Executive Committee

Our Executive Committee consists of seven elected chapter leaders and four group representatives.  As needed, there may be up to two appointed volunteers to serve as secretary and treasurer.  Additionally, each Group has its own Executive Committee.

 

2017 Chapter Executive Committee

Chair: Sheila Sarhangi
Co-Vice Chair: Colin Yost
Co-Vice Chair: Lucienne de Naie
Chair of Conservation: Nate Yuen
Secretary: Doorae Shin
Treasurer: Nara Takakawa (non-voting member)
Oʻahu Group: Elliot Van Wie
Maui Group: Rob Weltman
Moku Loa Group: Debbie Ward
Kauaʻi Group: Judy Dalton
Compliance Officer: Kylie Wager
At-large: Blake McElheny

Meet our ExCom Members: 

Sheila Sarhangi, Chair

Sheila Sarhangi is a communications strategist who specializes in partnering with communities, nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies to achieve conservation goals. She has worked on a wide range of environmental issues across the Pacific, in Hawai‘i, Palau, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Northern Mariana Islands and Indonesia, on issues ranging from endangered species protection to community-based fishing rules and public access. She was also the local campaign director for the expansions of Papahānaumokuākea and the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monuments.

 

Colin Yost, Vice Co-Chair

Colin Yost is an environmental advocate whose career includes roles as a Green Corps Organizer in Philadelphia, an attorney representing Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi on the pivotal Koa Ridge case where development threatened productive agricultural land, as well as other land use, public access and marine protection matters affecting our island state. Notably, he was also the Civil Fraud prosecutor against Enron and recovered $32 million dollars for Oregon consumers. Currently, he’s a part-owner and Chief Operating Officer of local solar energy and smart home company, RevoluSun.

 

 

Lucienne de Naie, Vice Co-Chair

Lucienne de Naie is a long time Club member who has served as Chair and Vice-chair of the Sierra Club Hawai‘i Chapter Executive Committee. She is a researcher and writer whose passion is protection of native plants, streams, watersheds, and cultural sites.

 

 

 

Nate Yuen, Conservation Chair

Nate Yuen works as an accountant for an engineering consulting firm during the week but on the weekends he becomes an amateur naturalist, hiker, and photographer focused on the flora and fauna of Hawaiʻi. His blog – HawaiianForest.Com – documents some of the rarest species on the planet. In 2013, he was appointed to be a commissioner on the Natural Area Reserves System Commission which oversees the most biologically and geologically sensitive lands owned by the State of Hawaiʻi. Through his involvement in conservation he has become an advocate and activist for creating critical habitat for native species, keeping our sources of fresh water clean, ensuring stream water rights for kalo farming, and a host of other environmental, climate change, food sustainability and political/economic issues crucial to creating a sustainable future for our islands.

 

Doorae Shin, Secretary
With a B.A. in Sustainability Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Doorae became a community organizer for social justice issues at the age of 15. She carries a deep passion for nature and environmental justice. As a student, she led a campaign that banned Styrofoam from the UH Mānoa campus and also served as the University of Hawaiʻi’s first Student Sustainability Coordinator. Doorae is now the Plastic Free Hawaiʻi Program Manager for the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Kōkua Market and spends her free time advocating for a sustainable food system and enjoying time in nature.

 

Nara Takakawa, Treasurer – coming soon

Elliot Van Wie, Oʻahu Group – coming soon

 

Rob Weltman, Maui Group

Rob has been a member of the Sierra Club since 1995, on the Sierra Club Maui Group board since 2015, and on the Hawaiʻi Chapter board since 2016. He is a retired Software Engineer / Director with Silicon Valley experience. Protecting the environment we are all dependent on is what brought him into the Sierra Club, while hiking provides the inspiration and energy to contribute to the organization.

 

 

Debbie Ward, Moku Loa Group
Debbie has been a member of the Executive Committee and Conservation Committee during most of the past thirty years. Retired from University of Hawaiʻi, she is now growing organic fruit for market. She is working to reduce industrial expansion in the conservation district atop Mauna Kea. She believes Sierra Club can play a critical role in protecting vulnerable native habitats, securing public access to shorelines for Hawaiʻi’s people, and in securing a path to energy self-sufficiency.

 

 

Judy Dalton, Kauaʻi Group

Judy has served on the Kaua‘i Group Executive Committee for 22 years and the Chapter ExComm for 17 years. She facilitated formation of Mālama Māhā‘ulepu in 1999; initiated the cease of construction of a 3/5-mile-long beach-destroying seawall fronting the Wailua Golf Course in 1996; and legally challenged the Planning Commission to increase coastal setbacks for a development along the coast between Kealia Beach and Donkey Beach. She worked for years trying to prevent the county from building the beach-destroying concrete bike path on top of Wailua Beach.

 

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Kylie Wager, Compliance Officer

As an associate attorney at Earthjustice, Kylie has represented grassroots community groups, including the Sierra Club and has been advocating for clean energy, restoring stream flows, cleaner ocean waters, and better pesticide regulation. Kylie has interned for the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission, Blue Planet Foundation, and worked as a research associate for the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy. She has served as a law clerk for the Honorable Mark E. Recktenwald and an extern for the Honorable Richard R. Clifton. Kylie is a proud graduate of the UH’s William S. Richardson School of Law, with a certificate in environmental law. Her experience reporting on environmental and cultural issues on Maui inspired her to become a public interest environmental lawyer in Hawai‘i.

 

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Blake McElheny, At-large

Blake McElheny was raised in Pūpūkea on the North Shore of Oʻahu and has a law degree and Environmental Law Certificate from UH. He has extensive experience in community organizing and collaboration with local government and nonprofits. He currently serves as a founding board member of the Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation, is a founding board member of the North Shore Community Land Trust, and is a member of the North Shore Neighborhood Board. He enjoys spending time in the ocean with his family and he also is enthusiastic about regional and community renewable energy planning. He has served on the Oʻahu Group for several years.