“helping people... changing lives

We’re helping people, changing lives. You definitely can, too!

MEO is a nonprofit Community Action Agency committed to helping low income individuals and families become stable and achieve economic security. MEO’s services are constantly changing to meet the needs of children and families, the disabled and medically needy, and the elderly and other low-income individuals. MEO works with more than twenty-five community partners to help people and change lives. All MEO programs are tangible translations of the Promise of Community Action. Call us at 249-2990.

MEO Employment Opportunities here 

Media Release for Immediate Release

WAILUKU, MAUI (Hawaii) Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO) is announcing the return of the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).  SFMNP provides low-income seniors with eligible fresh produce with the goal of improving their health and nutritional status.  Qualified seniors will receive coupons worth $50.00 to exchange for fresh, nutritious, and unprocessed locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey from Farmers’ Market of Maui in Kihei and Honokowai, Hana Fresh Farmers’ Market, Maui Fresh Farmers’ Market @ Queen Kaahumanu Center, Maui Nui Farmers’ Market on Lower Kula Road, Ono Farms Farmstand of Hana, UpCountry Farmers’ Market of Pukalani and Kula Country Farms.   The SFMNP coupons may be used from April 1st thru September 30th. 

Applications for the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program are available on-line (below) or from our Planning and Coordinating Council Senior Coordinator, Zilpah Kaimiola at Zilpah.Kaimiola@meoinc.org. For more information call Zilpah @ 243-4313.

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Press Release for Rotary Club of Kahului

The Rotary Club of Kahului Weinberg Friends Project was awarded to the Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. (MEO) Head Start program. Rotary Club of Kahului member and project coordinator, Jud Cunningham said, “Over 100 hours of volunteer time went into painting the interior of the classroom located at Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center in Wailuku.” Known as the MEO Head Start Wailuku A center, volunteers from the Rotary Club of Kahului and several other Maui Rotary clubs generously gave their time on Saturday, January 27, 2018 to accomplish this project.

Fellow Rotarian and CEO of Ka Hale A Ke Ola Resource Center, Monique Yamashita said, “This project speaks to the remarkable and generous community we have on Maui. To see Rotarians come together for a day project that will have a long-lasting and positive effect for the preschoolers and staff at the MEO Head Start is beyond commendable, it’s highly impactful and tells us how compassionate and hard-working Rotary Clubs are in their service projects.”

Thanks to the generosity of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Rotary Club of Kahului was able to direct of gift of $10,000 to MEO Head Start. Funding will be used to enhance quality early childhood curriculum  experiences for Head Start children served on Maui and Molokai.

MEO Head Start provides comprehensive preschool education services at no cost to eligible families. Program services are federally funded with extended day funding provided by the County of Maui. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2018-19 school year. Families with children turning three by July 31, 2018 are encouraged to apply. For more information, call the MEO Head Start office at 249-2988.

Press Release for Immediate Release

Press Contact:  Debbie Cabebe, SPHR,
   CEO, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
   Wailuku Maui, HI
   (808) 249-2990, ext. 300

MEO’s First Annual Fundraiser Gala Held on March 3, 2018

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. held their first annual fundraiser gala on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club.  The theme this year was “Honoring Our Past, Supporting Our Future”.  All of MEO’s past executives were honored:  Elizabeth “Jonesie” Medeiros, Speaker Emeritus Joseph Souki, Paul Pladera, Gladys C. Baisa, Sandy Baz, and Lyn McNeff.  Current and former board chairs were in attendance to make the presentations.

Special guests included Governor David Ige, Senator Roz Baker, Representative Kyle Yamashita, Katie McMillan on behalf of US Representative Tulsi Gabbard, and Maui County council members Stacy Crivello, Don Guzman and Kelly King, along with other pillars of the Maui community.  Tony Takitani, Esq. was the emcee and Nevah Too Late provided entertainment for the evening.

MEO would like to thank our sponsors of the event:  Maui Electric (Sustainer); Atlas Insurance Agency (Partner); Advocate level sponsors included Alexander & Baldwin, ILWU Local 142 and Monsanto Hawaii; Supporter level sponsors; AlohaCare, AXA Advisors, Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank, Ecolane, Employers Options, First Hawaiian Bank, Goodfellow Bros., Inc., Hale Mahaolu, Hawaii Petroleum, Inc., Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union, IBEW Local 1186, Maui Soda & Ice Works, Randy Piltz, Soderholm Sales & Leasing, Torkildson, Katz, Hetherington, Harris & Knorek; and Ohana level sponsors:  Brown and Caldwell, EAH Housing, Patricia Mau-Shimizu, HEMIC, Laborers Int’l Union of North America Local 368, Marmac Ace Hardware, Inc., Maui Innovation Group, Inc., Playbook Consulting Group, Senator Roz Baker, Team Baisa and VIP Foodservice.  We could not do what we do – “helping people, changing lives”—without the generous support of our Maui community business leaders and our County, State and Federal government.

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Press Release for Immediate Release

Press Contact:
  Debbie Cabebe, SPHR
  CEO, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
  (808) 249-2990, ext. 300

MEO’s Driver of the Year Named

MEO awarded its 2017 Driver of the Year Award to Gary “Gus” Dean.  This award is sponsored and presented annually by Atlas Insurance.  Gus exemplifies MEO’s core values and lives our motto every day – “Helping People, Changing Lives”.

Mr. Dean has been with the company since 2015 and also received the “Cash for No Crash” award, which is given to drivers who are not involved in any accidents during the calendar year.

Despite having some personal challenges, Mr. Dean always shows up for work on time, is the first to offer assistance to co-workers and clients, and always with a smile on his face. 

Congratuations Gus!

Mahalo to our Gala sponsors for a sold out event. We couldn’t full-fill our mission without your support. Mahalo to our entertainers, Nevah and Too Late, and to the King Kamehameha Golf Club.

Core Four Business Graduation - February 2018

Graduated another Core 4 Business Planning class. More people bringing local products and businesses to the community. If you are interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial training course you can call the Business Development Department at 249-2990.

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Mayor signing photo for Smoke-Free cars

Mayor Arakawa signed official ordinance PEA-41 Bill 6 to prohibit smoking in a vehicle when a minor is present has been signed into law by Mayor Arakawa! This law will go into effect on July 1, 2018, which gives us some time to educate the community about the ordinance and the dangers of SHS exposure to children in cars, as well as the $200 fine that will be implemented.

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Press Release for Immediate Release

Press Contact:
  Debbie Cabebe, SPHR
  CEO, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
  (808) 249-2990, ext. 300

MEO’s 32nd Annual Volunteer Luncheon held February 14, 2018

MEO held their 32nd Annual Volunteer Luncheon on Valentine’s Day.  This event is held every year to honor and thank all of the many volunteers who assist MEO in their mission to serve the Maui community.

Over 100 guests attended the luncheon at MEO.  Lunch was provided by T-Ann-J’s Authentic Ramen & Catering and entertainment was provided by Danny Lau and the Lahaina Honolua Serenaders.

MEO recognized four nominees for 2017 Volunteer of the Year:  Troy Osorno was nominated by Early Childhood Services, Kelvin Alexander was nominated by Community Services, Randy Yamashita was nominated by Youth Services and Jacob Simons was nominated by the Business Development Center. 

Troy Osorno was awarded the 2017 Volunteer of the Year award.  Troy is a past parent of MEO Head Start and his daughter attended MEO’s Head Start program years ago.  Troy was a single parent raising his daughter while attending college to become a radiologist.  Troy achieved that goal and is now employed as an x-ray technician.  Troy now volunteers for the Head Start centers by coming into the classrooms and doing an interactive presentation with the kids.  He uses real x-rays and talks about MRI, CT and ultrasound, while providing a previous of various props that children can safely manipulate, including a skeleton he has named “Skelereena”, which the children love.  Troy Osorno is an excellent example of giving back to the community that once helped him and his daughter succeed.

MEO also recognized their 2017 Benefactor of the Year, given to businesses who contribute time and resources to assist MEO with their mission.  Despins General Contracting, Inc. was the awardee for 2017.  Despins has donated countless hours of time and in kind work totaling more than $100,000 to make sure that MEO did not go over budget on their bus wash project.

Mahalo to our Molokai Volunteers!

Congratulations to Terry Sato from our Fiscal Department for being our December Employee of the Month!

Terry Sato - January Employee of the Month!

CEO Debbie Cabebe visits Capitol Hill with Melissa ​Unemori-Hampe

Project Graduation Grant

Deadline for the Grant Application is 2/26/2018.
Award letters will be sent out on 3/23/2018.

MEO ​teamed up with Hale Mahaolu and some of our kupuna to attend the 2018 Legislative Opening Day in Honolulu yesterday. They had a chance to speak with some of our representatives and share their concerns and hopes for our community. Thank you to all who took the time to meet with us!

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Mahalo nui loa to ILWU Local 142 for being our first Advocate level sponsor for our March 3, 2018 Annual Gala "Honoring Our Past, Supporting Our Future." We truly appreciate the support!

Senior Scoop 2018 1st Qtr - Click Here!

PRESS RELEASE - Jan 3, 2018

Project Graduation 2018 funding is available to all Maui County public and private high schools

MEO (Maui Economic Opportunity) has announced $41,000.00 in Maui County funding has been made available for Project Graduation Programs for 2018 high school graduating classes in an effort to promote alcohol and drug free graduation celebrations.

An informational meeting will be held at the MEO Family Center at 99 Mahalani Street in Wailuku at 5:00 p.m. on Monday January 22, 2018. Applications will be distributed at the meeting or will available on the website at www.meoinc.org after January 22, 2018.

PROGRAM SPECIALIST - ENLACE, FT, Salaried, Nonexempt, $28K to $31.9K/year DOE/Degree Job No. V0045

Provide support, education and translations and/or interpreting services for the Hispanic/Latino community.  Interviews clients to determine and verify program eligibility; assists clients in obtaining services, including referral to government or community resources; assists with MED-Quest, Early Childhood Services, and related services.  Compiles, maintains and prepares reports, data, and records related to the program. Represents MEO in the community with outreach, presentations and as a resource; maintains a high level of client service; operates an MEO vehicle.  Must be fluent in English and Spanish and pass a DOT medical exam.  This position is based in Wailuku and works throughout Maui County.  Requires access to an insured vehicle,  a valid driver's license, and an Associate’s degree or higher in a related field, or equivalent.

Apply online at:  https://www.indeedjobs.com/maui-economic-opportunity-inc/_hl/en_US
To review all job descriptions for all job openings, go to our Employment Opportunities page located under News and Careers above.

Annual Staff Party http://www.meoinc.org/Galleries.php?gallery=5a3c68318f14e click the pics to expand 

Congratulations to Shannon Henry from our Fiscal Department for being our November Employee of the Month!

Holiday Cheer from the MEO Ohana

Decorations courtesy of MEO Transportation. Snowman created by Mary Kaiwi

Happy retirement to this lovely lady. Valerie Kailihiwa. She served MEO clients as a PAT driver for the past 13 years. A Hui Ho Val! Photo of Val with co-worker Riki Torres.

Core Four Business Graduation - December 2017

Graduated another Core 4 Business Planning class. More people bringing local products and businesses to the community. If you are interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial training course you can call the Business Development Department at 249-2990.

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Congratulations to our Employee of the Month of October, Danette Neizman!

Click here for more information or call Jennifer McGurn at 249-2990

MEO receives Hawaii Community Foundation Flex Grant

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO) has been awarded a $20,000 Hawaii Community Foundation Flex Grant. $10,000 was awarded from HCF General Funds and $10,000 from the Omidyar "Ohana Fund.

MEO CEO Debbie Cabebe said, "This type of grant award is invaluable as it provides flexibility to use the grant to cover unfunded administrative costs, program expenses or small capital expenses. These funds allow MEO to focus on the important work of helping low income people become stable and achieve economic security."

Per the award notice...Hawaii Community Foundation Flex Grants are awarded to high-performing nonprofits across the state. Flex grants recipients exemplify the best practices of high performance.

HEAD START NEWSLETTER - November 2017 here

MEO celebrates Halloween day with a visit from our Kahi Kamali'i preschoolers and a Mad Hatter Contest at the general staff meeting.

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Congratulations to our Employee of the Month of September, Allison Springer!

44th Annual Maui County Senior Fair

On Saturday, October 28th, the 44th Annual Maui County Senior Fair was held at the War Memorial Auditorium. This year's theme was "Age Out Loud". Hundreds of seniors, their caregivers and families enjoyed the festivities and entertainment. A big mahalo to all who participated!

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*The Maui Nonprofit Directors Association honors its supporters, retirees and top executive*

The 2017 Maui Non Profit Directors Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony was held on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center from 5:30pm to 8:00pm.

Over 100 nominees, guests and dignitaries attended the event. Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui was the keynote speaker and Judge Richard Bissen performed the installation of the Maui Nonprofit Directors officers: President, Debbie Cabebe, Vice President Bevanne Bowers, Treasurer Sherri Dodsen, and Secretary, Richard Carr and Ex-officio- Paul Tonnessen.

Paul Tonnessen, Executive Director of The Friends of the Children’s Justice Center presented awards to honor MNPD members who had retired in 2017: Lucy Feinberg of Parents and Children Together, Roy Katsuda of Hale Mahaolu, Lyn McNeff of Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc., and Jeanne Unemori Skog of Maui Economic Development Board. Collectively, these retiring executive directors served the Maui community for over 100 years!

Cassandra Abdual, Executive Director for Na Hale O Maui and JD Wyatt, Executive Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters presented the Community Business Awards for those businesses who advocate, volunteer and give back to the Maui community. Atlas Insurance, AXA Advisors, Nalu’s South Shore Grill, Pau Maui Vodka and Na Hoaloha ‘Ekolu, Ltd. (Old Lahaina Luau) were nominated. Na Hoaloha ‘Ekolu was presented with the award this year. To celebrate their 30 year anniversary, the performed “30 Acts of Aloha” and raised funds to be donated to local nonprofits and also traveled to New York, San Francisco and Laos to share their aloha and Hawaiian spirit.

Caroline Killhour, Executive Director of Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center and Richard Carr, Deputy Director of Habitat for Humanity presented the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award. The nominees were: Lolita Barona, Keoki Freeland, William T. Kinaka, Tom Leuteneker, Bard Peterson, Wendy Rice Peterson, and William “Bill” Staton. The Humanitarian Award was given to Tom Leuteneker for his tireless work and his passion for community service.

Sherri Dodson, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity Maui presented the Executive Director of the Year Award. The nominees were: Caroline Killhour of Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center, Andrea Hall Rodgers of La’akea Foundation, and Wesley Lo of Hale Makua. Caroline Killhour was presented with the O’o Award, the perpetual award that passes from winner to winner each year.

The MNPD Association was established in 1989 to provide a forum for non-profit organizations to exchange personal and professional information and to cultivate resources to benefit themselves, their organizations and the community of Maui.

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Left to right: Paul, Debbie, JD, Sherri, Bevanne, Richard and Cassandra

Michael Moore - Na Hoaloha 'Ekolu, Ltd.

Tom Leuteneker

Caroline Killhour

The work that our teachers do really does take super hero powers and we are blessed to have them.

Monday through Friday they wake up and put on their invisible super hero capes and begin their day...Helping People, Changing Lives! On Saturday they had an opportunity to let loose and put on different super hero items and play at our photo booth at the Conference. HAEYC is celebrating 45 years of service.

Core Four Business Graduation - October 2017

MEO’s Business Development Program graduated thirteen (13) students from the Core Four Business Planning course on October 17, 2017. Attending the luncheon was Maui County Council member Don Guzman, and from the Mayor's office Anthony Arakaki, both gave encouraging advice on small business ownership to the graduates. Check the Core Four schedule and application here...

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MEO Youth in partnership with the Coalition for Tobacco-Free Hawaii

Pictured are participants from MEO Youth Services and the Coalition for Tobacco-Free Hawaii who did assessments of the fairgrounds as part of Maui County's drug and alcohol free event. Included in the picture is Council Member Yukilei Sugimura who is in support of the Smoke-Free Cars with Minors.

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This is the youth at budget hearing meetings.

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard meets with concerned dreamers. Led by Liz DeLaRosa Cortez, ten concerned people under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) met openly with Congresswoman Gabbard to express their concerns.

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Congratulations to our Employee of the Month of July, Anna Marie Nip!

Community Action Partnership Annual Convention

The 2017 Annual Convention reflects this year's theme Community Action: "Transforming Community, Changing Lives."

Gay Sibonga Cassi Yamashita

New Buses Molokai

On Wednesday, we had a blessing for our three new buses on Moloka'i. The community came out to take part in the blessing, as well as Stacy Crivello from the Maui County Council and Joe Pontanilla, who represented Mayor Alan Arakawa. Our Moloka'i clients were so happy and couldn't wait to use the new buses!

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Annual MEO Family Fun Day at our Transportation Site

Last Saturday we had our Second Annual MEO Family Fun Day at our Transportation Facility in Puunene. It was a beautiful day with tons of amazing food, great entertainment and games for the whole family. Thank you to all who worked so hard to put this event together for our employees and their families and thank you to everyone who came out and enjoyed the day together!

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44th Annual Maui County Senior Fair is seeking vendors

The 44th Annual Senior Fair will be held on October 28, 2017 from 7:30am-11:​30am

MEO is the organizer of the event and is seeking nonprofit and for profit individuals and groups who have something to share with our Kupuna. We also invite crafters and food vendors. Last year's event attracted over 1,900 individuals.

Vendor applications can be downloaded from the MEO website at www.meoinc.org or picked at the MEO Wailuku offices at 99 Mahalani Street. Applications must be submitted by September 21.

The entertainment lineup includes, Emcee Kathy Collins, Nevah Too Late, Enhanced Fitness, Kalama Intermediate Ukulele Players, Halau Keala Kahinano O Puna, and featured artist Napua Greig-Nakasone

Playbook Consulting Group

Last Friday, the Executive Team at MEO spent the day with Leslie Mullens of the Playbook Consulting Group, learning to be better, stronger team members, so that we can continue to help more people and change more lives! We had a blast! Thank you Leslie!

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Core Four Business Graduation - August 2017

MEO's Business Development graduation ceremony

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The Maui Nonprofit Directors Association is accepting nominations for the following:

Community Business Award- Business that have offered financial support of philanthropic projects in Maui County
Humanitarian Award- Individuals who have given of volunteer time, effort, and/or financial commitment to support philanthropic activities in Maui County
Outstanding Nonprofit Executive Director of the Year- Leadership qualities, inspired common vision and improving the organization's programs and services.

* Nomination forms may be downloaded from the MNPD website at www.mauinonprofit.org
* Deadline to submit nominations is Thursday Sept 21, 2017 at 4pm
* Nominations may be emailed to mauinonprofit@gmail.com

Nominees and Award Recipients will be recognized at the association's annual meeting at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center on Thursday, October 19 at 5:30pm  The keynote speaker will be Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui. Tickets will be available by the end of the month and the cost is $30.00 per person.  The event is open to the public.

For more information call association president Debbie Cabebe at 243-4300.

Press Release - Senior Fair

WAILUKU, MAUI (Hawaii) Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO) is seeking vendors, healthcare providers and community partners interested in participating in the *44th Annual Maui County Senior Fair* This year’s fair is scheduled for *Saturday, October 28, 2017* at the War Memorial gymnasium in Wailuku from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The fair is sponsored by the Maui County Office on Aging and produced by MEO. Featured artists include Never Too Late and Napua Greig-Nakasone.

The fair attracts over 2,000 individuals of all ages. If you wish to participate in this event email Community Services Director Gerry Lum at gerry.lum@meoinc.org to request an application. Completed applications and applicable payment must be submitted to MEO later than Monday, September  18, 2017. For more information visit MEO’s website at www.meoinc.org or call Gerry at 249-2970.

Community Needs and Assessment Action Plan

Click and Read..

45th Annual Kupuna Aloha Luncheon held July 29, 2017

The 45th Annual Kupuna Aloha Luncheon was held on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at the Grand Wailea Hotel in the Grand Ballroom from 9:00am to 1:00pm.  The event was hosted by the Maui County Planning & Coordinating Council, and sponsored by Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.

550 kupuna, guests and dignitaries attended the event.  Governor David Ige and Mayor Alan Arakawa gave remarks.  The First Annual Kupuna Advocate Award was given to Speaker Emeritus Joe Souki and Deputy Water Director Gladys Baisa.

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 More Kupuna Luncheon photos here

Press Release for Immediate Release

Press Contact:
Debbie Cabebe, SPHR
CEO, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
(808) 249-2990, ext. 300

MEO Core Four Business Planning Course Graduates Six Students on Lana’i

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The MEO Business Development Center recently held a graduation ceremony on July 25, 2017 for six students on the island of Lana’i.  The students participated in the MEO Core Four Business Planning Course which helps them develop a business plan and get advice on starting a business.

If you are considering starting a business and would like information on MEO’s Core Four program, please contact MEO’s Business Development Center at (808) 249-2990.

Congratulations to our Employee of the Month of June, Wil Torricer!

MEO's Youth Services and Underage Drinking Prevention Program's youth at the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii meeting where Council Member Yukilei Sugimura showed her support for the youth's selected 2017-18 initiative, "Smoke-Free Cars with Kids"

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Proposed State Plan for the CSBG for FFY 2018 & 2019

Youth Services kids and staff showed up in force yesterday to make their feelings known on the 24 hour alcohol sale controversy.

An overflow crowd reacts favorably to the Maui County Liquor Control Commission's decision
Wednesday morning inside the Department of Liquor Control's meeting room in Wailuku.

15th Annual Molokai Senior Fair held at the Molokai Hale Mahaolu

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Our June Staff Meeting was held at the Transportation

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Congratulations to our Employee of the Month of May, Stacy Meyer!

MEO Board of Director's Installation

MEO is a Community Action Agency (CAA), one of more than 1,000 throughout the nation. Community Action equips low-income citizens with the tools and potential for becoming self-sufficient. The structure of program is unique – federal dollars are used locally to offer specialized programming in communities. Federal dollars help leverage state and county funds. It is a coordinated effort to address the root effects of poverty and to, ultimately, move families and individuals to self-sufficiency.

CAAs are required to have a tripartite board consisting of equal parts of local private sector, public sector, and low-income community representatives. This structure brings together community leaders from each of these groups to collaborate on developing responses to local needs. This allows for Maximum Feasible Participation in both the creation and administration of Community Action programs.

MEO's board members were installed by Maui Council Chair at the MEO Family Center on Friday, June 23.

President Ned Davis- Government sector- representing Senator Roz Baker
Vice President Peter Horovitz Private sector- representing the Maui County Bar Assn.
Secretary Adele Rugg Resident sector- representing the South Maui Seniors
Treasurer Cliff Alakai Government- representing Representing Senate House-Joe Sokui

In the last fiscal year, MEO assisted more than 18,000 individuals and families, touching more than 55,000 lives. MEO is helping people.changing lives throughout Maui County.

Mike White and Adele Rugg

Ned Davis and Mike White

Board officers- Adele, Ned, Peter and Arlene Gerbig standing in for Cliff Alakai

Maui County Council Chair Mike White performed the Board Installation, and Deborah Rice, Senior Philanthropic Services Officer for the Hawaii Community Foundation, gave a wonderful speech about giving and the current state of affairs in the philanthropy world. Thank you to all who attended and made this event a great one! Installation included a delicious lunch catered by Aria's Restaurant & Catering.

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Congratulations to the students who finished the Financial Literacy class at Molokai Middle School.

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Youth Services and the Maui Nui Botanical Garden

MEO youth focus on community service this summer. Youth help Maui Nui Botanical Garden with potted varieties of Kalo (Taro), weeding and overall garden maintenance.

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Congratulations to our Employee of the Month Myriam Tuttle!

Charity Walk Maui

MEO's staff and volunteers walked in the Maui Charity Walk this past Saturday. Thanks to generous donations from our supporters, we raised over $21,000 for our various programs at MEO

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UHMC Graduates

Congratulations to our awesome staff members who graduated from University of Hawaii at Maui College yesterday!

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Danielle Evans: Teacher's Aide at UHMC

Taylor Smith: Assistant Teacher at Kihei

Alicia Hernandez-Rodas: Lead Teacher at KT

Grace Colcol: Assistant Teacher at Wailuku A

Molokai Charity Walk 2017

David Daly, Director of our Business Development Center, was given the 2017 SBA Award for "Small Business Advocate for Minorities" yesterday at the 2017 Annual Maui SBA Awards and Economic Update Luncheon held at the King Kamehameha Golf Course.

Administrative Professionals Day on April 26th with our awesome administrative staff. Thank you to the amazing staff for all your hard work throughout the year.​

Congratulations to our Employee of the Month Mary Eusebio!

BDC Core Four Graduation - April 2017

MEO’s Business Development Program graduated sixteen (16) students from the Core Four Business Planning course on April 18, 2017.

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David Daly / 243-4318

At the graduation, the soon-to-be entrepreneurs received one-on-one guidance from six (6) commercial bankers representing First Hawaiian Bank, Bank of Hawaii, and Central Pacific Bank. Also, Wayne Wong with the Small Business Development Center, Karen Arakawa from the Maui County Small Business Center, and Paul Felix from The Edge Consulting Group helped to review the students’ business plans and provided suggestions and guidance in launching a successful business. The graduating students received a Certificate of Achievement and a congratulatory lunch.

MEO BDC’s Core Four Business Planning is a 36-hour course on how to write a business plan while providing the information you need to know to start, operate and grow your business.

For those interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial training course you can call Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. at 249-2990. The next Core Four course will be held during the day. One hour introductory classes will be held at MEO’s Family Center on Tuesday April 25th from 9am to 10am, and at the Maui County Business Resource Center (Maui Mall) on Wednesday, April 26th from noon to 1pm. The six-week series begins on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 and continues from 9am to 12 noon two days a week through June 7th. All sessions will be held at MEO's Family Center at 99 Mahalani Street in Wailuku.

Registration is required for the six-week series and can be done at the introductory classes or any weekday 8am to 4pm at MEO’s Family Center. Funding from the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development helps to make the Core Four Business Planning Classes possible.

For Immediate Release:

Meet MEO's new Chief Operating Officer

Gay Sibonga was born and raised on the island of Maui and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Hawaii. She has over 30 years of successful business Operational Management experience focusing on achieving organizational mission and goals.

In her career, Gay held positions which ranged from Operations, Merchandise and Sales management, and most recently was Macy’s Hawaii District Multi-Store Operations Manager. In her capacity, she oversaw 4 stores on 3 islands within the Hawaiian region. Gay has been recognized as the #1 Operations Manager in the Southwest and Merchandise Team Manager of the Year, and has been the recipient of multiple “Magic Awards” which recognized top employees in the company.

Gay will assist the Chief Executive Officer with the day-to-day management and oversight of the agency and is responsible for program oversight and contract compliance.

MEO Youth join community efforts to bring awareness to the community asking for a repeal of the 24 hour sales of alcohol in Maui County through a sign waiving event on April 11th at the Queen Kaahumanu Center

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Coalition Gathers to Oppose 24-Hour Alcohol Sales on Maui  - see here...

Protesters seek to repeal Maui's new 24-hour alcohol sales law  - see here...

MEO Underage Drinking Prevention Program youth participants share their testimony with the Maui County Council at the Upcountry and Paia Budget Hearings

Kassen Yamashita, age 10,
youth volunteer from
Paia Elementary School
Betty-Lou Nakila, program participant,
12 year old 6th grade student from
Kalama Intermediate School
Jhorden Shimabuku youth participant, 17 yr old Junior from KKHS Shelby Gomes youth participant, 15 yr old sophomore from KKHS Michael Gaffey youth participant, 15 yr old sophomore from KKHS

2017 Senior Scoops found here...

NFJP photo taken with Governor Ige at the Agricultural Fest on Saturday

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For Immediate Release:

MEO Honors Cesar Chavez Award recipient Pastor Beth Schultz

Pastor Beth Schultz was named during Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.’s (MEO) annual Cesar Chavez Celebration. Pastor Schultz was recognized for her dedication and selfless service improving the lives of Hispanic Immigrants and farm workers. One nominator said, “Beth Schultz spends herself on others. Her time, resources, and even her home are investments she makes for others’ benefit rather than her own.”

Pastor Schultz joins a list of esteemed individuals committed to serving this community. Former recipients include Cesar and Kimberly Gaxiola, Silvia Naiberg, Carols David Hernandez, Oscar Martin Del Campos, Annette Dadez, Rudy Esquer and Kevin Block.

MEO is a community action agency founded in 1965 under President Lyndon Johnson’s Economic Opportunity Act of 1694. Former MEO Executive and Council member Gladys Baisa was instrumental in creating the Enlace Hispano program to assist Hispanic immigrants who immigrated to Maui to work in the Pineapple and Sugarcane industry. CEO Debbie Cabebe said, “Gladys, along with Rudy Esquer, Cesar Gaxiola and others identified a need and took action to assist these individuals. This is what community action is all about.”

MEO assists more than more than 2,000 Hispanic individuals annually through its County of Maui Enlace Hispano program and another fifty individuals through the federal National Farmworkers Jobs program.

Cesar Chavez Day is celebrated across the County. He did not set out to be a national hero with streets and buildings named after him. He just wanted to see people treated fairly and without prejudice. He wanted to see the farm worker community paid fair wages and provided work safe conditions. He wanted their children to be safe from dangerous pesticides. As an activist with the United Farm Workers, he achieved these and other goals for thousands and touched the lives of millions with his non-violent campaigns and his steadfast yet gentle manner.

MEO continues to carry on the tradition of Cesar Chavez, helping people, help themselves and each other. MEO employees work to strengthen the community while helping people in need restore their hope, reach their potential, and enrich their lives. MEO serves more than 13,000 low income and disadvantaged individuals annually. In tribute to Mr. Chavez, MEO holds its annual celebration on his birthday.

Please see the attachment for information about Ms. Schultz (will open in new window)

For Immediate Release:

MEO welcomes its new CEO.

Debbie Cabebe joined MEO in January of 2000 as its Human Resources Director and was later promoted to Chief Human Resources Officer. She was responsible for creating and executing human resources strategies to support the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization.

In 2011, she was promoted to Chief Operating Officer responsible for assisting the Chief Executive Officer in achievement of the organization’s success, providing day-to-day management and support to the program directors, ensuring of quality service delivery and providing oversight and administering its Community Service Block Grant.

On March 30, 2017 she was promoted to Chief Executive Officer responsible for the managing the overall operations and resources, financial management, achievement of the organization’s mission, goals and objectives and acting as the main point of communication between the board of directors and the organization.

Debbie is the current President of the Maui Nonprofit Directors Association and is active with the Society for Human Resource Management where she has served as its secretary, legislative chair, vice president and president. She is a member of the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce and will represent MEO on the local Workforce Investment Board. Debbie is a nationally certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), a certificated Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) Trainer, and a trained mediator. She volunteers her time for numerous organizations and is involved in several ministries at Saint Theresa Church in Kihei.

Debbie is married to Raymond Cabebe, a Senior Land Planner at Chris Hart and Partners. The couple has three children and three grandchildren.


Muchas gracias a todos los que asistieron a este evento tan importante y significativo para la comunidad latina.

El corazon de MEO/Enlace muy honrado e inspirado con la participacion del Senor Mark Grossman, Carly Bocanegra, Leonardo Sequeira y su grupo HIZ y, por supuesto, las vidas y testimonios de todos los homenajeados especialmente Kevin Block y la ganadora de este ano: Dona OLIVIA BETH SHULTZ elegida por voto de la gente.

Tantos corazones rendidos de pasion y amor sincero y total por los latinos nos dan renovadas fuerzas para renovar el grito Chavez: SI SE PUEDE!!!

Claro que se puede y UNIDOS PODEMOS MAS!

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Many thanks to all those who attended this event is so important and meaningful for the Latino community.

The heart of meo / link very honoured and inspired with the participation of Mr Mark Grossman, Carly Bocanegra, Leonardo Sequeira and his group hiz and, of course, the lives and testimonies of all the celebrants especially Kevin block and the winner of this year: Dona Olivia Beth Shultz elected by vote of the people.

So many hearts tired of passion and sincere love and total for latinos give us renewed strength to renew the scream Chavez: if you can!!!

Of course I can and more united, we can!

MEO Youth enjoy Spring Break.

KylieLynn Takushi and Kaiyle Okada represent Maui at the state capital on March 20th for the Coalition for Tobacco-Free Hawaii's Kick Butts Day.  Meanwhile youth on Maui enjoyed working in the Lo'i Kalo of the Kanoa 'Ohana in Keanae.  On Tuesday the 21st, youth gave free car washes to those who pledged not to drink and drive as well as smoke/vape in cars with kids. On Wednesday the 22nd, the youth got in touch with their artistic side and painted the West Maui coastline.  On Thursday youth enjoyed their reward from the previous months art contest at the Ulalena Show and a pizza dinner!

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Congratulations to our Employee of the Month Jenna Carroll!​​​

Celebration of Lyn McNeff's retirement from MEO after 23 amazing years of service. Thank you Lyn for all of your hard work on behalf of the community of Maui. We wish you the very best in your next chapter!

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MEO Transportation and the Ecolane System

Ecolane Trainer, Charles Ragucci, reviewed how the Ecolane System works for both Paratransit and Human Services transportation

For Immediate Release:

Maui Electric is launching a new monthly television series, Let’s Talk Energy, on Akakū channel 55, on Tuesday, March 7, from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Maui Electric's Kau'i Awai-Dickson and Danielle Canfield-Jones talks with Maui Economic Opportunity's Gerry Lum on available low-income energy assistance programs.

The new monthly television series News Release here...

Press Release:

The Maui Nonprofit Directors Association is scheduled to hold its monthly membership meeting on March 9, 2017 from 8am to 10am at the MEO Family Center in Wailuku. Interested nonprofit executives who are not currently members are welcome to sign up for membership at the meeting or join online at Maui Non-Profit.org
Featured speaker will be Paul Tonnessen, Executive Director of the Friends of the Children's Justice Center.

For more information email mauinonprofit@gmail.com or contact association president Debbie Cabebe at 243-4342.

Congratulations to the BDC February Core Four Graduation Class

Congratulations to our newest Core Four business training program graduates! Check the Core Four schedule and application here...

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Molokai Volunteer Luncheon where Hala Pa-kala, our Driver of the Year, was honored.

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MEO Youth - World Whale Day and Tidal Trash Treasures Art Contest

MEO Youth win first and second place in the World Whale Day, Tidal Trash Treasures Art Contest! After numerous weeks of beach cleanups MEO's youth's entries wowed the crowd and judges winning them first with a large turtle with fins made of slippers left on the beach and for a little spunk a pair of reading glasses hung on its face. The turtle weighed nearly 30 lb in its completion.  In second place was a large jelly fish with tentacles made of fishnets found on the north shore. The youth will be enjoying a pizza party as well as a free view'ing of Ulalena for their prize.

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Congratulations to our Volunteers of the Year Kathy Louis and Louise Corpuz and to our Benefactors AXA Advisors. Mahalo to all of our volunteers and staff. We appreciate all of you.

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See the attached program for a listing of all recipients. Check out the gallery for some photos of the award recipients and recognition.

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Congratulations to Employee of the Month Regina Saffery

Congratulations to MEO's Driver of the Year Davidette "Hala" Pa Kala of Molokai!

"Hala" has worked for MEO for 10 years. She embraces the MEO motto "Helping People. Changing Lives". She is know to be a team player and is always willing to help when necessary. She acted as a temporary driver supervisor when the supervisor was out on extended medical leave. She has a "Yes We Can" attitude.
Atlas Insurance will present her with a plaque on February 21 during the Molokai Volunteer Luncheon.

For Immediate Release:

*January 26, 2017 *

*Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. (MEO) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to Retire*

MEO CEO Lyn McNeff will retire at the end of March after more than 23 years of service. When announcing her retirement to executive staff, McNeff said, “I really wasn’t planning to retire at this time, but my husband has been dealing with some health challenges and I want to be there for him.”

Lyn McNeff joined MEO in 1993 as its Education/Disabilities Coordinator and was quickly promoted to director. Under her leadership several Head Start centers received accreditation and the program was recognized nationally as a program of excellence, the only program in Hawaii to attain this status. In 1998 Lyn received recognition as a Johnson and Johnson Fellows, graduating from the program that was held on the campus of UCLA. Lyn was also recruited to join the National Head Start Review team to act as an auditor for Head Start programs throughout the country. In 2005 she was promoted to Chief Programs Officer (CPO). During her time as CPO she implemented regular fiscal meetings including line-staff responsible for the day to day program activities. This change greatly impacted the programs’ ability to monitor progress and expend funds in a more efficient manner. She also successfully wrote and administrated several (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) ARRA grants bringing much needed jobs and services to Maui County.

In 2011 Lyn became the sixth Chief Executive since MEO was established in 1965. Lyn took the rein at a very difficult time. The federal government imposed “sequestration” on the federally funded programs. In order to minimize the impact to the clients and staff, she used attrition and took cuts to the administrative budget to keep direct service staff working. Lyn stabilized the Vineyard Street “BEST House” property leasing space to Aloha House, a drug treatment recovery program, and Aria’s Restaurant to ensure the building was used for its intended purpose of serving formally incarcerated and other disadvantaged individuals. She also secured temporary funding to upkeep the agency’s Ke Kahaua Farm in Waiheu while regular funding or a private partnership could be secured. During her tenure as CEO McNeff was successful in moving MEO Transportation from its old “temporary” Kahului site, where it was housed since 1969, to its permanent site in Puunene. McNeff acknowledges pervious MEO executives, state, county and federal legislators and the many private partners and donors who helped make this dream a reality.

This past year Lyn was selected to sit on the governor’s Community-Based Economic Advisory Council and was part of the mayor’s HC&S Taskforce.

Lyn will be succeeded by MEO Chief Operating Officer Debbie Cabebe.

Mahalo to Willette Cordeiro and the Lokelani Hale Senior Club for their generous donation today in appreciation of MEO Transportation.

MEO is Helping People. Changing Lives thanks to a rental assistance grant from the County of Maui Department Housing and Human Concerns.

A 60 year old woman with mental challenges came to the MEO Molokai office for assistance. She was homeless for the past three years, sleeping on friend's couches, in her car, or camping on people's yards. Her only source of income is Social Security and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Working with the Molokai staff she was able to set up a budget that would allow her to pay for an electric and gas deposit and her first months rent. MEO's rental assistance program provided the needed funds to pay for the rental deposit. This allowed her to move into Public Housing. She will continue to meet with her case manager to help her maintain her budget and remain in her new rental She feels safe for the first time in many years and is very grateful to the County and MEO for the assistance. .


More of MEO Actions found here...

MEO provides the tools to help people and change lives with programs offered through five departments:

The BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER assists small business entrepreneurs with business plan training, credit assessment, and micro-loans for startup and expansion.

COMMUNITY SERVICES provides a wide array of services including rental subsidy, employment training and job placement, Enlace Hispano (Hispanic Link), weatherization and energy assistance, senior club coordination, prisoner reintegration, Hawaiian agricultural workshops, BEST Reintegration, Ke Kahua farm and more.

EARLY CHILDHOOD SERVICES provides quality infant care and early childhood education, offering toddlers a Head Start toward a better education and a better life.

The TRANSPORTATION Department provides rides to the doctor, to work, to school, to adult day care, for necessary shopping, and for other needs with both standard and wheelchair lift-equipped vehicles.

The YOUTH SERVICES Department provides youth with assistance to succeed in school and life through fun-filled opportunities to learn life skills, prepare for the workforce, and serve the community. The prevention of underage drinking, substance abuse, tobacco use, teenage pregnancy, and teenage suicide is consistently blended with youth program activities.

MEO is dedicated to providing tools for living, for earning, for self-reliance, and for community involvement. All programs are designed with the underlying belief that instead of giving people a fish, it is better to teach them how to fish for themselves.

Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO), chartered on March 22, 1965 is a private non-profit Community Action Agency. The current annual operating budget is $17 million dollars. MEO provides outreach and information, and administers human service programs to low-income persons, the youth, elderly, immigrants, ex-offenders, persons with disabilities and medical needs, and other disadvantaged individuals and families on the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. The agency was organized as a Community Action Agency under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to strengthen and coordinate efforts to eliminate poverty by providing opportunities in education, employment and training, transportation and other areas to help people, help themselves.

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Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO), chartered on March 22, 1965 is a private non-profit Community Action Agency. The current annual operating budget is $17 million dollars. MEO provides outreach and information, and administers human service programs to low-income persons, the youth, elderly, immigrants, ex-offenders, persons with disabilities and medical needs...


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