Maui Business

Ka Ipu Kukui 2020 Fellows Seeking Nominations

June 13, 2019, 6:55 AM HST
* Updated June 14, 7:58 AM
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Ka Ipu Kukui program completed its twelfth year with a Graduation Ceremony at University of Hawaiʻi, Maui College on May 23, 2019 and is now seeking applicants for its thirteenth year.

Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows 2019. PC: Ka Ipu Kukui.

The 2019 graduates of Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program are: Neal Hoapili Ane of Hoʻoulu ʻĀina Farms and the Living Pono Project, Sherman Baisa of Maui County Department of Water Supply, Robert Bennett of Pulama Lānaʻi, Daryl Fujiwara of Smythe Fujiwara Design, Jonathan Jennings of Nā Hoaloha ʻEkolu, Gabriel Lucy of Trilogy, Leonardo Lunario of Maui Electric Company, Saumalu Mataafa of Maui County Office of Council Services, Shaun Pederson of Island Sotheby’s International Realty, Chase Kawika Rogers of Nā Hoaloha Ekolu, Lopaka White of Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission, Jodi Arisumi of Maui Oil Company, Lauren Armstrong of Maui MPO, Grazel Caceres of Pulama Lānaʻi, Lana Ruth Kaimipono Coryell of Hui Noʻeau Visual Arts Center, Chandy Ann Lopes of Aliʻi Wellness, Cristina Schenk of Merriman’s, and Alana Yurkanin of The Nature Conservancy.

Ka Ipu Kukui educates, cultivates and inspires emerging leaders to contribute to a thriving future for Maui Nui. A Decisions Maui and Focus Maui Nui initiative, the Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program is a year-long program designed to help develop and train future leaders to identify challenges and overcome them.

After 12 successful years graduating a total of 159 individuals, plans are to continue enhancing the program to have an even better year ahead. “Through monthly halawai the Fellows are exposed to the challenges and opportunities facing Maui County, with an emphasis on the widest representation of the nuances and perspectives of those issues. We do not propose solutions, but instead challenge the Fellows to use critical thinking in considering solutions of these critical and complex topics” said Troy Hashimoto, Chair of Ka Ipu Kukui board of directors.

Each month, the program’s content focuses on the multiple perspectives of Maui’s different challenges. Through these monthly learning opportunities known as Halawai, participants develop a holistic appreciation and understanding of these unique challenges, ultimately arriving at a more informed framework and a more enhanced network to better address Maui Nui’s challenges in the future. Halawai include topics such as infrastructure, community planning, sustainability, fiscal policy, county and state governance, water and energy.


“Maui Nui occupies a special place in the state, country and world, but as all of us know, we face many challenges that could very well erode the unique splendor of these special islands,” states Scott Nunokawa, Ka Ipu Kukui Board member. From concerns and beliefs expressed first by Decisions Maui in the 1980s and reinforced by the 2003 Focus Maui Nui visioning process, the Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program was conceived to provide significant help in identifying and developing leaders through a community‐based program specifically designed to address all aspects of planning for Maui Nui’s future.


Applications are currently being accepted for the 2019‐2020 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program. The program requires active participation during the year, for approximately two to three days each month, depending on the activities planned. Up to fifteen fellows will be selected through a competitive process conducted by the board of directors for Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows Program.

Applicants will then be notified by early August. The deadline for applications is July 1, 2019. “I’m most proud of how the program helped me to be a better listener, community member, father and leader,” says Ka Ipu Kukui Alumni Craig Kinoshita, “The program taught me how to actively listen to all sides, consider what is best for the majority, consider the financial impacts, consider the environmental impacts, how to interact with different types of people and that doing the right thing is not always the popular thing.”

For more information about the Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program or to apply, visit or contact Lori Teragawachi at (808) 344‐3181.

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