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Hawaii Business Magazine’s 20 for the Next 20: People to Watch 2012

20 emerging leaders in local businesses, nonprofits, government, education and law

(page 11 of 21)

Photo: Courtesy of Kamuela Enos


Director of social enterprise, MA‘O Organic Farms, Kauhale O Waianae

Kamuela Enos lights up when recalling first lady Michelle Obama’s visit to MA‘O Organic Farms during November’s APEC conference.

“Her visit was incredibly significant to what we are trying to do,” says Enos, who works with young adults in the farm’s growing internship program. “She took a tour of our farm and observed the operations with our interns and shared the meaning of the work she’s doing.” Obama’s visit was part of her Let’s Move campaign to battle childhood obesity through access to healthy food and exercise.

MA‘O’s program pays interns via monthly stipends and full college-tuition waivers in exchange for work on the farm. Enos, who took an untraditional educational route, is passionate about mentoring Waianae’s youth on the value of education.

After obtaining his GED from Waipahu High School, he went on to the University of Hawaii at Manoa and earned his bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian Studies and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning. He currently serves on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian and Pacific Islanders.

He is dedicated to the community where he grew up.

“Kamu leads by example, working with our future community leaders in promoting sustainable agriculture,” says Candy Suiso, one of Enos’ former teachers and executive director of Waianae High School’s award-winning Searider Productions. “He truly believes in building community through growing organically and I’m excited to see the impact he’ll make on our community.”

Enos is working with Suiso on Kauhale O Waianae, a community initiative involving Searider, MA‘O and Makaha Studios. The program immerses Waianae youth in cultural enterprises, using both sustainable agriculture and digital media, and promotes economic development on the Waianae Coast.

Enos says he’s looking forward to the future.

“My hope is that communities like Waianae can become seeds of innovation in a knowledge-based industry. People don’t expect enough out of our community to make us more accountable. Setting the bar really high is what we do and the goal is to set the bar even higher.”


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