Mahina Paishon-Duarte

Mahina Paishon is co-founder and chief executive officer of Waiwai Collective, a regenerative urban oasis, a kīpuka, for weaving community, culture, and commerce. As a social entrepreneur who has also led several educational and cultural organizations, her vision and mission are one and the same––to catalyze positive, lasting change for Hawaii in one generation. Most notably, Mahina is the founding executive director of Paepae o Heʻeia, the first modern Hawaiian fishpond that created ground-breaking ʻāina-based education programming for students from preschool through post-doctoral levels. She gained public sector experience as a policy program manager with NOAAs Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, which at the time was the worldʻs single largest marine managed area, advancing the integration of both indigenous and western scientific methodologies. Mahina also served as head of school for two accredited award-winning culture-based charter schools. Additionally, she serves on the State of Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Board as its Vice Chair, and as a Commissioner on the Leeward Planning Commission for the County of Hawaiʻi. Today, Mahina is a part of the ʻĀina Aloha Economic Futures movement to address long-standing socio-economic inequities that the COVID-19 pandemic underscored; and to bring to life a resilient economy through our core value of ʻāina aloha—a deep and abiding love for Hawaiʻi’s communities and natural environments.