Business Development Director, Maui Economic Development Board
Education & Experience. Frank has over 30 years of experience in education and the non-profit sector. Prior to joining MEDB, he developed curriculum, trained and coordinated graduate engineering teaching assistants, and, for a time, was national coordinator at Purdue University for a program called Engineering Projects in Community Service. At MEDB, Frank has provided leadership in the development of the Minimum County Model for Energy and Water in collaboration with the Millennium Institute. Frank earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco with a double major in Philosophy and Religious Studies; a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Leuven, Belgium; and a Master’s of Science Degree in Sociology from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
What do you hope this Energy Conference will accomplish? This conference has gained national and international attention because it deals with vital issues in energy production and consumption that face both industrialized and industrializing nations. I hope it sheds light on common challenges and action-oriented solutions.
Why do you think it’s been challenging to transition from fossil fuel generated power to alternative renewable energy. The technical challenges and market dynamics of the transition to renewable sources of energy are numerous and complex. The business model for energy production must change to include flexibility and responsiveness to new technologies and consumer demands for choice.
Hawaii has the highest electricity rates in the United States. How do you think this should be addressed? Openness to innovative and resilient solutions that will provide safe, reliable, and clean energy systems for Hawaii’s citizens are key to weaning Hawaii off of fossil fuel dependence, whether in electricity generation or transportation. Consumers, regulators, the utilities, entrepreneurs, technologists, and engineers must all be involved in the process.
Why do you believe it’s important to have open and frank discussions about the future of energy? True and open dialogue builds trust. This trust should (hopefully) translate into a negotiated roadmap that moves through the thicket of contrasting views and solutions to Hawaii’s energy needs. Our process and actions, in turn, might provide a model for other communities who wish to find their way to a new energy future.