Hear from speakers about key developments in each area:

  1. The pandemic exacerbated inequities in education in Hawai‘i. How can we mitigate those inequities, especially now that money will be even tighter than before?
  2. What is the role of distance and remote learning going forward?
  3. Many of the public schools are further emphasizing career education. What are the best ways to accomplish those goals?
  4. Universities are key engines in successful local economies. How do we turn the University of Hawai‘i into a better engine for Hawai‘i?
Jack Wong, CEO, Kamehameha Schools

Livingston “Jack” Wong was named Chief Executive Officer of Kamehameha Schools in September 2014. Prior to being named CEO, Jack served as an attorney for Kamehameha Schools for 17 years, and most recently served as KS’ Vice President of Legal Services and General Counsel.  

Guided by the vision of its Trustees, and under Jack’s leadership, Kamehameha Schools embarked in 2015 on a bold, exciting voyage that envisions, in one generation, a thriving Lāhui in which all Hawaiian learners achieve postsecondary educational success, enabling good life and career choices. Grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values, learners will be leaders who contribute to their communities both locally and globally.  

At the heart of this new journey are those who share this vision to ensure that all Native Hawaiians have the opportunity to succeed. Strong community collaborations, donor participation and key state, national, and international partnerships are vital to creating the means to propel our learners onto knowledge and career paths of their choice.


Catherine Ngo, President, Central Pacific Bank

Catherine Ngo is the President of Central Pacific Bank, since 2015. With over 25 years of executive experience in the financial services and private equity industries, Catherine joined Central Pacific Bank (CPB) in November 2010 as EVP.

Prior to joining CPB, Catherine was a founding general partner of Startup Capital Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm established in 2005, with investments in Silicon Valley and Hawaii, as well as in China. In addition to managing a portfolio of several technology companies, she assisted other firm portfolio companies with operational issues, generally in the legal and finance areas. Catherine also had primary oversight for the venture capital firm’s investor relations activities and had a significant role in managing the firm’s China-based portfolio.

A graduate of the University of Virginia, School of Law, Catherine started her career in private law practice, focused on banking and securities law. After seven years in private law practice, in 1993 she joined Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a financial services company focused on serving the needs of venture capital – backed technology companies, as well as venture capital firms. In 2002 and until leaving SVB in 2005, Catherine served as Chief Operating Officer of Alliant Partners, an investment banking subsidiary of SVB, focused on sell-side Mergers & Acquisitions activities for technology companies.

Under Catherine’s leadership, CPB has been named one of Hawaii’s Best Places to Work every year since she was appointed President. CPB also received the Hawaii Small Business Lender of the Year Award in Category II (for mid-sized lenders) in 2019 for the fifth year in a row, and in consideration of CPB’s services, investments, donations, and loans to low- to moderate-income individuals and communities, the bank received the highest rating of Outstanding” for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) activities from federal regulators since 2006.

In 2018, the Hawaii Executive Conference, which Catherine chaired, adopted the Hawaii Community Foundation’s CHANGE Framework, which addresses the state’s most pressing issues by inspiring leaders to collaborate and take meaningful action to bring about positive change in the Islands. As chair of the Higher-Education committee, Catherine is focused on improving access and quality to both non-traditional pathways and higher-education that will prepare all of Hawaii’s people for living wages and the jobs of tomorrow.

Catherine is venture partner of Startup Capital Ventures, L.P., serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Hawaii Foundation, Advisory Director of Catholic Charities of Hawaii; and serves on the Board of Hawaii Gas.


Susan Yamada, Director, UH Ventures

Ms. Yamada began her tenure as Director of University of Hawaii Ventures in July 2017. She is responsible for creating a center for innovation whose mission is to support University entrepreneurs and commercialize University-generated innovations. She served for nine years at the Executive Director of the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE). PACE is the home for a set of experiential entrepreneurship programs located in the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii. 


Stacie Kunihisa, Principal, Kanoelani Elementary School

Principal Stacie Kunihisa has been with the Department of Education for over 25 years serving as a high school Language Arts teacher, a state standards alignment curriculum specialist, and a school administrator.   Principal Kunihisa is highly regarded in the field of education and is a strong voice for public education.  Most recently, she was awarded National Distinguished Principal of the Year for 2019 and represented our State in Washington DC last October.  In addition, she won the 2019 Masayuki Tokioka Leadership in Excellence Award and received $25,000 for herself and her school.  One of her school teams, Kanoelani Na Hopeano A’o, has also been recognized as the recipient for the 2019 Department of Education Team of the Year Award.  She also nominated her STEM teacher for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science 2019 and he was selected and the Hawaii representative.    

She juggles many hats and currently acts as the Complex Chair for Pearl City Complex, board member for the Pearl City Community Association, and board member for Hawaii Elementary and Middle School Administration Association.  She works tirelessly to ensure community and business partners work hand in hand with Kanoelani Elementary and her efforts have brought in over $150,000 in the past few years.  In short, Principal Kunihisa strives to “melt the walls” between schools and communities.  One phrase that sums up her educational philosophy can be found hanging on banners across the campus: WE > ME. 


Ruth Fletcher, Head of School and President, Saint Andrew’s Schools

Dr. Ruth Fletcher is now in her fourth year as the Head of School and President of St. Andrew’s Schools, a preschool through 12th grade Independent School, in downtown Honolulu. She is a 1981 graduate of the University of Delaware, earning her undergraduate degree in Biology and GeologyDr. Fletcher was awarded a masters degree in Paleontology and a Doctorate in Paleoceanography from the University of Delaware as well. Recognizing that her true passion was to be an educator, Dr. Fletcher then earned master’s degree in Education through a unique partnership program between the Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) and the University of Hawaiʻwhich focused on Private School Leadership. 

Dr. Fletcher is a progressive and innovative educator whose work has impacted thousands of students, families and teachers. Prior to her headship, Dr. Fletcher enjoyed a 24-year career at Punahou School. She served as an Academy science teacher and department head and was instrumental in the visioning and design of the Mamiya Science Center. As an Academy Dean and College CounselorDr. Fletcher effectively guided students (and families) through their high school years and into college. In addition, she served as the Dean of Professional Programs and the Director of the Hawaiʻi Association of Independent School/University of Hawaiʻi Masters Program in Private School Leadership. While at Punahou School, she co-authored Punahou Building Stories: Case Middle School articulating the importance of creating learning environments that inspire students to learn deeply and embrace global, ethical and environmentally friendly mindsets. Fletcher was selected to be part of the HAIS and CAIS (California Association of Independent Schools) task force to redesign the WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) Procedures for Assessing Independent Schools and create those procedures for HAIS/CAISThe new procedures and policies have been adopted, approved and implemented by  both states. 

Since Dr. Fletcher became Head of School at St. Andrews, she has led the school in launching and implementing a comprehensive Social Emotional Wellness program from Yale University, raised the largest amount funds in the schools history, and completed an ambitious campus master planning projectUnder her leadership, community partnerships have blossomed (e.g. Kamehameha Schools, The Queen’s Health Systems, Stevens World Peace FoundationWaikiki Aquarium, The Episcopal Church of Hawaiʻi, Land & Sea Festival) and the school has successfully personalized student learning. The children and the school are flourishing. Her vision for education encourages and inspires students and teachers to be critical and creative thinkers, innovators and collaboratorsand compassionate and merciful leaders who have both the courage and will to take action for the greater good and the commitment to care for our planet and the many people on it.    


Moderator: Terry George, President & CEO, Harold K. L. Castle Foundation

Terrance R. George is Vice President and Executive Director of the Harold K. L. Castle Foundation, Hawaii’s largest family foundation. Through its grantmaking, the Foundation invests about $7 million a year to build resources for Hawaii’s future. Current areas of interest include public education redesign, near-shore marine resource conservation, and the development of vibrant communities in Windward Oahu. From 1998 to mid-2003, Terry was Chief Program Officer for the Hawaii-based Consuelo Foundation. From 1989 to early 1998, he served in the Ford Foundation’s field offices in Manila and New Delhi as programs officer for rights and social justice, local governance, and regional security and cooperation. Terry is a 1976 graduate of Punahou School, and he received his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.A. from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.


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