The Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative Team

HLRI has been blessed with a wealth of talent. We would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to these individuals. Everyone connected with this project realizes how special an opportunity this is.

Board of Directors

Staff

  • Jeffrey Dunster

    President

    I received my academy training, my commission in the U.S. Army and my degree in Business from Norwich University in 1982. Thereafter, I served in the Hawaii National Guard as an officer and helicopter pilot and loved every minute of it.When I was too young to know any better, I became a stock broker, and later, a partner in a brokerage firm with offices stretching from Honolulu to Düsseldorf. After retiring from the securities business in 1990, I began a small Mergers & Acquisitions consulting company with my longtime friend and business partner, Darrell Fox. Over the years, we have had the privilege of consulting for more than two dozen companies worldwide and from many diverse industries. Our expertise in the inner workings of public companies even allowed us the privilege of heading two large shareholder actions in which we successfully removed entrenched corrupt management and restored fiscal controls back to the shareholders.As cliché as it sounds however, my most challenging and rewarding job has been that of a dad. I have five young children who mean everything to me. As any parent can tell you, the single most important thing you can do for your children is to be a good example. It is so important that we instill in them, a moral compass; one that balances personal goals with personal responsibility. I see the condition of our planet today and it saddens me. It is clear that some members of our own generation and those who came before us, lacked that type of character and have in turn, placed a huge burden on your children and mine.No single act will repair the environment and no government will ever be able to legislate morality by passing laws. It’s simply up to each one of us to make right choices and to pass on that legacy to our children. Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative was created to allow a new generation of socially responsible individuals an opportunity to have a tangible way of helping the process of healing the planet, for themselves, their loved ones and for generations to come.

  • Betsy Maler

    Legacy Tree Concierge

    As manager for the Legacy Tree Program, I network with individuals and businesses that understand the importance of hardwoods and reforestation mission and share in the goal of perpetuating the gift of giving back to the earth for future generations. A professional in Hawaii’s residential, commercial, and industrial real estate community, I bring a wealth of experience to Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods, from property management, investment sales and acquisitions to consulting and leasing. I received my education in the field of nursing. With that knowledge, I developed a hospital management billing company resulting in increased revenue and awareness of compliance for nurses, physicians, and billers. As a mother of two children, I believe strongly in the importance of community service and family values. My daughters and I have been involved in mission work, serving to educate and assist in building living compounds and helping to improve conditions for orphans in many developing countries prevailing over limited resources and language barriers. This privilege to serve has allowed me to experience the importance of helping others. My children have taken an active role in mission work, creating lasting friendships, and affirming our belief that when goodness is done, greatness is achieved.

  • Wil Gilliam

    Chief Information Officer

    My responsibilities with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative include managing our extensive database of trees, our websites and social media, our software and hardware systems and oversight of all our geographic information. As we develop our technologies and methods for sustainable reforestation we also are developing a strong family of organizations who are participating in the project. I am consistently and pleasantly surprised at the level of enthusiam we are met with. The world is truly changing and I feel humbled and privileged to play a small part in the transition. The way I see it my job is to leverage technologies as tools for building and tracking forests in seamless, efficient and sustainable ways. We are not yet experts, we are all learning more everyday. I am extremely lucky to be on this project at such an amazing time.

  • Patrick Williams

    Field Technician

    Raised in New England, Patrick moved to Hawaii in 2008 to attend UH, where his love for the outdoors pushed him to pursue an Agriculture degree. In time, his passions for hunting and hiking brought him deep into the upper mauka forests where he first became interested in Hawaii's native plants. Joining with HLH in 2011 allowed him the perfect venue to turn this hobby into a career and he hasn't looked back since. Part rancher, part hunter, part forester, Patrick has a unique understanding of the land on which we operate and is constantly striving to learn about and help perpetuate the amazing history of Kukaiau and the mana'o of generations that came before. Taking on the great responsibility to protect and nurture the land and its history is not something he takes lightly and he is excited to be a part of a new chapter for the ranch.

  • Curtis Tate

    Nursery & Lab Manager

    Curtis has a degree in horticultural production from West Virginia University. During his school years he received several awards for his work in plant production and nursery methods. Part of his duties were to maintain WVU’s mycorrhizal fungi collection. He is developing methods to tissue culture some of the rare and endangered native Hawaiian plants. He has overall responsibility for the scheduling and timing of production schedules for koa and about 24 native plants. Currently this includes having 30,000 koa trees ready for out-planting during the next 2-3 months. His experience in nursery management has made him valuable in planning our next level of production facilities. He has a restricted chemical applicators license in both West Virginia and Hawaii. One of our projects includes developing controlled spalting methods for young koa. He has been building our saprophytic fungi collection and devising methods to test and evaluate the interactions of these species in koa. One of the other expansion programs, on the Ecotech Nursery front, is to develop nursery capacity to provide native plant material for state-wide reforestation projects. The State Tree Nursery has been slow to build capacity and with growing interest in the restoration of native forests the demand is growing.
  • John Farias

    Director (Chairman)

    Mr. Farias is a graduate of the University of Hawaii. Mr. Farias has had a long career serving the public as a government employee and volunteer. John was elected to the Hawaii County Council; served as a Regent and Chair of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents; was appointed as Chairman of the Hawaii State Board of Agriculture; was instrumental in establishing the Oceanic Thermal Energy Conservation (OTEC) facility on Hawaii Island; served 24 years as a member of the Board of Directors, and later as Chairman of the Board of St. Francis Hospital; and served as Director and Chair of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii for over a decade. In the private sector, John continues to champion Hawaii’s agriculture, aquaculture, and energy-related industries as engines of economic opportunity and stability for Hawaii by mentoring innovative and productive projects.

  • Jeffrey Dunster

    Director

    I received my academy training, my commission in the U.S. Army, and my degree in Business from Norwich University in 1982. Thereafter, I served in the Hawaii National Guard as an officer and helicopter pilot and loved every minute of it.  When I was too young to know any better, I became a stock broker, and later, a partner in a brokerage firm with offices stretching from Honolulu to Düsseldorf. After retiring from the securities business in 1990, I began a small Mergers & Acquisitions consulting company with my longtime friend and business partner, Darrell Fox. Over the years, we have had the privilege of consulting for more than two dozen companies worldwide and from many diverse industries. Our expertise in the inner workings of public companies even allowed us the privilege of heading two large shareholder actions in which we successfully removed entrenched corrupt management and restored fiscal controls back to the shareholders.  As cliché as it sounds however, my most challenging and rewarding job has been that of a dad. I have five young children who mean everything to me. As any parent can tell you, the single most important thing you can do for your children is to be a good example. It is so important that we instill in them a moral compass, one that balances personal goals with personal responsibility. I see the condition of our planet today and it saddens me. It is clear that some members of our own generation and those who came before us lacked that type of character and have in turn placed a huge burden on your children and mine.  No single act will repair the environment and no government will ever be able to legislate morality by passing laws. It’s simply up to each one of us to make right choices and to pass on that legacy to our children. Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative was created to allow a new generation of socially responsible individuals an opportunity to have a tangible way of helping the process of healing the planet for themselves, their loved ones, and for generations to come.

  • John Henshaw

    Director

    He earned a B.S. in forestry (1975) from Humboldt State University and a M.S. in forest engineering (1977) from Oregon State University. He is also a registered professional forester in California, a registered professional engineer in Oregon, and holds both basic and advanced Certificates of Public Administration from Lewis and Clark College (1995). He began his Forest Service career in 1978 in California as a zone logging engineer for Sierra and Sequoia National Forests. A year later he transferred to Tahoe National Forest, where he held assistant staff positions in both timber and engineering. In 1982, he was appointed to Nevada City as district ranger, and in 1985, he began serving as the District Ranger at Quinault forthe Olympic National Forest. In August 1996, he became Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief for Programs and Legislation at the National Forest Foundation where he helped maintain a successful partnership between the National Forest Foundation and the Forest Service. After leaving the Foundation, he was assigned to special details for the Forest Service, including the Washington Office Recreation, Heritage, and Wilderness Resource Staff as the National Partnership Coordinator. He also served as the Executive Team Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE) staff. In June 2001, he was transferred to the Policy Analysis staff in the Agency’s headquarters and worked on a wide range of issues, including community-based partnerships. In 2003, he took the position of the Pacific Rim Forest Legacy Program Manager. Forest Legacy is a land conservation program in the State and Private Branch of the Agency that works to promote the long-term integrity of forestlands. John covered a large area in managing this program including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and the Pacific Islands. During the first 5 months of 2006, he was Acting Deputy Forest Supervisor on the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara California, where he was responsible for the management of nearly 2 million acres with over 500 employees. After retiring from the US Forest Service at the end of 2008 (with 31+ years), John joined The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii (TNC) as the Director of Conservation. In this position, he was responsible for all terrestrial conservation, science, and land acquisition. He managed over 40,000 acres of TNC preserves and worked in partnership with other land managers on over 150,000 acres of conservation lands on 5 islands. In August of 2010, he became TNC Hawaii's Director for Land Protection and Conservation Partnerships. In this position, he was the major TNC Hawaii contact for all state-wide conservation partnerships. He served as one of the first Directors of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (formed in January 2011 by merger of four Island based Land Trusts into the first statewide Land Trust for Hawaii). He chaired the State Forest Stewardship Committee for the State Department of Lands and Natural Resources and was the first Board Chairman of the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (a federally-formed LCC). During this time, he closed on two major land conservation projects. In March 2012, he resigned his position at TNC to return home to Napa County and to spend more time with his new granddaughter. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Wildland Firefighters Foundation and the Land Trust of Napa County (both 502-c-3's) and on the Board of Directors for Cardinal Investment Company (for-profit family held corporation) with over 20,000 acres of land in Hawaii.

  • Francis A Wong

    Director

    He is the principal shareholder and Chairman of Genesis Hotel Development LLC, an international leading provider of corporate hotel development services. Francis co-developed and owned several hotels in California and Hawaii, including the Maui Marriott Resort and the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui. Francis has provided development and hospitality consultancy services for various hotel properties in Vancouver and Whistler, BC and Palm Desert, CA. A retired Hawaiian State Senator, Francis had a distinguished political career - including being a member of staff of the U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy. During his time as Senator, Francis helped create the Medical and Law Schools at the University of Hawaii and its West Oahu campus, the Shoreline Management Act and the Hawaii State Plan for economic, physical, and social development policies. Francis is also named in the first edition of Best Lawyers in America and a director of the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundations, one of California largest charitable organizations.  He is passionate about sustainability and was one of the founders of the British Columbia Council on Sustainability and the Palm Springs Institute of Sustainability at Cal State San Bernardino, Palm Desert, CA.

Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative

PO Box 22435 Honolulu, HI 96823

info@legacytrees.org

Toll-Free:

1-844-REFOREST

Phoenix Award Winner  for Excellence in Sustainability and Conservation