UH Hilo Community Advisory Board
The primary purpose of the UH Hilo Community Advisory Board is to help support the mission and forward the vision of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo in partnership with the Hawaiʻi Island community. The role of the board is similar to that of a corporate board of directors in terms of advocacy and providing guidance on strategic matters that will advance the educational, research, and outreach programs of the university.
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Bob Agres has worked in the fields of community-based economic development and asset development for the past 30 years to help generate opportunities for Hawai‘i families and communities to increase their social and economic well-being. He currently serves as deputy director of the County of Hawaiʻi’s Department of Research and Development and recently served as manager of the Kīlauea Eruption Recovery Team for Disaster Recovery Community Engagement and Collaboration. Previously, he held leadership roles with the Hawaiʻi Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development, the City and County of Honolulu, the County of Maui, and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. He also served as a lecturer at UH Mānoa’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning and received the Hawaiʻi Alliance of Nonprofit Organization’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kealiʻi Beck lives in Hilo and specializes in architecture, land planning, design, construction, real estate development, and real estate sales on Hawaiʻi Island. He is a member of the UH Hilo Booster Club, UH Hilo Relationships Doing Committee, Hilo Downtown Improvements Association, and the Hilo Palace Theater. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Maryland at College Park and earned his graduate degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. He is the proud parent of UH Hilo Chancellor’s Scholar Bree Foster.
Chad Cabral is from Hawaiʻi Island and serves as chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island. He graduated from Hilo High School and holds a bachelor of arts in sociology from UH Hilo and a master of science in higher education administration from Colorado State University. As an undergraduate at UH Hilo, he was a founder of the University Canoe Club, and beginning in 1999, he worked in the division of student affairs at UH Hilo for 16 years. In 2019, he was recognized by the Hawaiʻi Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations as the 2018-2019 Nonprofit Emerging Leader.
Diane Chadwick is director of community philanthropy for the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, where she works with Hawaiʻi Island communities to identify and address key critical needs and opportunities by developing and implementing community impact strategies supported by philanthropic funding. She has been with the foundation for 30 years, holds degrees in anthropology and social work, and serves on church, chamber of commerce, and drug-free coalition boards.
Jason Fujimoto is president and chief executive officer at HPM Building Supply. He is the fifth generation of his family to lead the Hawaiʻi Island-based company in its 100-year history. Previously, he worked in JPMorgan’s investment banking division in New York City. He currently serves on the board of directors of the ‘Iole Stewardship Center and Hawaiʻi Planing Mill, and is a member of the Hawaiʻi Asia Pacific Association Leaders, the U.S. Army Garrison Pohakuloa Training Area Commander’s Advisory Council, the Hawaiʻi Executive Collaborative, and the Hawaiʻi Business Roundtable. He holds a bachelor of science in economics with a concentration in corporate finance and strategic management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jacqui Hoover, born and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, is president of the Hawaiʻi Leeward Planning Conference, and executive director and chief operating officer of the Hawaiʻi Island Economic Development Board. Previously, she served as executive director at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaiʻi Authority. She serves on numerous boards and councils including the Economic Development Alliance of Hawaiʻi, the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Planning and Permitting, Hawaiian Electric Integrated Grid Plan Stakeholder Council, Pōhakuloa Training Area Community Advisory Committee, among others. She holds degrees in business and economics, public administration, engineering, Middle East history, and legal studies.
Amy Kalili is partner and cofounder of Pilina First, a media and communications consulting firm that works with clients to bring a Hawaiian perspective to their messaging. Born in Alabama, she arrived in Hilo at age eight and advanced her education and career with a focus on educating the public about the relevance and place of ʻōlelo and kuanaʻike Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language and perspective). After graduating with a bachelor of arts and bachelor of business administration from UH Hilo, she began her work at ‘Aha Pūnana Leo, a nonprofit devoted to revitalization of the Hawaiian language. She received her master of business administration and juris doctor degree through Shidler College of Business and the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Mānoa, and then returned to ʻAha Pūnana Leo to serve as executive director.
Randy Kurohara is a longtime small business owner on Hawaiʻi Island now serving as executive director of Community First Hawaiʻi, a nonprofit to improve health and lower medical costs on the island based on the community good. Previously, he served as director of the Department of Research and Development, deputy managing director, and managing director for the County of Hawaiʻi. He has served as an officer and/or member of the Rotary Club of South Hilo, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaiʻi, Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Hawaiʻi Island Chamber of Commerce, Hawaiʻi Health System Corporation’s East Hawaiʻi Regional Board, and others. He holds a bachelor of business administration with a focus on marketing from UH Mānoa.
Wendy Laros, a Hawaiʻi Island resident for over 30 years, is president and chief executive officer of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit member organization that exists to provide leadership and advocacy for a successful business environment in West Hawaiʻi. She serves on the Hawaiʻi Community College Advisory Council, Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi Board of Directors, Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s Hawaiʻi Island Destination Management Action Plan Steering Committee, and the U.S. Army Garrison Pōhakuloa Training Area Advisory Council. She holds a bachelor degree in psychology from UH Hilo and a master of education from UH Mānoa.
Kellie Miyazu, a freelance artist in graphics and design, is executive director and education director of graphic design at the East Hawaiʻi Cultural Center. She is an alumna of UH Hilo, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in art in 2015. She teaches art at several local elementary schools including Waiākeawaena Elementary School, where she is currently the art resource teacher. She joined East Hawaiʻi Cultural Center in 2016 as graphic designer, and went on to create the Youth Arts Series, which provides art opportunities for youth while promoting the importance of arts and creative thinking.
Janette Snelling is the West Hawaiʻi Complex Area superintendent covering Hamakua, Kealakehe, Kohala, and Konawaena for the Hawaiʻi Department of Education. She has worked for the DOE for over 35 years covering all levels within the K-12 continuum, including serving as principal at both Kohala High School and Kohala Middle School. Previously, she served as a school renewal specialist for the West Hawaiʻi Complex Area. She is a graduate of Kohala High School and has a master’s degree in counseling from Purdue University, Indiana.
Audrey Takamine is cofounder and vice-president of Takamine Construction, a family business on Hawaiʻi Island. Her community work includes being a board member and/or officer at Junior Achievement Hawaiʻi Island, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi Care Choices, and the Hawaii Community Foundation—East Hawaiʻi Fund. She serves on the advisory board of the UH Hilo College of Business and Economics. She also serves on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Hawaiʻi Community College, and as a trustee for the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection of the Supreme Court of Hawaiʻi. She holds a bachelor of business administration degree from UH Hilo.