A leader in the West Maui senior community and a credit union officer, who teaches business planning to entrepreneurs and financial literacy to youths, were named co-Volunteers of the Year at Maui Economic Opportunity’s 35th Volunteer Celebration on Friday, Feb. 12.
Arleen Gerbig and Jaimie Dukelow were honored at the event, usually a luncheon but held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 150 people viewed the event through Zoom and Facebook Live.
Also at the celebration, Maui Soda & Ice Works was named Benefactor of the Year. The company with a 137-year history has been under the ownership of the Nobriga family since 1946 with the fourth generation transitioning to leadership of the food and beverage distributor. The company with three divisions – ready to drink, food service beverages and frozen products – distributes Coca-Cola, Popsicle, Monster Energy and Ben & Jerry lines and produces Roselani ice cream.
Maui Soda has donated a substantial amount of money to MEO in the past three years and granted 85 to 90 percent of donation requests from the community. The company donates about 5,000 cases of products annually.
In addition, Michael Nobriga, chairman of the Maui Soda Board of Directors, sits on the MEO Board of Directors, representing state Rep. Kyle Yamashita.
Gerbig sits on the MEO Board of Directors, as well, and has served as board secretary and on other committees. A member of the Lahaina-Honolua Senior Citizens Club, she stepped in as club president in 2016 with the sudden passing of Mae Fujiwara.
The club has been awarding scholarships to Lahainaluna High students for more than a decade; funds are raised through lei sales at Baldwin House. While the club will not be able to award scholarships this year due to the inability to sell lei, members have been busy distributing food boxes once a month. Gerbig has personally driven boxes to members’ homes.
She also handles bookings for Na Kupuna Serenaders and dancers, which performs at Hale Makua facilities, under the Lahaina Banyan Tree and at the Lahaina Cannery Mall and The Ritz Carlton, Kapalua.
Gerbig keeps her members involved in the community, organizing testimony at public hearings on important issues and projects.
Her co-Volunteer of the Year, Dukelow, shares her time, knowledge, experiences and insights with MEO Core Four Business Planning Course participants. Entrepreneurs gain insight from her banking knowledge and experience. She is business development officer with Hawaii State Federal Credit Union.
She has worked with youths at MEO’s Teen Financial Literacy Workshop, which focuses on budgeting and saving goals, basic banking, how to apply for a job and the credit process.
Dukelow also volunteers her time to other nonprofit organizations and endeavors, including the Maui Food Bank, Maui Friends of the Library, King Kekaulike High as senior project judge and Halau Ke`alaokamaile, as silent auction organizer. She also gives financial education presentations at UH-Maui College and high and intermediate schools.
The hour-long celebration included speeches by Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino and County Council Chairwoman Alice Lee. Guest speaker Bevanne Bowers, executive director of Maui Mediation Services and immediate past president of the Maui Nonprofit Directors Association, spoke about the power and value of volunteers in our community.
MEO, a 56-year-old nonprofit, offers programs countywide for business development; youths, including workforce preparation, substance abuse prevention and Head Start; senior club coordination; rental and energy assistance; and integration of formerly incarcerated individuals into the community.
MEO also runs the Maui Bus ADA paratransit service through a contract with Maui County and operates human services transportation, providing rides for seniors, persons with disabilities, youths and residents in rural areas throughout Maui County.
Arlene Gerbig, a leader of the Lahaina-Honolua Senior Citizens Club and a Maui Economic Opportunity board member, was named co-Volunteer of the Year by MEO at a virtual event Friday.
Jaimie Dukelow was named co-Volunteer of the Year on Friday at Maui Economic Opportunity’s 35th Volunteer Celebration. The event was held via Zoom and Facebook live.
Maui Soda & Ice Works, Ltd., was named Benefactor of the Year at Maui Economic Opportunity’s 35th Volunteer Celebration on Friday. Mike Nobriga, president of the board of the family-owned beverage and ice cream company, accepted the award.
Maui Economic Opportunity CEO Debbie Cabebe hosted the 35th Volunteer Celebration, held virtually Friday from MEO’s Wailuku offices.