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Behind the Scenes at the MACC

Submitted by Leslie Mullens, Vocational Services Chair



Last week our club took Rotary on the Road, with a field trip to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.  The MACC has been Maui's preeminent source and supporter of the arts since 1994.  Karen Fischer, President & CEO of the MACC, joined us for a short lunch, giving us insight into the center's history and all of the extraordinary ways her staff and volunteers serve our island.  "There's a deep and broad expression of culture here," she said.

 Over 235,000 people enjoy MACC programs annually.  With 1,750 events each year from which to choose, there's something for everyone.  From popular rock concerts (i.e. The Who, The Eagles) to dance, drama, music, and comedy shows, this mega-complex's three theaters are always in demand.

But there's a deeper commitment to community that keeps the MACC buzzing all day and late into the evening.  Several studios operate as teaching spaces for hula halaus, art & movement classes, and other Hawaiian cultural programs.  And now the MACC is in the classroom, too.  Through a successful partnership with the Kennedy Center and the Hawaii Department of Education, the staff is helping teachers learn how to integrate the arts into everyday curriculum.  It's working - our teachers have seen an increase in attendance and participation. "You've helped me free the words from my head," one student wrote.

After lunch, we were treated to a full-access backstage tour that wound from the Schaefer International Gallery, onto the Castle Theater stage, and into the "black box" they call the McCoy Studio Theater.  It was a day to remember, standing under the stage lights, looking out into the sea of chairs, and then wandering back for sneak peeks into the dressing rooms and the heart of what makes the MACC a Maui gem.


Thursday November 17, 2006 from 9:30 – 12:00 at MCC 


The Fall Mock Interview session in which teams of 4 Rotarians will team up to help Job Corps students learn crucial interviewing skills.  Just like last year, the interviews will be divided into three categories: Business Technology, Culinary, and Facilities Maintenance.


Please contact Cathy Meyer-Uehara to help.




Mahalo to Kahului Rotarians who participated!

The Rotary Club of Kahului in conjunction with Maui Community College's Rural Development Project assisted the Hawaii Job Corps with mock employment interviews this past week at the Maui Community College.


This Fall Mock Interview session was designed to familiarize Job Corps students with crucial interviewing skills as they enter the job market.


There were three different career objectives:  Business Technology, Culinary and Facilities Maintenance.  The Rotarian Interviewers were given job descriptions and questions to ask and the students were well prepared for their interviews. 


The students and their teachers expressed their gratitude for your time and insights to help the students prepare for the real world of job hunting.  Rural Development Project personnel videotaped all interviews to assist the students with a review on how they presented themselves.  If you would like to be a part of this important process for our future job market pool, please see Cathy Meyer-Uyehara for the upcoming Spring Session.




Three interviewees in front:

left to right, Rodger Reklai, Kathy Yirwer, and Madelina Shikiko.
Four interviewers in back:

left to right, Joanne Noruzi (Rotary), Gayle Long (Rotary), Barry Gay (RDP), and Diana Custer (RDP).








Once each year the Rotary Club of Kahului recognizes a single individual for exceptional service to vocational training in our community.  We do this to:


1)     Recognize the importance of service of the individual to society through excellence in one's vocation;


2)     Promote high ethical standards in the community by recognizing those individuals who most highly exhibit "Service Above Self;"


3)     Inspire vocational leadership and recognize and reward achievers in the community; and


4)     Set an example to others of the need to pursue and strive for VOCATIONAL EXCELLENCE to the benefit of everyone, their vocations, and the community in which they live.


The recipient receives a stunning award and framed certificate in a presentation at the October 30, 2006 club meeting.  This is the first year of this award program for our club.



·    Non-Rotarian working or volunteering for a vocational training program or organization on Maui (not someone enrolled in a vocational training program);

·    Exemplary leadership demonstrated by the individual;

·    Effective fulfillment of the organization’s vocational training mission;

·    Direct contribution of vocational talents to problems and needs of Maui;

·    Embodies and promotes high ethical standards in business (4-Way Test);

·    The organization’s commitment to community development and training.


Solicitation for Nominees.  Nominations will be solicited from within our club membership.  Nominations will be accepted August 28, 2006 through September 15, 2006.

A committee of club members will consider all nominations and announce the results at the October 30, 2006 meeting.





"And the Award Goes To…"


At the October 30th meeting we acknowledged our Laulima Vocational Services Award finalists and announced our winner.  Finalists received framed certificates of appreciation.  Our winnner, Christine DeGuzman, Director of the Hawai`i Job Corps Maui Campus, received a beautiful plaque commemorating the event (Mahalo to Rotarian Chuck Burke for making the award).


The Laulima Award recognizes exceptional service to vocational training in our community.  We designed this honor to inspire vocational leadership and recognize achievers in the community. Each finalist makes an outstanding contribution to vocational training, job placement, or career development - making a difference in the lives of Maui's young adults.

Our finalists were:

  • Mike and Laurie Biggs, Sonshine Solar Corporation;
  • Tom Cook of TMC General Contracting and Island Concrete Manufacturing; and
  • Chef Robert "Bobby" Santos, MCC's Culinary Arts Program Coordinator 

Christine was honored for her leadership of one of the county's most impactful vocational programs.  With a staff of 38, Maui's Job Corps ohana serves between 112-120 eager students from our county and the Marshall Islands each year.  Under Christine's leadership over the past 3-1/2 years, this program has skyrocketed to #1 in the nation.

The ranking includes statistics that measure the number of students who earn their G.E.D. or high school diploma; those who complete their training in Culinary Arts, Business Technologies, or Facilities Maintenance; and overall graduates who find placement in a US workplace.  Highly regarded by her staff, her students, and key leaders in our community, Christine exceeds all expectations in fulfilling Job Corps's vocational training mission.


Thanks to everyone who participated in this first annual award, whether by nominating someone, judging the competition, or giving such phenomenal support and mahalos to our guests.  You made a lasting impression on all of the finalists, showing them first-hand the powerful draw of Rotary.


Mike and Laurie Biggs, owners of Sonshine Solar Corporation, were nominated through our Maui Job Corps partnership.  Several graduates from that program's Facility Maintenance track have been placed at Sonshine Solar.  "The Biggs's outreach to Job Corps students has resulted in empowering work and life experiences for our graduates," says Job Corps' Christy Galyon.

Tom Cook of TMC General Contracting and Island Concrete Manufacturing is also a significant force in vocational service.  Both of his companies accept trainees as part of an apprenticeship program.  In the past eight months, Tom has taken in more than 10 trainees, teaching them new skills in business office procedures and concrete manufacturing.

Chef Robert "Bobby" Santos is MCC's Culinary Arts Program Coordinator.  A Maui native, Bobby has committed 25 years to introducing local youth to the professional world of cooking. He's recently broadened his reach and created an even more permanent legacy, producing a six-video series for television.  "E Hele Mai Ai" features visits to local farms, and cooking demonstrations using those local products.

Christine DeGuzman wraps up our field of finalists.  As director of the Maui Job Corps campus, she leads a staff of 38 in serving 120 eager students as they earn the G.E.D. or high school diploma and complete their training in the Culinary Arts, Business Technologies, or Facility Maintenance.  Under her leadership, this program has skyrocketed to #1 in the nation.