With initial support from the Kellogg Foundation and the University of Hawai‘i-Hilo, ALFH launched the first class of the Agricultural Leadership Program in 1982. Now, almost forty years later, the program has adapted to the changing times but the foundational component of ALP continues to focus on network-building. Currently the Agricultural Leadership Program has trained more than 185 professionals from across the state. These alumni have formed a strong network and many individuals are actively serving in leadership roles for industry and community organizations as well as the overall agricultural sector.
Leading and supporting ALP Over the Years
Over the years, many have contributed to the development and success of the ALP. This began when ALFH partnered with UH-CTAHR and Dr. Donna R. Ching was selected to coordinate and deliver the training activities in 1986. For the next 20 years, Donna developed the program into the multidisciplinary, well-networked program it remains today. Acting on a 2005 strategic plan developed by the board, a full-time Executive Director, Kim Coffee-Isaak, was hired and a strategic fundraising plan was put into place in 2006 to ensure the program’s continuation. In 2007 the Foundation celebrated its 25th Anniversary on the island of Hawai‘i with workshops, storytelling and fellowship. In 2009 ALFH contracted Pauline Sato to serve as Program Director prior to Dr. Ching’s pending retirement. Donna and Pauline co-directed Class XIII. Peter Adler was contracted to teach leadership components for Class XIV alongside Pauline. In 2014 Kim Coffee-Isaak left the organization to open her own business and Lisa Soong was hired as Administrative Coordinator. For Class XV (2015–16) Pauline directed the program with Peter Adler and Donna Ching conducting the leadership training. In 2017, Christine Brammer was hired as the Executive and Program Director and she co-directed Class XVI with Pauline Sato. Christine will now be conducting Class XVII with support from leadership trainers, including Donna Ching who now serves as a Board Director for ALFH, and fellow staff member and Program Assistant Sarah Voigt who began supporting ALFH's work in 2019.