Alice Kaahanui: Executive Director
Alice was born and raised on Molokai, and earned her BA in Communications and English from Chaminade University of Honolulu. She has worked for Molokai General Hospital, Hawaii Department of Education, and USDA-Rural Development Program. Alice also has valuable experience from her work at Saint Andrew’s Priory as the Principal’s Assistant, Teacher, and Alumni Relations and Special Events Coordinator. She was the Office Administrator/Manager for Kamaka Hawaii, Inc, Hawaii’s legendary ukulele crafters from 2008-17 where she organized events including Ukulele Festivals and the annual NAMM Show, and maintained the historical archive. Her community service includes being a Core Group Member of the Hawaii Statewide Filipino STD/HV/AIDS Prevention Project, a three term President of the Molokai Little League, and an Advisor to the Molokai Fil-Am Youth Organization. Recently she has worked as a Committee Consultant for the Molokai Hawaiian Homelands Kūpuna, is a member of the Hoolehua Agricultural Homestead Association and Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, and a participant in the Ahupua’a O Molokai Hānai Ā Ulu Garden to Farm Program.
April Maddela: Studio Manager
April was a part of the first group of Molokai Community College students to take ceramics classes at MAC in 2013. Later as an AmeriCorps volunteer for MAC, she learned in-depth about the art of ceramics and how to operate a studio. She received an AA degree in Liberal Arts from Maui Community College: Molokai Education Center. She has taken nurse’s aide courses and is also an Attendant Care/Care Giver for Ohana Health.
Misty Mollena: Assistant to Studio Manager
‘Iolani Kuhoa: President
Served since 2020-Present
‘Iolani Kuhoa is a 3rd generation Molokai homesteader. She is the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program
(HLIP) teacher at Molokai Middle School and Molokai STEMworks teacher. She serves on the boards of the middle school’s
Community Council, the Hawaii Environmental Education Alliance, and other national organizations. ‘Iolani was named Hawaii
Association of Middle Schools Educator of the Year in 2014. As a panelist at the 2019 Hawaii Energy Conference and Exhibition,
Kuoha shared, “We were taught by our kupuna, our elders, how to survive, how to mālama, how to care for our land and how to
respect the aina, the ocean, and what it provides for you.” She and her daughter enjoy creating floral arrangements and lei haku.
Dan Bennett: Treasurer
Served since 2010-present
With over 40 years experience as a studio potter, Dan is a founding member of Molokai Arts Center and the owner of Bennett Pottery. Dan is a retired school teacher with over 40 years of teaching experience. He continues to lecture part time for Molokai Education Center, Maui College, and University of Hawaii as well as teaching adult pottery classes at Molokai Arts Center. He comes to us with a strong history of community service on the island of Molokai serving on the Nature Conservancy Earth Day Committee, as a judge for the Molokai Keiki surf meets, an announcer at Molokai High School athletic events and a member of Hui No‘eau. Dan is also a member of the Hawaii State Teachers Association.
Served since 2020-Present
In 1965 Judy and Bill Mertens arrived on Molokai to work for the Libby plantation before leaving to grow pineapples in Asia. While in Hong Kong, Judy started a successful coffee kiosk business with ten employees. In 1994, the Mertens leased 12.5 acres in upcountry Maui and established Anuhea Flowers, becoming a major supplier of protea. Judy developed the retail portion of the business, designing arrangements to be shipped all over the US. She also opened Anuhea Flowers which featured upcountry artists and sold their work. In 2014 she helped found the Makawao History Museum as both Vice President and a board member, and also served on the Makawao Community Association Board.
Served since 2021-Present
Betty West, one of the founders of the Molokai Arts Center, returns to the Board she served on in the early years. Betty has been an instructor and host (position created during COVID) at the MAC, primarily with the Alu Like Kupuna program. She comes with 50+ years of experience in ceramics, 30+ years in retail & manufacturing, and is an active member of her church and our community. She currently participates in the Hanai A Ulu/Foster Grandparent Program. She shares that all of her current activities including ceramics, “keeps me learning and progressing.”
Served since 2023 to present
Cultural Practitioner, Kumu & Small business owner
Raised on the island of Molokai and 3rd generation Hawaiian Homesteader-Ho’olehua
A member of Na Heona, she participated in a first ever, dedicated art show featuring Molokai Artists, in Honolulu. She is also a current member of the Molokai DMAP-Task Force, Ho’olehua Homestead Association, SCHHA, Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Hana Business Council, and Rotary Clubs. She serves as a board member for HFUU-Molokai Chapter, LahainaTown Action Committee, and Hawai’i Pono 808.
U’i is a Hawaiian community advocate and is active in Maui Nui and O’ahu. She is also a Hawaiian practitioner/Kumu. She has taught ‘ulana niu, hana lei kahiko and other cultural crafts in Hawai’i Nei and in the continental U.S.
Instructors at Molokai Arts Center:
Dan Bennett, Master Potter, Adult Ceramics
April Maddela: Studio Manager
Misty Mollena: Studio Assistant, Keiki Instructor
Ceasar Caberto, Jr.: Keiki painting Instructor
Betty West: Kupuna Instructor
Studio Hosts: Hannah Latimer, Lil MacMillan, Misty Mollena
Ceramics Instructors: Dan Bennett, Kim Markham