Ray Maki, owner and operator of Permaculture Kauai since 1996, is a twenty year resident and active organic farmer on Kauai. Specializing in Permaculture, agroforestry, Natural Farming, native tropical landscapes, and commercial organic production systems, Maki is a graduate of three Permaculture design courses, and has been offering consultation, beginning and advanced training in permaculture and agroforestry in Hawaii. Ray is a trained builder, herbalist, and massage therapist, and seeks to bring a holistic, ecological approach to design and implementation of ag and residential living systems. He is the Kaua’i representative for the Hawaii Farmer’s Union.
Secretary / Interim Treasurer
Michelle joined Aqua Engineers, Inc. in 2001 and has served in many roles from accounting and operational support to her current role as the Marketing Specialist. She takes great pride in working for the 100% employee owned, environmental award winning company which owns, operates and maintains water and wastewater utilities throughout Hawaii, keeping communities safe, clean and sustainable.
Michelle currently serves as Chair-Elect for the Kauai Chamber of Commerce. In 2015 under the Kauai Chamber she organized the Kauai Military Affairs Council in which she continues to Chair. She was appointed to sit on the Wilcox Hospital Foundation board and the Amercian Cancer Society – Kauai board.
From 1998 – 2010 she supported her significant other of 20 plus years, Daryl Kaneshiro, as Campaign Treasurer and Coordinator for the Kauai County Council. Currently she assists in the administration of Omao Ranch Lands as an agricultural home site development and a family ranch that owns and operates over 700 head of sheep contracted to graze three solar farms from 300 KW to 12 MW in size on Kauai. Her greatest passion and accomplishment to date besides raising her daughter, was her work with the American Cancer Society’s Hoedown for Hope Gala from 2009 to 2015 of which she co-founded. Michelle is in her 5th year of remission with her own battle with cancer from stage IV Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and was honored to be featured as a Hawaii Pacific Health Reason Story in 2014.
Grant Overton is the cofounder and CEO of Vespucci Collective Inc., a Hawaii-based industrial hemp company specializing in high-tech agriculture and renewable product manufacturing. He is a vocal supporter of the industrial hemp industry, helping to lobby local legislation that will enable a prosperous future for Hawaii. Grant has a background in the legal medical cannabis business with experience in a variety of areas, especially cultivation. He is also a avid laboratory researcher, specializing in genetics and cell biology.
Lelle is owner of Lelle Vie Hawaiian Artisan Spa & Botanical Bar on the Big Island and Maui Hemp Spa where she is an artisan distiller and perfumer who sources botanicals directly from Hawaiian and exotic farms. She has dedicated her life to educating and connecting others with botanical extraction and distillation of Hawaiian botanicals through private lessons and workshops.
Gail Byrne Baber has a passion for protecting open spaces, including agricultural lands, and has coordinated numerous natural resource management projects on a landscape and watershed scale. Gail has considerable experience with non-profit organizations. She founded two non-profits and has served as executive director or board member for several others. She also has two degrees in civil engineering. Gail is married to Cab Baber, who has been farming organically in Hawaii for 35+ years and is intimately familiar with the challenges and blessings of growing and building a farm. Gail, Cab, and their daughter live in Kohala on the island of Hawaii (aka Big Island).
Earth Matters Organic Farm, Ocean View HI, from 2005 to present. Our first farm was 1 ½ acre site on catchment water system. We sold all greens and produce for the Kona farmers markets and to 3 restaurants on Hilo side. Farm closed during the drought due to extreme water bills. At the farm we were hosts to over 75 interns / volunteers, teaching small scale organic farming techniques to student/ volunteers though out the USA. The curriculum was to start with the soil and see the process through to the harvest. The students were taught to make soil through our on site hand process. To weed by hand and have the garden on a rotation feeding schedule. Harvest and packing for the customers and then how to make value added products from the garden.
The new! Earth Matters Organic Farm, South Point Location. After searching for over a year we finally found a 3acre property on South Point Rd. with soil and county water, we have started over from scratch. We have now hosted over 100 interns / volunteers at our farm. The site was a large holding area for cattle in the 50’s and 60’s, we have built a packing shed, outhouse, and 4 greenhouses in the last 2 and a half years. We started a CSA, community supported agriculture box service for 3 years, and we had 30 plus boxes going out weekly to the Ka’u community. We use small scale organic farming techniques, from soil restoration, making fertilizer with the Master Cho Korean Natural farming techniques, pest management made on site with organic products from the island, seed saving, harvesting, weed control, pig control and value added products.
In 2017 we applied for the industrial hemp seed HDOA contract to grow and research genetics for the state of Hawaii. Green Hawaii Genetics was one of three companies that were selected for the project. For 18 months we were able to produce enough seed for the state to sell to farmers that applied and approved for the hemp project. In 2018, I applied for a Hemp Pilot Program license and was awarded the license in December 2018. I have been growing and research genetics over the last 4 years. We have our own Hawaiian grown product line and seed company, Earth Matters (Hemp and Genetics).
At the present time we are preparing to upscale our farm and develop large scale growing biomass for extraction.
Over the years I have been very involved with Hawaii state legislation and the HDOA. I am on the board of the Hawaii Hemp Farmers Association, which is very involved in bringing hemp to Hawaii. We are the southern most hemp farm in the USA, our farm is off grid and carbon free, Earth Matters uses organic methods of farming and pesticide control.
Jared Dalgamouni is the founder and Managing Director of HC Ventures Inc – which owns the CBD manufacturing brands Hawaiian Choice (www.hawaiianchoice.com) and Rare Cannabinoid Company (www.rarecannabinoidco.com). HC Ventures Inc. has been manufacturing high end CBD products in Hawaii since 2018 and is currently stocked in 150+ retailers. Jared was born and raised in Honolulu, then went to UC Berkeley to study finance at the Haas Business School and then moved to the United Kingdom for 15 years to take the role as Finance Director in a large leisure company with several large capacity nightclubs, restaurants and music festivals. He spent 2 years in this role and then founded and ran for 13 years the UK’s largest outdoor event catering company, called Peppermint Events (www.peppermintevents.co.uk ). This business was sold in 2015 to a publicly held company and he returned with his wife and children to Hawaii. He became interested in hemp after being invited to participate as a consultant in a business plan for setting up a hemp farm in Nevada, and felt that Hawaii had a niche opportunity for luxury CBD brand incorporated local ingredients. These products are made in bulk in downtown Honolulu, and bottled and labeled in Waipio. He currently lives in Manoa on Oahu.