Les Welsh, Interim Executive Director
As Director of Conservation Partnerships for the Pacific at the National Wildlife Federation, Les is the primary liaison and engagement officer for CCHâ€™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 Hawaiiâ€™s critical conservation campaigns. His work helped to bring the IUCNâ€™s World Conservation Congress to Hawaiâ€˜i in 2016 and to mobilize nationalize support of the campaign to expand and then defend PapahÃ£naumokuÃ£kea Marine National Monument.Â
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 organizationâ€™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.Â
Les currently also serves as co-lead on NWFâ€™s national Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice initiatives.
Jonee Peters, Administrator
Aloha! I was born in Honolulu and raised in Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu. I graduated from J.B. Castle High School, and have an Associates of Sciences degree in Fashion Design and Technology from Honolulu Community College, and a Certificate of Achievement from Ho`ohalike Ko Kahiko Hou La`au Lapa`au in Hawaiian traditional healing arts. My past employment as a grounds keeper in the native Hawaiian plant section at the Waimea Falls Park Arboretum gave me a wonderful opportunity to work with rare native Hawaiian plants and Hawaiian birds. Influences in life are my parents, and kupuna (elders) who practiced lauhala (pandanus leaf) weaving, hula and chant, kahuna la‘au lapa‘au (native Hawaiian healing) and gathering food from the ocean. Spending my spare time in and around the ocean, learning about native Hawaiian plants and how they were utilized for food, medicine, and clothing, and creating fabric and multi media art are the things I enjoy doing.