Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows
developing future leaders... planning for Maui Nui’s future
2008 Fellows
Alika Atay
Alika was born in Hana, Maui.  He moved to the Wailuku/Kahului area when he began receiving formal education at St. Anthony School in Wailuku, Maui; and latter boarded at Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Oahu.  After graduating from Kamehameha Schools he attended Hastings College in Nebraska where he acquired Bachelors degrees in Physical Education and Biology.  While in college, he received honors and recognition in football and was the president of his college fraternity. Alika returned to Maui from Nebraska in 1977 and has since resided in Central Maui. For almost 30 years, Alika has worked or volunteered in the capacity of serving or helping the youths of Maui. Currently, he is the Program Director of Youth Services at Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. (MEO) and is responsible for program development and oversight of MEO Americorps, MEO YouthBank (life skills & job skills training), and Tobacco Prevention programming delivery.
Sunny Cabello
I am a Lecturer and the Job Developer at Maui Community College where I assist students and graduates with job placement and other career services. I have always enjoyed helping others. I am also a graduate of Maui Community College’s first Baccalaureate degree program and as such am a strong advocate of higher education. Many of my values are based around community, education, and ‘ohana. I live in Kahului with my husband Alexander, and our son Anson.
Rhiannon Chandler
Rhiannon Chandler was born in Honolulu, moved to Hawaii Island, and then moved to California. Upon graduation from High School in Sacramento Rhiannon returned home to Hawaii and attended UH Manoa where she majored in Ethnic Studies with an emphasis in Hawaiian Studies. One month in China in 2005 changed her outlook on life, priorities, and values. Shortly after that, Rhiannon moved to Maui the island where her mother was born and grandfather was raised. Preserving the Hawaiian culture and the environment had always been a passion, but it has become Rhiannon’s focus within the last year as the two passions merged when she joined Community Work Day Program in May of 2007 as their Program Director. Working with Community Work Day Program allows her to incorporate Hawaiian values while educating people about the importance of being good stewards of our land and natural resources. “We live on an island where our natural resources are limited. Once they’re gone - they’re gone forever. We have a kuleana (responsibility) to malama aina (care for the land) not only for ourselves but for generations to come.”
Sheri Ann Daniels
Sheri was born and raised on island of Maui. Her grandparents grew up in Kapuna (Maliikapu) and Koali (Kaeha) and her mother attended St. Anthony. She is the youngest of three children.After graduating from Kamehameha Schools - Kapalama Campus, she attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she acquired a Bachelors degree in Family Resources. She holds a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University on Oahu and is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor in the State of Hawaii along with being a Substance Abuse Professional for the Department of Transportation. She is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She has worked in a variety of social service populations including, womens’ substance abuse treatment, incarcerated and at-risk youth, child abuse and neglect, sexual assault programs and adult & youth mental health. Currently, the Administrator for Child and Family Service – Maui County, she is responsible for program development and oversight. Her hobbies include traveling and spending time with family. She is married and has 2 young sons.
Alex de Roode
Alex de Roode has recently returned home to Maui after completing a Master of Science degree in Bioresource Engineering at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He assumed the position of Executive Director of the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM) in September, 2007. Alex first established roots on Maui in 1984. After returning to his native France for several years, Alex and his family returned to Maui in 1992. Alex graduated from Seabury Hall in 1994 and went on to obtain a Bachelor’s of Arts in Economics and International Affairs. His primary interests lie in teaching, promoting, and deepening his understanding of sustainability, particularly in how it relates to tropical agriculture and traditional peoples in an international development context. He has a love for the natural environment and spends much of his free time hiking, gardening, and enjoying Maui’s diverse ecosystems. He is also a staunch proponent of minimizing human impact on planet Earth’s natural resources, particularly through human innovation and biomimicry (emulating natural processes), and preserving these resources for future generations.
Yarrow Flower
Originally from rural Northern California, Yarrow Flower graduated from Humboldt State University with a BA in Sociology. Yarrow moved to Maui in 2001 and started her career with Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc (ML&P) in 2004. Yarrow’s responsibilities in the Community Development Division of ML&P include all aspects of project management including land entitlement, design, permitting and construction management. Building 100 miles of trails in ML&P’s land holdings in West Maui is the project she enjoys the most, enabling her to work outdoors and with the community. Yarrow lives in Makawao with her husband and two dogs. She enjoys traveling, gardening, reading and hiking.
César Gaxiola
César Gaxiola is the executive director of the J. Walter Cameron Center, the home of eighteen Maui nonprofit agencies, and a respected leader in the Hispanic community. He is the recipient of the Maui Chamber of Commerce Aloha Award and has been active in the Maui High School Community Council, Maui Electric Company Integrated Resource Planning Advisory Group and on the Board of the Na Hale O Maui, Maui County Office of Economic Development Product Enrichment Program Committee. He is married to Kimberly and they have two daughters, Thalia and Victoria.
Jim Hooper
Originally from Minnesota, Jim Hooper graduated from Hamline University majoring in Management and Economics.  After spending four years at Best Buy’s Corporate Human Resources, he moved to Maui 5 years ago and began his hospitality career at the Grand Wailea Resort.  He has progressed from Guest Relations Manager to Special Projects to Sales & Marketing.  Jim is currently the Director of Operations at Ho`olei at Grand Wailea, a new luxury town home community in south Maui.  In his role, he leads a dynamic team responsible for strategic visioning, sales and marketing, day-to-day operations, owner relations and ensuring the highest level of guest service for Maui’s discerning travelers. Jim resides in south Maui where he enjoys entertaining friends and family, cooking, home decorating and believe it or not, working.
Ken Ota
Born and raised on Maui. Ken Ota is married to Saedene with two children, Zack and Xia. His education includes Baldwin High School and U.H. Manoa BA Finance. He is the Principal of ISI Hawaii Water Solutions Principal of Encon Inc. Boards that Ken belongs to include: -Trustee of Hawaii American Water Works Association - State Of Hawaii licensing Board of Engineers, Architects, Surveyors - President and Board member of A Keiki’s Dream… The A Keiki’s Dream program is a non-profit organization which grants “dreams” on Maui to children in crisis. Ken is also on the Board of Directors for Maui Contractors Association.
Kalani Schmidt
A graduate of Lahainaluna highschool.  Kalani left Maui and went to Colorado for College where she graduated with a B.A. in Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management with a Minor in Finance from University of Denver. Kalani then went off to New York City for the Manager Development Program at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.  Kalani returned home to Maui in 2002, to take on the role of General Manager for the Old Lahaina Luau.  After three years, Kalani switched careers and started with Maui Land & Pineapple Company as a development Coordinator, she is now the Land & Property Manager for Maui Land and Pineapple Company.  In her spare time she enjoys skiing, surfing, gardening and hanging out at the beach with her husband and three dogs.
Jennifer Stites
Jennifer is responsible for leading Dowling’s green development. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and facilitates integrated design principles within the company to achieve LEED Certification on all registered projects. Jennifer earned a Master in Design Studies degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, concentrating in Management and Real Estate Studies. Prior to this, she earned a Bachelor of Architectural Science degree in Project Management from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Jennifer is actively involved as a board member of the US Green Building Council Hawaii Chapter and Pacific Regional Council. She also serves as Hawaii’s Residential Green Building Advocate for the newly launched LEED for Homes rating system. Jennifer is the President and Chair of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui, a non-profit organization that offers community-based mentoring programs for Maui County youth. She also participates in REEF fish surveys in the waters off Dowling’s Maluaka project.
Lance Terada
Born and raised on Maui, Lance Terada is a graduate of Henry Perrine Baldwin High School. Obtaining a degree in Computer and Information Science from the University of Oregon later propelled him to get a job at the Maui High Performance Computing Center where he is currently the Manager of Systems Engineering. Through his career at MHPCC he also obtained a Masters degree in ICS from the University of Hawaii through the H.I.T.S program at Maui Community College.
Lianne Yoshida
Lianne Yoshida is from a 4th generation Maui family whose roots are in the educational, architectural, agricultural (sugar cane), and medical industries. She attended Henry Perrine Baldwin High School, Maui Community College and the University of Hawaii, Manoa where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Design and Merchandising.  She was a member of the first Master’s of Human Resource Management (MHRM) class graduating through the University of Hawaii Center, Manoa via the Maui Community College distance learning program, and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Lianne is the Human Resources Manager at the Maui High Performance Computing Center.  She grew up hearing about the importance of education, being a lifetime learner, and supporting her community. It is her hope that through participating in the Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows Program she will have the opportunity to learn, contribute within her community, and possibly make a positive difference in the future of Maui. Lianne has been happily married for 15 years to a wonderful human being, and they have a growing number of pets…..Which her husband keeps rescuing from the Humane Society.