Maui News

Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows seeking applicants for leadership program

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The 2022 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows graduating group. L-R: Jared Sam Agtunong, Jason Toba, Charity Hartman, Rebecca Pang, Jessica Adkins, Zaira Katsuda, Shayna Decker, Kasie Apo Takayama, Julie Hew, Sarah Loney Mark, Matthew Bachman, Dean Tokishi, Joseph Imhoff (missingfrom picture Dennis Ducatt).

With the 14th group of Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows graduating on June 29, the nonprofit now is seeking applicants for the 15th cohort of its leadership program. 

The year-long Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program is designed to help develop and train future leaders in Maui County to identify challenges and overcome them.

Approximately 15 fellows will be selected through a competitive process conducted by the board of directors of Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows Program. For more information or to apply, go to The deadline for applications is July 5, 2022. Applicants will be notified by late July. 


Ka ipu kukui means crucible of light; a test and a furnace for seeking and taking the best path ahead. Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows is a Decisions Maui and Focus Maui Nui initiative.

“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,” said Scott Nunokawa, Ka Ipu Kukui founding board member. 

From concerns and beliefs expressed first by Decisions Maui in the 1980s and reinforced by the 2003 Focus Maui Nui visioning process, Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows 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.


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, according to the organization’s news release.

Halawai include topics such as infrastructure, community planning, sustainability, fiscal policy, county and state  governance, water and energy. 

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2022-2023 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. 


Applicants must reside in Maui Nui. Candidates are preferred to be 45 years or younger.

The program is looking for candidates with the following attributes:

  • Leadership Experience and Potential: Applicants should show a pattern of an emerging leader through their work history, participate in community activities, and a goal of increasing community involvement and/or leadership development. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to understand and apply value-based leadership and selfless service. They must also be able to critically examine issues and deliver thoughtful solutions.
  • Community Service: Applicants should have a history of active commitment to responsible stewardship or leadership and a desire to help address community issues through participation and service. Applicants should have an awareness of themselves as a member in the broader Maui Nui community.
  • Commitment to Personal Growth: Applicants must have a commitment to actively participate in the Halawai and developing their leadership skills by being open to new experiences, gaining new skills, and making a commitment to ongoing personal development.

The graduating 2022 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows cohort: Jared Sam Agtunong, Jason Toba, Charity Hartman, Rebecca Pang, Jessica Adkins,  Zaira Katsuda, Shayna Decker, Kasie Apo Takayama, Julie Hew, Sarah Loney Mark, Matthew Bachman, Dean Tokishi, Joseph  Imhoff and Dennis Ducatt.


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