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Board of Directors

We are deeply grateful to our Board of Directors who helps us achieve our mission through their passion for the arts, their dedicated service, tireless advocacy, and committed financial support.

Kapena Alapaʻi – President

Aloha e ko Hawaiʻi Pae ʻĀina! ʻO wau ʻo Kapena Alapaʻi no Puʻuanahulu i ka ʻiuʻiu me Hōlualoa i ke kūāhewa. 


Kapena Alapaʻi was born and raised on Hawaiʻi Island with ʻohana roots in Pu'uanahulu and Hōlualoa. Kapena is a graduate of Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani Hawaiian Language College at University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and holds a Master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute in New York City. 


He currently serves as Project and Development Coordinator and project co-lead for the Community Benefits Training at Arts in a Changing America (https://artsinachangingamerica.org), which has a mission to reframe the national arts conversation by embracing the cultural assets of demographic change. ArtChangeUS is creating a vast network of artists, idea producers, and organizations that serves as an urgently needed catalyst to bring unheard leadership voices to the forefront of social discourse, arts production, and community change. He served on the Executive Board for Hālāwai (halawai.org) and Kahilu’s DEIA Committee and Community Engagement taskforce before becoming Board President. 

He is a graphic artist, arts administrator, and culture bearer whose passions come from the intersection of Hawaiian history and culture, artistic expression, and community benefit. Kapena plans to focus his stewardship on community benefit and agency within the theatre, creating local economic opportunity and building equitable relationships with the cultural assets of Hawai'i Island.

Michael Thompson – Treasurer

Michael Thompson moved to Hawaii in 2016 after working in financial management in Los Angeles at Center Theatre Group, one of the largest nonprofit performing arts organizations in the Western United States. His duties during ten years as Controller and six years as Chief Financial Officer included the supervision of all financial, accounting and payroll functions such as preparation of the annual budget and financial reports to the CEO, Managing Director and Board of Directors. He also supervised the required filings with the IRS and State and local government agencies, the oversight of employee retirement plans and other benefit programs, and the coordination with outside CPA firms in preparation of annual audits. His prior work experience was in accounting and information services in several private sector companies in the Los Angeles area, including the Walt Disney Company.

Michael holds a B.A. degree in American studies from the University of Alabama and an M.B.A. degree in finance from the University of Chicago. He is registered as a CPA in California and Hawaii. His hobbies are travel, attending music and theatre performances, snorkeling, bowling and community volunteer activities in the arts and social services. He is honored to participate as a Board member of the Kahilu Theatre and is thrilled to support the Theatre’s goals of community engagement in the arts for all, from our keiki to kupuna. 
Beth Dunnington – Vice President

After growing up in Boston and receiving a BFA in Acting from Emerson, Beth lived in NY for 26 years, working as an actor/singer/writer before moving to the Big Island with her family in 2007. In Hawai‘i she directs, performs, teaches acting & musical theater for the Kahilu and HPAF, and writes. Beth wrote and starred in "Que Sueñes Con Las Angelitas," a theatre-dance piece she collaborated on with Angel Prince, which debuted at Kahilu and toured the Hawaiian Islands. A few favorite performances at Kahilu: playing the Witch in “Into The Woods” and acting in both productions of “The Vagina Monologues.” Beth directed the Youth Troupe productions of “ “Spelling Bee," "Godspell," "Grease,” “13,” “West Side Story,” and the “Broadway in Hawaii” concerts. She’s a published author and spent many years writing animated series for television. Beth was part of the Emmy Award-winning team of writers on Steven Spielberg’s “Tiny Tunes.” She leads “The Big Island Writers’ Workshop” and also travels to the mainland with this workshop. She has the honor of being the director of the Kahilu Youth Troupe and the chair of the Education Committee. Beth is married to developer Steve Dunnington and is the proud mother of two terrific theatre kids – Marena and Sean.

Mimi Kerley – Vice President

Mimi Kerley is a small business owner and mom of two who returned to the Big Island in 2009 after living and working on the US mainland and abroad. She was born and raised in Waimea, graduated from Parker High School, and then attended college in Colorado where she received her BS in Information Systems and International Business. She began her career with Cambridge Technology Partners, a technology consulting company, working with clients around the world. Eventually, Mimi joined a small partnership that focused on user experience and graphics design. After spending 20 years off-island, she was ready to come home to start her family.

Mimi was involved with the Kahilu Theatre since its inception in 1981 as a young actor, usher and then summer arts teacher. When the opportunity arose to become a member of the Kahilu Board of Directors, Mimi was eager to get involved and support the Theatre that had been a significant part of her upbringing. Both of her parents (Nora and Everett Knowles) were prior board members and had instilled in Mimi the value that the arts, and Kahilu specifically, offers to our community. Mimi’s love for her community and the arts is the driving force behind her involvement on the board. She is also a board member at Parker School and enjoys supporting other important community projects. Mimi lives in Waimea with her husband Brian, and their two young children.

Ron Meyer – Vice President

Born and raised in Iowa, Ron Meyer attended Stanford University and earned his A.B. degree in economics. He received a J.D. degree from Stanford Law School.

After law school, Ron first served as a law clerk to a United States District Judge in San Francisco. In 1977 he joined the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Los Angeles where he practiced commercial litigation, with particular emphasis on complex financial and contractual transactions. Ron and his family moved to the Big Island in June 2010. He retired from practicing law in March 2016 and joined the Kahilu Theatre Board of Directors in 2017. In his role at the Kahilu Theatre, Ron looks forward to furthering the mission of our organization to be the performance venue of choice for both artists and audiences alike.

Ron lives on the Kohala Coast and has one daughter.
Suzanne Hill Luce – Secretary

Suzanne has been a resident of the Kohala Coast since 1981. An entrepreneur, she was the founder and CEO/President of Panache Destination Management from 1985 to 2003. 

After retiring, Suzanne and her late husband, Mike Luce, traveled the world, enjoying national and global destinations in the pursuit of art and adventure. Luce was founding President of the Kahilu Theatre and his passion for our organization never dimmed. Suzanne is honored to be a member of the Board of Directors and extend Luce’s love for our iconic Theatre in bringing the very best of the arts to Waimea.

Originally from Minneapolis, Suzanne holds an MA in Education from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN, and a BA in American History from Dominican University in River Forest, IL. Her current interests include Oceanic and Asian Art. She is a docent at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for the ‘Art and Architecture’ tour.
Mike Bennett – Director

Mike Bennett was raised in Hilo and on O‘ahu, and also in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He earned his BA from the University of California at Berkeley majoring in American Studies, writing his thesis on the relationship between the Grateful Dead and Ken Kesey.  As an avid music fan, Mike has volunteered his time with the Vans Warped Tour, the Treasure Island Music Festival, and the Noise Pop Music Festival in San Francisco, as well as the Hawai‘i Song Writers Festival on the Big Island. In 2015 and 2016 Mike co-produced three Sonny Chillingworth Tribute shows featuring Makana. Mike is excited to bring his ideas and energy to the Kahilu Theatre’s Board of Directors. 

Mike and his wife, Mele, own Pau Restaurant and live in Waimea.
Mari-Ela Chock – Director

Mari-Ela Chock is a Bay Area native and has been a resident of Hawai'i since 2007. She and her husband Kyle moved from O'ahu to Hawai‘i Island in 2010 to start a family, living in Waimea where their son Elijah and daughter Kalehua are born and raised. 

Mari-Ela is a graduate of San Francisco State University and has a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. Her professional career consists of 20+ years in communications and community engagement, with the first decade in journalism working for TV news stations in California, Wisconsin, and here on the islands at KHNL/Hawaii News Now. In the second decade of her career, Mari-Ela moved into strategic communications, public relations, marketing, and community engagement in the non-profit sector. She is currently serving as the Communications Officer at W. M. Keck Observatory. 

As someone who feels grateful to live, work, play, and raise keiki in Waimea, she is excited and humbled by the opportunity to give back to the community by way of service on the Kahilu Theatre Board. She hopes to add to the diversity of perspectives in continuing to create a positive, inclusive, and vibrant future for culture and the arts in Hawai'i, with Kahilu Theatre serving as the stage that sparks the community's imagination, creativity, and excitement for the performing arts.

Carol Davies – Director

Carol was born and educated in England and ventured west in 1968. She lived in California and Singapore before moving to the Big Island in 2003. Her professional career spanned 32 years as a research scientist at NASA, starting from the Apollo moon landings, to Mars Missions and spacecraft visits to the outer planets. She has been an active patron of the Kahilu Theatre for many years and is enthusiastic about the role that theatre and arts play in the community. She believes we are never too young nor too old to learn and enjoy what theatre, music, dance and art can teach us.

In addition to her role on the Kahilu Board of Directors, Carol is very involved in supporting other activities in the community. These include the Hawai‘i Performing Arts Festival, the Waikoloa Bridge Club, and volunteering as a docent at the Keck Observatory, where she explains why Pluto really had to be demoted. She loves sports, scuba diving, and traveling to the many wondrous regions of the world.

Carol resides with her husband Clive along the Kohala Coast.

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