Lani Medina Weigert (HATA Executive Director) specializes in branding agricultural businesses, developing their value added products and farm tours. Recently the Director of Marketing & Community Relations for Hamakua Mushrooms, and previous to that –the Co-Founder of Alii Kula Lavender Farm on Maui, a premier Agtourism venue in Hawaii. A member of the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA) and a presenter at their Savannah, Georgia National Conference in 2009. Lani is also the co-author of “The Maui Book of Lavender” and was a featured speaker at the 2012 nationally televised TEDxMaui lecture series. Also instructed a workshop at Hilo Community College called “How to Create a Successful AgTourism Business” in 2011. On the road again with NAFDMA’s Pacific Northwest National Conference in February 2013, where she presented “Entrepreneurial Leadership” and “The Challenges of Working Within a Family Business” received rave reviews making Lani a sought after business consultant, workshop facilitator and keynote speaker. Lani is also a board member & graduate of the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawai`i, Member of Hawai`i Department of Agriculture’s Seal of Quality, Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce and South Hilo Rotary.
Luisa F. Castro (HATA President) is a Program Coordinator at the College of Continuing Education and Community Service at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Her passion is lifelong learning and she fulfills this by administering, developing, coordinating, and evaluating the college’s personal and professional development programs that enrich the lives of individuals, as well as the greater community. She has been involved in agriculture in some capacity her entire life and continues to be a strong supporter of the entrepreneurial farmer. Luisa has a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is currently working on her doctorate. She is also a proud member of the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii`s Class XII and currently serves as a Board Member of the Agricultural Leadership Program.
Edward Greenlee, CPA/PFS (HATA Vice President) As a CPA, financial planner, and Realtor one of my goals is to help clients diversify and utilize their assets for sustainability. My grandparents were farmers, but agritourism did not exist, and they struggled their entire life. Many of my clients are farmers and with a little out-of-the box thinking and legislative action and support, they can increase the various streams of revenues and keep the farm financially viable. We have the tourist, we have the farms, agriculture is Hawaii’s past and its future, now let’s support our farmers. I was first introduced to Agritourism in Oklahoma where the visible support for Oklahoma farmers has lead me to the point of wanting give back to Hawaii for allowing me share this paradise. I have served on numerous 501©(3) organizations as treasurer and director, including providing education to the officers and directors of their fiduciary duties with a nonprofit. I am graduate of the University of Texas BBA Management, and University of Central Oklahoma BS Accounting.
Christianna Kistler (HATA Secretary) is a travel planner, organizing environmentally and culturally-sensitive visitor experiences on the Big Island by providing personalized itineraries and guide services. With her company EXPLORE24 as point of access, Christianna advocates for unique, educational and sustainable guest opportunities in the hospitality industry drawing on her experiences as corporate identity consultant, product designer procuring ethically crafted product lines, and graduate in the field of anthropology. Her personal passion is supporting projects, in both public and private arenas, that provide innovative and economically viable ways to improve the health of our local Hawaiian economy and community, now and in the future.
Committed to the positive potential created through organizations like HATA, Christianna also directed a self-sustaining, membership-based not-for-profit devoted to educating urban gardeners and improving access to resources for those wanting to pursue agricultural activities as a source of income and nurture the health of their communities. This group was successful in furthering the causes of school gardens, community gardens, seed preservation, increased food security and amendments to city and state policy in support of these activities.
Zeada Pachecano (HATA Treasurer) is currently the Program Administrator and primary fiscal officer for EPSCOR, a division of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii (RCUH). She oversees the University’s National Science Foundation grant of $20 million, the largest grant RCUH manages. She has over 30 years of fiscal experience as a Division Manager at the University of California (at Davis) Medical Center and with Chevron Overseas Petroleum. She has served as a board member and treasurer of several youth athletic teams and leagues in Hawaii and California.
Marilyn Jansen Lopes (HATA Board Director) is the owner and creator of Maui Country Farm Tours LLC. Together with her husband Rick Lopes, she loves sharing Maui’s agricultural beauty. Marilyn is also a registered nurse licensed in Hawaii and California and the author of three books inspired by the Hawaiian Islands, the Amaryllis of Hawaii series. She is an organic gardener for over thirty years, an artist and designer with a passion for Hawaii. Her interests include cooking, gardening, and all the arts. She loves to sing and play ukulele on her tours. She hopes to inspire others to plant and to become a new generation of farmers in Hawaii. She sees the future as a series of cottage crops on all islands providing food and products for Hawaii and the world.
Kehaulani Lum (HATA Board Director) is Manager of Waiehu Land, LLC, a 114-acre farm in the North Hilo district of Hawai`i . Board member of Ali`i Pauahi Hawaiian Civic Club, she has helped create Mahi`ai `Ihi, a community-based social entrepreneurship project cultivating native plants, including maile, the islands’ most sacred lei. Board member of Hakipu`u Learning Center and Living Life Source Foundation, a healing center for wellness and sustainable living grounded in Native Hawaiian contemplative practice.A graduate of Punahou School, Ms. Lum attended Denison University, Universite Paris-Sorbonne-Paris IV, and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and holds a degree in French and Economics.
Nancy Ginter-Miller, CFEE (HATA Board Director) – owns her own company Produce to Product Inc. ‘Marketing Hawaii’s Bounty to the World’ and offer business counseling at the Hawaii Small Business Development Center in Kona. Nancy previously worked as the Keauhou Farmers Market manager for over five years and worked in the hospitality industry as Director of Sales for the Kona Village Resort, Hotel Hana Maui and managed the Kahala Hilton’s Los Angeles office. As a Certified Festival and Events Executive Nancy has also promoted events that focus on Farmer Chef Alliances with local farms, festivals featuring the Island’s bounty and agricultural tourism.
Pomai Weigert (HATA Trainer & Community Relations) specializes in training of all aspects of agricultural tourism. A freelance social media & marketing consultant for agribusiness & legacy farms, Pomai hails from a multi-generational, family-owned, Native Hawaiian Agri-Tourism Business in Hawaii (Alii Kula Lavender Farm). With a strong background in travel & tourism Pomai helps create new economic opportunities for agribusinesses by diversifying their revenue streams. She has travelled and facilitated workshops across the United States and Canada. Pomai also presented at the nationally televised inaugural TEDX Maui. Pomai instructed “AgriTourism: Marketing Your Farm as a Visitor Destination” and “Grassroots Marketing” for businesses at the University of Hawaii, Maui Campus. Pomai is a graduate of the Agricultural Leadership Program of Hawaii and is a board member of the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism on Maui.
Marta Lane (HATA Board Director) – Marta Lane is a Kauai Based food and farm writer and owner of Tasting Kauai, a website dedicated to local food. As Kauai’s resident “foodie,” she reports on farms and restaurants in her weekly columns Tastes of Kauai and Farmers Markets for Midweek Kauai. She is a member of the Kauai County Farm Bureau, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and the Farm Chairperson for the Garden Island Range & Food Festival. Visit TastingKauai.com for more information.
Margaret Stanley (HATA Board Director) is a retail professional specializing in operations management and marketing. Her career journey in retail began in 1981 in Las Vegas and eventually to Dallas before returning to Hawai`i in 2005. As a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising, Margaret secured a position with Neiman Marcus. She is a supporter of local economic growth and community leadership through involvement as a Board Director for the Hawai`i Island Chamber of Commerce and YWCA. She is also a charter organizing member of the Hawai`i Island Wedding Association.