The Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau today launched its new “Maui Mavericks” public relations campaign and selected 16 next-generation leaders as Maui ambassadors for the program.
Agency executives say the campaign is aimed at promoting Maui Nui in national outlets and key markets in North America. Through the campaign, MVCB executive director Terryl Vencl said she hopes to, “increase editorial exposure and interest in travel to Maui, attracting a steady flow of visitors to help ensure a vibrant island economy.”
“The new campaign offers a modern take on what makes Maui such an incredible destination, as told through our next generation of leaders,” said Vencl, who described the Mavericks as a group of excellent storytellers with an ethnically diverse and multi-talented background, “who are moving Maui forward while preserving Hawaiʻi’s culture and heritage.”
The inaugural group for 2016-17 includes a kapa (Hawaiian bark cloth) maker, a taro farmer, a fashion designer, and 12 other talented and knowledgeable Maui residents. The list includes:
Perry Bateman (cuisine): executive chef of Mama’s Fish House
Denby Freeland-Cole (art/fashion): artist and kapa practitioner
Nāpua Greig-Nakasone (hula/music/culture): kumu hula and musician
Kainoa Horcajo (culture): Hawaiian cultural ambassador at Grand Wailea
Meagan Jones Gray (ocean): co-founder and executive director of Whale Trust Maui
Tiare Lawrence (fashion/ocean): owner and designer of Otaheite Hawaiʻi
Ekolu Lindsey III (culture/ocean/environment): president of Maui Cultural Lands
Garrett Marrero (agri-tourism): founder and CEO of Maui Brewing Co.
Kaponoʻai Molitau (art/culture/hula): kumu hula and owner of Native Intelligence
Joylynn Paman (environment/culture): executive director of Kōʻieʻie Fishpond
Hōkūao Pellegrino (agriculture/culture): land education specialist for Kamehameha Schools and co-owner and manager of Nohoʻana Farm
Sheldon Simeon (cuisine): executive chef of Mala Wailea and MiGRANT and founder/owner/chef of Tin Roof
Shay Smith (agri-tourism): founder and president of Hawaiʻi Sea Spirits
Darren Strand (agriculture): president and CEO of Maui Gold Pineapple Co.
Dustin Tester (ocean): camp founder and director of Maui Surf Girls
“Our Maui Mavericks are going to be able to give a demonstration in person, live, and talk about real experiences, what really happens on Maui on a day-to-day basis, that makes the quality of life on Maui what it is,” said Mayor Arakawa.
“We’re considered one of the best communities in the world, not just because of our oceans, not just because of the activities, but because of a combination of everything put together to build a society that we have here. To be able to promote that with our ambassadors is going to be a tremendous help for our tourism promotion,” said Mayor Arakawa.
MVCB executives say the campaign offers a modern take on what makes Maui such an incredible destination, as told through the next generation. “Maui may be known for its beaches and natural beauty, but news oultets in New York or Texas may not see further than that. This campaign showcases the diversity and aloha spirit of our best and brightest, and sends them out into the world as ambassadors of the island we love,” said Vencl.
Agency representatives say the Maui Mavericks will work on island and in key travel markets, including Los Angeles, San Fancisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Dallas, Chicago, Denver and New York to host events, demonstrations and discussions. Through the events, they will share their inspiring stories through media interviews, social media and interactions with the public.
On that note, several press trips are planned this year in which members of the media are invited to come to the island. Television and media interviews will be conducted throughout the year featuring storytelling and demonstrations by the Maui Mavericks.
“We are thrilled to honor our inaugural Maui Mavericks and share their stories with the world,” said Vencl. She also thanked local lawmakers and government leaders for supporting these kinds of programs that she said will, “help to keep Maui Nui number one in the world, and top of mind for all of those competitions that are out there.”