Bryan Mayer is with Maui Nui Venison and is at the forefront of the craft butchery movement. He has lectured and conducted workshops with the James Beard Foundation, Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, American Grassfed Association, American Lamb Board, Culinary Institute of America, and Savory Institute, in addition to his consulting work with farmers, slaughterhouses, and processors, throughout the US and the world.
Bryan has been featured in and written for Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Esquire, Men’s Health, and appeared on Tasting Table, Eater, Jezebel, and the Rachel Ray Show. He wrote the “Ask Your Butcher” column for Zero Point Zero’s Food Republic.
Pomai Weigert is an AgBusiness Marketing Consultant with GoFarm Hawaii, a statewide program that develops new farmers & provides business support for ag-related businesses. She serves as an advisor for the Hawaii Agritourism Association and is a board member for the Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii and Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau. She is currently on the Hawaii Tourism Authority Destination Management Action Plan steering committees for Maui & Hawaii Island and works in partnership with HTA & County governments to develop agritourism capacity for the state.
Dave Evans has been working in the travel and tourism industry for more than four decades and has been in higher education at Kapi‘olani Community College since 1994. He started his career managing hotels and held many key hospitality roles at Outrigger Hotels and Robert’s Hawaii, serving as a general manager, director of operations, and director of marketing for a national franchise operation.
As a professor, and now department chair at Kapi‘olani Community College’s hospitality and tourism education department (HOST), Evans has taught a wide range of courses related to destination development, hotel operations management, revenue management and strategic leadership. The HOST program emphasizes the importance of regenerative tourism with a specific focus on perpetuating indigenous cultures unique to destinations.
Linguist, author, and filmmaker Helena Norberg-Hodge will share her ideas about localism and her vision for an “economics of happiness.” Hodge is also the founder of international non-profit organization Local Futures, a pioneer of the new economy movement and will speak about revitalizing cultural and biological diversity and strengthening local communities. Her latest book is Local is Our Future: Steps to an Economics of Happiness.
Dabney Gough oversees marketing, customer support, and community partnerships at Farm Link Hawaiʻi, an online portal that connects local growers and buyers via their innovative online marketplace and supply-chain infrastructure, making it easy for Oʻahu families to discover and purchase local food. Gough has held marketing leadership positions at Whole Foods Market, San Francisco’s Bi-Rite Market, and Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
Mike Pollard and his wife Rhonda moved to Hawaii from Southern California over a decade ago. Mike grew up in central California on his family’s farm. Upon graduating high school, his dad, Ken, proposed that he either take over the family farm or attend college. Mike chose the college route and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Having worked in aerospace and defense for most of his career, Pollard most recently was a Senior Engineer at the W.M. Keck Observatory on Hawaii’s Big Island. Returning to his farm roots however, Pollard and his wife purchased Kahi Ola Mau Farm, and over the course of five years, turned it into the beautiful place that it is today and started making delicious chocolate. Now Mike flies his dad to Kahi Ola Mau Farm twice a year for special projects that require his ‘expert’ touch.
Kevin Yim is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for FCH Enterprises, the parent brand of Zippy’s Restaurants and its affiliated companies. Prior to Zippy’s, he led marketing teams at other iconic Hawaii brands, such as Hawaiian Airlines and Bank of Hawaii.
Committed to building robust local food systems, Adam Watten is an expert in vertical supply chain integration and product procurement. As an entrepreneur and Executive Chef he brings decades of experience in the food industry to the Common Ground team. His expertise in vertical supply chain integration is evidenced in his founding of Hanai Market, a local food retail outlet that exclusively sold Kauai-grown and Kauai-made products to the local market.
Ryan is a native Hawaiian journalist, writer, and startup founder based in Honolulu. With over 25 years of experience in making media, Ozawa is a regular contributor to every major media outlet in the Aloha State, explaining and promoting local technology and innovation. He is a tech columnist for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and he publishes Hawaii Bulletin, a Meta-funded newsletter. An independent business and technology consultant, he is also the Pacific News Editor for Decrypt, a Web3 news outlet. At the University of Hawaii, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of Ka Leo O Hawaii, the then-daily campus newspaper.
A graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi Kūhiō Lewis is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA). Under Lewis’ leadership, CNHA expanded its services to the Native Hawaiian community and the broader public through the establishment and administration of the Hawaiian Trades Academy, the online marketplace Pop-Up Mākeke, the KūHana Business Program, and nationally-recognized emergency rental and mortgage assistance programs. Lewis has grown CNHA’s annual budget to $90 million and oversees over 100 employees statewide. CNHA was recently awarded a $100 million multi-year contract to boldly transform Hawaiʻi’s chief economic driver, tourism, towards a regenerative model.
Wong is one of 12 co-founders of Hawaii Regional Cuisine who collaborated together over three decades ago to create and promote a new American regional cuisine, highlighting Hawaii’s locally grown ingredients and diverse ethnic styles. In 1996, Wong was awarded the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest and Santé Magazine honored him as Chef of the Year in 2007.
Katie Chin left a career as a Los Angeles film and TV marketing executive to follow in the culinary footsteps of her mother—creator of the Minnesota Chinese restaurant chain Leeann Chin. Today Katie is a food entrepreneur, the author of five cookbooks, owner of Wok Star Catering, and makes frequent TV appearances (Live with Kelly & Ryan, The Real, The Today Show, ABC’s Localish). She livestreams Cooking with Katie and Becca on Facebook with her daughter every Sunday and will soon take her talents to the stage with the one-woman show Holy Shitake: A Wok Star is Born.
Katie is the co-chair of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s #AAPILA Task Force.
One of the leading culinary explorers of koji and miso in the United States and an in-demand food preservation consultant. He is also the Exhibit Engineer for the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) based in New York City.
From the kitchens of Chez Panisse and Daniel back to finding his roots in the first tastes of his mother’s cooking, Chef and filmmaker of Emmy-nominated Bloodline, Tu David Phu shares about his food journey and the importance of knowing who you are and where you came from. His family has produced small-batch artisanal Phu Quoc Fish Sauce, considered the Champagne of fish sauces, since 1895.