As a small farmer/landscaper I’ve been in the business since 1986. Growing up on at my mother’s farm and landscaping business (Ahonui Nursery) on Kauai, I was introduced to plant cultivation at an early age,. Ahonui was not organic or sustainable in my opinion, and I was exposed to the world of chemical fertilizer, Malathion and Roundup.
In my 20’s I had a life-threatening bout of mononucleosis, which resulted in me moving to Maui to live with my brother Joshua. He lives on an organic tomato farm on Kaupakalua Road. There I was introduced to the principles of organic farming, and the importance of an organic diet.
Since the 1990’s I’ve been a landscaper/farmer growing much of my own food and raising Ducks. I am currently a landscaper by trade, my company is Hui 'O Mālama 'Āina and I am planting paradise to make more food for the future.
I have a keen interest in permaculture and bio-dynamic farming. Currently I practice those principles on a 2 acre agriculture lot with my wife and daughter and grow taro, corn, beans, greens, various citrus, papaya, bananas, ducks and much more.
One of my qualifications for the MFUU BOD is the fact that I am a certified Master Gardener, and am a member of the Master Gardener Advisory Board. I can serve as a link between the Master Gardeners and HFUU.
I have always been interested in growing a sustainable future for Hawaii; the most remote place on Earth, with rich soils and the most diverse range of climactic growing conditions anywhere that are in such close proximity to each other. With leadership in place that will promote Aloha 'Āina, Hawaii can make food self sufficiency a reality.
My purpose to be on the legislative committee is to promote the future we want, sustainable, organic and healthy. Shifting our economy from service to production is going to have to start with agriculture, as the foundation of every sustainable economy is ag. As a member of the legislative committee I will work to support the legislators that have our vision, and work to share our vision in an open and positive manner with those who are working in opposition to the new paradigm that we desperately need.
For our species to thrive in coexistence with world ecology, we need to change how we live and do business. This will require hard work and patience, but we can do it. We must be the change we wish to see, and educate our children and our communities.
As one last note on my qualifications, I am familiar with the legislative process, how the bills move through the legislature, and can vociferously and energetically promote our values there, as well as write and advocate for bills authored by the committee.
Simon Russell Statement of Purpose:
The goal of my participation on the Legislative Committee is to author and promote legislation to benefit sustainable agriculture on Maui that will have direct and measurable financial and logistical benefit to the farming community here and throughout the state.
Susan Teton Campbell – Bio
In 1991, the passion for Susan Teton Campbell’s life work was ignited when she read Diet for a New America by John Robbins. Bringing her extensive marketing and media expertise to the Robbins’ organization, EarthSave International, Susan created and promoted the award-winning Healthy School Lunch Program (HSLP).
Collaborating with top nutritional and environmental experts in government, business, and academia, Susan created a curriculum that motivated students nationwide to make healthier food choices. In 1997, with funding from the American Cancer Society and the USDA, Campbell took her program to Hawaii, inspiring the state to be the first in the nation to create plant based alternatives for school menus. When the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine rated the health of meals at American schools in 1998, the HSLP was in three of the top 10.
As part of the HSLP, Susan co-authored The Healthy School Lunch Action Guide, a 184-page resource manual published by EarthSave International in 1994. The guide was sold/distributed to teachers and parents across the country while Susan went on a national tour, speaking to thousands of parents, administrators, government agencies and associations (National Food Service Association). The tour included numerous TV and radio appearances.
Following her tenure at EarthSave, Susan, with key members of the Natural Products Industry, formed a Washington D.C. lobby for natural food and supplement manufacturers, retailers, and distributors. In collaboration with New Hope Media, Susan envisioned and founded the Natural Products Council, spearheading a national marketing campaign, featuring celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Nealon, and Ed Begley, Jr.
In 1998 she collaborated with Citizens For Health (Boulder, CO), to launch a national campaign, Let’s Keep Organic, Organic. The campaign broke U.S.Department of Agriculture records for consumer letters received. The result was a rewrite of the policy that set national organic labeling standards.
In 1998, with a Rockefeller grant, Susan founded Spirit In Action (SIA), Inc., an organization, which exists to make the health and welfare of children the overriding consideration in all government, corporate, and individual decisions. SIA’s projects bring awareness to the interplay of nutrition, environment, economic, social, and cultural factors that impact American youth.
In 2001, after years of studying with notable nutrition/health professionals, Susan took her nutrition knowledge into the kitchen when she created menu plans for retreats put on by Byron Katie International. The success of the food program led her to head up the sales and marketing efforts for The Schools for The Work of Byron Katie, during the launch for her first best seller, “Loving What Is”.
Recognizing that most people know what healthy food is, but lack the skills to prepare it, she went on to develop recipes and menu plans for large resorts and celebrities, actively teaching food service personnel and private chefs. Following a one year In 2003-2005 she launched her “functional food” style to become an instructor for home chef and professional culinary students at Laguna Culinary Arts, in Laguna Beach, CA.
Relocating to Maui, Hawaii in 2005, Susan launched her multi media company, to produce media products for nutrition culinary education. Her first media project is a culinary practice combining the best of the essential dietary components of the Centenarian Cultures – a healthy combination of raw, cooked and cultured foods. Essential Cuisine, A Journey From Seed to Soul is produced in a 6 Set DVD format (23 cooking shows) and an e-book under the brand “Chef Teton”. (www.chefteton.com). The set is sold and distributed online, in Whole Food Markets, Amazon, and Internet distributors worldwide.
Convinced that food is a significant factor in the rising epidemic of youth related health issues, Susan also produced Teens Teaching Teens, a 9 segment DVD cooking show starring 16 yr old Landon Bell. (www.teensteachingteens.com).
Susan holds nutrition, culinary and education certifications from Body EcologyDiet, Raw Living Foods, Ayurvedic Cooking, WSET Wine Pairing, and Experiential Education (Ropes Course) – “Team Building In the Kitchen”, The Work of Byron Katie and recently completed the Avatar Master, Professional and Wizard Courses in 2009.
Locally on Maui, Susan is a regular teacher for Whole Foods Market Kahului,and is the wellness chef for the 2009, 2010, 2011 Maui County Agricultural Festival sponsored by the Maui County Farm Bureau. She was the executive chef for the seven-day Agricultural Design Conference hosted by Maui Aloha Aina Association, and is a regular speaker/teacher for various organizations like the Farmers Union, Vegetarian Society, and the American Heart Association.
Susan is the Chair of Slow Food Maui Convivium, a board member of the Maui Food Technology Center (funded by Maui County) and is a nutrition/culinary instructor for the County of Maui, Department of Aging. Susan continues to provide nutrition/culinary coaching to her clients nationwide.
How I see my being a BOD member benefiting MFUU: I am a team player, experienced in non-profit leadership and innovation around issues that surround food (health, environment, politics, education, Nutrition Bill, National School Lunch Program). That said, experience and skills alone are not enough. My life is dedicated to the health of the air, water and soil, the human and all life on Earth. Food plays an enormous role in the restoration of our health and the health of the air, water and soil. I am 100% aligned with the mission of the Maui Farmers Union United and want to serve with an aligned team to help restore our local food supply into one that provides nourishment, restoration, sustainability and abundance for present and future generations. I am all about the FOOD, and know that I can add value to the MFUU's mission and goals.
David Fisher - Bio
David Fisher has taught, advised, and help raise money for over 3,000 entrepreneurs on Maui over the last 23 years, 19 of which at the University of Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center (Maui Office). One of his current ventures is developing the Hawaii Community Exchange (H-CX.com), a “locavesting” strategy planted as a seed during the Maui Ag Design Conference in 2010. He has a BA from Yale and an MBA from New York University. He currently serves on the boards of Akakū Community Television and the Hawaii Venture Capital Association. Fisher was raised in a U.S. Foreign Service family living in Italy, Ethiopia, Barbados, and Thailand as well as the northeast U.S.A. Both wife and son are teachers and musicians on Maui and also family members of the MFUU.
What I Can Bring To The Board
I have been participating in MFUU meetings on and off since the summer of 2010 when I worked with many of the founding members on the Maui Ag Design Conference. So I bring a sense of the history of the organization and the ingredients that have helped it attract a growing average attendance at monthly meetings, currently at about 150 people. To the extent that the organization wants to enhance its role in Mauiʻs economic and community development, I can bring both analytical and advocacy skills and experience. I also bring the perspective of someone who, for both personal and societal reasons, is working to be more “hands on” with growing healthy food.
Kelly Takaya King - Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Pacific Biodiesel Technologies Co-founder and Chair, Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance
I believe the holistic farming experience of Maui Nui must include agriculture for energy if our goal is true sustainability. I hope to infuse this and inform the MFUU with my experience in energy agriculture.
Kelly King is the Vice President of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, LLC, having co-founded the renewable energy company with her husband Robert King in 1996. Well known as an industry pioneer, Pacific Biodiesel was created to alleviate the disposal of waste cooking oil at Maui’s landfill and became the first commercial biodiesel company in the U.S. As director of Marketing & Communications, Kelly has helped sell and/or develop 13 biodiesel plants built by Pacific Biodiesel in the U.S. and Japan, and the company’s community-based biodiesel model has become a standard for the sustainable renewable fuel industry.
In 2006, together with Willie and Annie Nelson, Kelly co-founded the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance, a national non-profit organization that is developing a certification process for sustainable biodiesel practices.
I believe the wholistic farming experience of Maui Nui must include agriculture for energy if our goal is true sustainability. I hope to infuse this and inform the MFUU with my experience in energy agriculture. I believe the wholistic farming experience of Maui Nui must include agriculture for energy if our goal is true sustainability. I hope to infuse this and inform the MFUU with my experience in
Melissa Jenks-Olivit - Sailing Windward Farm - Bio
I was raised in London, and spent a considerable time in Italy where my parents grew olives and produced organic olive oil. I went on to train at the “Cordon Bleu” culinary school in London after which I ran an event planning and catering business. Several years later I moved to Singapore where I was part owner and executive chef in a restaurant. There I met my husband, of 20 years, George, a yacht builder, and embarked on a new chapter of my life, joining George in his business and raising a family.
Disillusioned with the excessive consumerism in Singapore, we decided to move on-board our boat, travel the world and school our two daughters while experiencing different lifestyles and cultures. Cruising provided an opportunity to become extremely resourceful, though the different levels of dependency amazed us each island had on “the ship coming in”. Some grew fantastic produce and some seemed content to eat old cabbages off the monthly ship.
Our journey led us to the Hawaiian Islands where we have become more interested and involved in farming and food issues. As an organic farmer myself, I am aware of the importance of empowering other people to grow and eat healthy food while improving the land for future generations. I derive great joy from, the increased awareness within myself of my abilities, and opportunities to share knowledge, joy and inspiration with others in the community.
What I feel I bring to the board of MFUU as a small family farmer is an innate appreciation of good food, developing a strong desire to analyze and research the connectivity between health, happiness and the soil.