Papa Alaka‘i (Governing Board)
Aloha! I've been a founding club member of MAWHCC since 2006. For many years, my family and I have been very active locally in our Hawaiian community activities and events.
I completed BS degree in Human Resource Development program of University of Illinois at Carbondale / McChord Airforce Base. I recently retired after 29 years working as a WA State employee with Division of Children and Family Services. Family is everything to me. I'm a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. I look forward to serving as President of our club and working closely with our members to engage our community and grow our club.
Hope Pelekikena (Vice President)
Aloha! I was born on the beautiful garden island of Kaua’i in the town of Waimea. I attended St. Theresa Catholic School, St. Francis High School. I received my B. A. Of Education from Seattle University, my Master’s of Social Work from the University of Washington and my Principal’s Certificate from Western Washington University. I'm married with 4 children and 11 mo’opuna and 3 hanai mo’opuna. I retired after 42 years in education. I started a Hawaiian bakery formerly known as Kaua’i Desserts now known today as Cakes of Paradise Bakery own and operated by my sons. I am a proud member of MAWHCC.
Kākau ‘Ōlelo (Secretary)
Aloha, I was born on Oahu and raised in Papakolea homestead. Thru efforts of my Hawaiian community sharing our culture has always been important to me. I grew up learning Hawaiian medicines, hula, and other cultural things. Moving to Washington State and raising a family here has given me a reason to see our culture develop here. I taught my daughters to hula and 9 of my 15 mo’opuna play the ukulele, some sing and dance. I teach and tell them about our Hawaiian culture whenever possible.
I started my work life in California working for the Federal Government. I moved to Washington State and worked in communication. Later, I worked for the State of Washington in communications for 23 years and retired as a supervisor. I’ve been a member of MAWHCC since 2006. Before being Kakau ‘Olelo I co-chaired Nohona Hawaii, then changed to Chair the Communnity and Membership Relations committee.
Aloha! My name is Sandra Cox, and I am currently finishing up a dual licensure in Elementary Education and Special Education. And while I am not of Hawaiian blood, I sure am Hawaiian at heart! I joined the Mokuaina A Wakinekona Hawaiian Civic Club in 2014 after being embraced by the Hawaiian Culture and Ohana! I immediately jumped in to help wherever I could and found my niche as the Pu'uku/Treasurer and as a leader on the Aha Mele Committee. I love everything Hawaiian from the music, culture, dance and islands to the language and traditions and especially the ono food, all of it feels like home!
Kilo I‘a (Director)
I have been a member of Mokuʻāina a Wakinekona Hawaiian Civic Club since the inception and was privileged to attend the ceremonies accepting our club and itʻs charter in Alaska. It was the first time attending and it made a huge impression on the history of the civic club and the impact that we have even if we live here on the mainland.
I was also fortunate to return to Kauaʻi to live and work for almost 10 years, maintaining my membership and supporting efforts of the club as best as I was able. Now that I have returned, I am eager be part of the clubʻs continued activities and positive influence.
LESLIE K. CHERRY
Kilo I‘a (Director)
My name is Leslie K. Cherry. I have been in the background helping to direct corporate funding and resources to non-profit organizations for more than 10 years.
I am passionate about reclaiming my heritage. I was never the woman that could play an instrument or sing or dance, but I am the woman who can advocate, support and collaborate.
I want to use my skillset to drive awareness, inclusion and cultural growth in our communities.
Kilo I‘a (Director)
Mahalo to Kahala Ringgold for offering to cover the recently vacated position of Kilo I'a, midterm. We appreciate your enthusiasm and willingness to jump into this role. Kahala also organizes our Book Club, where she shares her passion for literature with others.
BENJAMIN KAEHA BAKER
Pelekikena Iho Nei (Past-President)
Mahalo Ke Akua for his blessings and my family for their support. I couldn’t have accomplished what I have without them. I am the 2nd son of 8 children of Edna Maile and Jack Napahuelua Jr and named after my grandfather, Benjamin Kaeha Kanealii Sr. whose Papakolea homestead was my birthplace.
We moved to Tacoma, WA in the late 1960’s where I learned to play guitar from my Godmother, Aunty Myrtle K Hilo and later entertained with my parents as part of ‘Keaka and the Serenaders.’ After graduating from Lincoln HS my first job was working at Mount Rainier clearing trails and assisting the Park Rangers. This led to becoming a police officer with the Puyallup Tribe and over the 40+ years in law enforcement I am now at the rank of Lieutenant. I am proud of the work I have done with the Puyallup nation and my contributions to its growth.