We’re helping people, changing lives. You definitely can, too!
MEO’s services are constantly changing to meet the needs of children and families, the medically needy, the elderly and other low-income individuals. All MEO programs are tangible translations of the Promise of Community Action. There are always at least a few MEO programs in need of volunteers, cash donations or inkind gifts. You can help. MEO does what poverty demands, and you are welcome to join us in whatever way you can. Call us at 249-2990.
Congratulations to MEO's Employee of the Month, Francine Santana!
Rider Education Forum
Congratulations to MEO's Employee of the Month, Jana Malcom Brown!
*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
MEO Business Development Center
(Wailuku, HI April 22, 2015) – MEO’s Business Development Program graduated eighteen (18) students from the Core Four Business Planning course on April 21, 2015. Mayor Alan Arakawa participated in the graduation and encouraged the students to keep their commitments and never give up on their dreams. The students also heard words of encouragement and advice from Maui County Council Member Mike Victorino, who was in attendance.
At the graduation, the soon-to-be entrepreneurs were also able to work with bankers from Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and Central Pacific Bank and received suggestions on improving their business plans and what they can expect from commercial lenders. The graduating students received a Certificate of Achievement and a congratulatory dinner.
For those interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial training course you can call Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. at 249-2990.
A crowd more than 125 staff, dignitaries and community partners gathered to celebrate the opening of MEO's new transportation facility in Puunene. In 2007 Alexander and Baldwin donated five acres and MEO purchased another five acres of land at a discounted price. This journey took more than 30 years for MEO to find a permanent location for its operations.
CEO Lyn McNeff thanked those who helped make this dream a reality. McNeff said, "Without the help of those who came before me, the community partners such as A&B, Stacy Otomo Engineering, Maui Architectural Group, Chris Hart and Partners and Goodfellow Bros., as well as the support of our state and county legislators, and our board and staff, this would not have been possible." She continued to say, "Despite the many obstacles to getting this project completed, it was definitely worth it when staff expressed their gratitude. One staff member had tears in her eyes, telling me that she had been waiting for this day for 26 years." The next phase of the project includes building an onsite bus wash, installing an emergency generator and seeking proposals for an onsite fueling station as well as securing funding for maintenance facility. MEO currently leases space for its maintenance operations paying about $12,000 per month in rent. McNeff said, "Securing funding to build a maintenance facility on the Puunene property would realize savings over a period of time. This savings could be used for additional services or the money could be used to fund other county priorities."
For more information, contact Lyn McNeff at 249-2990.
Congratulations to driver Carolyn Freitas. Staff celebrated with her yesterday at a retirement luncheon.
She was MEO's most senior employee with 34 years of service. We wish her well!
Congratulations to MEO's CEO Lyn McNeff for receiving the Women's Insights and Contributions Award sponsored by the Maui County Committee on the Status of Women.
Unfortunately Lyn was away on business, so her husband Mike accepted the award on her behalf. She was nominated by MEO Board Chair Kai Pelayo.
MEO's Cesar Chavez celebration
Congratulations to Kevin Block. He is the 2015 Cesar Chavez Leadership Award recipient!
Past recipients include Cesar and Kim Gaxiola, Silvia Naiberg and Rudy Esquire
"MEO Dancing with the Stars 50th Anniversary"
On Saturday March 21, MEO celebrated its 50th anniversary at MEO's Dancing With Our Stars fundraiser. It was a sold out and very fun event.
Mahalo to our sponsors:
*Sapphire- *Atlas Insurance, Goodfellow Bros., Inc. and Maui Electric Company
*Ruby- *Alexander and Baldwin, Inc. and Bank of Hawaii
*Coral- *AXA Advisors and Ohana Fuels
*Pearl- *AlohaCare, Aloha Petroleum Ltd., Central Pacific Bank, Dorvin D. Leis Co., Inc., Ecolane, Employers Options
First Hawaiian Bank, Hale Mahaolu, NAPA Auto Parts-United Auto Parts of Kahului and Soderholm Sales and Leasing, Inc.
Mahalo to our dance contestants:
Mayor Alan and Ann Arakawa
Sharon Zalsos and Mark Paranada
Terryl Vencl and Orlando Tagorda
Rick and Kaylee Volner
Council Vice-chair Don and Reese Guzman
Congratulations to the winners:
First Place and Best costume- Don and Reese
Second place- tie- Rick and Kaylee and Sharon and Mark
Third place- Terryl and Orlando
Mahalo to our judges:
Kathy Collins, Kellie Pali Cruz and Tony Takitani
Mahalo to our emcees:
Deidre Tegarden and Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez
Our individual donors; Kathy Collins and Vince Roseby for the dance exhibition; Troy Hashimoto for photos; Kay Leeson for the centerpieces; Jade Querubin for the event signs and programs; Marcia Paranada for running the spotlight; JB Sound for the PA and music; the King Kamehemeha Club for hosting; May Fujiwara and Star Noodle, Kevin Yoshida and Central Pacific Bank, Expidtions and Foodland for the prizes; Raymond Cabebe, Mel Lorenzo and Mike McNeff for the labor love.
A finally to the Federal. State and County Legislators, the MEO Board and Staff for always working to make Maui County the best place to live.
Maui Economic Opportunity Celebrates Turning 50
(Wailuku-HI)—Maui Economic Opportunity celebrated the nonprofit community action agency’s 50th Anniversary this week with a commemorative community and staff photo to celebrate the occasion. Guests included Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, Representative Judson Woodson, Joe Pontanilla, representing Mayor Alan Arakawa and councilmember Gladys Baisa.
MEO was chartered on March 22, 1965, and serves 23,000 individuals and families each year through a wide variety programs including transportation, social assistance, employment and training, business development, rental assistance, early childhood education and outreach to the Hispanic community.
CONTACT: Lyn McNeff, Maui Economic Opportunity CEO
BDC Core Four Graduation
(Wailuku, HI, February 25, 2015) –Maui County Council Member Gladys Baisa and Mayor Alan Arakawa’s representative, Joseph Pontanilla, attended MEO Business Development Program’s graduation of twenty two (22) students from the Core Four Business Planning course on February 24, 2015. Council Member Baisa and Mr. Pontanilla spoke about their own entrepreneurial experiences and encouraged the students on starting their own businesses.
Also, the graduating students were able to receive advice and guidance from local commercial lenders. The bankers reviewed the students’ business plans and provided suggestions and guidance in launching a successful business. The graduating students received a Certificate of Achievement and a congratulations dinner.
Congratulations to MEO's Employee of the Month, Melanie Jaramillio!
MEO’s Dancing with Our Stars 50th anniversary event is SOLD OUT!!!
Mahalo to everyone for the support
MEO celebrates its with its Volunteers at the 29th Annual Volunteer Luncheon. Luncheons will be held on Molokai and Lanai later this month.
Congratulations to Volunteer of the Year, Maui Community Correctional Center and Benefactor of the Year Atlas Insurance.
Mahalo to Council Chair Mike White for addressing the group. We so appreciate our volunteers.
President Johnson signing the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. MEO was established in March of 1965
MEO Annual Employee Recognition Awards
MEO honored its drivers who have been accident/incident free during 2014 and announced the 2014 Driver of the Year, Thad Jensen. Thad has worked for MEO for 4 years and has been accident/incident free during that time. His supervisor describes him as someone who regularly goes above and beyond the call and has a lot of heart. The Driver of the Year award is sponsored by Atlas Insurance's CEO Myles Murakamai and Vice President Carol Davis.
Harry Johnson, Janelle Curnan, Lyn McNeff, Thad Jensen, Carol Davis, Myles Murakamai
MEO employees who have worked 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25+ years were recognized at the Annual Employee Recognition Awards meeting in Wailuku. Photos found here.
MEO hosts the Maui Homeless Alliance (MHA) Community Forum with more than 100 agencies, lawmakers, legislators, concerned community members and those experiencing homelessness in attendance. Mahalo to the County of Maui Department of Housing and Human Concerns, the Friends of Alan Arakawa and the MHA leadership team for making this happen.
Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. celebrates Project Graduation 2015
MEO has announced $47,741 in Maui County funding has been made available for Project Graduation Programs for 2015 high school graduating classes in an effort to promote alcohol and drug free graduation celebrations. Click here for a Project Graduation grant application, and here for the Narrative Proposal. Deadline for the receipt of applications is *February 7, 2015 *and notifications of awards will be made by February 28, 2015. Applications must be emailed to Lyn McNeff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to MEO's Employee of the Month Rhina-Lynn Juario from Molokai
*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
MEO Business Development Center
(Wailuku, HI December 17, 2014) – MEO’s Business Development Program graduated fourteen (14) students from the Core Four Business Planning course on December 16, 2014. Maui County Council Member Stacy Crivello attended the luncheon and encouraged the graduates to follow their dreams and told them that if they work hard they will be successful.
Greg Knue from Bank of Hawaii
At the graduation, the soon-to-be entrepreneurs received one-on-one advice and guidance from nine (9) commercial bankers representing First Hawaiian Bank, Bank of Hawaii, and Central Pacific Bank. The bankers reviewed 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 evening. One hour introductory classes will be held on Tuesday, January 6th (2015) and Thursday, January 8th, from 6pm to 7pm at MEO’s Family Center, and also at the Maui County Business Resource Center (Maui Mall) on Wednesday, January 7th from noon to 1pm. The six-week series begins on Tuesday, January 13 and continues from 6pm to 9pm two days a week through February 24th. 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.
Craig Swift / 243-4317
MEO RECEIVES GENEROUS DONATION FROM HAWAII PETROLEUM’S OHANA FUELS, “FUEL UP. DO GOOD.” COMMUNITY GIVING PROGRAM
WAILUKU, MAUI (Hawaii) – Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO) received $8,385.30 from Hawaii Petroleum through its Ohana Fuels, “Fuel Up. Do Good.” community giving program. Hawaii Petroleum partners with non-profit organizations that serve the needs of the community by donating a portion of each purchase from every gallon of gasoline sold at an Ohana Fuels station in this community.
During an award presentation at MEO’s headquarters, CEO Lyn McNeff said, “We are grateful to Hawaii Petroleum for their support. They are wonderful community partners. This funding will allow us to assist clients who may otherwise be turned away. Grants are typically specific, dictating who qualifies and receives assistance. If the individual does not meet the funding source’s eligibility criteria, we can’t help. These funds will allow us to help the gap” group who are in serious need of assistance. ”
Kimo Haynes, President of Hawaii Petroleum said, “The mission of our Ohana Fuels Giving Program is to help meet the needs of the communities we serve by supporting nonprofit organizations that improve overall quality of life. Ohana Fuels proudly sponsors programs that enhance the vitality of our neighborhoods, celebrate community success, and expand the capacity of local charities to serve our community”.
Ohana Fuels is Hawaii Petroleum’s retail fuel brand that provides competitive priced, quality fuels at safe, clean and convenient locations including eight stations on the island of Maui, and four stations on the island of Hawaii. Certified as a TOP TIER™ fuel, Ohana Fuels meets the premier standard of gasoline for optimum performance and fuel efficiency. Hawaii Petroleum is committed to making a positive contribution to the communities in which our Ohana Fuels stations operate, and gives local residents a way to support the community with every tank of gas they purchase.
For more information about Hawaii Petroleum or Ohana Fuels contact Lloyd Leong 808-769-5719 or email@example.com.
For assistance from MEO through the "Fuel Up. Do Good" program please download this application and follow the directions.
MEO is a non-profit Community Action Agency incorporated on March 22, 1965 under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Its mission is to strengthen the community while helping people in need, restore their hope, reach their potential and enrich their lives. Last year MEO served over 23,000 individuals and touched more than 71,000 lives.
For more information about MEO contact CEO Lyn McNeff at 249-2990.
October 3, 2014
Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. wishes to notify its clients, community partners and the general public that it is pleased to announce that it will begin the transition to the new MEO Transportation site the week of October 12, 2014. During this move, the transportation office staff will be temporarily located at the MEO Wailuku offices at 99 Mahalani Street. The vehicles and some support staff will work out of the Kahului site until the trailers are set and functional at the new Puunene site. The telephone and fax numbers will remain the same throughout the move.
CEO Lyn McNeff states, "We anticipate opening at our new location the first week of January 2015. We would like to thank you in advance for your support and patience during this transition."
For more information, contact MEO Transportation Harry Johnson at 877-7651
Congratulations to MEO's Employee of the Month for August, Harriett "U'i" Mokiau!
MEO's Employee of the Month for July is a long time employee and a four time recipient of this award. Congratulations to Agnes Groff!
41st Annual Maui County Senior Fair
WAILUKU, MAUI (Hawaii)- Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO) is seeking vendors and community partners interested in participating in the 41st Annual Maui County Senior Fair, scheduled for Saturday, October 25, 2014 at the War Memorial gymnasium in Wailuku from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. MEO is the organizer of the event. MEO supports 60 senior citizen groups throughout Maui County, representing more than 1,800 seniors. Last year’s fair attracted over 2,500 individuals.
Applications and payment must be received by MEO no later than Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at:
Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc., Community Services Department
99 Mahalani Street, Wailuku, HI 96793
Attention: Gerry Lum, Director
Telephone 249-2970, extension 359
1. Tables will be assigned on a FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED PAID BASIS by the Fair Committee.
2. The committee may deny applications that are duplicative or over table space limitations.
3. Vendors will not be allowed to select their own table.
4. Vendors will be notified of items disapproved for sale upon receipt of the application.
5. Participation fee includes one (1) 8-foot table, tablecloth and skirt, and two (2) chairs.
6. No cooking or the use of sterno (canned heat) or gas burners shall be allowed inside of the Maui War Memorial Complex.
7. Food must be prepared in a certified kitchen.
8. Food vendors must obtain a Department of Health permit and submit a copy to MEO along with a copy of the approvedthe application. Should you have questions regarding the permitting process, contact Agnes Groff at 249-2970, extension 360.
9. Vendors selling food or items, or administering shots, must provide a certificate of insurance for $1,000,000 naming MEO as an additional insured on the policy. Senior Clubs who pay P&CC membership dues are covered under MEO’s policy and are not required to obtain additional insurance.
10. No sales of any kind will be permitted prior to the start of the Fair at 7:30 a.m.
11. No selling of beverages (water, soda, coffee, tea, etc.)
MEO TRANSPORTATION DIRECTOR RECEIVES CERTIFIED COMMUNITY TRANSIT MANAGER DESIGNATION
WAILUKU, MAUI (Hawaii)- Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.’s Transportation Director Harry Johnson passed the Certified Community Transit Manager (CCTM) exam and has been approved by the Community Transportation Association of America’s (CTAA) National Certification Council the designation of "CCTM".
Mr. Johnson has worked for MEO more than twenty years in the position of driver, operations manager, assistant director and director. CEO, Lyn McNeff said, “We celebrate Harry’s certification as it affirms MEO’s commitment to be an agency of excellence. As we gear up to celebrate our 50th anniversary we continue to support our staff in all areas of professional development. Staff development is one of the key ingredients in fulfilling our mission of helping people in need restore their hope, reach their potential and enrich their lives.”
Congratulations to MEO's Employee of the Month for June, CFO Debbie Lorenzo!
BDC Core Four graduates - Lanai
MEO BDC’s Craig Swift and David Daly at Pele’s Other Garden Deli & Bistro with the Core Four graduates: Lynn Fuchigami-Costales, Natalie Jeffers, Jack Martin, Mililani Martin and Jennifer Velasco.
Click photo to view more pictures
MEO Early Childhood staff enjoy a day of staff development in Kihei, Maui.
KUPUNA CELEBRATE AT THE 42ND ANNUAL KUPUNA LUNCHEON
WAILUKU, MAUI (Hawaii)-Over seven hundred Kupuna, guests and dignitaries celebrated at the 42nd Annual Kupuna Luncheon on Saturday, July 26 at the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa. Entertainment was provided by Maui’s own “Elvis”, Darren Lee of the Burn’n Love show in Lahaina. The annual event is a joint effort between the Maui County Planning and Coordinating Council (P&CC), who represents over sixty senior citizen clubs with more than 1,700 members, and Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO). This event is made possible through club fundraising activities, ticket sales and generous donations. MEO provides a meeting space for the P&CC meetings and acts as a liaison for the seniors assisting them with advocacy and education activities.
Governor Neil Abacrombie installs MEO Board of Directors and celebrates his 76th birthday at the MEO Family Center.
MEO CEO helps raise funds for MDA
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.