Hawaii State Senate Confirms Three HHC Commissioners

The Hawaiʻi State Senate confirmed Randy Awo, Zachary Helm, and Russell Kaupu to the Hawaiian Homes Commission on Thursday, May 21, 2020, in a 24-0 vote.

Randy Awo, Zachary Helm, and Russell Kaupu

Maui Commissioner Awo most recently served as the Administrator for the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement.

A longtime beneficiary of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Awo brings over 32 years of experience in government and community relations to the Commission. He has an extensive background in conservation, being one of the creators of the Ahupuaʻa management model, which is aimed at protecting, managing, and conserving Hawaiʻi’s natural resources.

Awo is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. His term runs through June 2023.

Molokaʻi Commissioner Helm has 30 years of experience working with the Department of Parks and Recreation for the County of Maui, with most of his tenure spent as the District Supervisor for the Molokaʻi District.

Helm is active in his community, serving on various boards, including the Kalamaʻula Hawaiian Homestead Association, Friendly Isle United Way, Molokaʻi Catholic Community Council, and Molokaʻi Little League Association. Helm’s term runs through June 2024.

Oʻahu Commissioner Kaupu currently acts as Corporate Counsel for the MacNaughton Group in Honolulu, providing in-house legal services for TMG and its projects and principals. He is also a small business owner and was a former practicing attorney for Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel in Honolulu.

He is a member of the Hawaiʻi State and American Bar Associations and is a past Chair, Board Member, and current committee member of the Hawaiʻi Conference Foundation’s Real Property, Finance & Investments and Audit committee.

Kaupu is a graduate of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and Kamehameha Schools. His term runs through June 2023.

Governor Abercrombie Names Wallace Ishibashi and Patricia Sheehan to Hawaiian Homes Commission

Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday announced the appointments of Wallace A. Ishibashi, Jr. of Hawaii Island and Patricia W. Sheehan of Kauai to the Hawaiian Homes Commission, effective immediately.

“Wally and Patsy both come to the Hawaiian Homes Commission with strong ties to their respective communities,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “I am confident about their commitment and ability to serve Native Hawaiian beneficiaries in moving the commission and department forward.”

Wallace Ishibashi

Wallace Ishibashi

Wallace A. Ishibashi, Jr. fills the East Hawaii seat on the Hawaiian Homes Commission. A retired full time officer of ILWU Local 142, Ishibashi draws from a range of experience that includes his current position as UH Hilo’s cultural monitor for the Office of Mauna Kea Management as well as time as a business agent, contract and benefits negotiator, workers compensation specialist, and youth basketball and baseball coach. He is also currently the chair of the Hawaii County Windward Planning Commission and a member of the Big Island Community Coalition, an organization that works to reduce the high cost of electricity through alternative energy.

Patricia Sheehan

Patricia Sheehan

Patricia W. Sheehan fills the Kauai seat on the Hawaiian Homes Commission. Sheehan previously served on the commission from 1993 to 1997 and has worked in fields ranging from education to real estate and successfully restarted a family business in the aftermath of Hurricane Iniki. She serves on various other boards and commissions, including Hoopulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill, Hui o Laka, Kapiolani Health Foundation, Kauai Historic Preservation Review Commission, National Tropical Botanical Garden, and The Waioli Corporation. She is a graduate of Punahou School and holds a degree in fine arts/dance from Bennett College.