Hawai‘i Island Leaders Join Omidyar Fellows

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Brad Bennett and Kyle Chock.

Brad Bennett (left) and Kyle Chock.

Omidyar Fellows has selected 14 emerging executives for its 2016-2017 program, including two from Hawai‘i Island—Brad Bennett and Kyle Chock.

Bennett, from Kaumana, is the complex area superintendent for the Department of Education Hilo-Waiakea Complex Area, where he has more than 14 years of experience. Most recently, he served as principal of Waiakeawaena Elementary for two years where he created and implemented the Five Year School Improvement Plan based Strive HI metrics and began the implementation of the Intent Based Leadership Initiative.

Bennett also served as principal of Ha‘aheo Elementary and vice principal of Ewa Elementary. He graduated from Kamehameha Schools and earned his bachelor’s degree in Asian-Pacific history and master’s degree in special education from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa.


Chock, from Kamuela, is the assistant executive secretary-treasurer of the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters, the largest construction union in the state of Hawai‘i, representing nearly 7,000 members. Chock manages the day-to-day operations of the union including membership service, contract negotiations, administration, trust funds, marketing, and political action.

Previously, he served as president of the Bishop Holding Corporation, the for-profit arm of Kamehameha Schools, and as executive director of the Pacific Resource Partnership, a progressive labor- management consortium between the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters and unionized contractors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa.

Chock is a past chairman and member of the State Land Use Commission and held board positions with Child and Family Services, Kapolei Chamber of Commerce, and the Nature Conservancy Corporate Council for the Environment.


The individuals making up the fifth cohort of Omidyar Fellows were selected based on their accomplishments and promise they show in professional and community leadership as well as their commitment to a bold vision for Hawai‘i’s future.

Each will have the opportunity to participate in the program that cultivates, trains, and develops local leadership for Hawai‘i.

“Each cohort of the Omidyar Fellows has grown together to create a community of leaders that work collaboratively to improve the future of our state, both in the program and beyond as they join the Forum of Fellows,” said Bill Coy, director of Omidyar Fellows. “I am pleased to welcome this inspiring group of leaders to the Omidyar Fellows as they embark on this journey of personal and professional development.”


Leaders from other island include:

  • Elisia Flores (Hawaii Kai, O‘ahu), vice president and chief financial officer, L&L Franchise, Inc.
  • Elizabeth Ignacio (Waialae Iki, Oahu), orthopedic surgeon and managing partner, IMUA Orthopedics, Sports & Health
  • Malia Kaaihue (Kaimuki, O‘ahu), president, DTL, a Hawaiian strategy studio
  • Nalani Fujimori Kaina (Hawai‘i Kai, Oahu), executive director, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
  • Micah A. Kane (Kaneohe, O‘ahu), president and chief operating officer, Hawaii Community Foundation
  • Shelee Kimura (Aiea Heights, O‘ahu), vice president of corporate planning and business development, Hawaiian Electric Company
  • Keoni Lee (Kaimuki, O‘ahu), co-founder and owner, Oiwi TV
  • Richard Matsuda (Waimea, Hawaii Island), chief of operations, W. M. Keck Observatory
  • Alicia Moy (Kakaako, O‘ahu), president and chief executive officer, Hawaii Gas
  • Cameron Nekota (Kaimuki, Oahu), vice president, D.R. Horton Schuler Homes LLC
  • Susan Tai Kaneko (Lihue, Kaua‘i), president and chief executive officer, Kauai Economic Development Board
  • Nicole Velasco (Lower Kalihi, O‘ahu), executive director, Office of Economic Development for the City & County of Honolulu

For biographies for each Omidyar Fellow, go online.

A program of the Hawaii Leadership Forum, Omidyar Fellows features a curriculum tailored to meet the individual needs of each participant. The initial 15-months of structured curriculum, which commences in October 2016, includes one full-day session each month, executive coaching, conversations with community, business, and government leaders, and more. Fellows of the previous cohorts have come together to form the Forum of Fellows, through which they remain connected as they grow their reach in their respective roles in the community, and create collective action as a community at practice.

For more information about Omidyar Fellows, go online.

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