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Lingle appoints advisors to Big Isle councils


Gov. Linda Lingle has appointed 14 volunteers to serve on two Councils of Neighbor Island Advisors – one for East Hawaii and one for West Hawaii.  

The two seven-member councils will help the Lingle-Aiona Administration continue to identify issues of importance to the Big Island, as well as recommend ways to improve state government, encourage public discussion and participation in key initiatives, and foster innovative ideas.  

The councils will also identify potential nominees to serve on state boards and commissions.   

“Public involvement is critical to ensure state government is responsive to the specific needs of East and West Hawaii, and I appreciate the time and dedication these volunteer members are giving to help improve their communities and our entire state,” Lingle said.

“Through the prior advisory councils for East and West Hawaii, my Administration has gained valuable input, innovative ideas and fresh perspectives on issues that are important to Big Island residents and businesses,” she said.
“The role of the new Councils of Neighbor Island Advisors is even more crucial as we must all pull together to find solutions to the current economic challenges, while ensuring that we continue to plan for the future.” 

The members have diverse backgrounds and expertise in business, agriculture, education, native Hawaiian issues, social services, healthcare, arts and culture, energy, and the environment. 

The members will serve as volunteers and will receive no compensation, but like other boards and commissions, they will be entitled to reimbursements for related expenses while attending meetings and carrying out the councils’ responsibilities.   

The two councils will hold monthly public meetings to seek comments from residents.  

The East Hawaii Council will meet on the last Thursday of each month. The West Hawaii Council will hold meetings on the second Wednesday of each month. Times and locations of the meetings are subject to change. 

The governor’s liaison for East Hawaii, Marc Miranda and her liaison for West Hawaii, Andy Smith, will assist each respective council in carrying out their functions.   

Councils of Neighbor Island Advisors have also been established for Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kauai. The new councils will be terminated Nov. 30, 2010. 

The governor’s councils of neighbor island advisors follows similar temporary councils established by Governor Lingle in 2003, 2005 and 2007.   

Council of Neighbor Island Advisors – East Hawaii 

Scott Enright – Former project manager of ITC Water Management, Inc. and former cultivation and irrigation superintendent at Hamakua Sugar Company. 

Julie Hugo – Managing broker, Aiona Island Realty. Past experience: advisor to majority senate floor leader, Hawaii State Legislature; Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce; administrator, OrthoCare, Inc.; principal, Hugo Wong-Wilson (business consulting); director of community relations, Waikoloa Land Company; assistant vice president and corporate secretary, Kaluakoi Corp. 

Al Nakaji – Owner and operator of Nakaji Orchid. 

Alton Okinaka – Associate professor of sociology, chair, Education Department, University of Hawaii Hilo and director of Social Sciences Training and Research Laboratory, UH-Hilo. Past experience: chair, Social Sciences Division, UH-Hilo; chair, Department of Sociology, UH-Hilo. 

Norman Stahl – Director, career services, University of Hawaii Hilo. Past experience: counselor supervisor, University of California, Los Angeles; U.S. Marine Corps. 

Carol VanCamp (chair) – Commercial leasing and sales, Ala Kai Realty, Inc. Past experience: general manager, Prince Kuhio Plaza Shopping Center. 

Jennifer Zelko – Associate, Carlsmith Ball, LLP. 

Council of Neighbor Island Advisors – West Hawaii 

Jon Adams – Realtor; owner Mothers Antiques and Fine Cigars; founder, North Kohala Merchants Association; member, Lions Club of Kohala and Aloha Temple Shriners. 

Glennon Gingo – Realtor, commercial sales; chairman – West Hawaii Fisheries Council. Past experience: aquatics consultant, executive director, Kona Family YMCA; senior program director, YMCA of San Francisco; associate director of health enhancements and aquatics, YMCA of Santa Clara. 

Estela Halverson – President, Kona Outdoor Circle Education Center. Past experience: high school principal, teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District; president, Kona Outdoor Circle; president, Kona Adult Day Center. 

Rodney Ito – General manager Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa; member Big Island Visitors Bureau, Kona Kohala Resort Association, Habitat for Humanity. 

Gunner Mentch – Owner, Harbor Gallery; Kawaihae; vice chair South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee; Kawaihae Local Resource Council. Past experience: Superferry Advisory Board. 

Rick Vidgen (chair) – CEO, Big Island Carbon, agribusiness consultant.  Past experience: realtor; president, MacFarms of Hawai‘i; sales and marketing consultant, RAM Group; business management, Colonial Sugar Refining (Australia and New Zealand). 

Elaine Watai – Outreach coordinator, Salvation Army Family Intervention Services; community coordinator, Kealakehe Community Association; founder of Kealakehe Neighborhood Watch. Past experience:  supervisor Alu Like Youth Programs; Keauhou Beach Hotel, Polynesian Adventure Tours.

For more information about the governor’s Council of Neighbor Island Advisors, visit the governor’s Web site at, or contact the East or West Hawaii liaison office. 


Liaison:  Marc Miranda 

75 Aupuni Street 

Hilo, Hawaii 96720 

Phone: (808) 974-6262 

Fax: (808) 974-6263 

E-mail – 


Liaison:  Andy Smith 

75-5722 Kuakini Highway 

Kuakini Tower, Suite 215 

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740 

Phone: (808) 327-4953 

Fax: (808) 327-4952 

E-mail –

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