Since its launch in 1970, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Board of Directors, Event Chairs and community volunteers have worked to preserve, perpetuate and promote Kona’s unique nearly 200-year old coffee heritage and culture behind Kona’s world-famous cup of brew.
2017 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Board of Directors
Norman Sakata, Chairman of the Board
This third-generation Kona coffee farmer has worked diligently for fourty-three years building the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival into the successful event it is today.
Valerie Corcoran, Festival President
Corcoran’s involvement with the Festival started twenty-eight years ago when she served on the Farm Fair committee.
Dean Uemura, First Vice President
Uemura has served the Festival for eighteen years. He is the Executive Vice President of the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, the only Credit Union in the nation that was founded by farmers cultivating a unique crop grown nowhere else in the United States – Kona coffee.
Tracey Apoliona, Second Vice President
Apoliona, a 1988 graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, currently is a small business owner. Tracey has served the Festival for thirteen years.
Malia Bolton, Third Vice President
Bolton is the Director of Operations of Kona Coffee & Tea Company. She has served as a Festival Board of Director for eleven as its Third Vice President
Linda Nagai, Fourth Vice President
Nagai grew up in Kona and has been working in the travel industry for over 30 years. She has been an active Festival board member for ten years.
Jean Kadooka, Secretary
Born and raised on a coffee farm in South Kona, Jean has volunteered as Festival secretary for thirty-six years.
Claudia Chang, Treasurer
Claudia works with the State of Hawaii and has recently come onboard to assist the Festival with its financial management and is also an active member of the Kona Hiroshima Kenjin Kai.
Fanny Au Hoy
Retired curator and administrator of Hulihe‘e Palace,
Au Hoy has served on the Festival board for nineteen years.
Goto, producer of the Festival’s Aloha Makahiki Concert, draws noted Hawaiian musicians to the event along with his esteemed wife and kumu hula Mika Keale-Goto. He has served on the Festival board for six years.
A retired teacher, Pam previously worked for Chaminade University mentoring new teachers placed in Kona schools. She heads up the button sales committee and has served for four years.
Aside from his duties as General Manager of the Ueshima Coffee (UCC Hawaii) farm, Ikeda serves as a member of the Hawaii Coffee Association Board.
A multi-generational Kona coffee farmer, Kurashige is active with the Kona Young Farmers. He has been serving on the Festival for nine years.
Hideki heads the UCC Ueshima Coffee Company retail at the UCC farm in Holualoa. He studied at Kobe Gakuin University and now makes Kailua Kona his home.
Helen was born and grew up in Kona, attended Konawaena Elementary, Intermediate and High School and East Los Angeles Community College. She recently retired from a successful career with First Hawaiian Bank and looks forward to assisting the Festival with its financial planning after completing her first year of service.
Muramatsu moved from Japan to Kona in 2010 and put every effort into learning about farming. He and his wife purchased a Kona coffee farm in Holualoa last year.
Retired from the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union Marketing Division, Okahara has served on the Festival Board for twenty-six years.
The Rittenhouse ohana has been producing award- winning estate Kona coffee since their first commercial crop in 2003. He is a Navy veteran and holds a Bachelor degree in Biology.
The Rittenhouse ohana has been producing award- winning estate Kona coffee since their first commercial crop in 2003. She is a retired Health Care Consultant, specializing in clinical operations.
Currently, Robinson serves as Chairman of the Kona Soil and Water Conservation District and has been a Festival Board of Director for thirty-one years.
John W. Rocha
Born and raised in Hilo, Rocha graduated from Hilo High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting Degree. He has worked with Keauhou Kona Resort, in Bishop Estate’s for profit group as their chief financial officer and recently retired after thirty years. This is his first year of service.
Growing up in Honaunau, along the coffee belt, Wilfred is a third generation coffee farmer and noted glass artist. He has served on the Festival for five years.