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Inspiration from TedxMaui

Watching Kamea Hadar the lead director of Pow Wow Hawaii, an annual gathering of artists from all over the world was amazing.  They are transforming warehouse spaces in Honolulu by painting murals, and even creating classrooms, darkrooms, housing artists in un-seaworthy boats on his family land, when they come to paint.  He and another guy painted the entire mural of Daniel Inouye during the lunch break.
I will not say I don’t have time to paint anymore. It was such an exciting day! Lia Krieg and Kainoa Horcajo were excellent Masters of ceremonies. Quayle Hodek stands out in my mind. He is called one of the “7 hottest CEOs” by and he is a visionary for Renewable Energy. He is the CEO of Renewable Choice Energy. He’s helping Third World Countries now by providing electricity via mini solar panels that can give light to families who once had only candles to use for the entire night with their families. He has us imagine spending the whole night in darkness, doing homework by candle light, cooking, caring for a baby, not being able to see the faces of your family  when the lights went out. One of his clients is Whole Foods who are using Windpower 100% nationwide. Wow, I was impressed.

The first speaker, Poet, Kim Rosen, was raised to be a lawyer and spoke like one ever since childhood. She really knew since she was two years old that she wanted to be a poet. Something that came from deep inside of her. She had us laughing and then in tears as she told the story of speaking to Masai girls and being terrified of them. Shy girls had been rescued from their tribes to end the forced marriages at eight years old and genitalia mutilation. She was working with a woman named Eve of V-day “stopping violence against women” who was helping to change their lives. She didn’t know what to say. When one of the young girls asked Kim, “What is my name?” Kim said a name and all the girls shrieked with laughter pointing to another girl with that name. Then they asked her to sing a song, and she said she really didn’t sing but she could recite a poem. So then she tried to think of a poem appropriate for these girls out of the hundreds she had memorized in her lifetime. The poem was “The Journey” by Mary Oliver and it had many of us shed tears.

Archie Kalepa now elected in the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame thrilled us with his journeys on the ocean from Big Wave surfing to stand up paddling across the channel to Molokai and down the Colorado River teaching Indians and bringing awareness about the need for water in those regions. He told us the story of meeting Eddie Aikau when someone was caught in a rip tide and Eddie was lifeguard on Oahu.

I was excited to see and hear Makana who showed his genius and humor while playing guitar for us.

At lunch I got to meet Mick Fleetwood, yes of Fleetwood Mac! He was very gracious.

mick fleetwood

There were a thousand people at TedxMaui. It was much bigger than last year. I loved both events and I’m thankful I got to attend. I saw that Steven Tyler was there for the after party and what an amazing island we live on in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Visionaries, entrepreneurs, leaders of Hawaiian Culture, young scientists, all coming together to make this world a better place… See the #tedxmaui2013 hashtag to view all the photos by the social media crew. Thanks again to Katie MacMillan and Sara Tekula as well as their entire crew of TedXMaui for another life changing event.





Jen Russo @MauiTime


Tommy Russo



Looking forward to seeing more and more dreams become real!


Toby Neal

Maui Author
Toby Neal

Aloha everyone…