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Registration underway for Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber’s Hui Holomua Business Fest

By Staff | Sep 12, 2019

KAHULUI – Registration is open for the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s 13th annual Hui Holomua Business Fest, set for 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu.

Register at www.mnhcoc.org/. Admission is $60 for members and $65 for non-members. RSVP and pay in advance online or pay by phone at (808) 757-3045. Guests are advised to register early, because this conference always sells out.

The annual event offers a full day of expert speakers, thoughtful panel discussions, networking and an expo of locally owned businesses.

This year’s theme centers on “The Business of STEM” (science, technology, engineering and math).

“Many people associate STEM with education and curriculum,” observed new chamber President Frank De Rego Jr., “but STEM’s practical impacts go far beyond that, cutting across all business sectors. This has implications for our future workforce development as higher waged STEM careers can help to reduce Hawaii’s dependence on its service-based economy.”

Keynote speaker Ka’iu Kimura, executive director of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, will explain her organization’s elegant blend of Hawaiian culture and science to advance a common vision for the future, bringing the cultural and natural history of Mauna Kea to students, teachers, local residents and visitors from around the world.

‘Imiloa links early Polynesian navigation history and knowledge of the night skies, and today’s renaissance of Hawaiian culture and wayfinding with parallel growth of astronomy and scientific developments on Hawaii Island.

Kumu Ramsay Mahealani Taum, founder and president of the Oahu-based Life Enhancement Institute (LEI) of the Pacific LLC, will deliver opening remarks on the inseparable ties between Hawaiian culture and science.

Kumu Taum will be followed by Tiare Martin, program manager at the Maui High-Performance Computing Center in Kihei, who will explore the connection of gender and culture in the business of STEM. As a woman in STEM, she is committed to being a mentor and role model for aspiring women. As a Native Hawaiian, she sees the importance of Hawaiian values to ground technology innovation.

Omar Sultan, co-founder and managing partner of Sultan Ventures in Honolulu, will moderate the first panel of the day, “STEM Entrepreneurism & Investment.” Panelists include Donovan Kealoha, a director of Startup Capital Ventures with offices in Honolulu and Silicon Valley. Additional panelists will be announced later.

Following lunch, the focus will turn to Hawaii’s emerging generation of STEM professionals.

The “Millenial Maoli in Tech” panel will feature four Kamehameha Schools graduates from the Class of 2012 who have successfully entered STEM careers.

Panelists include Honolulu Electrical Engineer Trey Fernandez; Makai Mann, Stanford University Ph.D. candidate in Computer Engineering; Apple Mechanical Quality Engineer Michael Gorman; and Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope Thermal Systems Engineer Brialyn Onodera.

Representatives of Generation Z will follow with a presentation by members of the Molokai High School Robotics Team, the winners of the Hopper-Turing Division Rookie Inspiration Award at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) National Robotics Championship held in Houston, Texas this past April. Their teacher and advisor, Edwin Mendija, will serve as moderator.

Dr. Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, Ph.D., assistant professor of Indigenous Crops and Cropping Systems at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, will close the day’s presentations.

Kama’aina to Kealakekua on Hawaii Island, he grew up with unique training by Hawaiian elders in ethnobotany and traditional management methods for land and ocean resources.

Dr. Lincoln is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapalama, Yale University and Stanford University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Biogeochemistry and Social Ecology.

He has worked and studied across the Pacific Rim in California, Costa Rica, Brazil and throughout Polynesia.

Former Hawaii state senator and noted entertainer Brickwood Galuteria will serve as master of ceremonies for the day.

In between sessions, attendees may visit the Biz Expo, featuring MNHCoC member companies managed with traditional Hawaiian values.

This year’s popular Chinese Auction will benefit the Makahiki Athletic Association in support of its mission to bridge the educational and social gaps facing Hawaii’s youth through cultural sports development and friendly competition.

The conference will close with a no-host reception featuring the music of Na Kane o Ka’a.

The founders of MNHCoC created the Hui Holomua Business Fest to explore important issues for business owners and managers who strive to incorporate Hawaiian values into their operations.

Since its inception in 2006, the annual conference has grown to become Maui’s most important forum for exploration of the intersection between Hawaiian culture and modern business.

Festival sponsors underwrite scholarships for 50 Maui High School students to hear the speakers and learn networking skills from attendees.

Information about sponsorship and vendor exhibits is available at www.mnhcoc.org.