Hui Holomua Biz Fest examines the business and education of STEM


Registration is open for the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce’s 13th annual Hui Holomua Business Fest, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu. Registration is available at www.mnhcoc.org. Admission is $60 for members and $65 for nonmembers. RSVP and pay in advance online or pay by phone at (808) 757-3045. Guests are advised to register early because this conference traditionally sells out.

The annual Hui Holomua Business Fest offers a full day of expert speakers, panel discussions and networking along with an exhibition of locally owned businesses. This year’s theme will explore The Business of STEM: Nana i ka maka, Ho’olohe ka pepeiau, Pa’a ka waha, Hana ka lima: Observe, Listen, Reflect and Create. (STEM refers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.)

Keynote speaker Ka’iu Kimura, executive director of the ‘Imiloa Astonomy Center in Hilo, will explain her organization’s blend of

Hawaiian culture and science to advance a common vision for the future, bringing the cultural and natural history of Mauna Kea to students, teachers, local residents and visitors from around the world.

‘Imiloa links to early Polynesian navigation history and knowledge of the night skies, and today’s renaissance of Hawaiian culture and wayfinding with parallel growth of astronomy and scientific developments on Hawaii island. In January, she delivered the keynote address to an audience of 2,000 at the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society, held in Seattle.

Kumu Ramsay Mahealani Taum, founder and president of the Oahu-based Life Enhancement Institute of the Pacific LLC, will provide opening remarks on the inseparable ties between Hawaiian culture and science. Ramsay will be followed by Tiare Martin, program manager at the Maui High Performance Computing Center in Kihei, who will explore the connection of gender and culture in the business of STEM.

Following lunch, the focus will turn to Hawaii’s emerging generation of STEM professionals. The “Millennial Maoli in Tech” panel will feature four Kamehameha Schools graduates from the class of 2012 who have successfully entered STEM careers. Panelists include Honolulu electrical engineer Trey Fernandez; Stanford University Ph.D. candidate in computer engineering Makai Mann; Apple mechanical quality engineer Michael Gorman; and Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope thermal systems engineer Brialyn Onodera.

Representatives of Generation Z will follow with a presentation by members of the Molokai High School Robotics Team, the unlikely winners of the Hopper-Turing Division Rookie Inspiration Award at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) national Robotics Championship held in Houston this past April. Their teacher and adviser, Edwin Mendija, will serve as moderator.

Noa Kekuewa Lincoln, Ph.D., assistant professor of Indigenous Crops and Cropping Systems at UH-Manoa, will close the day’s presentations.


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