Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the nominations of Denise Antolini to the Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM), as well as Denise Albano, Lloyd Haraguchi, Margarita Hopkins and Yukio Kitagawa to the Board of Directors of the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC), effective immediately. All are interim appointments subject to state Senate approval.
Antolini was appointed to an at-large seat on the seven-member CWRM. Haraguchi and Kitagawa were nominated to fill at-large seats on the 11-member ADC Board of Directors, while Alabano and Hopkins were appointed to the City and County of Honolulu and Hawaii County seats, respectively.
“Each appointee is well respected in their fields,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable in moving these boards and commissions forward.”
Denise Antolini has served as a faculty member at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa since 1996 and is currently associate dean for academic affairs.
During her tenure, she has been recognized as the school’s Outstanding Professor of the Year in 2004-2005, awarded the UH Board of Regent Medal of Excellence in Teaching, and while Director of the Environmental Law Program, received the American Bar Association, Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy in 2006. Antolini has served as the principal investigator on several Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) projects and law fellowships. A resident of Pupukea, she has long been active in several North Shore community organizations and efforts, including to establish the mauka and makai conservation easements preserving more than 1,000 acres of land owned by Turtle Bay Resort.
A leader in Hawaii’s efforts to improve the local food system, Denise Albano is the president of Feed the Hunger Foundation, a non-profit that she co-founded to eliminate poverty and hunger internationally and in Hawaii by using microfinance as a platform for food security and economic development.
Albano previously served as campaign manager for The Nature Conservancy Hawaii and executive director for Youth UpRising in Oakland and YMCA’s Richmond District in San Francisco, where she served on several boards, including the Mayor’s Office Task Force on Ending the Sexual Exploitation of Youth and Edgewood Center for Families, Youth and Children.
With more than 25 years of land use planning, zoning, development and leasing experience in both the public and private sectors, Lloyd Haraguchi has successfully managed projects from the point of land negotiation and acquisition, to gathering community input, planning, permitting and development. He is the former executive director of the Public Land Development Corporation and served as senior asset manager for Hawaii Land Management, James Campbell Company, LLC from 2003 to 2012. Haraguchi currently serves as a board member for the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, an advisory board member for the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Hale Pono Unit and an advisory member of the Malama Learning Center at Kapolei High School.
Retired as an economic development specialist at the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development, Margarita Hopkins was responsible for preparation and update of the county’s agricultural development plan.
Through her position, she established a county-based agriculture program in cooperation with Big Island Resource Conservation & Development Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Hopkins previously served as Hawaii County’s director of research and development and a lecturer at UH Hilo College of Business and Economics. She is currently a member of the Big Island Resource Conservation & Development Council and Hawaii Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Yukio Kitagawa is currently a member of the serves on the Hawaii Agriculture Resource Center Board of Directors and the City & County of Honolulu Agriculture Development Task Force. He was previously a member of the ADC Board of Directors from 1999 to 2002 and the City & County of Honolulu Planning Commission from 1981 to 1986. Kitagawa was the Board of Agriculture chairperson from 1988 to 1994 and assistant director of cooperative extension service at UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) from 1981 to 1988. Kitagawa is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Commission on Water Resource Management
The Commission on Water Resource Management administers the State Water Code, which was created by the 1987 Hawaii State Legislature. The commission’s general mission is to protect and enhance the water resources of the State of Hawaii through wise and responsible management.
Board of Directors of the Agribusiness Development Corporation
The Agribusiness Development Corporation was established in 1994 to facilitate and provide direction for the transition of Hawaii’s agriculture industry from a dominance of sugar and pineapple to one composed of a diversity of different crops. The mission of the ADC is to acquire, and manage in partnership with farmers, ranchers, and aquaculture groups, selected high-value lands, water systems, and infrastructure for commercial agricultural use and to direct research into areas that will lead to the development of new crops, markets, and lower production costs.
The Office of the Governor oversees more than 180 boards and commissions established by the state constitution, statutes or executive orders.