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Makai Mossman (standing left) and Kainoa Deguilmo (right) with Marisa Fujimoto of Munekiyo & Hiraga, Inc. and (front, left to right) Chia Michelson of Michelson Global, Inc., Katherine Kama‘ema‘e Smith of Honu Publications, and Rae Kamai of Sempra Auwahi Wind.

KSM haumāna get first-hand experience in business and political leadership

Oct. 27, 2014

Contributed by Pakalani Bello

This story was submitted by Priscilla Mikell, Career Liaison at KS Maui after she took a group of students from the campus to the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce Business Fest.

Fifteen Kamehameha Schools Maui haumāna attended the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce 8th Annual Business Fest held at the Grand Wailea on October 2.  As guests of the Chamber, KSM haumāna were introduced to professional development, politics, and civic involvement and responsibility; contributing to their growth and development as future Hawaiian leaders. 

During the day-long event, the haumāna heard from many speakers, including recently retired KS Kapālama Po‘o Kula Michael Chun.  They welcomed Dr. Chun with Oli Aloha.  After listening to Dr. Chun, several haumāna said they now realize that they are the future of Hawai‘i and need to become aware and involved in issues concerning the community. 

The haumāna also got a first-hand glimpse into the politics of Hawai‘i and the County of Maui.   They heard from gubernatorial candidates Duke Aiona, David Ige and Mufi Hanneman; Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa and his contender, Tamara Paltin; and all sixteen candidates running for Maui County Council seats.  

In a post-conference assignment, the haumāna were asked to cast their votes on a mock ballot and to identify the political candidate that impressed them the most; positively or negatively.   The results were very interesting; reflecting insightful observations and sound decision making by the haumāna.   Three of the seniors attending the conference who will be of age to vote in the General Election, stated that they plan to register and vote on November 4.  

Also speaking at the Business Fest were Kepā Maly, Sr. Vice President of Culture and Historic Preservation at Pulama Lāna‘i, and Miki K. Tomita, Ph.D., Dean of Curriculum and Instruction at University Laboratory Schools in Honolulu and education team member for the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Worldwide Voyage.  

During lunch the haumāna sat with Chamber members and other adults attending the Business Fest; learning and practicing business networking and socializing skills.  

The haumāna unanimously responded that attending the day-long Business Fest was a worthwhile experience and recommended that other haumāna attend future Business Fest and similar events.  As one haumāna stated, ‘…it was a rare experience to develop leadership skills,’ and “If you get invited do not decline.”

Me ka mahalo nui, Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce for hosting KSM’s haumāna at the 8th Annual Business Fest; partnering in the education and leadership development of young Hawaiian leaders.

See also the piece written by one of the students in attendance, Daisy Draper, on the importance of voting, at

Leimana Pu‘u (left) and Ashley Morishita (right) sit at their table at the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce Business Fest.

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