LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

The Leadership Council represents the business, philanthropic, social services, faith, education, government, and community sectors from across Hawaiʻi Island. They are tasked to listen deeply to community and analyze data to deliver a 3-5 year strategic plan  in September 2020 to reduce poverty and increase community wealth by building human, social, financial and natural capital.

ASHLEY KIERKIEWICZ

Ashley serves as Council Member for District 4 (Puna Makai) and is focused on empowering community, leveraging public-private partnerships, and activating local economy so all residents can thrive.

BOB AGRES

Over the past 35 years, Bob Agres has worked in the fields of asset development, community-based economic development, and community-based planning to generate opportunities for families and communities to increase their social and economic well-being.

BREEANI SUMERA-LEE

Bree is most recently the Hotel Manager for Hilo Seaside Hotel and has also helped open and manage the Keaukaha General Store for the last 7 years. She is very actively involved in sectors of our community and currently serves as the Vice Chair for Hawaii Island United Way, the President of Hui Kahu Malama , and is our Hawaii Island Representative for The Hawaii State Rural Health Association. She is also a Program Director for Hawaii Rise Foundation. Bree currently holds an Masters in Business and hopes to continue to give back to her community in all the ways she can.

CAROL IGNACIO

With over 37 years experience in the human services sector, she brings a strong background in community development. Carol has pioneered numerous grassroots initiatives to aid those experiencing hunger, homelessness, and unemployment.

CHERYL MATSUMURA

As a VP of Goldman Sachs for 17 years, Cheryl guided investment portfolios for entrepreneurs and saw how small contributions made with a lot of passion and heart changes the world. She now serves as President of American Trading Company.

DAWN REGO-YEE

Dawn Rego-Yee identifies as a mother, wife, social worker, hula practitioner and activist and believes in the power of community and strength of lāhui. She brings experience in event management, child advocacy, program management, social justice and equity work.

DIANE CHADWICK

I’ve been so blessed to work for Hawai‘i Community Foundation for the past 29 years. I have met people in all walks of life and have been able to see a bigger picture of societal change which is needed to provide equitable benefit to all of Hawai‘i’s people and communities.

DION MAEDA

Dion is the Senior Pastor of Connect Point Church in Hilo, and chairs the Faith Hui - a consortium of leaders and provides logistical support to the Hawaiʻi Island Disaster Assistance Response and Recovery Team.

JESSICA KANEAKUA

Jessica is the Community Change Initiatives Lead for Liliʻuokalani Trust. "I said "Yes!" to Vibrant Hawaii because it works in tandem with what weʻre doing at Liliʻuokalani Trust - disrupting intergenerational poverty of lāhui. Together, we can make even bigger change for Hawaiʻi Island."

JUSTIN PEQUENO

Justin is a Project Manager at Kamehameha Schools and brings experience in leading Collective Impact initiatives, strategic planning and group facilitation. Saying “Yes!” to this kuleana is rooted in the simple idea of paying it forward.

KAʻEA LYONS

Kaʻea is an instructor at Hawai’i Community College Pālamanui campus and Kumu Hula of Hālau Ka’eaikahelelani. She supports the vision of Vibrant Hawaiʻi to bring people together for one common goal in helping others from Keiki to Kupuna.

KEHAU COSTA

In 2013 I joined Hawaii Island REALTORS® as its Executive Officer, a position that gives me the opportunity to understand the many moving parts of our housing market.⁠ I am always thoughtful about collaborations that afford a diversity of perspectives in problem solving complex systems which indeed Vibrant Hawaii is looking to do.⁠

KIM KOBAYASHI

Kim is the Program Manager for Community First, a non-profit organization dedicated to realizing a community which believes healthcare is caring for health and not just treating disease.

LANAKILA MANGAUIL

For nearly ten years, Lanakila taught in public education and expanded to after-school programs, community classes, college classes, international groups, as well as launching the effort to create The Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hāmākua in 2014.⁠

LAUAʻE KEKAHUNA

Laua'e is the current Executive Director of ʻO Makuʻu Ke Kahua Community Center, Treasurer/Secretary of Makuʻu Farmers Hawaiian Homestead Association and Māla Hoʻoulu ʻike lead/co founder both non-profit organizations servicing her birth grounds Puna.

LAURA AGUIRRE

Laura's financial career spans 40 years with the last 27 as the CEO of Hawaii First FCU, a certified Community Development Financial Institution whose mission is to provide hope and financial empowerment to the residents of Hawaii Island. Laura is a firm believer that no one should be without hope or left behind.

LEE-ANN HEELY-ROLSTON

Dr. Lee-Ann Heely-Rolston is the Director of Innovation and Transformation at West Hawaii Community Health Center. The mission of WHCHC is to make quality, comprehensive, and integrated health services accessible to all who pass through our doors regardless of their ability to pay. These services are culturally sensitive and promote community well-being through the practices and values of Hō’ihi, Aloha, Kāko’o, ‘Ohana.

“Hō’ihi ke Aloha, Kāko’o i ka ’Ohana”. Respect and truth in all our relationships, binding our family and community.

MAGGIE KAHOILUA

Maggie’s experience includes business development, real estate⁠
sales/investment, travel and tourism services as an Expedia Local Expert, ocean awareness, forest out plantings, and art. While her interests are expansive, priority is placed on being a mother to her only daughter and dedication to criminal justice as a Bail Bondsman.

MAKELA BRUNO-KIDANI

E mālama kekahi i kekahi. Take care of one another. Makela's passion is to help and encourage people to take care of eachother and the environment. She is an advocate for youth through her work as a Licensed Family Therapist and Admissions Director at Parker School.

MICHELLE GALIMBA

Michelle Galimba represents Nāʻālehu, Kaʻū. Michelle belongs to the Galimba family that runs  Kuahiwi Ranch, located on 10,000 acres between Wood Valley and Waiohinu, and is one of Hawaii’s producers of locally-grown, free-range beef raised without antibiotics or artificial hormones.

RACHEL SOLEMSAAS

Dr. Rachel Solemsaas proudly serves as chancellor of Hawai‘i Community College since 2016. She is committed to positively impacting the world today so that she can provide a better future for the next generation and makes it her calling to eradicate the debilitating effects of poverty to families and children.

SHARON HIROTA

Sharon is an Executive Assistant to the Mayor. She is charged with overseeing the development of the Countyʻs Financial Empowerment Center, an initiative to end homelessness. Prior to her appointment, she managed the Existing Housing Division, and oversaw federal, state, county and private grants that primarily benefitted low- and moderate-income persons.

SHELLY OGATA

Shelly is a RN for 25+ years and earned her Master’s in Public Health in 1997. She is passionate about communities organizing to promote healthy behaviors and currently is part of the team for District 3 under the leadership of Council Member Sue Lee Loy. It is her hope to develop well-thought out and meaningful policies to help promote healthy communities.

UʻILANI HAILI-SOARES

Raised in Keaukaha and Kalapana, U'ilani serves her community as a resource instructor through Hawai'i Community College's EDvance program. She played a critical role in volunteer recruitment and training with the American Red Cross and served as a community liaison during the 2017 Puna Lava Flow disaster response.

ʻILIHIA GIONSON

ʻIlihia serves as Board Chair of Hawai‘i Island United Way, and as Hawai‘i Island Representative for Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. ʻIlihia has done private sector and government public relations on the federal, state, and county levels.

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