President | ClimbHI
It was always about a feeling for me, not any particular profession. I’ve always found much happiness in all that I do, I just keep using that to guide what’s next.
What was your top professional achievement in 2021?
Rolling out ClimbHI Bridge, a community initiative designed to provide workforce development opportunities to all public schools statewide. Thus far in 2021, 335 Hawaii businesses and nonprofit organizations have helped more than 14,000 students from elementary through high school, with involvement from 135 schools. and 2,200 educators.
Who was your first mentor, and what did you learn from them?
Growing up in the pastures of Kohala and understanding from my family – in true Hawaiian form, where learning comes from watching and listening (pa’a ka waha) – the importance of good hard work and someone to do it for.
What has been your strategy in leading your team through the pandemic?
The workforce development tools we developed for students became critical during Covid, as they can be implemented virtually. Our goal was to ensure that we kept expanding our programs to reach the students who needed them. This includes the ClimbHI Bridge online portal, as well as the Service Excellence Certificate for the DOE Career and Technical Education Hospitality Pathway; 1,000 students are generously sponsored in fall 2021 by Hawaii hospitality businesses and organizations.
“The workforce development tools we developed for students became critical during Covid.”