President, John Dobovan is the founder of Kulahaven Farms, a trout hatchery and aquaponics operation. His unique system design is based on lessons learned with a successful aquaponics operation on Oahu in 2012. John has a degree in Sustainable Tropical Crop Production and is a mentor with the Farm Apprentice Mentorship (FAM) program of the Hawai’i Farmers Union United (HFUU).
Vice President, Reba O'Day, along with her partner Devin Lopez, owns and operates Birds With Arms Farms, a third generation tropical fruit farm, focused on mangosteen, spanning 25 acres in Haiku, HI. She also represents Hawaii in the Beginning Farmer Institute class of 2018 through the National Farmer's Union. Reba and Devin run a booth at the local farmers market selling fresh pressed sugarcane juice and raw hearts of palm as well as sprouts and any other produce in season. You can find her on Instagram @farmerreba or on Facebook at Birds With Arms Farms and read her blog on the website birdswitharmsfarms.com.
Board of Directors
Director, Harriet Witt - is an international-award winning science writer who does astronomy as “edu-tainment” for Maui’s visitor industry. While growing her own kalo, sweet potatoes, veggies, fruit and herbs, she is developing a “farmers almanac for the only planet in the known universe that supports human life.” Harriet serves on the Education Committee chaired by Phyllis Robinson.
Director, Erika Hampton, retired from a large South Florida fire department at the end of 2013 to pursue her passion for farming. She is always looking for opportunities to learn and share information about growing food organically. Passionate about encouraging others to plant seeds, start a garden, and to grow their own food. Her motto, "Plants grow themselves, things want to live, you can't mess this up!" A self taught plant enthusiast she excels at creating functional garden spaces that provide food without skimping of beauty. Proficient in the art of bonsai, a collector of orchids, succulents, and native plants. Maui affords Erika the opportunity to play in the dirt all day, every day of the year.
Director, Loretta Slyh - enjoyed a 40 year career in the travel industry. She lived the dream of experiencing many different cultures. One common denominator was the food and sometimes the wine. She found that even if she didn’t speak the language she was able to communicate through the food; how it was grown and how it was prepared. Loretta also had a certified organic vegetable garden in Northern California and catered to some trendy boutique restaurants in the area. "I would love to share my experience with HFUU."
HFUU Bylaws, Section 6.2 Standing Committees
Legislation - The Legislative Committee, assisted by the Policy Committee, shall establish legislative goals at the state level based on suggestions and recommendations from the membership and shall consult on county and community level policy-making. The Legislative Committee shall participate collaboratively with the Policy Committee, coalitions, organizations, and agencies to articulate, promote and work to establish legislation and policies that align with the mission and vision of the HFUU. The Legislative Committee shall meet prior to the annual meeting and receive resolutions presented by members of local Chapters. It is recommended all resolutions to be acted upon at any annual meeting shall be presented to the Legislative Committee Chair at least one week prior to the opening of the annual meeting. Additionally, for HFUU internal matters, the Legislative Committee shall draft suitable resolutions and policy proposals expressing the wishes or sentiments of the members on any matters of general concern to them, and submit them to the annual meeting for approval. On being approved, such resolutions shall require the HFUU Board of Directors and members to strive for the fulfillment of wishes or decisions so expressed.
Policy - OPEN - The Policy Committee may meet prior to the annual meeting to prepare rules of procedure for the transaction of business of the meeting and to consider and propose changes in the articles or bylaws for consideration of the members. The Policy Committee shall assist the Legislative Committee in determining the policy goals and objectives of the members by survey of member views, solicitation of Chapter Resolutions or other means as the Legislative Committee or its Chair may request..
Finance - Melissa Jenks-Olivit - The Finance Committee shall consist of the Treasurer from each chapter. The committee Chair shall be the HFUU State Treasurer. The Chair shall be responsible for accurate monthly and quarterly financial reporting to the HFUU Board of directors. The committee members shall be responsible for accurate monthly and quarterly financial reporting to the committee Chair. All financial reporting shall be recorded and approved by the HFUU CPA on a quarterly basis, and Federal, State and County Tax liabilities managed in accordance with the laws thereof.
Membership - Loretta Slyh - Meet as needed to discuss ways to attract new members to the Chapters and State Division, to bring the message of HFUU to our communities, and to sustain and enhance the existing membership. The Membership Committee will provide support at meetings, events, and programs held throughout the state, create surveys to stay current with our membership and with our demographics, and report all results and suggestions to the HFUU Board of Directors. This committee will also address the continual expansion of member benefits.
Education - Phyllis Robinson - Establish educational goals and activities including scholarships at the state level based on suggestions or recommendations from the membership. The Education Committee shall liaison with the respective committees at the HFUU Chapters to prioritize educational goals and to plan educational activities at the state, county, and community levels. The Education Committee should also network with educational institutions and other agencies in the state and at the federal level to cooperate in conducting educational programs and to stay updated with current educational opportunities.
Co-ops - The Co-op Committee serves as a resource in cooperative education for HFUU, planning and presenting cooperative educational events at the annual meeting and other meetings/venues as approved by the State Board of Directors. It shall organize, develop and distribute cooperative educational materials, track, network and promote cooperative initiatives in Hawai‘i.
Communications - Keith Ranney - The communications committee shall consist of one member from each chapter to facilitate internal communication as well as external communication. The committee chair shall be appointed by the HFUU State Chapter President, and shall be responsible for timely and accurate communications with HFUU membership. Committee members shall consist of the local chapter presidential appointees. Keith is also the HFUU statewide communications director.
Chapter Level Committees
Sustainable Ag -Buddy Nichols - This is currently not a state level committee and is a sub-committee of the Education Committee. It is formed to support farmers with planning and implementation of their operations that are in alignment with the policies of the HFUU. Writing business plans and seeking funding for the various operations in the Haleakalā chapter jurisdiction shall be in the purview of this committee.
Real Property - Hugh Starr - The Real Property Committee was formed to serve the Haleakala Chapter with the intention to support and assist our farmers through the writing of mutually beneficial contracts and leases with agricultural landowners. This committee shall advise the Board on land sales and transfers of significance in the Haleakala Chapter jurisdiction. This committee shall support the building of relationships with the agricultural property owners to support the mission of vibrant and prosperous agriculture communities throughout the Haleakala Chapter jurisdiction.