Board of Directors
|Eric Co, President (6/2014-6/2016) Vice President (10/2012-9/2015)
Nearshore Marine Resource Conservation Program Officer, HKL Castle Foundation
Over the course of his first year, Eric has helped the Foundation completely overhaul its grant making approach to nearshore marine conservation in Hawai‘i (available for review at www.castlefoundation.org/). One of his major roles is to proactively engage partner organizations throughout the state in an effort to co-develop projects that move the Foundation toward achieving its marine conservation goals articulated within this new framework. Eric comes to the board with well over 15 years of experience with the Castle Foundation, and formerly with the Nature Conservancy in Hawai‘i and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). His background includes initiatives in tropical marine systems throughout the Pacific (especially in Hawai‘i), fundraising, grantmaking, grants management, project development, program building and oversight, employee supervision, strategic planning, field implementation, marine monitoring, community coordination, partnership building, and effective communication. His strengths in these areas will allow Sust ʻāina ble Molokai to move forward with strong strategic focus and project development guidance toward prospective donor development, forming collaborative partnerships, and strengthening core funding plans.
|Manuwai Peters, Vice President (10/2012-9/2016)
Teacher, Native Hawaiian Language Immersion Program, Molokai High School
A Kalama`ula, Molokai homesteader since 1992, Manuwai comes to Sust ʻāina ble Molokai with a strong background in public education with a focus on indigenous educational issues and programs including the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program. He pioneered Molokai’s first Hawaiian Language immersion program at Kualapuʻu School on Molokai in 1992, and since then has helped to initiate immersion programs at Molokai Intermediate School and High School, and later at Molokai High School. He has extensive experience in grant writing for cultural and environmental programs and has given numerous presentations on focusing on Hawaiian language revitalization and the economic impacts of Hawaiian language learning. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Hawaii, and recently earned a Master in Public Administration degree at Columbia University in the City of New York. He has promoted educational cultural exchanges between students in Hawaii, California, French Polynesia, and New Zealand.
|Francois Rogers, Secretary/Treasurer (2/2012-1/2016)
Program Director, Blue Planet Foundation
Francois spent sixteen years with one of the largest Japanese wholesale travel agencies, where he was directly involved in event management, educational programming, and sales and marketing for group packages to Hawaii. He also served as director of the highly successful Honolulu Festival for nearly a decade, managing the branding, logistics, marketing, budgeting and organizational structure of the nonprofit entity. Currently he serves as the Special Projects Director for Blue Planet Foundation in-charge of community outreach, educational programs and policy advocacy. Francois was born in New York, raised in Japan and the Philippines, and currently lives in Kaneohe. He joined the Blue Planet Foundation in 2006.
|Malia Akutagawa, Member-at-Large (6/2014-6/2015), President (2/2010-6/2014)
Assistant Professor of Law, University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa
Malia was born and raised on Molokai and is President and Founder of Sust ʻāina ble Molokai. She is an attorney and Assistant Professor of Law with both the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law and Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. Malia is a 1997 alumnus of the William S. Richardson School of Law, having earned a Juris Doctor and Environmental Law Certificate. Her focal studies included Hawaiian and water rights, environmental regulations, land use, administrative and international law. She is part of Hui ʻĀina Momona, a consortium of scholars throughout the university community charged with addressing compelling issues of indigenous Hawaiian knowledge and practices, including the legal regime and Native Hawaiian rights associated with mālama ʻāina, and with focus on cross-disciplinary solutions to natural and cultural resource management, sustainability, and food security. Before joining the law school and Hawaiʻinuiākea faculty, Malia was the Director of the Molokai Rural Development Project for 9 years. She led training and education initiatives through the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College – Molokai and partnered with a number of community organizations to strengthen the capacity of the workforce and local economy.