoon of June 23 by movie producer Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media, LLC, on the benefits of the film and television industry to Hawaii. Kavanaugh’s credits include the Oscar-nominated films “3:10 to Yuma” (2007), “The Fighter” (2010) and “The Social Network” (2010), as well as “Bridesmaids,” which opens today.

During the morning of June 23, Maui technology consultant Peter Liu will lead a panel discussion on social media and open government. Panelists will include Hawaii County Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida, State Senate staffer Francis Choe, State House staffer Georgette Deemer, Oahu-based social media advisor Neenz Faleafine, Nikki Love of Common Cause and attorney Cheryl Kakazu Park, recently appointed to lead the Office of Information Practices.

On the conference’s first day, Park and OIP staff attorney Jennifer Brooks will make a presentation on the Sunshine Law, Hawaii’s open-meetings statute. Later on June 22, a panel discussion on intergovernmental relations will include Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, former Gov. George Ariyoshi, State Sen. Shan Tsutsui of Maui, State Rep. Derek Kawakami of Kauai and Elmer Cravalho, former Mayor of Maui County and former Speaker of the State House.


Other conference speakers include Jeff Matsu, leader of the Hawaii Green Jobs Initiative; Collette Y. Machado, Chairperson, Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Boyd P. Mossman, OHA Trustee; State Auditor Marion Higa; HSAC President Mel Rapozo of the Kauai County Council; and National Association of Counties President B. Glen Whitley from Tarrant County, Tex.

Persons interested in attending the conference may register at the conference website at or contact Toni Rojas, Sterling Performance Group, Inc., at [email protected].

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