Les Welsh

As Director of Conservation Partnerships for the Pacific at the National Wildlife Federation, Les is the primary liaison and engagement officer for CCH’s 40+year affiliation with NWF. For the last eight years Les has worked closely with CCH staff and board to advance board development, fundraising and bringing a national voice to Hawaii’s critical conservation campaigns. His work helped to bring the IUCN’s World Conservation Congress to Hawai‘i in 2016 and to mobilize nationalize support of the campaign to expand and then defend Papahãnaumokuãkea Marine National Monument.

Les has more than 30 years experience as a conservation advocate and non-profit professional. He co-founded the Great Lakes regional office of Greenpeace USA in 1978 and went on to be that organization’s Regional Director and primary campaigner working to build conservation partnerships with indigenous and tribal leaders throughout the United States. Prior to joining CCH and NWF in 2010, Les served as conservation director and then executive director of LightHawk based in Seattle, Washington, and as executive director at Pacific Whale Foundation in Kehei, Maui.

Les currently also serves as co-lead on NWF’s national Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice initiatives.


Wayne Chung Tanaka

A member of CCH’s Board of Directors since 2013, Wayne previously served as Board Secretary before taking on the role of President in 2017.  Born and raised on the island of O‘ahu, in Moanalua and later He‘eia, Wayne has had a lifelong passion for all things related to the ocean, and remains an avid fisher in his time off.  

Wayne is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law and Harvey Mudd College, and worked as a Marine Law Fellow at the Division of Aquatic Resources, Department of Land and Natural Resources before joining the Office of Hawaiian Affairs where he currently focuses on natural and cultural resource management issues as a Public Policy Advocate.

His conservation-oriented publications include Ho‘ona aku, Ho‘ōla aku: First Steps to Averting the Tragedy of the Commons in Hawai‘i’s Nearshore Fisheries, as well as the Enforcement Chain Analysis of Aquatic Resource Enforcement on O‘ahu Island and North Shore Maui.  He has also co-authored chapters on Konohiki Fishing Rights and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the newly released Native Hawaiian Rights: A Treatise, and helped lead the revision process for the 2015 edition of the Introduction to Hawai‘i’s Land Classification and Management System: A Manual for Residents.  An upcoming co-authored publication, “Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo: Grassroots growing through shared responsibility,” in the upcoming Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the U.S.: Restoring Cultural Knowledge, Protecting Environments, and Regaining Health, explores the recent resurgence of culturally grounded grassroots efforts to restore and steward traditional fisheries, fishponds, and limu grounds throughout the islands.  


Lisa Hinano Rey

Lisa Hinano Rey first learned about CCH while working as a policy advocate with Marjorie Ziegler on the Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii from 2008 to 2018. Hinano joined the board of directors in 2017 after serving as a volunteer at numerous CCH outreach events.

Hinano holds, a B.S. in Natural Resource and Environmental Management with a focus on policy and cultural resource management; a UH System Marine Option Certificate and a Certificate in Tahitian Language. Hinano grew up in beautiful Kaneohe where she attended Kaneohe Elementary, King Intermediate before leaving the islands to complete High school at Lowell High in San Francisco. She later returned home to Oahu and  raised her two daughters, both now graduates of UH Manoa.

Hinano’s interests include, addressing sustainable land use in island settings, watershed management, integrated environmental management, culturally responsive natural resource management, carbon sequestration, tropical agroforestry and native tropical dryland reforestation. Her major influences include time spent living on traditionally managed farmlands on Tahiti island, Moorea and Raiatea in French Polynesia, eating a traditional island diet and learning to care for the land from her Tahitian elders.


Steven Lee Montgomery, Ph.D.

Steven Lee Montgomery has been active in conservation issues in Hawai‘i since 1970, especially with CCH. As a field biologist and expert on Hawaiian entomology, he has discovered approximately 30 previously unknown insects and plants, including “killer” caterpillars, happyface spiders, and the wēkiu bug. His work has been featured in National Geographic and Hana Hou, and he uses knowledge of Hawaiian forest life to lead hikes and help CCH edit and publish wildlife education posters.  

Steve served as vice-chair of the Hawai‘i Land Use Commission and as a director of the National Wildlife Federation. He also served on NWF’s International Committee, which prepared him to lead the push to host the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu in 2016.


Anne Walton

Anne Walton is retired from NOAA/Office of National Marine Sanctuaries where she worked on marine protected areas (MPAs), both domestically and globally, for more than twenty-five years.

From 2004 through 2016, Anne was Program Manager for the NOAA/ Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ International MPA Management Capacity Building Program. During Anne’s tenure, the program worked with MPAs in 36 countries with a portfolio that covered the following regions: Western Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Coral Triangle, Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape, Kiribati, SE Asia, Mexico and the APEC Training Center in Xiamen, China. Each of these multi-year programs (minimum commitment from NOAA of 3 years) offered a range of capacity development activities including training, site exchanges, site support in management planning, and mentor development program (ToT and leadership), all in marine and coastal resource management.

Prior to running the international capacity building program, Anne oversaw multi-stakeholder management planning processes for 4 of NOAA’s national marine sanctuaries on the west coast and the Hawai’ian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, as well as served as an advisor during the designation process for  Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Anne is continuing her work as a consultant in the Mediterranean, China and Coral Triangle (Indo-Pacific) managing both the Collaborative Leadership and Women’s Intergenerational Leadership Learning Forums for marine conservation professionals.

Anne has graduate degrees in both marine resource management, and education.


Dr. Rachel Seabury Sprague

Dr. Rachel Seabury Sprague is the Director of Conservation for Pūlama Lānaʻi, the company that owns and manages 98% of the island of Lānaʻi for the major private landowner.  She received her A.B. from Bowdoin College in Maine, and her Ph.D.from the University of Montana studying physiology and behavior of Laysan albatross.  Rachel has worked with coastal and island wildlife for nearly 20 years, including research on seabirds from the Bay of Fundy in Canada to the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, leading a release program for captive-bred endangered birds on California’s Channel Islands, and serving as the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Coordinator with NOAA Fisheries.  Rachel moved to Lānaʻi in 2016 to help build Pūlama Lānaʻi’s wildlife and habitat conservation programs.  Rachel is the vice president of the board of the Conservation Council for Hawaiʻi, and sits on the board of directors for the Western Section of The Wildlife Society (past-president), the Hawaiʻi Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and the board of advisors of the Hawaiʻi Marine Mammal Alliance