Maui News

Neilsen, Nunokawa Named Maui Field Reps for Schatz

February 19, 2013, 8:08 AM HST
* Updated February 19, 8:37 AM
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Jonathan Starr (left) and Helen Nielsen (middle) recently participated in a discussion with Governor Neil Abercrombie about the reWailuku initiative. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Helen Nielsen (middle) recently participated in a discussion with Governor Neil Abercrombie (right) about the reWailuku initiative. She will now serve as a Maui field representative for US Senator Brian Schatz.  File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

US Senator Brian Schatz has selected five field representatives across Hawai‘i to serve as his regional liaisons to the community.

Two individuals were selected for Maui County including: Kari Luna Nunokawa and Helen Nielsen. Other liaisons are Clyde Kodani of Kaua‘i, Marlena Castro Dixon of East Hawai‘i, and Bryan Andaya of O‘ahu.

The position for the West Hawai‘i field representative is in the process of being filled.

The group will work at the grass roots level to ensure that people in the state are engaged to Schatz’s office in Washington, DC.


“Our team is up and running. Clyde, Marlena, Kari, Helen, and Bryan have a wealth of knowledge about their communities and are dedicated to public service,” said Sen. Schatz. “They will be my eyes and ears on the ground and bridges between their communities and me, so that I can work with the delegation to make the best decisions for all the people of Hawai`i.”

  • Clyde Kodani (Kaua’i) currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Kodani & Associates Engineers, LLC, and is the President of the Kaua`i Society of Professional Engineers, Architects, and Land Surveyors. For six years, Clyde served as the Kaua`i Field Representative for US Senator Daniel Akaka. He was previously a member of the Board of Regents and the Board of Directors for the Research Corporation for the University of Hawai‘i.
  • Marlena Castro Dixon (East Hawai’i) is an Epidemiological Specialist for the Hawai`i Department of Health Disease Investigation Branch since 2008. Prior to that, she was a Public Health Educator for the STD/AIDS Prevention Branch, at the Department of Health. Dixon returned to Hilo in 2006 with her family to live and work in the community where she was born and raised.
  • Kari Luna Nunokawa (Maui) is the Director of Pai Ka Mana, Student Support Services Program at the University of Hawai`i Maui College. Nunokawa started her community service career interning for US Senator Daniel K. Akaka in Washington, DC, and continued to work for Senator Akaka in 2006. Kari is the head tennis coach at Wailuku Junior Tennis Club and also the head coach of the H.P. Baldwin High School Boys and Girls Tennis Teams.
  • Helen Nielsen (Maui) is a commercial property owner and manager. She is also a founding member of Maui Coastal Land Trust, which is now merged into statewide land conservation organization Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. Previously, Nielsen served as the President of the Maui Japanese Chamber of Commerce. In 2011, she was honored with the Kahului Rotary’s Mike Lyons’ Palaka Award for exemplary volunteer service.
  • Bryan Andaya (O’ahu) serves as the Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of L&L Franchise, Inc., which has over 180 restaurant locations in 13 states as well as overseas in American Samoa, Japan, China, New Zealand, and Korea. Bryan currently serves as the President of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce and the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Filipino Community Center. He is also the President of Hawaii 88-01, LLC, a Real Estate Investment Trust based in Hawai‘i with emphasis in residential real estate. In 2011, he was named the Pacific Business News “Young Business Leader of the Year,” the top award in the “Forty Under 40 program.” In 2010, Bryan was also selected as Hawaii Business Magazine’s “20 to Watch for the Next 20 Years.”

Field representatives can be contacted by calling (808) 523-2061.

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