Registration Now Open for 2019 Hui Holomua Business Fest: The Business of STEM
Wed., Oct 23 at King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapū

KAHULUI, HI – Registration has opened for the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce's 13th Annual Hui Holomua Business Fest, 8 am to 4:30 pm, Wed., Oct. 23, 2019 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapū. Register online at Admission is $60 for members and $65 for non-members. RSVP and pay in advance online or pay by phone at 808-757-3045. Guests should register early because this conference always sells out.

The annual Hui Holomua Business Fest offers a full day of expert speakers, thoughtful panel discussions and networking along with an exhibition of locally-owned businesses. This year's theme will explore The Business of STEM: Nana i ka maka, Hoʻolohe ka pepeiau, Paʻa ka waha, Hana ka lima: Observe, Listen, Reflect and Create. (STEM refers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.) “Many people associate STEM with education and curriculum,” observed new MNHCoC president, Frank De Rego, Jr., “but STEM’s practical impacts go far beyond, cutting across all business sectors. This has implications for future workforce development as higher wage STEM careers can help reduce Hawaii’s dependence on its service-based economy.”

Keynote speaker Kaʻiu Kimura, executive director of the ʻImiloa Astonomy Center in Hilo, will explain her organization’s elegant blend of Hawaiian culture and science to advance a common vision for the future, bringing the cultural and natural history of Maunakea to students, teachers, local residents, and visitors from around the world. ‘Imiloa links to early Polynesian navigation history and knowledge of the night skies, and today’s renaissance of Hawaiian culture and wayfinding with parallel growth of astronomy and scientific developments on Hawaii Island. In January, she delivered the keynote address to an audience of 2,000 at the 223rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, held in Seattle, WA.

Kumu Ramsay Mahealani Taum, founder and president of the Oʻahu-based Life Enhancement Institute (LEI) of the Pacific, LLC, will provide opening remarks on the inseparable ties between Hawaiian culture and science. Ramsay will be followed by Tiare Martin, program manager at the Maui High Performance Computing Center in Kihei, who will explore the connection of gender and culture in the business of STEM. As a woman in STEM, she is committed to be a mentor and role model for aspiring women. As a native Hawaiian, she sees the importance of Hawaiian values to ground innovation. Martin is an alumna of Kamehameha Schools, Kapālama. She graduated as a merit scholar from the University of San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. In 2016, she was honored as a member of Pacific Business News’ Forty Under 40 young leaders for her outstanding achievements.

The first panel of the day, “STEM Entrepreneurism & Investment” will be moderated by Omar Sultan, co-founder and managing partner of Sultan Ventures in Honolulu. Panelists include Donovan Kealoha, a director of Startup Capital Ventures. with offices in Honolulu and Silicon Valley.

Following lunch, the focus will turn to Hawaiʻi’s emerging generation of STEM professionals. The “Millenial Maoli in Tech” panel will feature four Kamehameha Schools graduates from the class of 2012 who have successfully entered STEM careers. Panelists include Honolulu electrical engineer Trey Fernandez; Stanford University PhD candidate in computer engineering, Makai Mann; Apple mechanical quality engineer, Michael Gorman; and Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope thermal systems engineer Brialyn Onodera.

Representatives of Generation Z will follow with a presentation by members of the Molokaʻi High School Robotics Team, the unlikely winners of the Hopper-Turing Division Rookie Inspiration Award at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) national Robotics Championship held in Houston, Texas this past April. Their teacher and advisor Edwin Mendija will serve as moderator.

Dr. Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, PhD, assistant professor of Indigenous Crops and Cropping Systems at UH Mānoa will close the day’s presentations. Kamaʻāina (native born) to Kealakekua on Hawaiʻi Island, he grew up with unique training by Hawaiian elders in ethnobotany and traditional management methods for land and ocean resources. Dr. Lincoln is a graduate of Kamehameha School Kapālama, Yale University and Stanford University where he earned his PhD in Biogeochemistry and Social Ecology. He has worked and studied across the Pacific Rim in California, Costa Rica, Brazil, and throughout Polynesia.

Former Hawaiʻi state senator and noted entertainer, Brickwood Galuteria will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the day. In between sessions, attendees may visit the Buziness Expo, featuring MNHCoC member companies managed with traditional Hawaiian Values and the Chinese Auction to benefit the Makahiki Athletic Association (MAʻA) in support of their mission to bridge the educational and social gaps facing Hawaiʻi’s youth through cultural sports development and friendly competition. The conference will close a no-host reception featuring the music of Na Kane o Kaʻa.

The founders of MNHCoC created the Hui Holomua Business Fest to explore important issues for business owners and managers who strive to incorporate Hawaiian values into their operations. Since its inception in 2006, the annual conference has grown to become Maui’s most important forum for exploration of the intersection between Hawaiian culture and modern business. Business Fest sponsors underwrite scholarships for 50 Maui High School students to attend Business Fest and learn networking skills. Information about sponsorship and vendor exhibits is available at Venue capacity is limited, so early reservations are recommended.


About the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce (MNHCoC) – MNHCoC’s mission is “to promote and sustain our Hawaiian Culture, nurturing a strong community of Hawaiian Values and to enhance opportunities for success in business and education.” Membership is open to anyone with an interest in perpetuating the spirit of Aloha through commerce, culture and community. For more information, see

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