Speaker Bios


Morning Keynote

Kekuewa Kikiloi, PhD, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, UH Mānoa

Dr. Kekuewa Kikiloi is an assistant professor at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.  His research interests include Hawaiian resource management, indigenous knowledge, traditional society, genealogies, cultural revitalization, and community empowerment.  It spans the main Hawaiian Islands, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and greater Polynesia. This past summer, Dr. Kikiloi taught a course aimed at providing local and Kānaka Māoli UH Mānoa students the skills they need to pursue careers cultural resource management. The course, entitled Waialua I Ka Moku Ka Pawa, focussed on the cultural history of the moku of Waialua, Oʻahu, and particularly the site of Kahokuwelowelo heiau.


Morning Panel Discussion

Denise Antolini, William S. Richardson School of Law, UH Mānoa

Professor Denise E. Antolini has served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the William S. Richardson School of Law since 2011.  She joined the Law School faculty in 1996 and directed the nationally recognized Environmental Law Program for several years.  Since 2006, she has spearheaded the Law School Building Excellence Project.  She serves on the State Water Commission Nominating Committee (2013), was the inaugural Chair of the Honolulu City Council’s Clean Water and Natural Lands Commission, and is past Chair of the State Environmental Council.

Kyle Barber, Dole Foods Hawaii

Kyle oversees all of Dole Food Company Hawaii's water and irrigation infrastructure, including reservoirs, ditches, dams, wells and pump systems.  He also has in-depth knowledge of all of Dole's agricultural operations including pineapple, coffee and cacao. Kyle has a M.S. Degree in Soil Science and Agronomy and a B.S. Degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Hawaii.

Marvin Heskett, Senior Chemist

Mr. Heskett is a Senior Chemist who has over 20 years of environmental science experience. He supervised the operation of a full-service environmental analytical laboratory on Oahu for over 10 years. He has also worked with the State of Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) Office of Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response (HEER) to augment a new laboratory soil sub-sampling strategy (multi-increment sub-sampling) and led the effort to utilize field instruments to obtain real time defensible data. He is currently leading an ongoing investigation of agricultural-related surface water contamination in the Kaiaka watershed on the North Shore of Oʻahu.

Erwin Kawata, Board of Water Supply

Erwin Kawata is the Water Quality Division Program Administrator at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS). Mr. Kawata has 34 years of experience with BWS and is responsible for water quality and regulatory compliance of the Board’s water sources, treatment and distribution systems. He also oversees the drinking water testing and treatment programs, special water quality, toxicology and environmental studies. Mr. Kawata has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a certificate in Public Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Ellen Kitamura, Board of Water Supply

Ellen Kitamura was appointed Deputy Manager and Chief Engineer of the Board of Water Supply (BWS) on March 16, 2012.  A BWS employee since 1982, Ellen was initially hired as a Civil Engineer I in the Project Review Section. She was promoted to her current position from her previous position as Civil Engineer VI in the Technical Engineering Projects Branch of the Information Technology Division.  There, she oversaw the staff responsible for providing Geographic Information System (GIS) application development, hydraulic model calibration, and project management

Isaac Moriwake, Earth Justice

Isaac Moriwake is an attorney in Earth Justice's Mid-Pacific regional office in Honolulu. He has over a decade of experience litigating before federal and state courts and agencies on a range of issues, including water rights, Native Hawaiian rights, shoreline protection, endangered species, environmental health and disclosure, and clean energy. Isaac graduated from Pomona College in International Relations, and from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi. After law school, he clerked for Justice Paula A. Nakayama of the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaiʻi.

Kapua Sproat, William S. Richardson School of Law, UH Mānoa

D. Kapuaʻala Sproat is an Associate Professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law where she designs and teaches courses and provides overall program support for Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law and the Environmental Law Program. Since 1998, Kapua has worked as an attorney in the Mid Pacific office of Earthjustice, where she remains Of Counsel. Committed to protecting and restoring Hawaiʻi’s natural and cultural resources, she has litigated state and federal cases under the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, State Water Code and various Hawaiʻi laws. Kapua has a special interest in empowering and supporting Kānaka Maoli culture and people and works to preserve the resources necessary to perpetuate her culture.


Lunchtime Panel Discussion

Rob Barecca, Counter Culture Farm

In 2012, Rob Barreca left his career in the tech startup world to focus on increasing local food consumption in Hawai‘i. Using his tech experience, he launched Farm Link Hawai‘i, a web application that empowers farmers to easily sell their produce. Also, In early 2015, Rob graduated from the GoFarm Hawai‘i AgPro program and placed second in the Kamehameha Schools' Mahi‘ai Match-Up, receiving five years free lease rent on a five-acre parcel in Hale‘iwa and $15,000 startup funds. His seed-to-countertop farm and fermentation business is now in operation and is called Counter Culture.

Dave Burlew, Mālama ʻĀina Organic Farm

Dave’s path to a career as an organic farmer began in 1995, when he began an apprenticeship on a diversified 20 acre organic vegetable farm in central New Jersey. Through the years he had the opportunity to manage several farms at various locations, usually around 5 acres, always organic. Dave has a formal education in agriculture that has included coursework at the University of Hawai’i Mānoa and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Currently, he leases and farms 5 acres in Punalu‘u O‘ahu on Kamehameha Schools land. Dave’s farm has most recently received funding through the Feed The Hunger Foundation.

Steven Chiang, Agribusiness Incubator Program

Steven Chiang is most passionate about helping Hawaii’s agriculture industry contribute to Hawaii's economy, employment, and food security. Under his leadership the average client of the Agribusiness Incubator Program more than doubled their profits each year, and the GoFarm Hawaii program has grown to become one of the leading programs of its kind in the nation--contributing to his appointment by the Secretary of the USDA to the Advisory Committee for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.

Makani Ortogero, Mahaʻulu

A graduate of Waialua High School, Makani has served as a community engagement coordinator for various organizations in her 30 years as a Haleʻiwa Resident. She has worked at various loʻi, a commercial flower farm, and Lyons Arboretum Botanical Garden and is the Former owner of restaurant Universe Juice Hawaiʻi. Most Recently, Makani, along with a team of four other North Shore residents, won second place in the 2016 Mahiʻai Matchup Competition. Her team Mahaʻulu, won five years of free rent on a five-acre parcel of Kamehameha Schools Land in Punaluʻu


Midday Keynote

Carol Peppe Hewitt, Slow Food North Carolina

Carol Peppe Hewitt is a business owner, social entrepreneur and life-long activist. She is cofounder of Slow Money NC which works to finance North Carolina’s sustainable food and farming economy by connecting individuals committed to building local food systems with entrepreneurs who have compelling needs for capital. Growing up in rural Northwest Connecticut, Carol watched as working farms disappeared one by one. She now works to change that trend, guiding patient capital to sustainable farmers and food businesses in North Carolina.