NPAC of Maui County Honors Awardees, Names New Board Members
By Maui Now Staff
Hawai‘i State Sen. Roz Baker and Maui County Council Vice-Chair Don Guzman were among five legislators and community leaders honored by the Nutrition & Physical Activity Coalition of Maui County at the coalition’s annual meeting last month; three new board members were also named to the NPAC board of directors.
NPAC is a consortium of community organizations, agencies and individuals who work on the built environment and worksite wellness policies.
The coalition’s “Making a Difference” awards recognize the work of legislators and community leaders who further the coalition’s mission statement through their commitments to building healthier communities by promoting environmental and policy change, and education to support healthy eating and physical activity.
Sen. Baker was honored for her leadership, dedication, and commitment to health advocacy and policies.
Council Vice-Chair Guzman was recognized for his leadership in support of the Central Maui Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.
Lee Chamberlain and Saman Dias of the Maui Bicycling League were honored for their leadership and advocacy in supporting the formation of the Maui Chapter of the Hawai‘i Bicycling League.
In addition to the “Making a Difference” awards, NPAC this year added the Chris Hart Award in honor and memoriam of Hart’s dedication, commitment, vision and leadership in the Maui County community. Mike Atherton of Waikapū Country Town, was presented with the Chris Hart Award for incorporating smart growth planning principles in his developments.
“Maui lost a dear friend in 2012 with the passing of Chris Hart,” said NPAC Coordinator Sandy McGuinness. “Chris was a thoughtful landscape architect and community leader who generously shared his time and talent. He supported smart growth and new urbanism years before the concepts were widely known. The NPAC board wanted to honor Chris and his many built environment contributions, and so created, with the blessing of his son, Jordan Hart, the Chris Hart Award, which will be given annually to an individual or project in Chrisʻ honor.”
New officers and directors were also announced a the annual NPAC meeting. The new members joining the NPAC’s board of directors are Randy Yamanuha, retired principal; Cynthia Reeves, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources; and Cecilia Potts of Masthead Communication.
The new board members fill positions of outgoing directors Val Janikowski and Lynn Nakamura-Tengan.
Attendees also learned about projects that are improving the quality of life for Maui residents, and about how one organization on Hawai`i Island is making streets safer for all users.
Robin Brooks, an educator at Kalama Intermediate, spoke about the new gardening program that will begin at the school on July 30. Students will learn how to grow food and become more involved with the outdoor environment.
Kurt Watanabe, a civil engineer for the County of Maui’s Public Works Department, shared information about the Safe Routes to School program and the impact it has made for children walking and riding their bikeson Kīhei’s Alanui Ke‘ali‘i Street to Kamali‘i Elementary School.
Tina Clothier, executive director of PATH – Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawai‘i, presented the work her organization is doing to add multi-use pathways and bicycle lanes on Hawai‘i Island.
NPAC’s annual meetings “highlight the accomplishments of those in our community who help our county to become a healthier place to live,” said NPAC Chair Mike Morris. It’s great being in a room with people who understand that prevention is the key to good health.”
The Maui County NPAC is funded by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health’s Healthy Hawai‘i Initiative through a contract with the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s Office of Public Health Studies.
The Maui County NPAC first convened in March 2008.