I have over 20 years of hospitality and healthcare executive leadership experience here in Hawaii and in New York. I have been the Hotel Manager at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, The Mauna Kea Resort, and the Fairmont Orchid responsible for managing the daily operations and overseeing the multi-million-dollar budgets.
In New York City, I was a Hospitality and Tourism college professor and was then recruited by New York-Presbyterian Hospital to train the Weill Cornell Medical Center staff with the goal to improve the hospitality experience. All of which was successfully achieved.
As a hotel and healthcare executive, I have spent many hours in the boardroom making decisions that affect our guests, employees, and managers. I look forward to bringing this leadership experience to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) boardroom, making decisions that affect our Hawaiian Community.
My decision to run for OHA – Hawaii Island Trustee
Everyone’s first question is “Why? Why run for Hawaii Island OHA Trustee”. The truth is, I witnessed firsthand the difficulty my parents faced building a home on DHHL land. My father, Rocky Cashman shares in the Council of Native Hawaiian Advancement video “what is sad is Hawaiians need more help from the people who are supposed to be helping them, and that is not happening”. I get emotional watching the video (and you will too) and those words continue to haunt me every day. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is an organization tasked directly with helping Native Hawaiians and I am committed to ensuring that as your Hawai’i Island trustee, Hawaiians and Hawaii residents will always get the help they need and deserve.
Implementing Change & Learning From My ‘Ohana
It is important to change the perception of the OHA Board of Trustees. The OHA Board of Trustees are responsible for setting OHA policy and managing the agency’s trust. With my extensive leadership experience, I will bring civility to the boardroom. I have been successful managing multimillion-dollar budgets, making strategic decisions to increase revenues and fulfill the needs of our staff and management. It is time to increase the funds in the trust, there are billions of dollars out there for OHA to support our Hawaiian Community. It is time for new blood, new energy, to get new results.
As Teen Vogue noted “In this climate, we asked 6 brave women to explain what cultural appropriation means to them — and how it feels to see their culture worn and discarded. Their answers reveal the painful, human side of cultural appropriation. Gianna Collier-Pitts breaks down why the Afro wig is not just a fun hairpiece to wear and discard after a Halloween party. “Our hair is stigmatized as being untidy and this costume is incredibly insensitive to the real struggles African-Americans have wearing their natural hair.” Through tears, Cashman Aiu explains why it’s hurtful to see people co-opt Hawaiian culture for a night of revelry. “One of the things about Hawaiian culture that not a lot of people know is that historically it was illegal to practice anything that had to do with native Hawaiian culture. My grandmother is currently in her 70s, and she’s finally learning how to dance hula. And she’s been creating her hula skirt and lei for weeks now, and this is nothing like what it looks like. This costume is extremely hurtful, not only for myself but the generations that had to go through this erasure.”
I’m so proud of my daughter!