President: Matilda Tompson has been with Mala`ai since its beginning as a non-profit. She was Mala`ai’s first Executive Director, then was a volunteer, and now has stepped up as Board President! She understands and knows the organization from the inside out. Her love for chickens, healthy eating, life coaching, and encouraging others to become life long learners is a real asset to our organization.
Vice President: Pat Rice is a retired principal/educational consultant who currently is in charge of Waimea Middle School’s grant writing, report writing, accountability, and monitoring of special programs. She has been with the school since 1975 and was a teacher (20 some years), counselor (2 years), vice principal (2 years), curriculum coordinator (12 some years), and principal (4 years). She has a deep understanding of the school, its students, and our community.
Treasurer: Sophia Bowart is our new treasurer. She is currently co-director of Forest Agriculture Research Management (FARM) Center and has a background in non-profit development and sustainable business management. She initiated and managed the development of Mohala Lehua Farm (a forest farm devoted to regenerative Hawaiian ecosystems) in 2006 and completed her MBA in Sustainable Business Management in 2009. In addition to being a co-presenter and co-author with her husband, Neil Logan, she has also worked since 2010 to promote the Buy Local/Eat Local Campaign and the Hawaii Alliance for a Local Living Economy (HALE). Her passions for the economics of sustainable agriculture inspired her to co-found FARM Center in 2014.
Secretary: Davya Keolanui joined our Board recently. Dayva is Hilo born and raised on her family’s farm, OK Farm. She currently is Principle of Keolanui Consulting, a design and marketing firm.
Sam Murray joined our Board of Directors from Australia via Oahu and Oregon. As a Director of the WHH-Foundation, a family foundation, she has worked with many organizations but most of her service was dedicated to the City of Gresham in Oregon as a Parks Commissioner. As a philanthropist serving on numerous boards, she embraced the due diligence component and immersed herself assisting non-profits with their growth. Sam returned to Hawai`i in 2008 with her family and quickly learned of the needs of our Island home, while still continuing her work in Oregon. Since then she has partnered with many non-profits here on the Big Island helping our community to prosper. She brings a wealth of international knowledge to us through her philanthropic work in the environmental, educational, arts and catering worlds.
Kanoa Withington joined our Board to merge his love of STEM and aina based learning. He is currently Software Manager at CFHT and brings his love of technology and innovative thinking to our organization.
Ginny Robb is co-owner of Robb Farms in Waimea, an organic farm producing amazing vegetables for the community. Her long term background is in finance, and this powerful combo brings a unique skill set to Mala’ai.
Melanie Holt is owner of Real Farms as well as owner of the Kamuela Inn. Her business acumen as well as dedication to bettering future generations has already served Mala`ai in numerous positive ways.
Founder: Dr. Michelle Suber, continues her involvement in the program as an advisor to the staff and Board of Directors, and as a volunteer in the garden.