Those who are family, and those we choose to call our family
An essential part of our values, ohana emphasizes our interconnectedness; co-existing in consideration and with respect for each other and those we serve. As such, meeting our ohana is key to understanding what we are all about.
Director of Operations & Agriculture
Steve Sakala is the Founder of Mana Artisan Botanics™, as well as the owner of Honaunau Farm. Steve has been a leader in the medical cannabis and sustainability movements for more than two decades. Over the last seven years he’s focused on CBD-rich (cannabidiol) hemp strains that have diverse and potent health benefits. He has served as the president of the local chapter of Hawaii Farmers Union United, part of the oldest agriculture organization in the country. He has also spent time lobbying for sustainable agriculture in Washington, D.C., and in the Hawaii state legislature. In his efforts to support sustainable hemp legislation and cultivation in the State of Hawaii, Steve’s company Green Hawaii Genetics was awarded the first contract to grow hemp for the state. He graduated from Humboldt State University with a bachelor’s degree in natural resources and city planning with an emphasis in appropriate technology. Steve also is a co-founder of California public charity Wholistic Research and Education Foundation.
Steve’s mana’o is to support, design and help implement thriving social, environmental, cultural and economic models.
Director of Product & Wellness Relations
Shimyrre holds a deep reverence for the interconnection of the body and spirit through the plant world, having spent 15 years exploring the dynamics between plants, people and food. With a degree as a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner and extended training in holistic nutrition and traditional plant medicine, Shimyrre specializes in herbal formulary for physicians and fellow herbalists. She is the head herbalist for Honaunau Farm, as well as the product formulator and Director of Product for Mana Artisan Botanics™.
Shimyrre’s mana’o is to foster an elevated, harmonious and enriched existence through aligning the sacred and the simple.
Zak Garcia is a sought-after marketing and strategy executive. He believes that for companies to scale exponentially, it takes leadership that creates a culture for growth.
He has proven himself as an effective leader, both in the military and as a civilian. Zak spent over 4 years in the Army overseas where he was a convoy commander in Iraq and was responsible for making life or death decisions under extremely high stress.
Zak has been an entrepreneur from a very young age and has sold over $100 million in products, mostly in the nutrition and health industry.
Notably, he was the Chief Marketing Officer at Bulletproof 360, Inc. (makers of Bulletproof® Coffee) and is a co-owner of the successful international brand. While Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Bulletproof, Zak was responsible for branding, digital marketing, content marketing, web development, advertising, events and experiential marketing, customer service, public relations, strategic marketing partnerships, recruiting/hiring his department, and team culture.
Director of Company Culture
Having worked in the health, wellness, and environmental fields for over 25 years, Melinda is both a student and teacher in the realm of conscious living. She has cultivated a depth of understanding of the interconnection between the health of our bodies, the state of our environment and our mental, emotional and spiritual state of being. She is a lover of people and has a deep drive to synergize and bring out the highest potential in any person or creation. She spent 9 years co-creating Honaunau Wellness Retreat Farm bringing her practical skills, along with her love of community, beautiful spaces and wholesome living to the endeavor. Melinda has a BSE in Environmental Engineering with a focus on sustainable systems and green building from Humboldt State University. She is also a certified qigong and yoga instructor.
With a dedication to walking a path of deep awareness, expanded perspective, and personal integrity, Melinda’s mana’o is sharing what she has learned as she continues to evolve and grow her wisdom with each new life experience.
Pelena KeelingMana Cultural Advisor
Pelena Keeling was born on Moku O Kākuhihewa (the island of Oʻahu). She relocated to Moku O Keawe (Hawaiʻi Island) at the age of 7 and has been here since. She was introduced to hula as a child, fell in love, and joined a traditional hālau hula; or hula school, with Na Lei O Kaholoku. While taking hula there, she competed in the Olympics of hula, the Merrie Monarch Festivals that is held in Hilo, Hawaiʻi.
It was at the Merrie Monarch Festival that she learned the importance of her cultural history and the kuleana (responsibility) she as a Hawaiian wahine (woman) had. Today, she is a kumu hula (hula teacher), teaching hula to ʻōpio (youth), and runs a nonprofit organization in support of the mission of passing these cultural traditions on. She also works full time on the ʻāina (the land), where you might say she is a “mahi ʻai” or farmer. Pelena believes that growing food and sustainability is needed for the future of her people. She believes that by teaching ʻōpio hula, it also teaches them the values of ʻāina, and how Hawaiians of old knew the importance of the land for taking care of the people. She knows that connecting with ʻāina and going back to the basics will help her people stay connected with their past, bring those values into their present, so they can become better stewards of their future.