2021 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival 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.
Norman Sakata Chairman of the Board – 46 Years of Service
This third-generation Kona coffee farmer has worked diligently for years building the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival into the successful event it is today!
Valerie Corcoran Festival President – 31 Years of Service
Corcoran’s involvement with the Festival started over thirty years ago when she served on the Farm Fair committee.
Rick Robinson First Vice President – 36 Years of Service
Currently, Robinson serves as Chairman of the Kona Soil and Water Conservation District.
Malia Bolton Hind Third Vice President – 16 Years of Service
Bolton Hind is the Director of Operations of Kona Coffee & Tea Company.
Linda Nagai Fourth Vice President – 15 Years of Service
Nagai grew up in Kona and has been working in the travel industry for over 31 years.
Jean Kadooka Secretary – 41 Years of Service
Born and raised on a coffee farm in South Kona.
John W. Rocha Treasurer – 6 Years of Service
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.
Fanny Au Hoy 21 Years of Service
Retired curator and administrator of Hulihe‘e Palace.
Claudia Chang 5 Years of Service
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 3 Years of Service
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.
Janne Fujimoto 3 Years of Service
The daughter of Fred and Midori Fujimoto, Janne was born in Hilo and attended Waiakeawaena Elementary School until the family moved to Kona in 1959. For the past fourteen years, she worked as an Executive Assistant for the Chairman of Winchell’s/Yum Yum Donuts in California before recently retiring back to Kona. Janne has served as past director of the pageant and assisted the Button Committee.
Kuni Goto 9 Years of Service
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.
Jeanné Kapela 3 Years of Service
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.
Nathan Kurashige 12 Years of Service
A multi-generational Kona coffee farmer, Kurashige is active with the Kona Young Farmers.
Hideki Miki 6 Years of Service
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 7 Years 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 a few years ago.
Helen Nagata 5 Years of Service
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.
Michelle Sakata-Johnson 3 Years of Service
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.
1989 Festival Board. Photo courtesy Bob Fewell, AlohaFotoHawaii.com