All of our projects are collaboratively-based. This has been the key to our success, as it has made our projects grounded, relevant, and truly effective. As a way to honor these incredible partnerships and to keep each other up-to-date about the latest happenings among wildfire professionals in Hawaii, we held our 3rd Annual All-Partner Meeting at the Pohakuloa Training Area off of Saddle Road.
The November 20th event followed the Big Island Wildfire Coordinating Group's (BIWCG) final meeting of the year. New officers for BIWCG were elected, including President (Assistant Chief Gantry Andrade, HFD), Vice President (Jay Hatayama, DOFAW), and Secretary (Elizabeth Pickett, HWMO) to ring in the new year. After the conclusion of the meeting, BIWCG members joined HWMO’s other partners for a delicious plate lunch made with fresh, mostly local ingredients by the staff of HWMO.
The HWMO All-Partner Meeting commenced with a roundtable meet-and-greet where partners introduced themselves to the group and shared updates from their agency or organization. HWMO's Elizabeth Pickett then shared a presentation recapping HWMO's successful year of achieving its 3 major objectives: Creating a Solid and Sustainable Organization; Increasing Awareness and Understanding of the Wildfire Issue; and Providing Technical Assistance. Midway through the presentation, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Pablo Beimler, provided a brief recap on the many successful outreach events HWMO held and participated in this year. Following the HWMO presentation, DOFAW's Wayne Ching, who is retiring at the end of this year, gave a brief speech about DOFAW's wildfire-related efforts and the vision for the agency's future. Shortly thereafter, Elizabeth Pickett gave a presentation put together by Dr. Clay Trauernicht that highlighted his recent research on the severity of the wildfire issue in Hawaii.
To conclude this year’s All-Partner Meeting, HWMO presented the first ever Partner of the Year Award to long-time partner and integral member of the Hawaii wildfire community, Mr. Wayne Ching, for his countless years of help and expertise. We couldn't have made it this far without him! In fact, we wouldn't be the successful and effective organization we have become without all of our partners. We extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you who have helped HWMO grow and blossom over the years. We hope to see you and many more at next year’s meeting. Mahalo!
Banner photo: Partner of the Year, Wayne Ching (DOFAW) presents to around 25 of our partners.