HOSPRO Board of Directors

Background and Qualifications; Directors serve two year terms on the Board and are automatically renewed unless they inform the Board they wish to take a hiatus or other extenuating circumstances arise. There are nine (9) Board positions with current vacancies.

William W.M. Steiner (General Manager and President of the Board):
Born in Hawaii in 1942 in Honolulu, Dr. Steiner is of Hawaiian-Portuguese (Mother) and Swiss-French (Father) descent. His father moved the family to Oreana, Idaho where the family’s hay and cattle ranch can still be found with brother John now operating it. He owns a 160 acre hardwood forest and grass farm in Missouri and owns a portion of the family ranch in Idaho. He holds an Associate degree in Science from Boise State U., a B.S. and a Ph.D. (Genetics) from U. of Hawaii-Manoa, and a Systems Engineering M.S. Equivalency from the USDA Graduate School in Beltsville, MD. Dr. Steiner spent a 42 year career working as a professor and researcher in academia and with Federal laboratories and has over 90 publications, multiple reports and one book to his scientific credit. His graduate work was done in Genetics at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He served at University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana for ten years, and was Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Missouri for eight years while working as a research scientist and acting leader at the USDA-ARS Biological Control of Insects Laboratory in Columbia. In 1995 he returned to Hawaii to assume development and management of the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Laboratory of the USGS-BRD. Upon retirement from the Federal Government in 2005, he served as Dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) at UH-Hilo until his retirement in 2012. Since then he has founded his own consulting business (Pacific Agricultural Land Management Systems), co-founded two non-profits (HOSPRO and the Global Ecology Foundation) and has served on the Boards of five other Foundations including Hawaii Agricultural Tourism Foundation (term expired), Na Pua No`eau Center for Gifted Hawaiian Children (term expired), Island Prosperity Foundation (current), Polestar Collaborative (term expired) and the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences Foundation (term current). He is also a published poet and self-taught on the guitar with over 220 songs he has authored. Bill will oversee set up and operations of HOSPRO and does grant writing to obtain funding for HOSPRO. He is one of the original co-founders for HOSPRO.

Curtis Beck (Secretary-Treasurer):
Mr. Beck has a B.S. in Engineering Physics (Washington U.-St. Louis) and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Stanford U.). He has taken certifying courses in management (UHM) and Utilities Management (U. of Idaho). He has spent his professional career working in electrical and gas energy programs at GASPRO CA and HI, at Battele NW National Labs, as a consulting engineer at W.A. Harai consultants in Hilo, and as manager for Hawaiian Electric and Light Co., Hilo, as integrated resource program manager, accounts manager and electric services manager. Retiring form HELCO in 2013, he serves now as an associate in Mahalani Partners LLC which grow and manage 1,000 acres of land above Hilo with oil palm, coffee, cacao, sweet potatotes and other fruits as crops. He is involved in community services including Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Hawaii Island, Big Island MathCounts Program for intermediate schools, Hawaii United Way, Hospice of Hilo, and the Mayors Energy Advisory Committee among others. Curtis served HOSPRO as General Secretary during his tenure and is one of the original co-founders for HOSPRO. He took a hiatus from Board duties beginning in 2017.

Steve Shropshire: Mr. Shropshire was raised in the nursery business in S. Florida. At the age of 18 he started the Green Connection, the largest tropical foliage leasing and maintenance business in the State of Alaska with annual revenues of $3 million. He sold the company in 2001. He assisted former Alaska governor Walter J. Hickel in establishing the Northern Forum, and NGO of the United Nations in which he served as Executive Director. The organization consisted of 31 reginal governors throughout the Arctic world. He served as President of Shropshire International, a company involved in export trade between the USA and Russia which focused on food and beverage products. He later formed Aloha Green LLC, a diversified agriculture operation based on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island growing tropical ornamentals, exotic fruit, heart of palm, timber and livestock on former sugar cane land. He also formed a real estate holding company Shrophsire Group with over 1,400 acres on the Hilo-Hamakua Coast. His community service includes Founder of Green Star (1990) a nonprofit that encourages businesses to practice waste reduction, energy conservation and pollution prevention with over 600 members in Alaska. He has served as Chair of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of many organizations including the Alaska Horticultural Association, Rotary International, Wheels for Peace, Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, Hawaii Export Nursery Association, Envision Hilo 2025, and the Hilo Yacht Club. His many awards and recognitions include: Alaska Young Entrepreneur of the Year (1989), US Small Business Association (1987), Outstanding Community Service (1989), Alaska Horticulturist of the year (1995), Rotarian of the Year (1996), Alaska’s Employer of the Year, Governors Committee on Employment of the Handicapped (1997), Farmer of the Year (1999), Alaska Top 40 Business Leaders under 40 (2000), USDA-NRCS Conservation service and Land Steward Award (2001). Mr. Shropshire’s entrepreneurial and business acumen and experience will serve the HOSPRO Board as we move forward with our plans.

Aina Wolfe (Comptroller, Treasurer):
Ms. Wolfe is a registered CPA with over 30 years experience in public and private accounting services. She serves as Director of Special Projects with Taketa, Iwata, Hara and Associates in Hilo where she assists clients in solving business issues such as software implementation, inventory management and internal control assessments. She provides traditional tax and reporting services as well. She has held Controllership positions in a variety of companies including automobile and motorcycle dealerships, a fitness equipment and training company, a private equity firm, a city government and a union. Ina received her BBA from UHH and has been licensed as a CPA in HI and CA. In her spare time she enjoys gardening and attending musical events. She will serve as HOSPRO accountant, treasurer and comptroller.

Dan Davis (Communications Officer):
Mr. Davis graduated Magna Cum Laude from UC Monterey Bay. He has worked for Navitas Naturals in e-commerce and design, as a property manager and maintenance expert, and he learned mechanic skills by revamping old cars to resell as a sideline hobby. He has an interest in physical health and muscular systems of the human body and worked for a while in massage therapy and spa management conducting customer care, product merchandising, customer scheduling and employee management. He returned to the family farm near Mt. View and has assumed management of the fruit and oil palm production systems there. His extensive skills in graphic design software, digital design, web design and computer architecture will serve HOSPRO well as Communications Director for the LLC.

Steven Jacquier:
Mr. Jacquier is a Ph.D. candidate (University of Alaska Fairbanks) and holds teaching certificates (Alaska Programs), an M.S. (1989) in Village Ecology from Cal State Stanislaus, a Bachelors in Biological Sciences with a Chemistry minor from CAL State Stanislaus (1984), and an Associates in Biological Sciences from Modesto Jr. College (1979). He has worked in education serving from elementary to adjunct professor at various schools in Alaska and elsewhere. He has also studied or taught in non-degree programs at various state and international Universities including Ohio State, Rutgers, Berkeley and the Indonesian Institute of Ecology. Steven is a member of many professional organizations including the Hawaii Island Rat Lungworm Disease Research Team, College of Pharmacy UH-Hilo, the Alaska Math Consortium and the National Science Teachers Association. He serves on various Boards of Directors for a range of organizations including the Alaska Science Teachers Association, Education Northwest (NREL) and the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals. He has won many awards for his service, including twice winner of the Baan O Yeel Kon Native Traditional Council Award for work on preventing FAS through science education in Alaska (1993, 1998). He has been involved in developing educational opportunities for native Alaskans and was a finalist for the SWRSD Alaska state teacher of the year award (2000-01) and the 1999-2000 USA TODAY First Teacher Team award. He has worked with setting science standards for schools throughout Alaska and since coming to Hawaii has been involved in his working farm partnerships with D&S Aloha LLC and D&S LLC and with providing educational consulting through his Northern Educational Consulting LLC service. He has worked with a variety of fruit trees (peaches, almonds) and operated his own nursery and landscape business growing orchids among other jobs. He has published articles concerned with rat lung worm, prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome in native populations, the gender and marriage debate, aquaculture and helminth parasitology, teachers guides and many popular articles worldwide. In Hawaii, he is a member of the Big Island Self Sufficiency group, the Big island Society for Creative Anachornism, the Center for Spiritual Living of East Hawaii, Friends of Puna’s Future, Hawaii Island Palm Society, Ka Pilina Interactive Arts Society, and a supporter of local charter schools and Palace Theatre among other things. He is very aware of Hawaii’s need for ecological restoration and will be leading attempts to grow native endangered species between the oil palms of HOSPRO and grows oil palms on this land near Pahoa.

Robert Stearns:
Mr. Stearns was born 1955 in San Angelo, Texas. He attended the Texas A&M Maritime Academy engineering program and Maritime Academy from 1975-1977. He moved to Hawaii and resided on Oahu where he worked in the early stages of the Kahuku Seafood Plantation. At the same time he took up surfboard design and ran his own surfboard business through 1985. At the end of this period he received recognition as Head Judge of the Hawaii Surfing Assoc. (HSA) East Division (1984) and Award of Merit for outstanding Hilo HSA sportsman (1985). In 1989 he took a job with Leilani Foliage, LLC specializing in the production of potted dracaena and palms for export to the mainland. He managed the business from the mid 90’s until 2007 at which time he started his own export palm nursery being the sole producer of the Chamaedorea falcifera palm. His company has been Leilani Palms and Foliage, Inc., more recently changing to Leilani Palms, LLC. As his understanding of the industry grew he started working with the Hawaii Export Nursery Association (HENA). He has been an active member and has held Board positions in HENA for most of the last 20+ years, serving as President 2006-2008. He was a co-founder of the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association (HFNA) as a potted foliage representative and served as pro-tem Vice President in 2008-2009. In 2002, through a state program, he started employing individuals having psychiatric disabilities and in 2007 was awarded Hawaii branch “employer of the year” from the Hawaii House of Representatives. In 2012 he was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the County of Hawaii for participation and professional leadership at “Hawaii-Islands of Aloha” theme of the 184th Annual Philadelphia International Flower Show. He has served on a selection committee for a UH extension position representing the potted foliage industry and has been active in several community organizations. Robert brings and understanding of palm floriculture and rearing, valuable knowledge for establishing a palm-based vegetable oil industry in Hawaii.

William Hanson:
Bill Hanson is of Hawaiian descent and was born in 1959 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Although not Korean, Bill speaks Korean fluently having formally studied the language in 1979 in the USA and again in 1982 at Pusan National University in South Korea. From 1984 to 1986 Bill taught English at a college in Pusan.  From 1986 to 1991 he was a senior sales manager at Paradise Beach Hotel and Casino in Pusan, Korea.  From 1991 to 1996, he was a branch manager for Philip Morris International responsible for the second largest market with over 15,000 retail outlets.  From 1996 to 2003, Bill was a production manager for Nike Inc. for 11 of their factories in Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam until his return to Hawaii in 2003. He has experienced nearly 80 typhoons which brought experience coordinating humanitarian aid and supply missions to flooded villages in Indonesia, to refugees of East Timor and to multiple orphanages. He also arranged Christmas Holiday donations to the US soldiers stationed on the front lines of the 38th Parallel in the middle of winter. Bill serves as Director of the Hawaii County Emergency Response Teams and brings management and logistical support experience to the HOSPRO Board. He raises fruit trees on his small farm near Hilo in his spare time.

The HOSPRO Board currently operates with a 7-member Board. Three of the members have been with the Board since it’s inception. Board memberships are renewed every two years with satisfactory service or unless a member decides to step down from the Board.