Meet Our Team

The Friends of the Waikīkī Aquarium (FOWA) is the membership organization of the Waikīkī Aquarium. Its purpose is to support the mission of the Waikīkī Aquarium to inspire and promote understanding, appreciation, and conservation of Pacific marine life. The members of FOWA are individuals and organizations interested in the purposes of the Waikīkī Aquarium.

FOWA’s Board of Directors is the governing body of this membership organization made up of committed and generous individuals who support the Waikīkī Aquarium in numerous ways.


Lee Higa-Okamoto

Executive Director

Lee Higa-Okamoto was named the Executive Director of the Friends of the Waikīkī Aquarium in April, 2019. Her relationship with the Waikīkī Aquarium began over 25 years ago when she participated in one of its educational programs for high school students. She returned to the program in college, where she worked as a Cruise Instructor and Program Manager. Her involvement with the program helped to foster her interest in conservation and marine education, as well as develop valuable leadership and program management skills.

Throughout her career, she has worked for marine and/or education-related organizations, including NOAA and most recently the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business.

When asked about what this position means to her, Higa-Okamoto said, “I am so grateful to be able to return to the Waikiki Aquarium in this position and give back to an organization that has meant so much to me, both personally and professionally.”

Officers

CHRISTOPHER COLE
CHRISTOPHER COLEChairperson
Partner, Marr Jones & Wang

Board Member Since: 2012
Favorite Marine Animal: Tiger Cowrie


DIRK YOSHIZAWA
DIRK YOSHIZAWAChairperson
Executive Vice President, Commercial Banking, Bank of Hawaii

Board Member Since: 2012
Favorite Marine Animal: Octopus

ELIZABETH CHURCHILL
ELIZABETH CHURCHILLVice Chair
Owner, Churchill Group LLC

Board Member Since: 2015
Favorite Marine Animal: Hawaiian Monk Seal

JENNIFER ISOBE
JENNIFER ISOBETreasurer
Audit Principal, KKDLY, INC.

Board Member Since: 1999

ALAN MATSUI
ALAN MATSUITreasurer
Principal, KMH LP

Board Member Since: 2019
Favorite Marine Animal: Octopus


CHUCK KELLEY
CHUCK KELLEYSecretary
Chairman, Seaside Ohana Investments

Board Member Since: 2005
Favorite Marine Animal: Anything in the shark tank

Board Members

CHARLIE LOOMIS
CHARLIE LOOMIS
Associate General Counsel, Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.

Board Member Since: 1995
Favorite Marine Animal: Honu (Sea Turtle)

MONICA SALTER
MONICA SALTER
VP Corporate Communications, Outrigger Hospitality Group

Board Member Since: 2017
Favorite Marine Animal: Dolphins

NANCY TAYLOR
NANCY TAYLOR
Artist

Board Member Since: 2012
Favorite Marine Animal: Jellyfish


BRYAN TEPPER
BRYAN TEPPER
Cyber Advisor, Hawaii State Fusion Center

Board Member Since: 2019
Favorite Marine Animal: Nautilus

DAVE WHITE
DAVE WHITE
Punahou School (retired)

Board Member Since: 2016
Favorite Marine Animal: Manta Rays

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