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Governor Lingle names Sopogy CEO to Innovation Council

August 31, 2007


Lingle names 18 to Innovation Council

August 30 – “You are the best of the best, and I am counting on you to help lead the way in increasing innovation in Hawai`i,” Governor Lingle said at the first meeting of the Hawai`i Innovation Council.

Established by the Governor through an Executive Order on June 1, 2007, the Hawai`i Innovation Council will serve as the principal advisory group to her Administration on innovation policy issues, as well as specific measures and actions that the state can take to improve Hawai`i’s innovation capacity.

“Studies that outline the criteria for suitable environments for innovation show that Hawai`i is a perfect place for it.” Karl Hess, a member of the National Science Board.

The 15-member council is co-chaired by three nationally-recognized entrepreneurs who are Hawai`i residents or part-time residents. They are Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com; Ron Higgins, president and CEO of RSHF, LLC; and Jay Shidler, founder and managing partner of The Shidler Group.

The Council will meet on a quarterly basis to discuss and assess progress, and make recommendations on Hawai`i’s innovation policies and programs; coordinate with state, federal, county and private sector organizations to increase the positive economic impact of Hawai`i’s innovation assets and resources; and provide a forum for ideas to enable Hawai`i to become a global leader in innovation and technology research, development and product creation.

Three entrepreneurs will be co-chairmen:

* Mark Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com and a part-time Big Island resident.
* Ron Higgins, president and CEO of investment management firm RSHF LLC.
* Jay Shidler, founder and managing partner of The Shidler Group of Honolulu.

Other council members are:

* Taft Armandroff, director of the W.M. Keck Observatory on the Big Island.
* Kirk Belsby, vice president for endowment for Kamehameha Schools.
* Dan Berglund, president and CEO of the State Science and Technology Institute, a nonprofit based in Ohio that helps states and communities build tech-based economies.
* Richard Brill, a professor of physical science at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.
* Darrel Galera, principal of Moanalua High School.
* Debra Guerin-Beresini, CEO of International Venture Fund, which has been doing business in Hawaii for 17 years.
* Karl Hess, board member of the National Science Foundation & Policy Advisors to the U.S. President and Congress.
* Leigh Jerome, director of The Institute for Triple Helix Innovation, a nonprofit based at UH-Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine.
* Darren Kimura, president and CEO of Sopogy Inc., a Hawaii-based solar energy company.
* Karen Knudsen, chairwoman of the Hawaii State Board of Education.
* Mark Lindsay, teacher at Iolani School and organizer of its For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics team.
* Mark Loughridge, president of Aloha Island Inc., a Honolulu-based video game and software-development company.
* David McClain, president of the University of Hawaii system.
* John Rand, director of Kapiolani Community College’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program.
* Patrick Sullivan, founder, chairman and CEO of Oceanit, a Hawaii-based science and engineering company, and president and CEO of Hoana Medical, a company that makes medical devices.

Governor's Innovation Council - Kimura, Higgins, Governor Lingle

L-R (Darren T. Kimura, Chairman Ron Higgins, Governor Linda Lingle, Co-Chairman Jay Shidler)

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