100 years

Advancing Nonprofit Excellence
Ho‘okele Award

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The Ho‘okele Award pays tribute to leaders from the nonprofit sector – the guiding forces in our community who strive to make Hawai‘i a better place.

Named for the ho‘okele, or steersman, the award recognizes the significant role that a nonprofit leader plays in improving the quality of life for Hawai‘i’s people. The award provides recipients with the opportunity for personal renewal and professional development.

The Ho‘okele Award was made possible from 2002-2016 through a partnership between the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF). In 2017, HCF’s Board of Governors created the Kelvin Taketa Ho‘okele Leadership Award Fund in honor of Kelvin’s visionary leadership as former CEO of HCF. The Fund ensures that the award will continue in perpetuity.

 

Congratulations to the 2021 Ho‘okele Award Recipients

Kristin Frost Albrecht

Kristin is the executive director of The Food Basket Inc. (TFB), Hawai`i Island’s Food Bank with offices and warehouses in Hilo and Kona, and a mission to end hunger on Hawai`i Island. TFB focuses on ending hunger at its roots through the development and administration of innovative anti-hunger programs that provide nutrition security and increased affordable healthy access for food insecure residents, including DA BUX Double Up Food Bucks, DA BUS Mobile Market and Food Pantry, DA BOX, community supported agriculture (CSA), and Kokua Harvest, a produce gleaning program, in partnership with County of Hawai`i.

Twinkle Borge

Twinkle is the leader of Pu`uhonua O Wai‘anae (POW), a village of 250 people living unhoused on State land adjacent to the Waianae Boat Harbor. She has organized her village into a powerful asset for the wider community that offers safety, healing, and purpose to people who have lost their housing. POW residents serve Wai‘anae in a variety of ways, including conducting regular cleanups across the Wai‘anae Coast, feeding and clothing residents of other houseless encampments, and distributing back-to-school supplies each year to both houseless and housed families in need. In 2018, Twinkle and others led an effort to defend the village from the threat of State eviction, then spent the next year-and-a-half raising funds to purchase land that the village could relocate to. In 2020, Twinkle and the village completed the purchase of 20 acres in Waianae Valley for their permanent home, and are now working on construction. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of Hui Aloha.

Jeffrey Gilbreath

Jeff is executive director of Hawaiian Community Assets (HCA), a local community development nonprofit that administers Hawai`i’s largest nonprofit HUD-approved housing counseling program and the nation’s first-and-only statewide network of Financial Opportunity Centers. In addition to his executive role at HCA, Jeff also serves as executive director of the organization’s nonprofit social enterprise, Hawai`i Community Lending (HCL), a US Department of Treasury certified community development financial institution that co-locates with HCA at Financial Opportunity Centers across state and provides consumer, affordable housing, and social enterprise loans with a particular focus on unbanked and underbanked populations.

Sandy Ma

Sandy is the executive director of Common Cause Hawai‘i, a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. Sandy leads campaigns, fundraising, and engages local, state, and national organizations in building coalitions around Hawaii, focusing on ethics and accountability, money and influence, and voting and elections by promoting equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

Darryl J. Vincent

Darryl is the chief operating officer of United States Veteran Initiative, supervising all executive directors across the organization’s 11 service areas and oversees overall operations of U.S. VETS nationally. U.S. VETS works towards ending homelessness for veterans and providing comprehensive care services including housing, workforce development, mental health and wellness, and individualized support.

 

Ho‘okele Award Recipients

2019

Brandee Menino
CEO
HOPE Services Hawai‘i, Inc.
Hawai‘i

Jessica Yamauchi
Executive Director
Hawai‘i Public Health Institute
Statewide

Deborah Zysman
Executive Director
Hawai‘i Children’s Action Network
Statewide

2018

Jan M. Harada
President & CEO
Helping Hands Hawai‘i
Statewide

Angela Hi‘ilei Kawelo
Executive Director
Paepae o He‘eia
O‘ahu

Susan Maddox
Executive Team Leader
Friends of the Future
Hawai‘i

Randy Wong
President
Hawai‘i Youth Symphony
O‘ahu

2017

Kevin Chang
Executive Director
Kua‘āina ‘Ulu ‘Auamo
O‘ahu

Brenda S. Ho
Chief Executive Officer
Hospice of Hilo
Hawai‘i

Heather Lusk
Executive Director
Community Health Outreach
Work (CHOW) Project, Hawai‘i
O‘ahu

Pauline M. Sato
Executive & Program Director
Mālama Learning Center
O‘ahu

2016

William Akutagawa
Executive Director
Nā Puuwai
Moloka‘i

John and Julianna Leong
CEO
KUPU
O‘ahu

Christine Richardson
Executive Director
North Kohala Community Resource Ctr.
Hawai‘i

Paul Singer
Head of School
Assets School
O‘ahu

2015

Kepā Maly
Executive Director
Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center
Lāna‘i

Richard Taaffe
CEO
West Hawaii Community
Health Center
Hawai‘i

Marian E. Tsuji
President & CEO
Lanakila Pacific
O‘ahu

Harry Wong III
Artistic Director
Kumu Kahua Theatre
O‘ahu

2014

Suzanne Case
Executive Director
The Nature Conservancy
Statewide

Howard Garval
President & CEO
Child and Family Service
Statewide

Nanci Kreidman
Chief Executive Officer
Domestic Violence Action Center
Statewide

Nola Nahulu
Executive & Artistic Director
Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus
O‘ahu

2013

Nancy Aleck
Executive Director
Hawai‘i Peoples Fund
Statewide

Nalani Fujimori Kaina
Executive Director
Legal Aid Society Hawai‘i
Statewide

Carol Kouchi Yotsuda
Executive Director
The Garden Island Arts Council
Kaua‘i

Kenneth Zeri
President & CPO
Hospice Hawai‘i
O‘ahu

2012

Jud Cunningham
CEO
Aloha House, Inc.
Maui

David Fuertes
Executive Director
Ka Hana No’eau
Hawai‘i

Connie Mitchell
Executive Director
The Institute of Human Services
O‘ahu

*Marjorie Ziegler
Executive Director
Conservation Council for Hawaii
Statewide

2011

Lea Hong
Hawaiian Islands Program Director
The Trust for Public Land
Statewide

Tony Krieg
Chief Executive Officer
Hale Makua Health Services
Maui

Robert G. Peters
Head of School
Hanahau‘oli School
O‘ahu

Leslie Wilcox
President & CEO
PBS Hawaii
Statewide

2010

Selena Ching
Executive Director
Hawaii Youth Symphony Assoc
O‘ahu

Patricia Tummons
Editor
Environment Hawaii
Statewide

Jeanne Skog
President & CEO
Maui Economic Development Board
Maui

Gregory Dunn
Executive Director
Hawaii Nature Center
O‘ahu

2009

Stacey Sproat
Executive Director
Waipa Foundation
Kaua‘i

Matthews Hamabata
Executive Director
The Kohala Center
Hawai‘i

Drew Astolfi
Executive Director
Faith action for Community Equity
O‘ahu, Maui

Laura Robertson
President & CEO
Goodwill Industries
Statewide

2008

David Derauf
Executive Director
Kokua Kalihi Valley
O‘ahu

Marilyn Cristofori
CEO
Hawaii Arts Alliance
Statewide

Ku Kahakalau
Co-founder/Director
Na Lei Na’auao
Statewide

Chipper Wichman
CEO
National Tropical Botanical Garden
Kaua‘i

2007

Dale Bonar
Executive Director
Maui Coastal Land Trust
Maui

Gary Forth &
Kukui Maunakea-Forth
Wai‘anae Community Directors
Re-development Corp.
O‘ahu

Michael Gleason
President & CEO
The Arc of Hilo
Hawai‘i

*Rose Nakamura
Director
Project Dana, Mo‘ili‘ili
Hongwanji Mission
O‘ahu

2006

Christina Cox
Executive Director
KCAA Preschools
O‘ahu

Roy Katsuda
Executive Director
Hale Mahaolu
Maui

Wally Lau
Executive Director
Neighborhood Place of Kona
Hawai‘i

Thein Tin Myaing
Executive Director
Pacific Gateway
O‘ahu

2005

Bob Agres
Executive Director
Hawaii Alliance of Community Based Economic Development
O‘ahu

Vanessa Chong
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union
O‘ahu

Janice Kalanihuia
Director Molokai
General Hospital
Moloka‘i

Darrell Lum
Editor
Bamboo Ridge Press
O‘ahu

2004

Carol Ignacio
Director
Office of Social Ministry
Hawaii

Robert Witt
Executive Director
Hawaii Association of Independent Schools
O‘ahu

Lynn Maunakea
Executive Director
Institute of Human Services
O‘ahu

Patricia McManaman
CEO
Na Loio – Immigrant Rights
Oahu

2003

Hardy Spoehr
Executive Director
Papa Ola Lokahi
O‘ahu

*Marsha Erickson
Executive Director
Hui O Laka - Koke‘e Natural History Museum
Kaua‘i

Puni Kekauoha
Papakolea Community
Development Corporation
O‘ahu

*Walt Dulaney
Executive Director
Alliance for Drama Education
O‘ahu

George Kon
Managing Director
Alliance for Drama Education
O‘ahu

2002

Andrew Aoki
College Connections Hawaii
O‘ahu

David Nakada
Executive Director
Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii
O‘ahu

Eric Enos
Program Director
Ka‘ala Farms, Inc.
O‘ahu

Jo-Ann Ridao
Lokahi Pacific, Inc.
Maui

*deceased