Press Release


(Honolulu, Hawaii, August 9, 2017) – The Pacific Century Fellows program is pleased to announce the selection of its 16th class of Fellows, comprised of 37 men and women.  This year’s class will include four members from the neighbor islands (Kauai - 2, Maui – 1, and the Big Island – 1), four representatives from government, as well as an officer from the U.S. Pacific Command. The program identifies, encourages and helps to develop and strengthen island leaders.  

Modeled after the White House Fellows Program and founded in 1996 by former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, the Pacific Century Fellows are chosen on the basis of written applications and personal interviews conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of judges.  In evaluating the candidates, the committee considers educational background; current career responsibilities, noting any special achievements as well as the comments of superiors; involvement in community activities; communication skills; and strength of character.  Chosen individuals have shown strong intellectual and leadership abilities in the early and mid-stages of their careers, and demonstrated the potential to make significant contributions to the community in the future.

The Pacific Century Fellows program will provide participants with direct contact with senior community, social, and government leaders.  A goal of the program is to nurture relationships among individuals who are committed to exploring creative and constructive solutions to far-reaching challenges facing the state and nation.  They will also interact with other emerging leaders in the Pacific through its working relationship with the East West Center and the alliance with the Marianas Chapter of the Pacific Century Fellows, now in its fourth year of operation.

Hannemann, a former White House Fellow (1983-84) who worked for then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in the Reagan administration, said, “With our 16th class of Fellows participating in this unique executive leadership program, we continue to build a cadre of bright, talented and energetic professionals who will make contributions to the betterment of Hawaii and the Pacific region in the years to come.  Many of our previous Fellows already have made a positive impact in our community, and this class will be no different.   This year’s class represents a broad cross-section of our community.  They come from all parts of the state, with different backgrounds and professions—all committed to making Hawaii a better place for generations to come.”

Those selected include:

Tori Abe (44)                                     Chief Strategy Officer, Hospice Hawaii

Alison Tomisato Alves (31)                Senior Marketing Manager, Marriott International

Gabe Amey (37)                                 Founder and President, Hawaii VA Loans

Keith Asato (37)                                 Chief Financial Officer, Marathon Group

Corey Campbell (38)                          Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Akamai Training and Consulting

Caroline Carl (35)                              Deputy Director, Hawaii Energy, Leidos Engineering

John Chandler (33)                           Vice President of Technology, Locations LLC

Dylan Ching, (39)                               Regional Director, TS Restaurants

Daniel Chun (37)                                Regional Manager, Alaska Airlines

Yunji de Nies (38)                              Free Lance Journalist

Malika Dudley (35), Maui                   Chief Meterologist/Reporter, Pacific Media Group

Kawika Fiddler (33)                           Vice President, Bank of Hawaii

Kanani Fu (36), Kauai                         Housing Director, Kauai County Housing Agency

Jared Grugett (39)                              President and Chief Operating Officer, Hawaii Dialogix Telecom

Naomi Hazelton (44)                    Co-Founder/Owner, Element Media (Pacific Edge)

Keslie Hui (38)                                    Owner/President, Monarch Properties

Daniel Ito (35)                                    Digital Media Director, Hawaii Business Magazine

Matthew Kaneshiro (29)                     Vice President, Honolulu Disposal Service

Yoh Kawanami (37)                            Director of Demand Response, Hawaiian Electric

Taylor Kellerman (40)                         Director of Diversified Agriculture, Kualoa Ranch

Erin Kogen (33)                                   Senior Human Resources Consultant, ProService

Justin Kollar (43), Kauai                      Prosecuting Attorney, County of Kauai

Jason Lazzerini (41)                            Senior Vice President, American Savings Bank

Christopher Letoto (39)                       Manager, HMSA

LorMona Meredith (38)                        Promise to Paeʻ Āina o Hawaiʻi Coordinator Polynesian Voyaging Society

Eric Miller (36)                                     Strategic Analyst, U.S. Pacific Command

Jonathan Mitchell (37), Big Island       Manager of Corporate Development, Parker Ranch

Jessica Munoz (34)                               President & Founder, Hoʻola Na Pua

Ashley Nagaoka (32)                            Reporter, Hawaii News Now

Kristine Nakamatsu (42)                      Team Captain, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney,

                                                               Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, City and County of Honolulu

Thomas Park (38)                                 Owner, Leather Soul & Bar Leather Apron

Savan Patel (39)                                   President/Managing Principal, Infinium Interiors, Inc.

Jeff Pauker (35)                                   Vice President, Investments, Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.

Doug Shimokawa (35)                          Senior Vice President, Pacxa

Elizabeth Valentin (31)                        Executive Director, Project Vision Hawaii

Christopher Wong (34)                         Public Involvement Manager, Honolulu Rail Transit Project  

Emmanuel Zibakalam (30)                   Principal, Pacific Business Advocates

The program will begin with a two-day retreat on September 29-30, 2017, featuring a series of seminars and discussions, and participants will also have an opportunity to help plan their agenda and schedule for the upcoming year.   

During the year, fellows will take part in at least one day-long program each month to investigate critical issues facing Hawaii in such areas as crime, education, environment, quality of life, the military, and the economy.  Finally, for the very first time since the inception of the program, each fellow will be afforded a unique and tremendous opportunity to receive personalized, professional executive coaching, rounding out an exceptional program year!