About Our Board of Directors — Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action

HAPA has a diverse Board of Directors whose composition and core values reflect the diversity of our State.

Courtesy of Natalie Brown Photography (Missing from photo is Board Member Lorilani Keohokālole Torio)

President — Gary L. Hooser

Gary Hooser is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi and currently serves on the Kauaʻi County Council. Previously Gary spent 8 years in the Hawaiʻi State Senate and also served briefly as the Director of Environmental Quality Control under Governor Neil Abercrombie. Prior to serving in public office, he owned and managed various small businesses.

Paul Achitoff

Paul Achitoff is the managing attorney of the Hawaiʻi office of Earthjustice. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received his J.D. from Columbia Law School. Paul practiced business and environmental litigation in private practice in Los Angeles and Honolulu for eleven years before joining Earthjustice in 1994.. Paul handles a wide variety of public interest environmental litigation, including matters arising under the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Hawaiʻi's Water Code and issues pertaining to genetically modified organisms and pesticides.

Andrea Noelani Brower

Andrea Brower is a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland researching the possibilities of more socially just, sustainable and democratic global food futures. Born and raised on Kauaʻi, she was previously co-director of Malama Kauaʻi, where she managed numerous projects related to local agriculture, equitable economic pathways, green energy, education and advocacy. Andrea has an MA in Development Studies from University of Sussex, and is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, Common Dreams, Nation of Change, ZNet, among other publications.

Aria Juliet Castillo

Aria Juliet Castillo is the Communications Director for the Young Democrats of Kauaʻi. She is born and raised on Kauaʻi, and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University. In 2013, she founded the website VoteKauai.org to make local politics accessible and inspire people to participate in democracy. She is employed as a Business Center Manager in the resort industry on Kauaʻi.

Mālia Kahaleʻinia Chun

Mālia Kahaleʻinia Chun is from the mokupuni of Kauaʻi and the ahupua’a of Wailuanuiahoano. She is the mother of 2 daughters, Leiʻohu and Laʻakea, and for the past 14 years has her life to providing cultural enrichment opportunities for the keiki of Kauaʻi with the intent of raising their goals and aspirations and inspire them to become leaders in their community. Mālia also has a specific interest in the revitalization of our natural resources, cultural and historical sites and works to develop partnerships within the community to facilitate community based projects. Ultimately, it is Mālia’s passion to plant seeds of consciousness and understanding in our keiki and to give them the tools to live a self-sustainable life. Mālia is also the Program Coordinator of the Na Pua No‘eau Program at Kauaʻi Community College, University of Hawaiʻi.

Bart Dame

Bart Dame is Co-Chair of the Progressive Democrats of Hawaiʻi. He is a master blogger, prolific writer and a strong advocate for progressive values and related issues. Bart knows and understands Hawaiʻi's present and historical political landscape, and is an experienced advocate on State and Federal progressive issues.

Laura Harrelson

Laura Harrelson graduated from UCLA with a degree in communications with a business emphasis and has been an environmental activist for 20 years. She was co-founder of Yoganics, an organic food delivery service in Los Angeles. She was also co-founder of VoiceYourself.org, a website designed to inspire conscious activism, protect the environment and live sustainably. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors for the Haleakala Waldorf School in Kula, Maui.

Ikaika Michael Hussey

Ikaika Hussey teaches in the journalism program at University of Hawaiʻi, Manoa. He established The Hawaii Independent, an award-winning civic affairs website, in 2008, and Summit, a cosmopolitan Hawaiʻi lifestyle magazine. Hussey won awards for his coverage of homelessness, and has interviewed leaders such as Alice Walker and Desmond Tutu. His writing has appeared in The Nation and Reuters, and he has been quoted in Democracy Now and Al Jazeera. He speaks widely on media, social justice, and education, including the US Social Forum, the Block by Block journalism conference, and the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations.

He is a volunteer board member on nonprofits dedicated to education, social justice, culture, women's rights, and the environment. Hussey lives with his family in Honolulu and is a performing musician.

Bianca Kai Isaki

Bianca Kai Isaki, Ph.D., Esq. currently works as a judicial clerk in the state appellate courts and an instructor at the University of Hawai‘i Women's Studies Department. Bianca serves on other nonprofit boards, and maintains a habit of academic research and publication.

Kim Coco Iwamoto

Kim Coco Iwamoto serves as a Commissioner on the Hawai'i Civil Rights Commission. Prior to that, she was an elected member of the Hawai'i Board of Education and served as Chair of the University of Hawai'i's Career & Technical Education Coordinating Advisory Council. In 2013, Kim Coco was honored by the White House as one of 10 LGBT elected or appointed officials who are “Harvey Milk Champions of Change.” She is active in many progressive issues across the islands.

Lorilani Keohokālole Torio

Lorilani Keohokālole Torio is a Hawaiian practitioner and community advocate. Lorilani has years of non-profit experience from the Hemophilia Foundation of Hawaiʻi; Shakti Rising San Diego and Kauaʻi; Ipuhaʻa Academy and other educational programs in Hawaiʻi and abroad. Grounded in spiritual practice of the host culture, this foundation is what guides Lorilani's passion and desire to serve.

Katie McMillan

Katie McMillan an independent publicist, marketing, and social media consultant based on Maui. She is the Founder of TEDxMaui, Maui's largest education conference which features presentations by local and global thought leaders which have been seen by over 5 million people online. She is the former Marketing and Community Relations Director at University of Hawai‘i, Maui College where she oversaw the campus’ marketing and public relations efforts and worked closely with community organizations on efforts to further develop a more skilled and globally connected workforce for Maui Nui. Prior to her position at UHMC, Katie directed the public relations efforts for Inner Ocean Publishing Company. She lead successful PR campaigns for numerous national organizations including MoveOn.org, The Blue Frontier Foundation, and Code Pink, Women for Peace. Katie is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Communications. She is also a graduate of The Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership, and was one of the first women admitted into the Army ROTC program at The Virginia Military Institute. Katie volunteers her services for numerous non profit organizations including MalamaMaui Nui, Hospice Maui and Maui Youth and Family Services.

Joshua Dean Iokua IkaikaLoa Mori

Joshua Mori resides in Kekaha, Kauaʻi where he runs a non-profit cross-cultural immersion camp between Native Hawaiian and Native American youth. He also started Pākahi Academy, a business built around reconnecting Hawaiian culture to individuals through fitness and personal training. Josh graduated with a Bachelor degree in Philosophy and a Masters in Native American Studies from Montana State University where he is still the Montana Apprenticeship Program Coordinator.

Walter Ritte Jr.

Walter Ritte Jr. is a hunter and Hawaiian activist now working on the restoration of traditional fishponds and educational programs based Hawaiian culture. He was involved in stopping the bombing by the US Navy of the Hawaiian Island of Kahoʻolawe and was one of the Kahoʻolawe Nine who made the first protest landing on Kahoʻolawe on January 4, 1976. Ritte also served in the 1978 Hawaiʻi State Constitutional Convention which established the recognition of Hawaiian Gathering Rights and he was also one of the first elected trustees to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Ritte is married with four children and seven grand children and resides on the island of Molokaʻi, Hawaiʻi.

Karen Shishido

Karen Shishido is a sustainability consultant in Honolulu working in design and construction. Raised in Waipahu, she attended Occidental College (A.B.) and the University of Delaware, where she received a master's degree in Energy and Environmental Policy. Her research focused on land use and environmental justice in Hawaiʻi. Karen has previously worked as a coastal zone planner and energy analyst for the State of Hawaiʻi. She is passionate about food security, energy, and recovering the democratic process through community empowerment. She has served on the boards of several Hawaiʻi environmental and good government organizations.

Cade Watanabe

Cade Watanabe is a community and labor organizer. Cade is a graduate of University of Hawaiʻi, Manoa, and a contributing author to "The Value of Hawaiʻi: 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions," a collection of essays about protecting and creating wai wai, value, for coming generations (published by the University of Hawaiʻi Press). Cade is a strong advocate for justice and equality for all members of society.

Courtesy of Natalie Brown Photography (Missing from photo is Board Member Lorilani Keohokālole Torio)

Mahalo to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation for its support!
And to over 200 individual donors across Hawai‘i!