Dustin Tester Named Maui Maverick! - Maui Surfer Girls
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Dustin Tester Named Maui Maverick!

Dustin Tester, Maui Surfer Girls’ founder and director, was introduced this morning, along with 15 other Maui residents, as a Maui Maverick…  Below is the press release about the new program. 
Dustin and Mayor Alan Arakawa


– 16 Next-Generation Leaders Selected as Maui Ambassadors –  
MAUI, HAWAII – What makes Maui so special isn’t just the island’s incredible scenery and sunsets. It’s also the people who live on Maui. 
The Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau (MVCB) is showcasing 16 of these individuals with the launch of “Maui Mavericks,” a new public relations campaign aimed at promoting Maui Nui in national outlets and key markets in North America. Through the campaign, MVCB hopes to increase editorial exposure and interest in travel to Maui, attracting a steady flow of visitors to help ensure a vibrant island economy.
The new campaign shares the stories of Maui’s next generation of leaders. The Maui Mavericks are an ethnically diverse and multi-talented group of individuals moving Maui forward while preserving Hawaii’s culture and heritage. The inaugural Maui Mavericks class of 2016-17 includes a kapa (Hawaiian bark cloth) maker, a craft brew master, a taro farmer, a fashion designer, and 12 other talented, knowledgeable Mauians.


“The Maui Mavericks campaign offers a modern take on what makes Maui such an incredible destination, as told through our next generation,” says Terryl Vencl, executive director, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau. “Maui may be known for its beaches and natural beauty, but news outlets in New York or Texas may not see further than that. This campaign showcases the diversity and aloha spirit of our best and brightest, and sends them out into the world as ambassadors of the island we love.”


Over the next two years, the Maui Mavericks will work with MVCB on-island and in key national markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Dallas, Chicago, Denver, and New York. They will host events, demonstrations and discussions, and share their inspiring stories through media interviews, social media, and interactions with the general public.

The Maui Mavericks all embody several essential qualities: they are at the top of their game and part of the new wave of leaders in their respective fields; are fascinating individuals, with unique interests beyond their professional passions; are well-respected in the community and 100 percent committed to serving the islands. They malama (care for) the aina (land) and honor their kupuna (elders), while bringing exciting new perspectives and ideas shaping a bright future for Maui Nui. They are accessible to visitors and residents of Maui.

The 2016-17 Maui Mavericks are (in alphabetical order- click on the name to view bio):
  • Perry Bateman (Cuisine) – Executive Chef of Mama’s Fish House
  • Denby Freeland-Cole (Art/Fashion) – Artist and Kapa Practitioner
  • Napua Greig-Nakasone (Hula/Music/Culture) – Kumu Hula and Musician
  • Kainoa Horcajo (Culture) – Hawaiian Cultural Ambassador at Grand Wailea
  • Meagan Jones Gray (Ocean) – Co-Founder and Executive Director of Whale Trust Maui
  • Pohaku Kahoohanohano (Culture) – Master Lauhala Weaver
  • Tiare Lawrence (Fashion/Ocean) – Owner and Designer of Otaheite Hawaii
  • Ekolu Lindsey III (Culture/Ocean/Environment) – President of Maui Cultural Lands
  • Garrett Marrero (Agri-Tourism) – Founder and CEO of Maui Brewing Co.
  • Kaponoai Molitau (Art/Culture/Hula) – Kumu Hula and Owner of Native Intelligence
  • Joylynn Paman (Environment/Culture) – Executive Director of Koieie Fishpond
  • Hokuao Pellegrino (Agriculture/Culture) – Land Education Specialist for Kamehameha Schools and Co-Owner and Manager of Nohoana Farm
  • Sheldon Simeon (Cuisine) – Executive Chef of Mala Wailea and MiGRANT and Founder/Owner/Chef of Tin Roof
  • Shay Smith (Agri-Tourism) – Founder and President of Hawaii Sea Spirits
  • Darren Strand (Agriculture) – President and CEO of Maui Gold Pineapple Co.
  • Dustin Tester (Ocean) – Camp Founder and Director, Maui Surfer Girls
“We are thrilled to honor our inaugural Maui Mavericks and share their stories with the world,” says Vencl. “No one knows the extraordinary nature of Maui and what it will take to preserve and enhance those qualities going forward better than this group of people.”
Maui Mavericks Class of 2016-17.
From left to right: Tiare Lawrence, Hokuao Pellegrino, Dustin Tester, Shay Smith, Sheldon Simeon, Kainoa Horcajo, Mayor Alan Arakawa, Denby Freeland-Cole, Napua Greig-Nakasone, Joylynn Paman, MVCB’s Terryl Vencl, and Perry Bateman. Not pictured: Darren Strand, Ekolu Lindsey III, Garrett Marrero, Kaponoai Molitau, Meagan Jones Gray, and Pohaku Kahoohanohano.       (Photo credit: Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau)
Dustin, and all the Mavericks, were interviewed by Melissa Tanji of the Maui News Shay Smith, Dustin Tester, Napua Greig-Nakasone, Liz Smith, Denby Freeland-Cole and Kainoa Horjaco, all attended or teach at Seabury Hall!

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