Natural Environment

We must focus on preserving and restoring our natural resources.

Hear from our speakers about key developments in:

  1. The “Green Fee” and other ideas to raise money for the environment
  2. Leading the world as a testing ground for clean energy
  3. Responsible stewardship of our natural environment



Dawn Lippert, Elemental ExceleratorDawn Lippert, CEO, Elemental Excelerator

Dawn Lippert is CEO of Elemental Excelerator, a startup program that each year funds 15-20 companies up to $1 million each to improve systems that impact the planet and people’s lives: energy, water, agriculture, transportation, and beyond. Dawn initially started funding companies in Hawaii in 2009, and in the past five years alone Elemental has awarded over $30 million to 82 portfolio companies. This funding goes toward innovation projects that are co-designed and co-deployed by the startup, customers, community members, and the Elemental team in the geographies of Hawaii, Asia, and California. Elemental portfolio companies have gone on to raise follow-on funding of over $720 million. Elemental is a non-profit funded by a coalition of utility partners, corporate partners, philanthropic organizations, and the U.S. Navy.


John Leong, Co-founder and CEO, Pono Pacific Land Management LLC and Kupu

John Leong’s passion for creating a more resilient Hawai‘i is the inspiration and foundation for his ground-breaking work and accomplishments. As an environmental entrepreneur, Leong has helped to develop Hawai‘i’s green jobs industry, increasing conservation awareness and creating career opportunities in natural resource management and sustainability.

After graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2000, Leong founded Pono Pacific Land Management, LLC, a conservation and land management services company. Pono Pacific is the only comprehensive, private natural resource management company in Hawai‘i, which today impacts important conservation, agriculture, and other lands throughout the state. Striving to continually innovate the company and its services, Leong has bridged Pono Pacific’s long-term conservation management goals with revenue-generating sustainability projects in renewable energy, reforestation and food production.

In 2007, Leong co-founded non-profit organization Kupu, to cultivate positive environmental impact by focusing on developing Hawai‘i’s next generation of environmental stewards and community leaders. Kupu’s youth conservation and sustainability programs provide environmental and cultural education and experiences, as well as personal and professional development opportunities. Over the past decade, Kupu has helped to engage over 4,000 program participants statewide, many who have since established successful education and career pathways in conservation and sustainability. Through its innovative programs and partnerships, Kupu has generated a total of more than $113 million in economic impact for the state, with a 1 to 3 cost-to-benefit ratio.

Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Leong is a graduate of Punahou School. He is married to fellow high school alumna and Pono Pacific and Kupu co-founder Julianna Rapu Leong. Together they have four amazing children and live in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.


Ann Botticelli, Senior Vice President – Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Hawaiian Airlines

Ann Botticelli is the Senior Vice President – Corporate Communications & Public Affairs of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., a position she has held since October 2011. As Senior Vice President – Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Botticelli oversees strategic external and internal communications, as well as government relations and community relations for Hawaii’s largest and longest serving airline. 

Prior to joining Hawaiian Airlines, Botticelli served as Vice President for Community Relations and Communications at Kamehameha Schools from 2005 to 2011; Vice President of Communications at Child and Family Service from 2004 to 2005; and Vice President – Corporate Communications at Communications Pacific from 2002 to 2004. Prior to entering the communications field, Botticelli spent two decades as a news reporter in Honolulu, covering business, consumer affairs and state government for KITV-4, KHON-TV and The Honolulu Advertiser. 

Botticelli holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Michigan State University.  


Bettina Mehnert, President & CEO, AHL 

A respected visionary and leader, AHL’s president and chief executive officer, Bettina Mehnert, FAIA, LEED AP is an indomitable force in the evolution and innovation in Hawaii’s architectural sector. Her novel philosophy of practice blends IT solutions, firm culture, client cultivation, and community service as inseparable filaments of professional leadership, keeping her 72-year-old firm firmly faced towards the future.   

In recognition of her unique management style and leadership, Mehnert has been honored with numerous awards and in 2016 was named a Fellow in the American Institute of Architecture (AIA), a prestigious honor held only by 53 architects in Hawaii since 1948.   

In 2018, Bettina was appointed by the mayor as one of five commission members of the new Honolulu Climate Change Commission. As the only commissioned member with an architecture and engineering background, Bettina utilizes her expertise in the built environment to advocate for a new era of resiliency.   


Dr. Kamanaʻopono M. CrabbeKamanaʻopono Crabbe, CEO, The Kohala Institute

Dr. Kamanaʻopono M. Crabbe serves as a seasoned spokesperson and representative for the Native Hawaiian community on matters involving Native Hawaiian history and resilience, and current social, cultural, educational, economic and political issues and trends affecting Native Hawaiians, Hawai‘i and the Pacific.

Dr. Crabbe has focused his personal, academic and professional career toward improving Native Hawaiian well-being. He sits on several high-level policy and governing boards around the world and locally. Crabbe’s executive leadership is demonstrated through civic positions like the Hawai‘i Executive Conference Advisory Board; Executive Committee of the Assembly of Austronesian Leaders; IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016, Steering Committee Member; Nā Limahana O Lonopūhā Native Hawaiian Health Consortium, President; The Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force, Vice Chair. He was the Director of Psychology Training at the Waiʻanae Coast Comprehensive Health Center from 2008-2010. In 2009, he joined the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) as its Research Director, focusing on demography, land, culture, and history projects where he began some of Hawaiʻi’s most innovative research projects.

In March 2012, Dr. Crabbe was appointed the Chief Executive Officer for OHA, a semi-autonomous government agency whose charge is to empower Hawaiians and strengthen Hawaiʻi. As OHA’s Ka Pouhana, the main post of the hale, he grounded the organization in Kūkulu Hou – his vision to reestablish and rebuild the mana of kānaka maoli. Dr. Crabbe directed OHA’s efforts in addressing its strategic priorities of ʻ ina (Land & Water), Moʻomeheu (Culture), Ea (Governance), Hoʻonaʻauao (Education), Hoʻokahua Waiwai (Economic Self-Sufficiency) and Mauli Ola (Health). He has received numerous cultural distinctions and formal awards recognizing his executive leadership accomplishments, such as the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education Leadership Award, American Psychological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program Predoctoral Fellowship, and the Hawaiʻi Psychological Association Patrick H. DeLeon, Ph.D. Lifetime Achievement Award among many others. Uplifting the mana and mauli ola of the Hawaiian community through transformation and indigenous excellence are pillars of his leadership values. Crabbe serves his community as a hoʻoponopono practitioner (trained by Abbie Napeahi and Howard Peʻa), chanter (trained by Kumu Hōkūlani Holt), and ‘aha ‘awa ceremony and protocol expert. In 2006, he established the non-governmental organization, ʻAha Kāne: Foundation for the Advancement of Native Hawaiian Males. He earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and remains a licensed clinical psychologist helping countless families, youth and communities.


Moderator: Steve Petranik, Editor, Hawaii Business Magazine


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