- Laura Hokunani Edmunds Kaakua is the Native Lands Field Representative for The Trust for Public Land (TPL). Before joining TPL, Laura was Program Coordinator for Envision Hawai'i, a non-profit that brings together and trains young public servants and social entrepreneurs in Hawaii. Prior to that, she worked for Judge Greg Nakamura in the Hilo circuit court, Earthjustice in Honolulu, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in the Native Rights, Land and Culture division. Laura is a graduate of the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law, where she obtained an Environmental Law Certificate, and Boston College, where she majored in political science and communications.
- Dr. Dale Bonar earned his PhD in Marine Science at UH, after which he spent 16 years as a Professor of Zoology and Research Scientist at the Center of Marine Biotechnology, University of Maryland. Returning to the west coast he founded Aquatic Environmental Sciences, a consulting company for marine and freshwater coastal issues. Board service with a local Land Trust resulted in taking over directorship of the Northwest Program of the National Land Trust Alliance. In this position he worked with Land Trusts from Wyoming to Alaska, helping them grow and professionalize. He returned to Maui in 2002 to become Executive Director of the Maui Coastal Land Trust (now the statewide Hawaiian Islands Land Trust) and serves as chair of the Natural Areas Reserve System and the Legacy Land Conservation Commission. Hawaiian Islands Land Trust now protects over 17,000 acres of conservation lands in Hawaii.
- John Henshaw is the Director of Land Protection and Conservation Partnerships at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). He earned a B.S. in forestry from Humboldt State University and a M.S. in forest engineering from Oregon State University. He began his Forest Service career in 1978 in California as a zone logging engineer for Sierra and Sequoia national forests. From there, John held several positions with the National Forest Foundation, the Forest Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His last position in the Forest Service was the Pacific Rim Forest Legacy Program Manager (2003-2009). Forest Legacy is a land conservation program in the State and Private Branch of the Agency that works to promote the long-term integrity of forestlands. John covered a large area in managing this program including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and the Pacific Islands. In January of 2009, he retired from the US Forest Service with over 30 years experience. In February of 2009 he started a new career with the Nature Conservancy as the Director of Conservation and was responsible for all of the conservation work of TNC in Hawaii. In August 2010 he moved into his current job as the Director of Land Protection and Conservation Partnership, focusing on a major land acquisition program for TNC Hawaii and representing TNC Hawaii in several State-wide conservation partnerships.
- Doug Cole was raised on the North Shore of Oahu where he attended Sunset Beach Elementary School and Kahuku High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in History from the University of California at San Diego in 2000 and his law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Manoa in May 2010. Doug has served as the Executive Director of the North Shore Community Land Trust since January 2010. He has been involved with numerous North Shore community organizations including the Sunset Beach Community Association and the North Shore Neighborhood Board. Doug was also a founding board member of the Oahu Land Trust and helped with the collaboration that led to the recent formation of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust.