JOHN CRUZ – CHAIR
John has supported many nonprofits over the years. Since 2001, John Cruz has been with Mana Maoli, serving on the Board since 2012, eventually becoming Mana Maoli Board President as of February of 2015. He has donated his time and talents across dozens of shows and media appearances in Aotearoa and Hawai’i, as well as original recordings across 2 CDs. He has personally visited a majority of Mana Maolis partner Hawaiian Charter Schools across Hawaii, Kaua’i and O’ahu islands, and donated multiple audio recordings and a music video of an original song he did with Jack Johnson. John played a key leadership role in representing Hawaii and Mana Maoli during our cultural exchange and tour across Aotearoa.
John’s connection to the native Hawaiian community has been personal, spiritual and national. Personal because he and his family have been involved in the music of Hawai’i for generations and will continue to be. Spiritual because the spirit of our Hawaiian music and culture lives inside of him. National because our Hawaiian music and dance have maintained our Hawaiian culture through the illegal overthrow and occupation of our nation of Hawai`i despite our occupiers’ desire to erase us from history. He is proud to represent Mana Maoli as a Kanaka Maoli!
As a Grammy award winning singer and songwriter, John is known around the world as one of Hawaii’s most popular and respected artists, for his recording, touring, writing and producing abilities.
Wayne enos – secretary
Wayne Enos is a longtime musician and Mana Maoli supporter, serving on our board since 2016. He was the 1st teacher of our 1st year long afterschool/elective class to teach our ABCʻs – Academics, Business and Culture – through music, in 2010, and has taught numerous short-term to year-long mentorships since. He traveled both years to Aotearoa for school visits, cultural exchanges and performances, taking on leadership roles each time. Wayne also made multiple CD, concert and media appearances in support of MM and the Hawaiian charter school movement. Wayne has been learning ‘olelo Hawai`i and various other Hawaiian cultural practices, including he’enalu, wa’a he’enalu, kī hoʻalu, and mele hawaiʻi. He is the founder and leader of Natural Vibrations, one of Hawaii’s favorite reggae bands over the last 20 years.
Theone Kanuha – Member
Theone is a long-time community leader of Papakōlea, a Hawaiian Homestead and 1of Mana Maoli’s host communities. She has served as the President for Kula No Na Po’e Hawaii, an educational 501c3 nonprofit that serves at-risk families in Papakōlea, for 26 years and counting. She brings over 30 years experience working at Stevenson Middle School, with a focus in Special Education. Theone’s connection to the Native Hawaiian community is the feeling of belonging and the aloha shared among neighbors and community residents. She created and maintains a community garden in Papakōlea. She has been on Mana Maoli’s board for over 13 years.
Lopaka Colon – Member
Lopaka is 1 of MMʻs longest standing supporters since inception in 2001, contributing countless school visits, mentorships, and MM event, media, CD and video appearances. Lopaka has been a member since 2016. Lopaka’s father, the late Augie Colon is widely regarded as the ʻgrandfather of percussion’. Lopaka is the percussionist for many well-known artists and bands in and out of Hawai’i, including Henry Kapono, Michael McDonald, and Mick Fleetwood’s Island Rumours Band. Lopaka is connected to the Native Hawaiian community by serving as a mentor to youth participants of Mana Maoli programs, and by representing the Native Hawaiian community and our Hawaiian culture at various large scale events and videos.