August 27, 2016 8:15 AM

Polynesian Cultural Center

Official Greetings & Welcoming Remarks

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Ernest K. Wilson is a retired executive and Army officer with over 50 plus years of experience in travel, hospitality, food service, military logistics, and higher education. In the civilian arena held numerous executive management and senior staff positions for hospitality organizations including Holiday Inns, Embassy Suites, Sheraton Hotels, and Outrigger Hotels and Resorts. Management positions included Hotel General Manager, Area Hotel Manager, Director of Hotel Operations, and Director of Holiday Inn University.  Served as Dean of Hawai‘i Pacific University TIM program, Program Director University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Casino Management program, Director USM Culinary Arts, and Dean School of Hospitality Resort and Culinary Management at Paul Smith’s College in New York.  Regent Wilson is a Kamehameha Schools graduate, Cornell University (BS), Florida International University (MS), California International Business University (Honorary Doctorate of Business).

Taholo Kami is the first Regional Director for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Oceania Regional Office (ORO), based in Suva, Fiji Islands. Working in this position for the past 9 years since the office began operation in 2007, Tahalo has provided strategic direction to IUCN Oceania’s five thematic programs: Species, Water, Energy, Marine and Environmental Law. Tahalo has been pivotal in establishing a strong and effective IUCN presence in the region with collaborating partners, members and countries. A self-described innovator and strategist, Taholo focuses on maintaining a strong commitment to biodiversity conservation. He holds degrees in accounting and marketing, and particular expertise in information management strategies in the Pacific Islands context. In addition to having worked as a trainer for small business and network management, Tahalo is an internet pioneer, having consulted on national ICT strategies and running one of the busiest networking internet websites in the Pacific. Tahalo is no stranger to bridging peoples, places and cross-cultural collaboration; he is a Tongan national who spent most of his childhood in Papua New Guinea. In Tahalo’s international work experience, he initialized and established the Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSnet) from New York for the UNDP. He is also currently the Chair of the Roundtable for Nature Conservation in the Pacific Islands.

Ernie Wilson

University of Hawaii Board of Regent

Ernest K. Wilson is a retired executive and Army officer with over 50 plus years of experience in travel, hospitality, food service, military logistics, and higher education. In the civilian arena held numerous executive management and senior staff positions for hospitality organizations including Holiday Inns, Embassy Suites, Sheraton Hotels, and Outrigger Hotels and Resorts. Management positions included Hotel General Manager, Area Hotel Manager, Director of Hotel Operations, and Director of Holiday Inn University. Served as Dean of Hawai‘i Pacific University TIM program, Program Director University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Casino Management program, Director USM Culinary Arts, and Dean School of Hospitality Resort and Culinary Management at Paul Smith’s College in New York. Regent Wilson is a Kamehameha Schools graduate, Cornell University (BS), Florida International University (MS), California International Business University (Honorary Doctorate of Business).

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