For Immediate Release: Oct. 25, 2016

HONOLULU — GreenBiz Group and the Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) have announced the formation of an advisory board for the  VERGE Hawaii 2017: Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit, returning to Honolulu June 20-22.

VERGE Hawaii explores the innovative clean energy policies, models, technologies and infrastructure that will enable the state to achieve its ambitious goal of 100 percent renewable powered energy in the electricity sector by 2045.

The 15-member VERGE Hawaii advisory board includes a diverse group of influential, engaged leaders across a range of industries and sectors to provide strategic direction on program content and the overarching conference framework.

VERGE Hawaii, produced by GreenBiz Group in partnership with HSEO, convenes nearly 1,000 leaders from the government, military, utilities, solution providers and energy producers to drive Hawaii’s renewable energy transformation and reinforce its position as a model for others in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

“VERGE uniquely brings together the key stakeholders who are building Hawaii’s clean economy,” said Eric Faurot, CEO, GreenBiz Group. “We are thrilled to work with this group of clean-energy leaders and the State of Hawaii to help deliver on the Aloha State’s bold energy goals.”

VERGE Hawaii 2017 advisors include:

  • Catherine Awakuni Colon, Director, Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs;
  • Joseph Boivin, Jr., Senior Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Affairs, Hawaii Gas;
  • Colton Ching, Vice President of Energy Delivery, Hawaiian Electric Company;
  • Celeste Connors, Executive Director, Hawaii Green Growth;
  • Kyle Datta, General Partner, Ulupono Initiative;
  • Brandon Hayashi, Regional Manager, OpTerra Energy Services;
  • Brian Kealoha, Executive Director, Hawaii Energy;
  • Neil “Dutch” Kuyper, President and CEO, Parker Ranch;
  • Sherry Menor-McNamara, President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii;
  • Jeff Mikulina, Executive Director, Blue Planet Foundation;
  • Edmund C. Olson, Edmund C. Olson Trust II;
  • Rick Rocheleau, Director, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute;
  • Neil Sheehan, CEO, Sheehan Group-Pacific, LLC; and
  • Jill Sims, Co-Founder & Demonstration Track, Energy Excelerator.

“Grid parity is driving technological innovation and lowers costs that are accelerating the rate of renewable deployment to almost unimaginable levels. We need to act now to ensure Hawaii’s clean energy future,” said Mark Glick, Administrator, Hawaii State Energy Office. “We look forward to welcoming VERGE back to Hawaii and working with these industry leaders to achieve our ambitious mandate.”


The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) is a division of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.  With the state’s goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2045, HSEO is leading the state’s charge toward clean energy independence. HSEO is committed to developing and deploying high impact solutions that will maximize Hawaii’s renewable energy resources and improve efficiency and transportation standards. Through effective policies and innovative programs, HSEO has positioned Hawaii port as a leader in clean energy innovation, which will generate quality jobs, attract investment opportunities and accelerate economic growth. For more information, visit

GreenBiz Group’s mission is to define and accelerate the business of sustainability. It does this through a wide range of products and services, including its acclaimed website and e-newsletters, GreenBuzz and VERGE; webcasts on topics of importance to sustainability and energy executives; research reports, including the annual State of Green Business; the GreenBiz Executive Network, a membership-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability executives; and conferences: the annual GreenBiz forum and VERGE.
For more information, contact:

Alan Yonan Jr.
Communications Officer
DBEDT State Energy Office
(808) 587-3860
[email protected]

Becky Dempsey
Marketing Programs Manager
GreenBiz Group