Daniel Kaniela Kahikina Akaka Jr.

Daniel “Kaniela” Kahikina Akaka, Jr. was born & raised in Nu‘uanu and Pauoa Valleys. He attended the Kamehameha Schools for 13 years. His educational career continued at the University of Hawai‘i where he received a Bachelor’s degree in the Hawaiian Studies Program. Akaka is presently employed at the Mauna Lani on the Island of Hawai‘i, as the Director of Cultural Affairs. His position at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel allows him to share the history and culture of Hawai‘i with the hotel guests as well as the many school groups that come to Mauna Lani to learn about Hawaiian aquaculture. In keeping with the Hawaiian culture, he has had the opportunity to be a crewmember of the Hokule‘a for three of its voyages. His position on the canoe was as the Protocol Officer. Akaka was also honored to be a participant on other canoe projects which included the making of the “Mauloa” canoe as well as working on the construction and sailing on the double-hulled canoe “Makali‘i”.


Jerry Agrusa

Jerry Agrusa, is a Professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the College of Business Administration at Hawaii Pacific University. He was awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialist grant and has published over 100 research articles and conference papers and presented his research in more than 25 different countries. Agrusa is well regarded for his expertise in research and teaching in the area of hospitality and tourism management. He was awarded the title of “Tourism Expert” for the Asia Productivity Organization (APO), an intergovernmental international organization whose mission is to contribute to the socioeconomic development in the Asia-Pacific region.


Burl Burlingame

Born in Alaska bush territory and raised on a former Imperial Japanese Navy air base in Taiwan, author and historian William G. “Burl” Burlingame has a keen sense of Pacific history. Currently the Curator at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, Burlingame is the author of “I’ll Fly to Hawaii,” “Battleship Arizona,” “Advance Force Pearl Harbor,” “Black Ocean,” “Da Kine Sound” and other works. Burlingame majored in both Journalism and Anthropology at the University of Missouri, and began to couple the discipline of scientific observation and the creativity of mass communications with the goal of popularizing historic interpretation. He has worked as chief photographer for the Sun Press Newspapers, media advisor for Hawaii Pacific College and editor of Hawaii Coastal Zone News before joining the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 1979. As a reporter specializing in cultural, historic and preservation issues, Burlingame has won several awards.


Pam Davis

Pam Davis is the publisher and owner of The Oahu Concierge, a monthly industry magazine geared towards keeping the hospitality industry informed since 1998. Born and raised on Oahu, Pam grew up in the magazine/visitor industry. Her father, Rick Davis, was the publisher of Aloha, The Magazine of Hawaii, and she worked in every department over the years, long before she even graduated from Punahou. Often referred to as the concierge’s concierge, she has become the go-to gal for anyone trying to get a message out to this valuable market.


Heather Diamond

Heather Diamond is Curator at ‘Iolani Palace, current president of the Hawai‘i Museums Association and a lecturer at University of Hawai‘i. She earned a BFA in studio art and an MA in English from the University of Houston, and a Ph.D. in American Studies and certificate in International Cultural Studies from the Unviersity of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She is the author of “American Aloha: Cultural Tourism and the Negotiation of Tradition.”


Damon Fairchild

Damon Fairchild first fell in love with Oahu as a student at Brigham Young University – Hawaii where he enrolled in January of 2000. His current role as Senior Concierge Manager at Expedia Local Expert allows him to ensure all guests who visit any of Expedia Local Expert’s concierge desks leaves having felt the same spirit of Aloha that drew him to the islands.


Frank Haas

Frank Haas has worked extensively on tourism marketing campaigns and hospitality training programs in Hawaii and internationally. He currently runs Marketing Management, a consultancy focused on assisting travel industry organizations to adapt to the rapidly changing tourism environment. He was formerly Dean for Hospitality, Business and Legal Education at Kapi‘olani Community College.  His previous experience included serving as Acting Assistant Dean for Strategic Planning for the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s School of Travel Industry Management.  Prior to joining the TIM School, Mr. Haas was Vice President and Director of Marketing for the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the state’s lead tourism agency.


Spencer Leineweber

Leineweber is Chair of the Graduate Professional Program in the School of Architecture. Her professional work includes the restoration of many heritage sites including Hawaii’s Plantation Village, the Uchida Coffee Farm, and the Mission Stations at Honolulu, Hilo, and Waioli. Difficult technical and functional solutions are found in her projects, which include the restoration of historic architecture, new construction within historic areas, design guidelines for historic towns, historic structure reports, community and county wide historic inventories, and National Register of Historic Places documentation.


Andrew Lockwood

Andrew Lockwood is President of Pacific Islands Institute, Ltd (PII), a tour operator/Destination Management Company specializing in exceptional cultural and eco-experiences throughout Hawai`i and the Pacific for over 25 years. His belief in leading with integrity and generosity has led his company to be honored with multiple “Keep It Hawai‘i” awards “for demonstrating superior aloha spirit and perpetuating the essence of Hawai‘i for our visitors as well as our community.” PII has been recognized by the Hawaii Ecotourism Association as a Certified Ecotour Operator and past Ecotour Operator of the Year, and was published as one of ten picks for the BEST IN VOLUNTEER TRAVEL in 2012 by the Wall Street Journal. Lockwood has his CMP, is on the Meeting Professionals International Aloha Chapter board, and was the MPI Aloha Chapter’s “Supplier of the Year” in 2012.


Peter Shaindlin

Peter Shaindlin oversees company operations, brand development and business strategy for Halekulani Corporation in Honolulu, a subsidiary of Mitsui Fudosan of Tokyo, Japan. Shaindlin has established a reputation for developing and managing some of the world’s most iconic hotel brand inspiring organizations to achieve their fullest qualitative and financial potential. Shaindlin has achieved worldwide recognition for his trendsetting creative approach which has continually raised and influenced international standards for luxury services within the industry. His combination of business and artistic background affords him a unique approach towards evolving celebrated brands through innovative marketing platforms while creating dynamic competitive business environments. He has appeared as guest lecturer at New York University Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism & Sports Management, the University of Hawaii and Lynn University.


Ramsay Taum

Ramsay Taum is the founder and president of the Life Enhancement Institute of the Pacific, a consulting firm dedicated to protecting, preserving and caring for the social, cultural and historical environment that makes Hawaii a unique place to live, work and visit. Mr. Taum has worked in business, government and community service. His work promotes sustainable place-based and Hawaiian cultural stewardship principles and practices. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and the University of Southern California. He has been mentored and trained by respected Hawaiian kūpuna as a practitioner and instructor of several Native Hawaiian practices, including ho‘oponopono, lomi haha, and lua. He has a distinguished history of community engagement, including board service with Kualoa Ranch, Pasifika Foundation Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Maoli, Pacific Islanders in Communication, and Historic Hawai‘i Foundation.

Andy Witt Cropped photo (3)

Andrew M. Witt

In January 2012, Andrew Witt became the first Executive Director of the St. Johns Cultural Council (SJCC) in St. Augustine Florida. In 2011, the St Johns County government signed a contract with the Cultural Council to administer the Tourist Development Tax grant program for Arts Culture and Heritage programs and to prepare a Cultural Development Strategic Plan for the County and its citizens. He was previously Executive Director of the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties. Through cooperative community cultural planning, grant making, public education and fundraising, the organization supports more than 130 arts-related organizations and coordinates special projects to enhance the quality of life for Midlands residents. He also served for 16 years as the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Northwest Florida, a Local Arts Agency serving as a “chamber of commerce and united arts fund” for cultural groups in counties in the Central Time Zone. Prior to his work in Florida, Mr. Witt served as the Executive Director of the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in Colorado, Managing Director of the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta, and as the Managing Director of the Fifth Avenue Theatre and A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle, and the Tacoma Actors Guild.


Thomas Woods

Tom Woods is Executive Director of the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site & Archive. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies. During the 1980s and early 1990s, he has worked for the Minnesota Historical Society, where he became head of the Historic Sites Department, overseeing a system of 31 historic sites. In the 1990s, he left to become director of Old World Wisconsin, before leaving to create Making Sense of Place, Inc., a museum consulting firm. Before accepting the position of executive director of Hawaiian Mission Houses in 2010, Tom had served as a consultant for historic sites in Hawai`i for nearly twenty years, directing several major planning, research, and interpretive projects.