Former Hawai‘i Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui will join Mahi Pono, LLC, as its Senior Vice President of Operations and will lead the farming venture on Maui.
“Throughout his years of service, Shan has been a strong advocate and leader in supporting and promoting local food production and sustainable agriculture in Hawai‘i,” said Ann Chin, Mahi Pono president. “As a Maui native, he is sensitive to the needs of the community and embodies our commitment to being responsible stewards of the land and a catalyst for growth.”
As Senior Vice President of Operations, Tsutsui’s responsibilities will include business strategy, management operations, community leadership, and government relations.
“Mahi Pono’s farming venture represents a significant step forward in advancing agricultural opportunities on Maui,” said Tsutsui. “It is an honor to be part of this initiative and be able to continue working toward strengthening agricultural sustainability in Hawai‘i, so that we can make a lasting impact on our keiki (children).”
On Dec. 10, Mahi Pono announced the purchase of approximately 41,000 acres of former Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) lands on the island of Maui from Alexander & Baldwin. Mahi Pono is planning a full range of agricultural operations and related uses. There are no plans to convert any of the lands to non-agricultural purposes. Mahi Pono’s plans help ensure the continued use of the former HC&S lands for agriculture, the preservation of green, open space in Central Maui, and a consistent and long-term source of revenue for the local economy.
“We are committed to becoming a positive contributor to the local community. In the coming months, I look forward to working closely with the Maui community to discuss the best ways to support and strengthen local agriculture,” added Tsutsui.
Tsutsui joins Mahi Pono from Strategies 360, a strategic positioning firm, where he will continue to serve as managing partner.
During his terms as the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, he created and oversaw various programs and initiatives that supported and promoted education, sustainability and sports, including the Resource for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture and Health (R.E.A.C.H.) initiative, ‘Aina Pono Hawai‘i State Farm to School Initiative, Sports Development Initiative, among other programs. Previously, Tsutsui served as a Hawai‘i State Senator and became the first Senate President selected from Maui. He is a former small business owner and financial advisor.
Tsutsui graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, and is a graduate of Maui High School. He resides on Maui with his wife Lyndelle and their three daughters.