HWMO President; Executive Committee Chair
University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension
Range and Grazing Specialist
Dr. Mark Thorne grew up in northern Wyoming learning to live and play in the wild lands that existed between towns. He spent many summers on his Grandfatherʻs ranch learning to appreciate what the land could and could’t provide and how our management of its resources determined its sustainability. After high school, Mark spent several years as a cowboy for ranches across the western states that further developed his appreciation for the conservation and management of our wild lands. Between 1988 and 1996, he honorably served in the United States Marine Corps and was a combat veteran of the first Gulf War.
In 2002, Mark earned his Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecophysiology from Colorado State University. Since then, he has worked as a range and livestock extension specialist for Colorado State University (2002-2003) and the University of Hawaii (2003 to present). His career goals have been driven by his love for the wild spaces between towns and tempered by his experience with the destructive toll of war on life, lives, and living. While he is convinced that the conservation of agriculture in our wild lands is the key to peace and prosperity within and among nations, he acknowledges that we have much to learn about sustainable management of our wild land resources.
To this end Dr. Thorne’s research over the past 20 years has focused on improving livestock management practices across the nation’s range and pasturelands. He strives to pass on what he has learned to his stakeholders through a variety of educational programs and outreach efforts. Mark particularly enjoys his agricultural outreach projects to underserved island communities across the Pacific Basin. He is honored to have had the opportunity to serve as member of the Board of Directors for the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization since 2003. On his personal time, Mark enjoys weight training and many outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, hiking, and diving. Most of all, he enjoys being with his wife (Jean Marie) and children (Tyler and Brandon).
HWMO Vice President; Fundraising Committee Chair
Natural Resource Manager
HWMO Secretary; Finance Committee Chair
Malama Kai Foundation
Carolyn Stewart is a Founder and Principal Consultant with Marine and Coastal Solutions (MCS) International, Inc., a Hawaii-based environmental resources management planning firm. She has over 20 years of experience working in coastal and marine resources management, with an emphasis on polluted runoff control and watershed management. Prior to founding MCS International, Carolyn was a planner and a planning and policy analyst for the Hawai‘i Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program from August 1991 to March 1999. She has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a Master’s degree from the University of Washington School of Marine Affairs.
Carolyn has been involved with Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization since its inception. It was a natural fit, given her work on developing watershed plans for fire-prone areas of Hawaii Island. HWMO’s philosophy of being proactive and working with government personnel and affected stakeholders is an approach Carolyn has used effectively throughout her career in watershed management.
Puako Community Association
HWMO Board of Director
JM Decker Group, Hawaii
Environmental, Health and Safety Manager
Waikoloa Fire Management Action Committee
Mark S. Gordon joined the Board of Directors for Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization in 2017. He was influential in establishing the Waikoloa Village Association's Fire Management Action Committee. In 2016, the committee, currently chaired by Mark, worked with HWMO to help Waikoloa Village become the largest nationally-recognized Firewise Community in Hawaii.
Mark has lived on Hawaii Island for almost 4 years. He is the Environmental, Health and Safety Manager for the JM Decker Group, Hawaii, a safety consulting company. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan.
Mark is also an active member of the Waikoloa Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), as well as a volunteer for the local Red Cross Chapter. He represents Waikoloa Village as a member of the South Kohala Community Development Plan Action Committee and serves on the Waikoloa Village Leadership Council.
Since 2016, Mark has also volunteered for the USO at the Pohakuloa Training Area along the Saddle Road on Hawaii Island. He feels it is an honor and enjoys serving and visiting members of the military.
During his non-volunteer time, Mark enjoys swimming, hiking and visiting with friends in Waikoloa and is an avid traveller. He also likes to attend Electronic Dance Music (EDM) events in Hawaii and across the U.S.
HWMO Board Director
Hawaii County Fire Department
Retired Battalion Chief of Operations
Hawaii Community College
Fire Science Program Instructor
Kapiolani Community College
Joseph Farias III is a retired Battalion Chief of Operations with the Hawaii Fire Department in 2017. He received his Bachelor of Science in Fire Service Administration from Waldorf College. He is currently an Instructor in the Fire Science Program at the Hawaii Community College, an Adjunct Instructor with Kapiolani Community College and a member of the instructor cadre with the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Joseph lives in Keaau where he enjoys woodworking and playing music with his wife and two children.
HWMO Board Director
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
HWMO Board Director
Project Planner/Development Manager
HWMO Board Director
Environmental Educator, Art Gallery Manager, and Musician
Maylan Ackerman was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. She is interested in sustainable living systems and being involved in environmental protection efforts locally and beyond the islands. She aims to cultivate awareness amongst the youth on the island as a way to influence the next generation of change-makers. Her music is a path into the creative to nourish creative thinking in herself and others and encourage people to see the beauty in life and to think outside of the box.