HIPHI welcomes two new staff, expanding our neighbor island ʻohana this spring! 

Jade Iokepa joins HIPHI as Community Coordinator for the East Hawai‘i Drug-Free Coalition. Jade has over 18 years of Operations, Marketing, and Management experience and brings an abundance of community connectedness to lead the Coalition in East Hawai’i.  Prior to joining HIPHI, Jade was a part of the Blue Zones Project Hawaiʻi team as the Community Engagement Lead for East Hawaiʻi, then the Big Island. Later, she was appointed to host and moderate larger scale statewide events, social media content and marketing. Before joining community outreach initiatives, Jade was the Director of Operations at a large local medical eye clinic for over 7 years, overseeing three departments. Born and raised in East Hawaiʻi, then pursued a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Education.  Jade is passionate about our local community in Hawaiʻi and promotes health and wellness throughout.

Our new Maui Food Access Coordinator position will be filled by Lauren Nelson, a passionate food sovereignty advocate striving to empower youth in the agricultural sector. Lauren is involved in the Slow Food Youth Network USA and has worked as a Nutrition Policy and Climate Change Consultant at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Influenced by her experiences as a food security strategist, farmer, and anthropologist, Lauren aims to build farmer-led policies that support sustainable food production while increasing food access, biocultural diversity, and community health. She is dedicated to improving food sovereignty in Hawai’i to ensure equitable and affordable access to land, natural resources, and nutritious foods. 

We look forward to working with these two dynamic individuals.