REPORT FROM OFFICE OF US BRIAN SCHATZ – Senator Brian Schatz has selected five field representatives with proven records of leadership from across Hawai‘i to serve as his regional liaisons to the community. The field representatives are:
• Clyde Kodani (Kaua‘i)
• Marlena Castro Dixon (East Hawai‘i Island)
• Kari Luna Nunokawa (Maui)
• Helen Nielsen (Maui)
• Bryan Andaya (O‘ahu)
Senator Schatz picked a broad group of individuals that will serve as community liaisons to ensure that the people of Hawai‘i are engaged with his office at the grass roots level.
“Our team is up and running. Clyde, Marlena, Kari, Helen, and Bryan have a wealth of knowledge about their communities and are dedicated to public service,” said Senator Schatz. “They will be my eyes and ears on the ground and bridges between their communities and me, so that I can work with the delegation to make the best decisions for all the people of Hawai`i.”
Clyde Kodani received a MS in Transportation Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS in Civil Engineering at the University of the Pacific, California. He currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Kodani & Associates Engineers, LLC, and is the President of the Kaua`i Society of Professional Engineers, Architects, and Land Surveyors. For six years, Clyde served as the Kaua`i Field Representative for U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka. He was previously a member of the Board of Regents and the Board of Directors for the Research Corporation for the University of Hawaii.
Marlena Castro Dixon is a graduate of Hilo High School and earned a BS of Science in Psychology and a MS of Science in Health Education from the University of New Mexico. Marlena is an Epidemiological Specialist for the Hawai`i Department of Health Disease Investigation Branch since 2008. Prior to that, she was a Public Health Educator for the STD/AIDS Prevention Branch, also for the Department of Health. Before returning to Hilo, Marlena earned a position as a Research Fellow with St. Joseph Community Health in Albuquerque, where she designed and implemented diabetes education programs. Born and raised in Hilo, Marlena has deep roots in her community. A mother of one (Aiden), Marlena moved back to Hilo in 2006 with her husband Ryan (civil engineer for the County of Hawai`i) to work in the community she grew up in and to raise a family.
Kari Luna Nunokawa was born and raised on Maui and graduated from H.P. Baldwin High School. Currently, she is the Director of Pai Ka Mana, Student Support Services Program at the University of Hawaii Maui College. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at University of Washington; Master of Science in Counseling Psychology degree from Chaminade University; and her Doctorate of Education from University of Southern California. Kari started her community service career interning for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka in Washington D.C., and continued to work for Senator Akaka in 2006. Kari is the head tennis coach at Wailuku Junior Tennis Club and also the head coach of the H.P. Baldwin High School Boys and Girls Tennis Teams. In her personal life, Kari is married to Craig Nunokawa and they have two children.
Helen Nielsen is a resident of Maui County and a commercial property owner and manager. She is a founding member of Maui Coastal Land Trust, which is now merged into statewide land conservation organization Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. Previously, Helen served as the President of the Maui Japanese Chamber of Commerce, participating in Sister City relationship between Fukuyama, Japan and Maui County, as well as participating in several community building events in both Fukuyama and on Maui with the business community in Fukuyama. Helen was a recipient of Kahului Rotary’s Mike Lyons’ Palaka Award in 2011 for exemplary volunteer service.
Bryan Andaya was born in Honoka‘a. He serves as the Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of L&L Franchise, Inc., which has over 180 restaurant locations in 13 states as well as overseas in American Samoa, Japan, China, New Zealand, and Korea. Bryan currently serves as the President of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce and the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Filipino Community Center. Bryan is also the President of Hawaii 88-01, LLC, a Real Estate Investment Trust based in Hawai‘i with emphasis in residential real estate. In 2011, he was named the Pacific Business News “Young Business Leader of the Year,” the top award in the “Forty Under 40 program.” In 2010, Bryan was also selected as Hawaii Business Magazine’s “20 to Watch for the Next 20 Years.”
The position for the West Hawai`i field representative is in the process of being filled. The field representatives may be contacted by calling 808-523-2061.