About us

Our Team


Dr. Jennifer Chirico is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM) at the University of Hawaii-Maui College. As the Executive Director, she develops and directs SLIM programs and projects, including non-credit certification training programs in various areas of sustainability. She is involved in a wide range of community outreach activities related to increasing understanding of sustainability and how it can be adopted and implemented at both organizational and individual levels. She works with individuals and organizations from the public, private, educational, and non-profit sectors and presents to a variety of audiences on a wide range of sustainability-related topics. She has a PhD in environmental policy and holds a master’s degree in public health with a major in environmental health. Her research expertise is in air quality, green building, transportation, sustainable waste management, and renewable energy.


Ray Sled is the Rural Hawaii Water Specialist responsible for developing new curriculum for water and wastewater operators certification. After 4 years in the US Coast Guard, Ray attended Clackamas Community College and received his Wastewater and Water Treatment AS Degrees.  He has over 30 years experience in municipal water operations in Hillsboro, Oregon; Everett, Washington; and Renton, Washington. Most recently, Ray worked as the Operations and Maintenance Manager for Everett, Washington.

Travis Snyder is the Sustainability Coordinator for the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui. She helps administer various SLIM programs and projects, including coordination of sustainability classroom trainings and community outreach. Travis received her BS in Biology and Psychology and her Masters in Environmental Studies. She has experience working with environmental outreach and education programs and previously interned with the North Carolina Coastal Federation. In her spare time, she enjoys running, hiking, and diving.

Patty Stemmle is coordinator for SLIM’s sustainable education programs at Maui College. At SLIM, she leads the on-going activities, provides site coordination for the SLIM training programs, coordinates special projects, and works on public outreach activities. She serves on the Education Committee for the US Green Building Council (USGBC) Hawaii Chapter and the Advisory Board of the Maui Chapter of Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE). Patty works as Education Coordinator for Green Building LLC a consulting firm that conducts LEED and energy management training statewide and throughout the University of Hawaii college system. She is currently working on her Master’s of Educational Technology degree through the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Melanie Stephens is currently the Maui Smart Grid Energy Audit Training Coordinator. She has been a consultant with SLIM and OCET, conducting a survey and completing a report on the sustainability needs of Maui businesses. She teaches EdVenture courses and specializes in conflict management consulting for business and family. She is a core group member of Upcountry Sustainability, a Master Gardener, and the Community Service Chair of Upcountry Rotary Club.

Austin Van Heusen is the internship coordinator for the INNOVATE Hawaii commercial energy auditing program. Austin is a student of UH Maui College focusing on energy monitoring and management.  Through SLIM, he obtained his Home Energy Survey Professional certification, worked directly with the Renewable Energy Customer Services department at Maui Electric, and  completed an internship with INNOVATE Hawaii, completing a commercial energy audit with a local business.  He also works with Green Building, LLC as an energy consultant.


Tracy Tarlow is the community garden coordinator. She is currently working with several community organizations to design the community garden and learning center on the UHMC campus. Tracy has a BA in Environmental Studies, Garden Educator Training Certificate, and earned her Permaculture Design Certificate in September 2010. She enjoys helping friends and family with gardens and participating in a variety of community events related to gardening, backyard farming, local food networks, and teaching children how to compost, plant and taste fresh food.


John Bendon is a leader in Hawaii in the field of green building and energy efficiency.  Many of the classes that John has taught have never been taught in the State before. John Bendon is a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty in LEED Homes. He is also Certified Energy Rater under RESNET, a Building Performance Institute Analyst, holds masters in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver, and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado.  To learn more about John and his company Green Building LLC, please visit www.GreenBuildingHawaii.com

Matias Bessaso is co-owner of Rising Sun Solar. He has been in the solar industry since 2003 and is a licensed electric contractor since 1998. He has certifications in NABCEP, SMA, Sharp and Fronius. He has taught PV classes for 4 years and collaborated on curriculum development.

Lyman Morikawa has been working with solar energy since the early 1990s.  He has experience in residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional power and lighting system design for power generation and distribution, motors and controls, renewable energy and solar photovoltaic systems. As the manager of Morikawa and Associates, LLC, Mr. Morikawa is involved with preparation of electrical design plans and specifications for custom residences and development projects, single and multi-family dwellings, commercial and office buildings, warehouses, medical facilities, churches, recreational facilities, and industrial plants. Lyman is a Licensed Professional Enginneer and holds a B.S. in electrical engineering and a MBA.

Clifford Rutherford was a former building contractor and practiced plumbing and solar hot water installation with a local division of a national plumbing franchise on Maui and received solar hot trainer certification through the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). As an Instructor at UHMC, he was Program Coordinator for the Construction Academy Program and taught energy and construction trade credit courses with the Sustainable Construction Technology Program.

Stuart Zinner is the Maui College Renewable Energy Coordinator and an instructor in the STEM department teaching classes in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology, Information and Computer Science, and Mathematics, including classes in Photovoltaic Design and Installation, and Computer Networking. He has received training in Photovoltaic Design and Installation from Solar Energy International and is approved by NABCEP to offer PV classes.


Timothy Botkin is currently engaged as a full-time Instructor in the UHMC Sustainable Sciences Management program. Prior to acquiring his advanced degrees for this purpose, he spent 20 years as an attorney, mediator, public official and consultant on sustainability matters. He and his wife Barbara moved to Maui in 2011 and are happily assimilating the community and college dynamics of the island into daily life as well as sustainability study and practice.

Kainoa Casco, LEED AP, is the Co-Founder of Susty Pacific LLC, a Hawaii based business consulting firm specializing in sustainability, and is also the Director of Sustainable Operations for Mountain Rider’s Alliance. He has worked on sustainability projects across five states with organizations such as Pacific Gas & Electric, New Resource Bank, Dowling Company, Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification (WAVE), Hawaii DOT-Airports (Honolulu Airport), and Hali’imaile Pineapple Company.  A graduate of Lahainaluna High School, Kainoa earned a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He is a 2008 Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow, is on the HI Impact Planning Committee, and serves as a boardmember for the Sustainability Association of Hawaii and Maui Community Work Day.

Meghan Claire is a green real estate agent specializing in Luxury Residential and Investment properties in the South Maui area. Additionally, she is raising the awareness of “Green Real Estate” here on Maui. Meghan is Maui’s First Female Eco Broker, and an integral educational resource regarding Green Building, networking with Local Green Vendors, and organizing green building seminars on island. She can benefit Sellers, by promoting the cost-saving benefits of a property’s green features in order to set listings apart from the competition. Meghan can assist Buyers in finding a home that is healthier to occupy, less expensive to operate, and potentially more valuable in a future re-sale situation based upon the home’s energy efficiency.

Lucienne De Naie is an author, researcher, journalist and grantwriter and former county council candidate who lives in east Maui. She served three years on the county’s General Plan Advisory Committee and many other county advisory groups. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter.

Alex De Roode is the Director of Business Development & Sustainability, Alex de Roode provides leadership in strategic planning, operations, program development and program implementation for Green Building LLC, a Maui, Hawaii based green building training and consulting firm.  Alex formerly served as the first Sustainability Manager for Portland Community College and was first Executive Director of the Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM). Alex holds a Master of Science degree in Bioresource Engineering from McGill University, and is a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) in Operations+Maintenance as well as a Certified Energy Manager (CEM).

Kainoa Horcajo

Lehn Huff is recently retired from 30 years as a teacher and administrator at Seabury Hall. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a master’s degree in Chinese History and Anthropology. In addition, she received a master’s degree at UCLA in Education-Curriculum and Instruction and continued to work towards her doctorate while also serving for a short period of time as a Clinical Consultant at UCLA’s Teacher Training Institution and a Research Associate for the Center for History Education that eventually set the national standards for the teaching of World History and American History. In 2010 she served for six months as the Interim Executive Director for the UHMC SLIM program.

Dr. Ivo Martinac is Chair Professor and Head of the Division of Building Services Engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden. During 2005-2006, he served as Director of the Environmental Leadership in Tourism Program at the School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii, Honolulu. Since 2007, he is back at his Alma Mater, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). He recently established and is currently managing the Sino-Swedish Sustainable Building Alliance, a public-private partnership aimed at collaborative research and technology transfer between Sweden and China in the domains of high-performing buildings and sustainable urban/community development. He holds Visiting Professor appointments at South East University (Nanjing), Northwestern Polytechnical University (Xi’an), and the Shandong Art and Design University (Jinan), PR China.

Johnathon McKee is the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at Maui College.

Clyde Sakamoto, Chancellor, UH Maui College

Janet Six has lived on Maui since migrating from Northern California in 1978. She attended UH Maui Community College, graduating with an AA in Liberal Arts in 1995. In 1998 she received her BA in Anthropology and Classical Civilizations from New York University. She holds two Masters Degrees in Historical Archaeology, from Columbia University (2000) and the University of Pennsylvania (2003). In 2010,l Janet received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation research focused on industrial sugar plantations in Hawai`i – in particular the effects of hydrological despotism the diversions of traditional waterways on the cultural and natural landscape.

Warren Watanabe, Executive Director of the Maui County Farm Bureau. was born and raised on a family farm in Kula and graduated from Maui High School. A few years after graduating from UH Manoa with a degree in horticultural sciences, he took over the operation of the family farm. The farm has evolved over the past 70 years growing vegetables as well as flowers for lei heads. As a third generation farmer, he now grows produce and edible flowers for hotels and restaurants, marketed under the label of Kolours of Kula and distributed by Local Island Fresh Edibles. Warren has held various positions in the Farm Bureau, most recently serving as President of the Maui County Farm Bureau for 13 years.  He has also served on the Maui County Board of Water Supply and the Maui Produce Processing Cooperative.  He also represents the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation on the Hawaii Drought Council and chairs the Ag in the Classroom committee.


Keep in touch

Email: SLIMinfo@hawaii.edu
Phone: 808-984-3379