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The Kahilu Theatre staff is comprised of both full and part time employees as well as independent contractors, all who generously share their passion and expertise in support of our organization's mission and vision. Mahalo! 

Deborah Goodwin – Executive Director

Deborah Goodwin’s enthusiasm is in full bloom. In her role as the Executive Director of the Kahilu Theatre Foundation, her focus is on the long-term sustainability of our organization, including the development of a comprehensive arts education program at the Theatre that will benefit both youth and adults in our community.

An island girl at heart, Deborah was raised on O‘ahu and has been connected to North Hawai‘i for more than 30 years. She brings to Kahilu an extensive background in non-profit management, writing, filmmaking, fundraising, research and education, and has professionally served a diverse set of noble organizations including the Nature Conservancy, Oceanic Institute, W. M. Keck Observatory, Parker School, Humboldt State University, Humboldt Arts Council, and the Morris Graves Museum of Art. As founding director of her own non-profit, Advance Awareness, Inc., Deborah led cultural exchanges between the former Soviet Union and the Aloha State during the final years of the Cold War, and produced two internationally distributed documentaries, “Hot Siberians” and “Aloha, Comrade.”

Educated as a marine biologist, Deborah is also an experienced blue water sailor and enjoys all things ocean. 
Chuck Gessert – Artistic Director

Chuck brings to our arts organization more than thirty years of experience as a theater executive. Most recently he was the Managing Director of the South Bend Civic Theatre in Indiana. Chuckʻs career includes 10 years serving as General Manager at Theatre at the Center, a professional Equity theatre in Chicago. He was also the General Manager for one of the largest amphitheaters in North America at Tinley Park, Chicago. One of his many event credits was generating 10,000 unpaid extras to take part in the filming of the parade in the movie “Ferris Buellerʻs Day Off”.

In some way, shape or form, Chuck estimates that he has been involved in over 1,000 concerts, more than 200 theatrical productions, several movies and commercials, completed three marathons and one Ironman Triathlon!

In his role as Artistic Director, Chuck is responsible for leading the selection of programming for our Kahilu Presents and Kahilu Produces Season and the Arts Ed program. 
Alva Kamalani – Operations Director

Alva Kamalani was born and raised on O‘ahu. She relocated to Waimea in July 1981. Alva started at Kahilu Theatre as a part-time Events Manager in 2004 and began working full time in the Box Office in June 2004. In July 2006, she was promoted to Operations Director. Alva is the genius behind the scenes who ensures that the theatre is run efficiently. Alva has extensive managerial experience and is an asset to the theatre as she is extremely detail oriented.

Alva’s favorite pursuit is relaxation as an art. She is the kumu hula for Halau Manu Le‘a Hawai‘i, with classes in Honoka‘a and Hilo. Alva has traveled the world, including visits to India, Taiwan, Egypt and Thailand. In all her travels she especially enjoys sharing a meal with the people of the land. A visit to New Zealand felt like being home where she found schooling, television and radio in the Maori language quite awesome.

Alva’s love for the performing arts infuses her with on-the-job inspiration.

Danny Waddell – Marketing Manager

Danny has been involved in the live entertainment industry for the last 16 years working as a DJ, graphic designer and promoter. He was responsible for helping to revitalize a once thriving dance music scene in Orlando by creating slick designs and coordinating effective promotional and public relations campaigns.

Prior to working at Kahilu Theatre Danny worked for one of the largest communications companies in the country. He brings to the table vast amounts of experience in customer service, coaching and development, technical support, technical writing, process development, analytics and information systems.

Danny has always had a passion for live music and entertainment and is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Kahilu Theatre team and is looking forward to helping further entrench Kahilu Theatre as one of the cornerstones of Arts and Entertainment on the Big Island. 
Eric Kwan – Box Office Manager

Born and raised in Asia and Australia, Eric has lived on the Island of Hawai‘i for more than a decade. He has spent over 30 years in the hospitality industry in sales and marketing with Hyatt Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Mandarin Oriental Hotels.

This is Eric’s second go-around with Kahilu Theatre where he oversaw the Box Office before its ‘intermission’. Prior to rejoining the Theatre, he worked with Louis Vuitton and was a travel consultant arranging customized itineraries for travels around the globe.

Eric’s hospitality industry experience includes opening hotels and resorts in the U.S. and international destinations, regional/international sales responsibilities, sales training, coaching, customer relations development, and feasibility studies for new hotel/resort projects.

Food and travel are two of Eric’s passions. Education is a third – Eric strongly believes that a well-rounded education is important to every child. 
Cindy Gregg – Box Office Assistant

Cindy grew up in Michigan but in 1982 she decided to temporarily experience the warmer climate of Hawai‘i. Despite leaving an exciting job as a Bank Commercial Teller (where very large sums of cash were delivered to her keeping), she loved the island so much that she never returned home. Originally she lived in Kona but then moved to Waimea where she landed a job at the Kamuela Liquor Store. It was here that her love for fine wine and gourmet food developed. She spearheaded the founding of the store’s gourmet section where exotic imported cheeses and other delectables are now available to Waimea residents. Cindy still helps Alvin in the store but is excited to add a new dimension to her life.

Cindy is thrilled to be part of the Kahilu Theatre ‘ohana.

Lisa Shattuck – Education Coordinator

Lisa came to the Big Island in 2005 with her family and began working in the Kahilu Box Office in 2006. Shortly thereafter she became the Volunteer Coordinator and then took on the role of Youth Education Coordinator and K-Arts Coordinator. As the youth program coordinator, Lisa arranges for thousands of Pre-K to 12th grade students to see the world class performances that come to the theatre. As laughing and being a little silly comes naturally to her, managing groups of young students is the perfect fit. Her educational background in the Behavioral Sciences, including being a substitute high school teacher in Los Angeles, gives her a great foundation for working with teachers, students and the arts. And being a Girl Scout leader for 12 years certainly helps. Exposing students to the amazing variety of music and art that Kahilu Theatre offers through its concerts, gallery exhibitions, and outreach programs continues to inspire Lisa.  

Her love of paddling and world travel also keep spirits high and her focus on the next generation, while living in Waimea in an old paniolo house keeps her grounded in our local history.
Odile Stephan – Volunteer Coordinator

Odile was born and raised in Tahiti, where she was immersed in both the French and Tahitian languages. Her parents decided she should go to boarding school in Europe where she gained an expertise in several other languages, including English. She then moved to California where she brought up 3 sons while working as an interior designer. However, all this time she still felt like an island girl, and when her boys became men, she wanted to return to her Polynesian island roots. The Big Island of Hawai‘i was her first step, and when she arrived, she felt like she was already home: the local culture and lifestyle felt so familiar. She quickly participated in a number of volunteer positions, and her first at the theatre was as an usher. In her current position as the Volunteer Coordinator, she has to skillfully manage a long list of rotating volunteers that are needed almost every day at theatre events. She also volunteers at Hospice events, and enjoys being a member of the Waimea Senior Club, a culturally active group of the Waimea Community Association.  

Odile lives in Waimea and delights in the camaraderie among the volunteers and staff at Kahilu Theatre.
Angel Prince – Director of KPAC

Angel Prince is a choreographer, director, educator, and performer. She is the director of the Kahilu Performing Arts Classes (KPAC) and is the artistic director of Prince Dance Theatre. Angel holds a B.A. in Dance and Psychology from Hofstra University and is currently pursing her Masters degree in Tendencies of Contemporary Dance at the National University of Art in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2012 she received a Tanne Award for outstanding achievement in the arts.  

Ms. Prince founded Prince Dance Institute in 2005 and from that time has enlivened the Waimea community by offering professional training in dance and theatre for students of all ages, and by creating original performances on the Kahilu stage. She is the choreographer and dance teacher for the Hawaiʻi Performing Arts Festival, an instructor at Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy, Parker School, and The Big Island Dance Council and has been the artist in residence at every public school in North Hawaiʻi. She is also a teaching artist for the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.  

As director of Prince Dance Theatre, Angel has created and presented works all over the country. Que Suenes Con Las Angelitas is the company’s most recent and critically acclaimed presentation of dance and theatre. After touring the state of Hawai‘i, it was showcased at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. The creative process is very important to Angel, and she enjoys collaborating with specialists in other fields, such as physicists, astro-photographers, mathematicians, farmers and apiarists. In this spirit, Angel worked with Jack Johnson’s Kōkua Hawaii Foundation to create the original musical Trash Heap, an educational story about the human eco footprint.  
Margo Ray – Kahilu Exhibits Coordinator

Margo is a visual artist from the Big Island of Hawai‘i. She holds an MFA from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec and a BA in Studio Arts from University of Hawai’i at Hilo. Her works have been exhibited in venues such as Second Street Gallery (Charlottesville, VA), The Honolulu Museum of Art at First Hawaiian Center (Honolulu, HI) and Parisian Laundry (Montreal, QC). Her artwork can be found in the collections of the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, The Honolulu Museum of Art Gift Print collection, and the Artist Book Collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale du Quebec.  

From 2006 to 2015 she was co-owner and operator of Ironwood Custom Framing and Design, a custom picture framing business in Kamuela, HI. Since selling the business she has focused on her art practice and raising two children. In 2016, she was hired as the Kahilu Exhibits coordinator where she is working in partnership with the Exhibitions Committee and Executive Director Deb Goodwin to create a leading edge art gallery at Kahilu Theatre. The Gallery is dedicated to expanding the visibility of diverse and experimental visual arts within our region, enlivening our island community through dynamic programming of both solo and thematic group exhibitions that create access to quality art and artists which inspires new ways of thinking, seeing, and doing.


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