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. 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. 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.
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!
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:
Please see the attached flyer. Hope you can join us.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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...
Molokai Volunteer Luncheon where Hala Pa-kala, our Driver of the Year, was honored.
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.
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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AmeriCorps Press Release for Immediate Release:
*Open Enrollment until all positions are filled for MEO’s Environmental Internship Program: Serve Full or Part-time, Earn a Living Allowance and Help Malama Aina!*
Want to help your community and the environment? ...and earn a bi-weekly living allowance? Do you like being outside? Then apply to be an AmeriCorps member with Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO). AmeriCorps is like the Peace Corps but in America rather than abroad. With MEO’s program, interns serve right here on Maui! Our program is focused on Environmental Stewardship. That means that our interns serve with conservation agencies to malama ‘aina by removing invasive species, planting native plants and/or erecting and repairing predatory fence lines.
MEO is seeking anyone 17 or older with a High School diploma or GED to serve as an AmeriCorps member (intern) with the DLNR Forestry, DLNR Natural Area Reserves, DLNR Trails, Maui Invasive Species Committee, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens or La’a Kea Farm for 2, 3 or 6 months. Positions available until they are filled, first come, first served. Most positions are 40 hours per week but we have part-time positions as well! AmeriCorps members will learn real-life conservation skills and will be provided with ongoing training, a modest living allowance and a monetary education award, upon successful completion of the program.
Serving with AmeriCorps is a great way to gain experience and skills, meet experts in the field and build your resume for a career in conservation!
Lacey Abercrombie, AmeriCorps Coordinator
Press Release for Immediate Release:
Press Release for Immediate Release:
Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. celebrates Project Graduation 2017
MEO has announced $47,741 in Maui County funding has been made available for Project Graduation Programs for 2017 high school graduating classes in an effort to promote alcohol and drug free graduation celebrations. The purpose is to subsidize low-income families so their senior can participate.
- All High Schools in Maui County are eligible to apply.
- No school may receive more than $5,300 and of 50% of each school’s grant shall subsidize graduates participation based on economic need.
Deadline for the receipt of applications is March 10, 2017 and notifications of awards will be made by March 27, 2017.
Applications must be emailed to Lyn McNeff at email@example.com
For information e-mail Lyn or call her at 249-2990.
Kalama School Reward Pizza Party for 6th grade winners of the Poster Fair.
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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.
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.
New 2017 Senior Scoop
Youth Services two night camp at the VFW Hall in Kihei - click to see pics...
Youth Services Programs enjoy a two night camp at the VFW Hall in Kihei. Leaders enjoyed a training on the first night where they learned new skills, practiced team building, effective communicating and planned the agenda for the the next two days of camp where they were joined by other youth participants and their leadership skills were put to practice. Activities include- Pizza making, creating baked goodies and positive affirmation treat bags to be passed out to the homeless, group activities, swimming, a talent show and so much more. Youth Services staff are so proud of all of the leaders for a very successful camp! click pics to enlarge..
Congratulations to our Employee of the Month Mark Hammer!
Mahalo to Willette Cordeiro and the Lokelani Hale Senior Club for their generous donation today in appreciation of MEO Transportation.
For Immediate Release:
The Maui County Senior Planning and Coordinating Council (P&CC) installed its 2017 officers today at the MEO Family Center during the organization's annual meeting and holiday luncheon. MEO CEO Lyn McNeff was the installing officer.
+ President- Annie Gilbert- Hanalani Club
+ Vice President- Nora Kawasaki- Lanai Area Council
+ Secretary- Patricia Crawford- Hale Mahaolu Elima
+ Treasurer- Vivian Lindsey- Maui Wheelers Ohana
+ Immediate Past President- May Fujiwara- Lahaina Honolua Seniors
+ Outgoing Treasurer Napua Turley was recognized for her service.
The P&CC represents more than 55 senior citizen clubs with over 1,000 members. Senior groups interested in joining the P&CC may contact MEO Planning and Coordinating Council Coordinator Zilpah Kaimiola at 808-249-2970.
Congratulations to the BDC December Core Four Graduation Class
MEO’s Business Development Program graduated fifteen (15) students from the Core Four Business Planning course on December 13, 2016. Attending the event was The County of Maui’s Director of Economic Development Teena Rasmussen. Teena gave encouraging advice and congratulations to the graduates.
At the graduation, the soon-to-be entrepreneurs received one-on-one guidance from Local Maui business bankers and consultants. The students’ business plans were reviewed and were provided suggestions and guidance in launching a successful business. The graduating students received a Certificate of Achievement and a congratulatory Lunch.
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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 evenings. One hour introductory classes will be held at MEO’s Family Center Wailuku on Tuesday, January 3rd from 6pm to 7pm, and on Wednesday January 4th, from 12 noon to 1pm at The Maui County Business Resource Center (Maui Mall). The six-week series begins on Tuesday, January 10th, and continues from 6pm to 9pm two days a week through February 16th. 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.
Na Kupuna Dinner Presented by the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association More than 500 Kupuna were treated to a holiday feast. Kupuna in attendance are those who are alone and do not have family members to share the holidays with. MEO CEO Lyn McNeff, Community Services Director Gerry Lum and MEO Senior Planning and Coordinating Council Coordinator Zilpah Kaimiola were on hand to assist and support our kupuna.
For Immediate Release:
Maui Nonprofit Directors Association
The Maui Nonprofit Directors Association gathered today its annual holiday breakfast and board installation at the MEO offices in Wailuku. Executive Assistant Mike Molina installed the officers on behalf of Mayor Alan Arakawa. Association members were asked to bring nonperishable food items to donate to the Food Bank.
2017 officers are Treasurer Sherri Dodson, CEO Habitat for Humanity, Secretary Richard Carr, Deputy Director Habitat for Humanity, Vice President Bevanne Bowers, Executive Director Maui Mediation Services, President Debbie Cabebe, Chief Operating Officer Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc., and Immediate Past-President Paul Tonnessen, Executive Director Friends of the Children's Justice Center. Members at-large are Cesar Gaxiola, Executive Director J Walter Cameron Center, Caroline Killhour, Executive Director Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center, and Laks Abraham, Executive Director Maui United Way.
The Maui Nonprofit Directors Association represents more than 55 nonprofit organizations. It's purpose is to provide a venue for nonprofit executives to network, find support and opportunities for professional development.
Members meet the second Thursday of every month at the MEO Family Center in Wailuku. Networking begins at 8:30am and the meeting begins at 9:00am. For more information visit the MNPD website @ www.mauinonprofit.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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|(photo Left to Right - Paul, Caroline, Sherri, Bevanne, Richard, Debbie, Laks and Cesar)|
MEO Christmas - Lanai
Some of the Christmas pictures we took at our MEO Seniors Christmas Party held on Friday evening at Hale Kupuna. We had over 90 seniors and guest that attended the event.
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Congratulations to our Employee of the Month Alicia Hernandez-Rodas!
Lahaina Honolua Seniors Fun Day
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Senior Fair Photos..click pic below..
Congratulations to our Employee of the Month Waco Muse!
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. .
MEO attended the Community Service Block Grant Governance Conference sponsored and hosted by the State of Hawaii, DLIR, Office of Community Services. (In photos, Hawaii Community Action Partnership directors with Governor Ige and Community Action Partnership and National Association for State Community Services Programs trainers.)
Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO installs new Board of Directors)
MEO installed its new board of directors at an installation held at the Kahili Restaurant this afternoon. The Keynote Speaker, was Councilmember, Budget and Finance Chair Riki Hokama. Councilmember Hokama stated that the board members have a fiduciary responsibility to see that the agency has adequate funding for its programs. He said, "Everyone of you represent a section of the community, it is your responsibility to reach out to that sector to educate them and seek support...Nonprofits can no longer rely solely on government funding... they must think outside of the box"
Dr. Lori Teragawachi installed the new officers, President, Kevin Yoshida, Vice President, Ned Davis, Treasures Cliff Alakai and Secretary Adele Rugg.
CEO Lyn McNeff offered a special mahalo to outgoing president Kai Pelayo. McNeff said, "MEO appreciates Kai's leadership during the past two years.
During his term he assisted with the completion of the transportation center, and bus wash and emergency generator funds were secured."
(Photo- Cliff Alakai, Riki Hokama, Ned Davis, Adele Rugg, Kevin Yoshida, Lori Teragawachi, and CEO Lyn McNeff)
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.