Molokai lawmaker wins Women of Excellence

DeCoite is the first awardee selected from Hawaii

LYNN DECOITE – Woman of excellence

The Maui News

State Rep. Lynn DeCoite of Molokai received the Women of Excellence Award on Nov.18 at the National Foundation of Women Legislators awards dinner at the organization’s annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.

The “Elected Women of Excellence” Award was created to identify elected women who have worked tirelessly, often breaking down barriers and overcoming obstacles that once seemed insurmountable, to serve their communities, according to a news release. The women have engendered an environment where women can now serve in public office and fight for the issues they are passionate about, the news release said.

DeCoite is the first awardee selected from Hawaii since the award’s inception in 2013.

“What a tremendous honor,” DeCoite said in the news release. “I am proud to stand with my fellow awardees, remarkable women from across the country, and am truly humbled to receive this award. I don’t do this job or serve my community for the recognition, but this award from other elected women is delightfully unexpected and fills me with even more aloha.”

DeCoite thanked state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim of Oahu for nominating her for the award.

“Sen. Kim has paved the way for so many of us. I also want to send her my congratulations as she takes the helm as NFWL’s next board chair.”

DeCoite has served in the state House of Representatives since February 2015, representing District 13, which includes East Maui, Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lanai and Molokai.

DeCoite is a third-generation homestead farmer. She and her husband, Russell DeCoite, own and operate their family farm — L&R Farm Ent LLC, known for the Molokai purple sweet potato.

She has three children and two grandchildren.

DeCoite is the current vice chairwoman of the House Committee on Agriculture, a member of the House Committee on Lower and Higher Education and a member of the House Committee on Tourism and International Affairs. She also serves as the chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee for the Council of State Governments — West.

DeCoite has served as the Hawaii state director for NFWL since 2018 and has been a member of the organization since 2017.


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