ABOUT HSEO

The Hawaiʻi State Energy Office promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transportation to help achieve a resilient clean energy economy. The Chief Energy Officer is appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Hawaiʻi State Senate. The HSEO is administratively attached to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism.

Hawai‘i State Energy Office: Leading the Way to Energy Independence

With the state’s goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2045, the Hawai‘i State Energy Office (HSEO) is leading the state’s charge toward clean energy independence. HSEO is committed to developing and deploying high-impact solutions that will maximize Hawai‘i’s renewable energy resources and improve efficiency and transportation standards. Through effective policies and innovative programs, HSEO has positioned Hawai‘i as a leader in clean energy innovation, which will generate quality jobs, attract investment opportunities, and accelerate economic growth.

HSEO’s Primary Service Areas

HSEO is committed to maximizing the deployment of cost-effective investments in clean energy production and management for the purpose of growing the economy while promoting Hawai‘i’s energy security. To do this, HSEO prioritizes five service areas:

HSEO Team

Scott J Glenn

Chief Energy Officer

Scott J Glenn

Chief Energy Officer

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Scott Glenn serves as the Chief Energy Officer for the State of Hawai‘i, leading the Hawai‘i State Energy Office (HSEO) in its mission to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transportation to help achieve a resilient, clean energy, decarbonized economy. Scott specializes in innovative, consensus-oriented problem solving for difficult challenges. He is especially focused on climate change, energy, environment, and sustainability that improves decision-making and enhances public engagement.

Hawai‘i’s clean energy future is important to me because for us to continue calling Hawaii home, we need the world to use clean energy, and we must be willing to do ourselves that which we are asking the rest of the world to do on our behalf.

Kirsten Baumgart Turner

Deputy Energy Officer

Kirsten Baumgart Turner

Deputy Energy Officer

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
As the Deputy Energy Officer, Kirsten assists the Chief Energy Officer in the overall administration of the Hawai‘i State Energy Office (HSEO) including integrating the broader carbon- free economy mandate under Act 122 into policies, strategies, plans, and program development, with an emphasis on job creation as part of the state’s economic recovery program due to the COVID-19 crisis. To that end, she helps develop and coordinate energy sector and public engagement to further the mission of the Energy Office to promote energy security, energy efficiencies, renewable energy, and clean transportation to achieve a resilient clean energy economy.

Hawai‘i’s clean energy future is important to me because we can be the model that ensures our children’s and grandchildren’s future in a more just and peaceful world.

Maria Tome

Managing Director, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Maria Tome

Managing Director, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Maria is the Managing Director of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for the Hawai‘i State Energy Office and manages HESO’s programs to help the state envision, measure, and achieve its targets for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and deep decarbonization (to be carbon negative by 2045). This requires that HSEO staff, working groups, consultants, researchers, project developers, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, decision-makers and the public have access to energy information, training, analysis, and understanding appropriate to the island, demographic, project, or technologies being considered at the time. EERE seeks to develop events, documents, information, training, and on-line tools essential to the appropriate siting, evaluation, development, and deployment of energy conservation, efficiency, renewable energy, and carbon reduction projects and programs in and for Hawai‘i.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because it doesn’t make sense to ship so much carbon-based fuel to Hawai‘i (from thousands of miles away) and burn it (polluting our atmosphere) when we have our own clean, renewable, cost-effective energy sources right here… and vast “reserves” of energy efficiency.

Chris Yunker

Managing Director, Resilience, Clean Transportation, and Analytics

Chris Yunker

Managing Director, Resilience, Clean Transportation, and Analytics

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Chris is the Managing Director, Resilience, Clean Transportation, and Analytics (RCA) for the Hawai‘i State Energy Office. The RCA branch is responsible for the design and implementation of the state’s comprehensive energy ecosystem and energy assurance plans related to Hawaii’s integrated utility grids, pipelines, fuels, and infrastructure. Also, under the purview of the RCA branch is devising and deploying statewide clean energy plans and policies, electrification of transportation strategies, increasing renewable penetration at lower costs to ratepayers, and ensuring energy security.

Hawai‘i’s clean energy future is important to me because I want the place my family calls home to be an example of what is possible.

Donna L. Mau

Managing Director, Operations

Donna L. Mau

Managing Director, Operations

HSEO Role and Responsibilities: 
Donna is the Managing Director of Operations for the Hawai‘i State Energy Office. She administers the budget; manages fiscal activities; directs procurement and contracting activities; and manages federal grants/cooperative agreements for HSEO.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because future generations deserve to have a healthy environment.

Claudia Rapkoch

Public Affairs Officer

Claudia Rapkoch

Public Affairs Officer

HSEO Role and Responsibilities: 
Claudia supports HSEO’s mission through the planning and execution of HSEO’s public information and community engagement programs. She is also the agency’s primary spokesperson.

Claudia is a former reporter with more than 25 years of experience in strategic communications; public, stakeholder, and media relations; issues and reputation management; advertising, sponsorship, and brand management; and digital communications. She holds an accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America and certifications in human resources, change management, and lean six sigma. 

She grew up in Colorado and Hawai‘i and holds a degree in Technical Journalism from Colorado State University and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Montana. 

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because the quality of life and health of future generations depends on the decisions we make today.

Gail Suzuki-Jones

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Program Manager

Gail Suzuki-Jones

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Program Manager

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Gail is the Manager of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office with a focus on building and business operations and maintenance and Green Business and Green Building technical assistance and training. As a former contract manager of energy code for new construction and benchmarking projects for existing buildings, Gail has over 25 years of experience working for the State of Hawai‘i. She collaborates and partners with other agencies, industry associations, and non-profit organizations to promote and implement energy efficiency and green programs and projects. She feels it is essential to “walk the talk” and “lead by example”.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because we have the opportunity, challenge, and responsibility to leave a legacy that will support and enable future generations to live and thrive in a healthy environment. By working together collaboratively we will support and promote progress in clean energy and our local communities in Hawai‘i.

Cameron Black

Renewable Projects Program Manager

Cameron Black

Renewable Projects Program Manager

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Cam supports the collaborative evaluation of proposed renewable energy projects and programs in Hawai‘i and their deployment once the necessary vetting processes are complete. His efforts focus on encouraging the appropriate siting and permitting of renewable energy projects, informing project due diligence, and supporting public decision-making. Cam is also a member of HSEO’s State Emergency Response Team, which is the State lead responsible for planning and coordinating responses to energy and/or fuel disruptions impacting Hawai‘i.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because Hawai‘i’s high dependence on fossil fuels imported from other countries for electricity and transportation makes us vulnerable to supply interruptions and price fluctuations beyond our control; both of which we’ve experienced recently. Energy use reduction and locally generated renewable energy can empower Hawai‘i residents and businesses and mitigate the ecological and economic impacts attributed to imported fossil fuel use.

Howard Wiig

Energy Codes and Standards Program Manager

Howard Wiig

Energy Codes and Standards Program Manager

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Howard’s prime responsibility is promulgating International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC) and securing timely adoption by the State Building Code Council and Hawai‘i’s counties. Howard also actively advocates maximizing the efficiency levels at the national IECC hearings and persuades by putting the code into context. The IECC improves in efficiency and is updated every three years.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because as a local boy, I flourished in near-idyllic outdoor settings. As a young man I witnessed wars in the third world and wanton waste in the first world. I made it my life’s mission to help heal Mother Earth. My job fits the bill most excellently.

John Myrdal

Public Facilities Program Manager

John Myrdal

Public Facilities Program Manager

HSEO Role and Responsibilities: 
John serves as Public Facilities Program Manager for the Hawai‘i State Energy Office, serving as a fiscal and program manager on behalf of the HSEO on joint state agency agreements consistent with State budget execution policies and the Department of Accounting and General Services; performing research and analysis of distributed energy programs in other states; administering and responding to tax-related questions; and reviewing Federal funding opportunities for applicability in Hawai‘i. John also supports Hawai‘i’s $8M Volkswagen Mitigation Trust allocation and serves as liaison between the VW trustee and HSEO.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because the cost of energy impacts everyone.

Kathy Yim

Contracts Specialist

Kathy Yim

Contracts Specialist

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Kathy serves as the Contracts Specialist for the Hawai‘i State Energy Office. She facilitates acquisition of internal and external vendors to service HSEO’s program needs. Kathy works directly and coordinates with project managers in the process of producing contracts and agreements to completion. Kathy also serves as HSEO’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator and ensures compliance of all communications and program initiatives under Title II.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because our actions now will provide a sustainable environment for future generations.

Marika Metz-Hall

Administrative Assistant

Marika Metz-Hall

Administrative Assistant

HSEO Role and Responsibilities: 
As an Administrative Assistant, Marika manages internal office procedures and operations, applies Departmental, State, and Federal procedural guidelines, and is responsible for providing secretarial, administrative, and clerical support to the Energy Program Manager(s), and to the professional staff members as assigned, which relieves them of clerical and administrative details. This is all to support HSEO’s mission to facilitate innovation, investment, and deployment of clean energy infrastructure as a catalyst for economic growth, energy innovation sector development, and energy security advancement. 

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because we are susceptible economically to increases in the price of oil and disruptions to supply. Hawai‘i, as islands in the middle of the Pacific, are also vulnerable to rising sea levels, more violent storms and longer droughts.  Our carbon footprint may be small; however, it’s important that we all do our part.

Robin Shiroma

HSEO Secretary; Secretary to the Chief Energy Officer

Robin Shiroma

HSEO Secretary; Secretary to the Chief Energy Officer

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Robin serves as the secretary to the Chief Energy Officer and is head secretary for the HSEO. She is responsible for providing internal office management and provides support to agency managers and staff.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because there is a myriad of renewable energy resources in Hawai‘i that are plentiful and should be utilized.

Susan Gray-Ellis

Purchasing Specialist

Susan Gray-Ellis

Purchasing Specialist

HSEO Role and Responsibilities: 
Susan provides procurement and contracting support to HSEO and other state and county agencies. She is responsible for ensuring compliance with HRS Chapter 103D Hawai‘i Public Procurement Code. Her duties include fostering confidence and integrity in the procurement process; to diligently follow procurement laws, rules, procedures, and code of ethics; act as a procurement resource DBEDT-wide; assisting the public by processing Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) requests for government records; providing procurement training to HSEO staff; and serving as the alternate Departmental Administrator for DBEDT assignments in the State Procurement Office’s Hawai‘i Awards & Notices Data System (HANDS).

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because I have been given the opportunity and privilege to participate on projects that will help to move Hawai‘i forward to a green energy future.

Denise Fenn Garrahan

Accounting Assistant

Denise Fenn Garrahan

Accounting Assistant

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Denise supports the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office (HSEO) as a member of the Operations Team. She focuses on the fiscal reporting, procurement, inventory of state property, and special projects by working closely with the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT), Administrative Services Office. Denise enables the staff to concentrate on subject matter while handling the daily fiscal-cash management, invoicing payments, and tracking all expenses. Denise guides staff in compliance of policies and procedures set by the DBEDT-Administrative Services Office, the State Comptroller’s Office, the State Ethics Commission, and the State Procurement Office when coordinating arrangements for meetings and conferences; and in procurement of travel, supplies, and equipment.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because Hawai‘i is a perfect model for all nations to see it is possible to be environmentally and climate conscious by reducing the need of fossil fuels and producing 100% of our energy needs from clean renewable sources.

Billy Troy Wooton

Data Science Specialist

Billy Troy Wooton

Data Science Specialist

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Troy serves as the Data Science Specialist, in which he is responsible for overseeing data analysis, data governance, data modeling, and data acquisition in the office. His work includes developing and producing data analyses and visualizations in support of the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office’s (HSEO) missions to facilitate progress toward Hawai‘i’s clean energy goals and developing a cloud-native Data Lake platform that unifies data storage, data transformations, automation, metadata management, self-service analytics, and visualization within a single platform.

He also manages a team of three Data Science Fellows from the University of Hawai‘i working on projects in support of HSEO’s mission.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because Hawai‘i is my home. I grew up on Kauaʻi, was an avid snorkeler, free-diver, spearfisherman, and spent a lot of time enjoying the rich and diverse coastal ecosystems that our islands have to offer. My background in life sciences has provided a foundation of knowledge and insight into the myriad ways in which anthropogenic climate change can induce negative impacts, through sea level rise, increased coastal erosion, severe weather fluctuations and ocean acidification. Given that the best science at our disposal points to the burning of fossil fuels as being the primary driver of these changes, facilitating a smooth and rapid transition to clean energy, and systematic transition away from fossil fuel dependence, seems to be the clear, logical, actionable path toward mitigating, slowing, and preventing future changes. As a person who both grew up here, and who plans to remain and raise a family here long term, I feel that I have a vested interest in playing a part, however small, in helping to facilitate our transition to a clean energy and net negative carbon future.

Kiana Otsuka

Vehicle Miles Traveled and Active Transportation Specialist

Kiana Otsuka

Vehicle Miles Traveled and Active Transportation Specialist

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Kiana Otsuka is the Vehicle Miles Traveled and Active Transportation Specialist. In her current role, she is focused on reducing vehicle miles traveled in all of Hawai‘i through expanding transportation choices and reducing transportation costs.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because I am passionate about working toward land-use and transportation changes, so that all or many of people’s daily needs can be done by walking, rolling, riding a bike, or taking transit. I hope through my work I will provide safer, more convenient, and enjoyable transportation choices to help Hawai‘i residents save money, time, and achieve better health outcomes, and help Hawaiʻi meet its climate and clean energy goals in a resilient and equitable manner.

Monique Schafer

Renewable Energy Project Specialist

Monique Schafer

Renewable Energy Project Specialist

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Monique supports HSEO’s efforts to analyze, communicate, and engage with organizations, experts, communities, permitting agencies, regulators, project developers, decision-makers, task forces, the public, and others regarding siting, sizing, financing, bidding, permitting, and interconnecting renewable, microgrid, and other energy projects in Hawai‘i. Specifically, Monique helps to improve processes to appropriately site, efficiently permit, and successfully complete renewable energy projects in Hawai‘i. Much of this work revolves around the Governor’s Powering Past Coal Task Force. Monique also oversees the Statewide Energy Project Directory, a GIS database highlighting energy projects through the state.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because I believe, as humans, we have an ethical responsibility to work toward a cleaner energy system that does not pollute the environment and atmosphere in which we depend on to sustain all life. The climate crisis is real and it is most heavily impacting the Earth’s most vulnerable communities. I believe that we cannot sustain our planet without balancing the greenhouses gases in our atmosphere and ending our thirst for fossil fuels. I believe that the movement toward a clean energy system is critical for the future, but it must be done mindfully, keeping in mind that not all renewable energy is clean. Siting and choosing the energy that will power the islands for generations to come and doing so in a way that is pono is something that is both especially important to me and is a task that I take very seriously.

Sage Lang

Volkswagen Settlement Specialist

Sage Lang

Volkswagen Settlement Specialist

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Sage manages the Volkswagen Settlement Funds by designing and implementing programs based on community input and best practices. The goal of these programs is to efficiently deploy funds to local projects that reduce air pollutants and benefit communities in Hawai‘i.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because reducing our collective impact on the planet is crucial to ensuring that Hawai’i’s people, natural spaces, and economy continue to thrive.

Alan S. Okimoto

Energy Projects Facilitation Program Manager

Alan S. Okimoto

Energy Projects Facilitation Program Manager

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Alan oversees the technical assistance for Energy Performance Contracting program serving as the point of contact for state and county agencies. Alan also is a member of the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards Technical Advisory and Technical Working Groups, State Emergency Response Team for State Emergency Support Function #12 – Energy, Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings Working Group, Energy Efficiency in State Buildings project team, U.S. Department of Energy’s Sustainable Corrections Infrastructure Partnership (SCIP) Accelerator Hawaii team, and the Powering Past Coal Task Force. Additionally, Alan administers the State of Hawaiʻi Solar Water Heater Variance Program.

Hawaiʻi’s clean energy future is important to me because of its impact on climate change. We must do everything we can to ensure a clean and healthy planet for future generations.

Jon Chin

Energy Assurance Specialist

Jon Chin

Energy Assurance Specialist

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Jon leads the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office’s (HSEO)’s State Emergency Response Team in its role as primary and coordinating agency for State Emergency Support Function #12 – Energy. Jon also oversees programs and projects in energy assurance planning and analysis and the deployment of energy resilience investments.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because developing an energy system using local energy resources improves our overall self-sufficiency and resilience in the face of all hazards.

Parker Kushima

Outreach and Community Engagement Specialist, Clean Energy Wayfinders Coordinator

Parker Kushima

Outreach and Community Engagement Specialist, Clean Energy Wayfinders Coordinator

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Parker supports the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office’s (HSEO) focus on meaningful community outreach and engagement to ensure that no one is left behind in the state’s transition to 100% renewable energy. His work includes the planning and implementing of programs that help to bridge the gap between community, government, and the energy industry to bring accessible energy conversations to Hawaiʻi’s many diverse communities.

Parker also coordinates the Clean Energy Wayfinders program, a collaborative effort between communities, state and county government, and the energy industry to better address the energy priorities of communities across the state by listening to and learning from the stories of residents, sharing energy information and resources, and helping to prepare community members to make informed decisions about their energy future.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because our state can set an example of an equitable clean energy transition which includes the manaʻo of all residents.

Nicole H. Cernohorsky

Transportation Energy Specialist

Nicole H. Cernohorsky

Transportation Energy Specialist

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Nicole Cernohorsky is the Transportation Energy Specialist. She is focused on supporting Hawaiʻi State Energy Office’s (HSEO) mission to promote clean transportation to help Hawai‘i transition to a resilient and clean energy economy. Her main focus is on the decarbonization of the transportation sector by exploring and identifying clean transportation solutions for aviation, marine, and surface transportation.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because we all need to move away from fossil fuels. The natural ecosystems on which our (and other) species rely upon will with high certainty collapse if we do not. Thus, a clean energy future should be important to all of us. Hawai‘i may be small and emit only a fraction of the global CO2 emissions, but it is in a very unique position. The people of Hawai‘i and its leaders understand the threat of climate change and are aware of how Hawai‘i will suffer if we remain dependent on imported fossil fuels. Hawai‘i, due to being relatively wealthy, has been able to start exploring local alternative sources of energy since the 70’s when fossil fuel prices became unstable. The political will matched with the financial means and intensive research is something most other countries and island nations lack. Hawai‘i may be small, but it has the potential to be in the forefront of this movement and could help catalyze the global decarbonization of the energy sector.

Amanda Lui

Energy Grants Specialist

Amanda Lui

Energy Grants Specialist

HSEO Role and Responsibilities:
Amanda develops funding applications and manages the financial aspects of grant awards. Her duties include researching and analyzing funding sources, writing project descriptions and performance measures, monitoring grant spending and performance compliance, and preparing analyses and reports.

Hawai‘i‘s clean energy future is important to me because I believe it is our responsibility to protect and preserve Hawai‘i in order to ensure that future generations can enjoy this incredible place we are so lucky to call home.

MEET THE WAYFINDERS

Peyton Flint

Peyton Flint

Kauaʻi

Community of Service: Hanapēpē and ʻEleʻele 

Lead Community Partner: Get Fit Kauaʻi

Why I Wanted To Be a Wayfinder: “I wanted to be a Wayfinder because I have a passion for helping people and the planet. I am so excited for this opportunity with the Wayfinders to give back to the beautiful islands and learn from the community. ” 

Malia McDonald

Malia McDonald

Oʻahu

Community of Service: Waiʻanae Moku

Lead Community Partner: Waiʻanae Economic Development Council

Why I Wanted To Be a Wayfinder: “I wanted to become a Wayfinder so I could be more involved in the renewable energy field and to help move Hawaiʻi to a more energy resilient future!”

Nickie Shintani

Nickie Shintani

Oʻahu

Community of Service: Waiʻanae Moku

Lead Community Partner: Waiʻanae Economic Development Council

Why I Wanted To Be a Wayfinder: “I wanted to be a Wayfinder because as someone who studied environmental science, I recognize the transition to a more sustainable society is necessary. Clean energy is an important aspect to that, and I wanted to help make it happen for Hawaiʻi.”

Nick Sinchek

Nick Sinchek

Oʻahu

Community of Service: Kahuku and Koʻolauloa

Lead Community Partner: Kahuku Community Association 

Why I Wanted To Be a Wayfinder: “The Clean Energy Wayfinder position sparked my interest, because it aligned with my passions of serving for our local community, as well as finding solutions to restore our ʻāina for future generations to come. Clean and renewable energy is one of the most pressing topics today. Having a background in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from UH Mānoa, I realized that this role would be a great opportunity for me to share relevant knowledge and skills with community members. “

Kalehua Sproat-Augustiro

Kalehua Sproat-Augustiro

Molokai

Community of Service: Molokai

Lead Community Partner: Sustʻāinable Molokai

Why I Wanted To Be a Wayfinder: “I wanted to become a Wayfinder when I learned that I would be working within my own community as well as learning more about renewable energy. “

Sally Barr

Sally Barr

Maui

Community of Service: Maui

Lead Community Partner: Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United Haleakalā Chapter

Why I Wanted To Be a Wayfinder: “I wanted to join the Wayfinders to help the local community’s vital manaʻo be heard and respected in the transition of getting Hawaiʻi off of fossil fuels.”

Carly Ayukawa

Carly Ayukawa

Hawaiʻi Island

Community of Service: North and South Kona

Lead Community Partner: Vibrant Hawaiʻi

Why I Wanted To Be a Wayfinder: “I wanted to become a Clean Energy Wayfinder because of my commitment to a just energy transition that leaves no one behind.”

Cyrene Farrar

Cyrene Farrar

Hawaiʻi Island

Community of Service: Pāhoa

Lead Community Partner: Vibrant Hawaiʻi

Why I Wanted To Be a Wayfinder: “I wanted to be a Wayfinder because I love to see em-powered people!”

JOin our Team

Interested in supporting the HSEO’s mission to achieve clean energy independence for Hawai‘i? We continuously seek out candidates who want to tackle the climate crisis at its roots (carbon emissions from energy) while increasing equity and creating a better quality of life for all of us here in Hawai‘i. Explore the current opportunities to join our team of professionals who are passionate about a clean energy future!

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