Our Islands, Our Future


“Pathways to Our Future,” the annual dinner and auction to benefit the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) Ke Alahele Education Fund, was held at the Fairmont Kea Lani Resort in Wailea on August 20th. The 2016 event, celebrating the Fund’s 10th year, provided a fun, educational and inspirational look at MEDB’s statewide STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs. Over 550 guests enjoyed an exciting lineup of activities, bid on a myriad of items during the popular Apples for Education live and silent auctions and competed in teams during a Family Feud-style game – STEM edition. Besides hosting distinguished guests U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui and his wife Lynette, and Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and his wife Ann, the event raised an impressive $331,800. “Thanks to generous businesses and other community stakeholders, we have touched thousands of students,” said MEDB President & CEO Jeanne Unemori Skog. “Donors help support the teaching, tools, and experiences that will prepare our youth for STEM careers.”

MEDB proudly announced the 2016 honorees of the Daniel K. Inouye Innovation Award who demonstrated the most creative use of STEM tools and capabilities to best serve our community. First place winners, Lanai High and Elementary School students, Jasmine and Keona Conroy-Humphrey, used the geospatial software training they received in their MEDB STEMworks™ lab for their project, Lanai Fire Hydrant Collection. “We produced an Esri electronic map to geolocate fire hydrants for the Lanai Water Company,” said Jasmine and Keona. “The Esri Collector app helped locate the longitude and latitude of each fire hydrant allowing the water company and fire department faster access to the fire hydrants from their computers and phones. Our goal, to geolocate the information in a timely manner, was to help make Lanai a safer place.”

“We are so proud of all our STEM students,” said Skog. “MEDB’s programs offer a fantastic opportunity for students of different backgrounds, skill levels, and affinities to get together and create an amazing service for the community!”

The annual Daniel K. Inouye Innovation Award was created to inspire students and to encourage them in STEM pursuits that would include the community and make life better for our citizens.

Jennifer Goto-Sabas, Director of the Daniel K. Inouye Institute Fund