Board of Directors

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.

2019 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Board of Directors

Norman Sakata, Chairman of the Board

This third-generation Kona coffee farmer has worked diligently for forty-four 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 over thirty years ago when she served on the Farm Fair committee.

Rick Robinson, First Vice President

Currently, Robinson serves as Chairman of the Kona Soil and Water Conservation District and has been a Festival Board of Director for thirty-five years.

Goshi Ogawara, Second Vice President

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.

Malia Bolton Hind, Third Vice President

Bolton Hind is the Director of Operations of Kona Coffee & Tea Company. She has served as a Festival Board of Director for fourteen years.

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 thirteen years.

Jean Kadooka, Secretary

Born and raised on a coffee farm in South Kona, Jean has volunteered as Festival secretary for thirty-nine years.

John W. Rocha, Treasurer

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 fourth year of service.

 

Fanny Au Hoy

Retired curator and administrator of Hulihe‘e Palace, Au Hoy has served on the Festival board for over twenty years.

Claudia Chang

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.

Ceri Copeland

Born and raised in Hilo, Ceri was a substitute teacher for fifteen years here in Kona. Currently, she is the concierge at Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel. She is also an active member of the Kona Lions Club. This is her first year of service.

Kuni Goto

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 seven years.

Pam Hamakodo

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 six years.

Jeanné Kapela
Jeanné has Kona coffee in her DNA, as she was born in Kona and raised on a small coffee farm in Captain Cook. Kapela was the 2014 Miss Kona Coffee, went on to win the Miss Hawaii crown in 2015. She is the newly appointed Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition Executive Director

Nathan Kurashige

A multi-generational Kona coffee farmer, Kurashige is active with the Kona Young Farmers. He has been serving on the Festival for eleven years.

Hideki Miki

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.

Yukio Muramatsu

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.

Helen Nagata

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 third year of service.

Michele Sakata-Johnson

Michelle is a 4th generation Japanese coffee farmer, crowned as the 1977 Kona Coffee Festival Queen. She graduated in 1978 from Konawaena High School and earned a degree in Fashion Designing at FIDM in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Michelle is currently restoring her family coffee-land-house that has been in her family for over 100 years. She is also busy farming selling cherries and parchment to roasting coffee and implementing new products. This is her first year of service.

Wilfred Yamasawa

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 seven years.