President - Rufina Kaʻauwai, her husband Wayne and 4 children were all born and raised on Moloka’i. She grew up a homesteader, when farming wasn’t a job, but a way of life. Her ancestors the Makaiwi ohana came from Waikapu, Maui where they were known for their ability to live off of the land, and became the pioneers of the first Hawaiian homesteads in Ho’olehua, Moloka’i. She is a small business owner and lives on a one acre homestead in Ho’olehua where her goal is to create a sustainable homestead/food forest/farm to increase her family’s food security and provide other economic opportunities. She then hopes to inspire other families to do the same.
Rufina believes in aloha ’āina (love of the land) and taking care of the land that takes care of us. Since 2014 she has helped to host beach cleanups on the north shore of Moloka’i in cooperation with Sustainable Coastlines Hawai’i. In 2019 she helped start an egg cohort with Sustainable Moloka’i which created 20 small egg producing farms on Moloka’i over a 2 year period. She is a driven mana wahine (woman of strength) who looks forward to doing great things for her lāhui (people).
Vice President - Kilia Purdy-Avelino is a 4th generation homesteader of Hoʻolehua, Molokai. She is married to Justin Kawaiʻaeʻa Avelino of Hilo and has four daughters. She graduated from Molokai High School and continued her higher education at the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani earning her Bachelors in Hawaiian Studies and her Teacher Certification and Masters degree in Indigenous Language and Culture Education. Kilia is currently a student of Chaminade’s Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership for Adaptation and Change with a focus on Indigenous Leadership.
Besides her passion for cultural education, Kilia is actively involved in her community serving on her homestead association board and volunteering in conservation and community efforts. Exiting the public school sector and homeschooling her own keiki in 2011, she co-founded OLA (ʻOhana Learning Alliance) Molokaʻi, a not-for-profit program for homeschooled keiki and their ʻohana and continues to voluntarily run the program.
Treasurer - Lexis Maire Kalawe was born and raised on Hawaiian homestead. Throughout her life she has always noticed the mismanagement and miscommunication of land use.
She is dedicated to healing the land from the soil to sky together as a community.