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Who We Are

Board Members:

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Jaya C. Dupuis  
Jaya has since 1989 immersed herself in the natural world of subsistence farming; and since 2014 has been project coordinator for the restoration of Keau’ohana native rainforest. She is also dedicated to community outreach and education of critical vegetation issues, in support of the lowland environment at large. 

Ms. Dupuis is the author of  of “Hawai’i Plant World Essentials“.  You can also find her 2012 thesis about vegetation patterns in Hawaii:  “Invasion and Resilience in Lowland Wet Forests of Hawai‘i“. 
Read More about Jaya…


Secretary /Treasurer:
Jim Buck
Certified Public Accountant specializing in small business, who is volunteering accounting and tax preparation services in support of this forest project. Jim contributed most of the legwork in starting our new non-profit. Jim is also a successful grant writer. He and his wife, Laura, have been married for 43 years.


Director at Large
Russell Ruderman
Hawai’i State Senator of the Puna and Ka’u Districts, and founder and owner of Island Naturals, a group of Big Island natural food stores. Russell is a strong environmental advocate and has had a major supportive influence with us receiving two State grants from the Legislature for the restoration of Keau’ohana. Russell has also offered generous donations toward the project. Russell is also an enthusiastic amateur musician, and lives in Keaau with wife Dina and daughter Aviva.

Outstanding Volunteers:


Masa Sumida
Born and raised in Hilo, Masa has been a successful business entrepreneur and is now happily retired. He is a most dedicated volunteer member who began with the launching of the Keau’ohana restoration efforts in 2015. As a volunteer, Masa now joins the weekly field crew, contributing much time to invasive species control and the consolidation of dead wood on our restoration site. Masa has been a strong supporter of the project on many levels and is a treasured member.
Read More about Masa…


James Elston
James has done digital animation and provided website design and support for small businesses for over 30 years. He has volunteered website support and has a new found appreciation for working in the forest navigating between the Dirt and the Digital. He is now engaged as an outreach coordinator.

Field Crew Members:

jon Rathbum

Jon Rathbun
Longest standing crew member and avid supporter of native species and environments. Jon is a plant specialist developing a picture identification book of all plant species found on the Island of Hawai’i.  Jon offered countless volunteer hours in helping to establish the trail system prior to the project’s launching in 2015.


Jeremiah O’Brien
Being on the Keau’ohana crew once was not enough for Jeremiah. After a spell on the mainland, Jeremiah has returned with a new found sense of enthusiasm and commitment to our organization. 


Koa Quitevis
Yet another wonderful weekly field worker with a sincere interest and knowledge in Hawaii plant life.


Hilary Flaming
Weekly field crew worker dedicated to the environment, and to sustainable living practices.


Linda Larish
After working in the forest as a member of the Field Crew for the Keau’ohana native rainforest in the past, Linda is one of the first two volunteers to “Adopt A Plot”.

And a Big Thank You to:

Past Keau’ohana rainforest field technicians and other supporters who have contributed significantly to HER since 2014 include:

Jeff Stallman, Greg DiBenedetto, Nick Livigni, Philip Caporusso, Clive Cardozo, Patrick Wilson, Greg Cerrato, Spencer Willis, David Jones Palila, Trevor Keliihoomalu, Minoh Banks, Ale’alani Evangelista, Mina Viritua,  Stephanie Bostedt, Ashley Nemeth, Linda Larish, Chris Clever, Malina Fagan, Kelly Collins.