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Nurturing Tomorrow’s Leaders

In-house mentoring is gone, so these programs are building Hawaii’s next-generation elite

(page 3 of 3)

Does It Work?

It’s not entirely clear whether these leadership training programs actually create leaders, or simply recognize them. Programs like PCF and Ag-Leadership have been around for years and have hundreds of alumni, yet people still complain that the Islands still suffer from a crippling shortage of leadership.

Can you create leaders? “That’s a question that still persists,” says Mahinapoepoe Paishon Duarte, an alumna from First Nations’ second cohort. “I definitely wrestle with the whole idea of selecting leaders.” Like almost all the fellows from these programs, Duarte quickly acknowledges that the First Nations experience has benefited her personally. She notes the value of the network of people she met and the exposure to different models of leadership. But has the program brought about the change it sought?

“Broadly speaking, I would say the program is on its way to success,” Duarte says. “But the proof is in the pudding. When I can visibly see the impact that we have had on the health and well-being of our community, when I can say that we have, indeed, contributed in some significant way to the betterment of the Hawaiian people, then maybe we can call it a success.

“Until then, I’ll just say that it holds a lot of promise.”

Some Leadership Training Alumni

Pacific Century Fellows
Contact: Charlyn Dote,
Some Alumni:

Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii
Contact: Kim Coffee-Isaak,
Some Alumni: Diane Ley, executive director, Farm Service Agency; Clyde Tamaru, UH Sea Grant; Melvin Matsuda, Matsuda-Fukuyama Farms

Weinberg Fellows
Contact: Holly Henderson,
Some Alumni: Michael Gleason, executive director, ARC of Hilo; L. Jani Sheppard, executive director Maui Family Services; Richard Yust, executive director,
Maui Food Bank

Contact: Christine van Bergeijk,
Some Alumni: Leslie Wilcox, executive director, Hawaii Public Radio; Matthew Hamabata, executive director, The Kohala Center; Judith Lenthall, executive director Kauai Food Bank

First Nations Futures Program
Contact: Neil Hannahs,
Some Alumni: Noa Lincoln, education coordinator, Amy Greenwell Gardens; Esther Puakela Kiaaina, land assets manager, Kamehameha Schools; Leslie Kaiu Kimura, associate director, Imiloa Astronomy Center

To a read Where are They Now, click here.

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