The 2023 Fellows

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Ted Anderson

Ted Anderson was born in Sacramento, California. He grew up in the Town of Folsom, California and spent time in Sierra Nevada Foothills learning to horseback ride and work at a quarter horse ranch. He received a Bachelors of Science in Organic/Biochemistry and later a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Marquette University. He and his wife Ann moved to Maui in 2008 to start Venture Physical Therapy serving initially focusing on underserved geriatric patients In-Home. They have since had three daughters and have opened practices on Lana’i, Molokai and soon to be Three Clinics on Maui. Ted has been motivated since high school to find areas and people in need a come up with creative ways to helping them. When not in the clinic, Ted can be found performing stand up comedy, serving the Maui Adult Daycare Board, and the Proart’s Board. 

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Steven Baptiste

Steven was born and raised in Puerto Rico before moving to Kaua’i at age 12, where he spent the rest of his childhood growing up on the north shore of Kaua’i near where his familyʻs kulāiwi is in Wainiha Valley. He graduated as senior class president from Island School on Kaua’i and attended the University of Puget Sound on a Deanʻs Scholarship. There he earned his Bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy and Philosophy and received the John & Kathryn Magee memorial scholar award. 

His primary goal since moving back home has been to develop an understanding of the place that has so profoundly shaped his identity, family, and Hawaiian ancestry, and to identify ways he can cultivate Kuleana for Hawai’i and its future. 

Since returning to Hawai’i, Steven has filled various leadership roles in pursuit of this goal. First as Supervisor at the Marriott Wailea Beach Resort, then as Clubhouse Director for the Ha’ikū Boys & Girls Club, and now he serves as the Director of Operations for Humble Tours, a hiking tour company leading guided hikes in Haleakalā National Park. 

He enjoys reading, writing, bodyboarding, philosophy, spending time outdoors with friends, and going to the gym. He is always intellectually curious, striving to be virtuous, and seeking new opportunities to learn. 

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Stephen Bennett

Originally from Palos Verdes, California, Stephen graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelors degree in psychology with a minor in public health administration. He also holds a masters degree in counseling psychology from Grand Canyon University.

Stephen is passionate about mentoring youth, helping them discover and develop their talents, and find ways to be independent productive members of society. He served as a Senior Director overseeing a team of educators and counselors in the largest network of afterschool programs in Staten Island, New York and was a member of both the Borough President’s Education Advisory Board and Substance Abuse Task Force.

A Maui resident since 2005, Stephen was fortunate to have hanai family here to introduce him to the depth and meaningfulness of the aloha spirit and other Hawaiian cultural values. Stephen has served the local community training foster parents and counseling youth through Maui Youth & Family Services Emergency Shelter and Therapeutic Foster Care Programs and served as Director of Operations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui. Stephen is currently head of Operations for Trilogy Excursions where he trains and develops staff to safely guide and educate visitors in how to enjoy the natural beauty and resources of our island with a spirit of conservation, respect, and aloha.

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Keapo Bissen

Keapo Bissen was born and raised on the island of Maui, in a deeply-rooted Hawaiian household where she learned the value of culture, community, and responsibility. 

After graduating from Kamehameha Schools – Maui, Keapo attended the University of Nevada at Las Vegas where she received her B.A. in Political Science. She then returned home and worked at the University of Hawaii Maui College to support intermediate, high school, and non-traditional students with their post-secondary ambitions. In this work she understood the importance of empowering and nurturing the next generation as future leaders within their communities.

In December 2018, Keapo was selected to participate in the Native American Political Leadership Program in Washington D.C.. The program expanded her knowledge of government and legislative affairs, and further deepened her sense of responsibility to the kaiaulu (community) and the ʻōpio (youth). After completing her internship in the office of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, she re-joined the office as a Daniel K. Akaka Fellow where she worked closely with senior staff on legislative research and outreach in areas of great impact and concern to both the Native Hawaiian and Native communities at-large.

In November 2021, Keapo joined Maui-rooted consulting firm Skog Rasmussen LLC as a Project Associate, building upon her work with various community members, organizations, and stakeholders.

Keapo is dedicated to public service and has been an active participant in various local, state, and federal programs. She looks forward to participating in the Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program to study the issues impacting Maui County and develop meaningful solutions in collaboration with other professionals, community members, and her peers.

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Allison Cleghorn

Allison was born and raised in beautiful upcountry Maui. She graduated from Seabury Hall before moving to Boulder, Colorado to obtain her Bachelorʻs Degree in Environmental Studies with the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute Certificate in 2015. During college, she worked in the Environmental Center in energy efficiency education and interned with the City of Boulder Energy Future program.

Shortly after graduation, her love for Maui brought her home. She joined the Maui Invasive Species Committee working on the Plant Crew targeting noxious weeds and then as the Community Engagement Liaison educating the public and leveraging community efforts in managing residential coqui frog populations. In 2020, Allison joined marine conservation with The Nature Conservancy and studied the differences between terrestrial and marine conservation strategies and the intrinsic connectivity of these systems.

Allison currently serves as the Environmental Coordinator in the Office of Climate Change, Resiliency, and Sustainability in the Office of the Mayor where she is responsible for coordinating with environmental organizations, managing grants, providing environmental guidance in the administration, and supporting environmental initiatives. In this role, she utilizes her field work experience to connect environmental policy to field implementation.

In her free time, Allison loves being with friends and family, free-diving, fishing, hiking, traveling, cultivating fruit trees, and learning about native plants.

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Patty Copperfield

Patty Copperfield was born in Wailuku, Maui, but was raised on Maui and Moloka‘i. After graduating from Moloka‘i High School, she became interested in business technology, which led to an entry-level position at Meyer Computer, Inc., a website design and digital marketing company in Wailuku.

Following an eight-year run in online marketing, Copperfield transitioned to a community-service-based career in 2013 as the Dispatcher for Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO). The hiring marked the beginning of a long rise in MEO’s Transportation Department. The following year, Copperfield became Scheduler responsible for fleet scheduling; in 2017, she entered management as the Customer Service & Community Relations Supervisor; and in August 2020, she became Operations Manager. She was promoted to Transportation Director, the top position in the department, in May 2021. Copperfield oversees the Human Services and Maui Bus ADA Paratransit systems with operations that serve kupuna, persons with disabilities, youth, low-income, and rural residents on Maui (including Hana), Moloka‘i, and Lana‘i. She manages a workforce of 75 employees based out of Pu’unene, Maui, and a fleet of 100 vehicles throughout Maui Nui.

Copperfield grew up learning valuable lifelong skills to be a steward of the land and sea from her maternal grandfather, Alfredo Rin, Sr., along Kamalo, Moloka’i’s shores. Moloka‘i will always be Home for her as she continues to find ways to contribute to the future of the Maui Nui community. She is committed to ensuring that Hana, Lana’i, and Moloka’i have access to Maui resources that allow families to survive and thrive.

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Kanoelani Davis

Kanoelani Davis comes from the island of Molokainuiahina. She is a single mother of four daughters, two of which have gone off to college, both with bachelor’s degrees and one working towards a master’s in counseling. Kanoelani, raised by her grandparents, was enveloped in martial arts, healing, hula, and indigenous Hawaiian culture. From the age of two, she has carried on these traditions into adulthood and into the work she does today. She lifts her papa’s name Sifu, ʻōlohe, Kahu Pono Francis Leialoha C Wong, to whom she credits much of her knowledge. 

Davis is the owner of PoMahina Designs, a wearable art company imbued in essence and culture. Steeped in reviving elemental ancient names & stories of old through geometry and line art, each piece is filled with mythology and history. 

Davis is a multi-preneur with three companies, one of which embraces her daily Mana Bombs or truth bombs. It empowers and enriches. Mana Bombs, LLC offers podcasts of experiential moments that perhaps many have gone through to support growth and well-being while opening opportunities for Ho’ā Mana (indigenous healing arts) through workshops and individual sessions. She recently opened Aloha Always, LCC; a meaningful jewelry company that is geared toward a nationwide audience. 

Davis is also the co-founder of Ho’akā Mana (to strike with intention) a Native Hawaiian Organization: Mālama kekahi i kekahi me ka hō’ā mālama. Strengthening indigenous identity as a community to thrive in adversities sustainably through skill-sets, self-sovereignty, and healing. Its mission is to inspire healthier families by connecting ‘ohana to Native Hawaiian practices focusing on emotional & mental well-being by establishing indigenous identity foundations through experience and education. 

Kanoelani is an educator & cultural curriculum specialist through her work as Ho’a ‘Ike. Her work helped develop the substance-use and prevention curriculum called Puni Ke Ola which has been recognized by state, federal, and worldwide. Davis now shares this work with college professors, teachers, health care providers, and after-school programs as a train-the-trainer model. 

The core of Kanoelani is being a hula practitioner and Kumu hula. She has just recently opened up her doors, Ka Pa Hula O Hina I Ka Po La’ila’i in 2022 bringing back the foundation of how everything evolved for her in her companies, her community work, her culture, and her ‘ohana.  

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Serena Fukushima

Born and raised in Kaneʻohe, Oʻahu, Serena has always felt a deep connection and desire to protect Hawaiʻ’;s environment. This led her to pursue a Bachelorʻs degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. After graduating college in 2010, she joined the inaugral year-round Kupu internship cohort working at Papahana Kuaola. In 2012, Serena moved to Maui to assist the Kū No Ka Pono O Haleakalā Internship Program at Haleakalā National Park, working with over 100 middle school, high school, and college-aged students across Maui Nui. She co-founded Nā Hua Hoʻohuli i ka Pono (NHHP) in 2015, a Maui-based intern program devoted to growing the next generation of conservation leaders. That same year, she returned to UH Mānoa, earning a Masters of Education in Curriculum Studies, her thesis serving as the basis of a rigorous, multi- disciplinary curriculum for NHHP.

Serena became the Public Relations and Education Specialist for the Maui Invasive Species Committee in 2020. Her favorite aspects of this position are sharing about Hawaiʻi’s environment in classrooms and the community, writing monthly conservation-based articles for the Maui News, training tourism professionals in the Maui Mauka Conservation Awareness Training Program, and more.

Serena is an avid hunter alongside her husband, Clinton, controlling wild deer and pigs on his family’s fourth-generation farm in their free time. An avid gardener, she grows almost all of the fresh produce she and her ʻohana eat, which fuels her other passion for cooking and creating new recipes with locally sourced ingredients.

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Courtney Ikawa

With 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Courtney currently serves as the Maui Regional Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii where she leads a team to provide one-to-one mentoring opportunities for Maui youth who face adversity in their young lives and experience the loss of a valuable connection.  She also coordinates various program activities and special events for the organization.  Courtney was named the Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations’ Emerging Leader in 2019 and is a board member at-large for the Maui Nonprofit Directors Association. 

Born and raised on Maui, Courtney is a proud graduate of Maui High School.  She returned home after receiving a B.A. in Criminal Justice and Minor in Psychology from Seattle University to work with teens and their families at Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Inc.  This is where she realized her passion for serving the community and empowering others to reach their full potential, especially our youth.  Courtney earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2016. 

Courtney loves spending time with her husband, Lane, and four-year-old son, Lennox.  She enjoys being outdoors, running, and getting together with her family and friends.

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Lauren Matsushita

Lauren Matsushita was born and raised on the island of Maui.  For the past two years, she served as a Senior Financial Analyst in the Financial Planning & Analysis department at Maui Health.  Beginning September 2022 she transitioned into a new role within the hospital as a Construction Project Manager.  Lauren received a Master of Health Administration from the University of Southern California (USC) and Master of Accountancy from The George Washington University (GW).  She received her Bachelor of Science in Global Business from the University of Redlands.  Prior to moving home in 2020, Lauren was working and living in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.  She is actively involved in helping coach tennis at the Wailuku Junior Tennis Club.  In her spare time, Lauren loves traveling, hiking, and has recently taken up pickleball.     

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Lin McEwan

Lin McEwan (Thieman) is the Executive Director of ProArts Playhouse in Kihei and is grateful for a role that allows her to be of service to the community while also indulging her great love of arts and culture. She originally hails from Baltimore, graduated from Vanderbilt University, and spent nearly a decade in New York City working in both affordable housing and the performing arts. After a gap year circling the globe in her early thirties, Lin landed in the Caribbean, where she first fell in love with island life. Eight years ago, she made the move to Maui, where she was immediately welcomed as an actor into the wonderful theatre ‘ohana. By this means, and through her 5 years of work in the substance abuse treatment, she found ways of giving back to the island community with which she had so immediately fallen in love. In what little spare time she has, she enjoys biking, hiking, paddleboarding, and occasionally returning to the stage herself. She has volunteered with numerous community organizations over the years and serves many through her work at ProArts.

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Lauren Nelson 

Lauren Nelson serves as the Maui County Food Access Coordinator, working with the Maui Nui Food Alliance and the Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute. Influenced by her experiences as a farmer, a nutrition and climate change consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and as a youth leader in the Slow Food Movement, Lauren works to build farmer-led policies that support sustainable food production while increasing food access, biocultural diversity, and community health. Lauren lives in Kula, Maui where she tends a small garden.

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Jason Strahn

Growing up on Maui in the 80’s and then moving to Montana, has given Jason a unique perspective on American cultures.  One of five brothers, Jason returned to Maui in 2005.   Jason holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Montana State University with emphasis on Graphic Design and Marketing.   He is one of founding members of Power Up Comedy, and owns several small businesses: JS Design,  Braddah J Aloha Shirts, Carl Pfaff legacy LLC, & Bad Friend LLC.

Jason also currently works as the Art Director & Pre-press Manager at Maui Printing Company, and sits on the Board of Directors for ProArts Playhouse in Kihei.

In his spare time, Jason is an avid reader,  and enthusiast of films, theater, cooking, whiskey, mead making, swimming, snorkeling and is currently learning the guitar. His plans for the future include play writing and travel.

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Theo Stiller

As a Financial Coach with WestPac Wealth Partners, I feel that I have achieved a great deal in my professional career. My idea of success comes from helping other people live their best lives possible. I enjoy networking and meeting new and interesting people. I have achieved multiple high-level goals as well as served on several volunteer organizations. I specialize in business/estate planning, retirement planning, and asset protection. I work closely with each of my clients to customize a plan that will work with their specific lifestyle and coach my clients to enjoy every day to the fullest.

I have a multicultural background as I was born in Hawaii and lived in Europe for 6 years. I love to travel and learn about different people and cultures, play soccer, and spend time with friends and family. When I am not at the office or meeting with people, I love spending time with my beautiful wife and my 6 children: my sons Luca and Milo, my triplets: Maia, Matthias, and Marley, and new daughter Isla. In 2018, I moved to Maui to open the office on the beautiful Valley Isle.

My time at United States Military Academy at West Point Academy as well as my military service has provided me with the discipline and dedication needed to achieve my dreams both personally and professionally.

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

RoAnn Viloria

Born and raised on the beautiful island of Maui, RoAnn grew up in Kihei and is a 2015 Maui High Graduate. 

RoAnn is an Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Project Coordinator for the Department of Health. She directly collaborated on two programs federally sponsored 

by the White House, Centers for Disease Control, and Health Resource and Services Administration that drove free self-test kits into our schools and community. Her contributions led to ordering 200,000 Covid-19 self tests for the island of Maui. She collaborated with community-based organizations to get tests to the most vulnerable and marginalized community members. 

RoAnn is also a health consultant for Valley Isle Home Care whose mission is to provide affordable home care services to the Maui Community. She is the director of worksite wellness and the community event coordinator for the organization. 

In 2018, RoAnn graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health Policy at the University of California, Irvine. Then in 2021, she obtained her Master’s Degree in Public Health at West Coast University. Once she finished her education, she knew it was time to come back home to Maui. 

RoAnn believes in giving back to the community that has raised her and wants to positively impact Maui Nui. She is a strong public health advocate and hopes to spread Public Health Service throughout her community.

In her free time, she enjoys pau hana time with her loved ones, staying active, and most importantly, traveling the world to eat good food.

2023 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow

Jayson Watts

Jayson Watts is the Director of External Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at Mahi Pono, LLC.  Focused on addressing Hawaii’s food security issues, the company is transforming 41,000 acres of vacant sugar cane land into a thriving diversified agriculture hub in Maui’s central plain.

A graduate of Baldwin High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Watts has a history of building sustainable community development initiatives and public-private partnerships.

Before joining Mahi Pono in 2019, Jayson served as special assistant to the Director of the Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and as senior advisor to Hawaii Lieutenant Governors Shan Tsutsui and Doug Chin.

Prior to that, he served as deputy sergeant at arms of the Hawaii State Senate, as Legislative Director to the Hawaii State Senate Majority Caucus Leader; and as a congressional intern and staff assistant to the late U.S. Representative Patsy T. Mink.

Watts currently serves on the Board of Directors of Maui United Way, Hawaii Food Industry Association, Board Secretary of the Maui County Farm Bureau, and as a Secretary of Commerce appointee to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Hawaii Pacific Export Council. 

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Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows

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Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows
153 E Kamehameha Ave
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