Speaking on ‘The Art of Empathetic Leadership’


Over the past ten-years I’ve focused my personal and professional studies and development on human behavior, relationships, social data mining and analysis, and how it all applies to leadership and entrepreneurial development. Across various curriculum, I learned that there are two key qualities required for leadership and entrepreneurial sustainability and success: integrity and empathy.
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Building a community for ‘Reaching Out’

Reaching Out with Neenz Faleafine

Back in September 2013, I received an email from Jay Fidell the founder of ThinkTech Hawaii, a local nonprofit with a mission to raise awareness about the importance of technology, energy, diversification, and globalism to the future of Hawaii. His email was straight-forward, asking if I’d be interested in hosting a weekly live show called “Reaching Out” which focused on social media.

I was honored and immediately accepted.

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Building a community for the David Ige for Governor 2014 campaign

David Ige and Neenz Faleafine

Professional Successes

One of the professional services my company Pono Media provides is data mining or extracting online content and filtering conversations relevant to projects and client needs. In other words, I listen. Based on the data combined with the analysis and intuition from my team and  advisors, I formulate an expert opinion on the sentiment of a targeted audience and provide reports with recommendations to my clients.

By using that process, with other services that Pono Media provides, I have been able to develop and execute winning strategies for local political candidates. In 2010 I provided my services for the Neil Abercrombie for Governor campaign, in 2012 I did the same for OHA Trustee Haunani Apoliona, State Senator Gil Kahele, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and a handful of other successful races for current political office holders.

Currently, I’ve been providing services and my personal support to the Ikaika Anderson for Congress 2014 campaign.

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Building a community for #Ikaika2014

The 2014 campaign season is upon us. Too early it seems? Actually, with the changes in the State of Hawaii Primary election and the options to walk-in or mail-in ballots well before the general election, strategically it’s perfect timing.

My company Pono Media has been retained to provide community building strategies leveraging content publishing, content marketing, and social networking by the Ikaika for Hawaii campaign.

Here is why I support Councilman Ikaika Anderson as Hawaii’s next representative in the US Congress:

  • Socially, he’s liberal, specifically, he supports marriage equality and since I just became engaged this year, I’d like to marry in my home state.
  • Fiscally, he’s conservative. Like my first bullet point, we could argue this one all day long. In a coconut shell, I see people as capable of creating their own abundance.
  • He’s a member of Hawaii’s next generation of leaders. We are in a transition, a passing of the guard if you will, and I want him on our team.

Ikaika Anderson for Congress

I am actively recruiting for his community building team, if you are interested in being part of the transformation of Hawaii, Get Involved.

Building a Community for Turtle Bay Resort

Earlier this year I decided to launch Get Involved Hawaii to bring awareness to legislative bills that caught my personal attention. One that came across my screen was SB894 RELATING TO LAND ACQUISITION which would “Direct the Governor, or the Governor’s designee, to negotiate with the current owners of the undeveloped portions of the property commonly known as Turtle Bay Hotel and Resort located in Kahuku, Oahu, related entitites, and successors in interest, to conserve the subject property through purchase, easement, or other means provided by law. Appropriates an unspecified amount.”

Immediately, I became concerned because this bill would appropriate an unspecified amount of money ($100 million was part of the discussion) to purchase land. There are so many other things that need funding like our public school teachers’ salaries that purchasing land shouldn’t be a top priority of any legislator. Also, it seemed contradictory to the movement towards developing public lands, however that’s an entirely other issue.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t paying too much attention to the on-going issues regarding Turtle Bay Resort, so I needed to do some research. I quickly learned that ownership had changed since the initial announcement of develop to originally build five new hotels. In order to gain more insight, I did what others should do, I reached out to the new leadership, Replay Resorts.

Since initially reaching out in February 2013, my company Pono Media has been retained as a consultant to and specifically support and build awareness of the SEIS and changes the new owners have made to accommodate the voices of the community. Plus, the community contributions that Turtle Bay Resort provides in terms of jobs and support.

Unfortunately, the large majority of the community from Waialua through Kaneohe is not as vocal as the transplanted minority. In fact, one opposition has named themselves as defenders of Oahu, a false claim since they do not represent me, a resident born and raised on this island.

I realize that once again my support of a development project may be in direct disagreement with family, friends, and colleagues; however to me, diversity enforces the strength of a community. I will provide information, it’s up to you as residents to make up your mind. Regardless of your decision, you are still a member of my community.

My team sifted through the data and designed this infographic to visualize the information.