Michela O’Connor Abrams
President of Dwell Media, the award-winning design and lifestyle media company based in San Francisco. Most recently, Ms. O’Connor Abrams has initiated several successful brand platforms for Dwell Media including Dwell Digital, Dwell on Design events, and the Dwell Homes Collection. The newest Dwell platform launched by the Dwell team this Spring is the for-profit platform Dwell Strategy+Research and its groundbreaking New Face of Affluence reports.
In over 25 years of experience in publishing, online branding strategies, trade show management, and strategic business development; Michela has held executive positions at IDG, Ziff-Davis, and McGraw-Hill. She was most recently named President of the GoodWeave Int’l Board and is a frequent speaker on branding and media innovation at Universities, associations, industry events, and symposia.
Chairman and Founder of the Luxury Marketing Council chapters in San Francisco and Orange County, California. The Luxury Marketing Council is a global organization representing 600 of the world’s leading consumer luxury brands. An avid spokesperson for the continued growth and success of the marketing communications industry, Alf gives 50+ speeches and seminars a year dedicated to sales, marketing and communications to Fortune 500 companies, organizations and associations across the country and abroad. He is also a nationally-syndicated marketing columnist whose articles appear in business publications throughout the U.S.
Co-Founder and Creative Director of Wall-to-Wall Studios, A Brand Design Agency. Brooklyn-born, Honolulu-raised and Pittsburgh-educated from Carnegie Mellon, Bernard co-founded Wall-to-Wall Studios in PIttsburgh, PA in 1992 and in 2005 returned home to launch the second office in Honolulu. The agency specializes in growing brands through an integrated approach to design and advertising, collaborating with local and national clients in the arts, education, real estate, development, retail and technology. Wall-to-Wall Studios’ branding work has been recognized with awards from the American Advertising Federation, Communication Arts, Print Magazine and the AIGA, among others. The company has long been known for its approach to emotional branding; using humor, wit and emotion to forge connections between the brand and the audience. Bernard has been actively involved with the AIGA as past President of both Pittsburgh and Honolulu chapters. He has taught communication design as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon, and as a visiting professor at the St. Gallen School of Design in Switzerland. In 2009, much to his disbelief, he was named “Advertising Man of Year” by the Hawaii Advertising Federation, and became a father. He spends most mornings thinking about lunch.
President, Concierge Auctions, Laura Brady is responsible for overseeing the company’s corporate initiatives and brand growth. Her strategic vision for the firm focuses on three fundamental deliverables: white-glove service worthy of the most discerning clientele; a brand that radiates luxury and is forever strengthened by the quality assets it represents; and the latest technologies and innovations to enhance the company proficiency and customize the client experience. Previously, Laura led a team of real estate agents at SKY Sotheby’s International Realty in Sarasota, Florida that was ranked in the top one percent of Realtors in the region and in the top five percent nationwide. Laura was personally involved with more than $100 million in sales for the firm. Earlier in her career, Laura was a national buyer for the Neiman Marcus Group, where she gained valuable insight into luxury clientele, and she later served as the number three position in a commercial development firm in Dallas, Texas. Laura graduated with a business degree in marketing from the University of Texas.
known for creating innovative works of architecture, interiors and furniture. He is the founder and principal of the Kauai based firm LOT Architecture and Design (LOT A+D) which is dedicated to the design and production of advanced and responsible built structures, environments and products. Aspiring to Enlightened Design tied to place with inspired spaces and detailing, he works with an essentialist design approach based on context, reduction and sensation. Subtle and rich, his architecture is testament to the discipline of pushing simplicity and clarity to their limits. LOT’s work can be characterized by experimentation, refined simplicity, and brave dynamic formal solutions. He elegantly weaves the modern with the past, the exquisite with the ordinary and is well versed in a multitude of aesthetic languages. His Architecture plays with the simplification of form, the equilibrium between enhancing the physical tactile properties of materials, and the calibrated rendering of proportions. This essentialist approach to design is visible on a multitude of scales including his furnishing elements, which become a natural complement to the architecture.
Real Estate Market Analyst, Business Operations Prudential Locations LLC - John has over 17 years of experience and in-depth knowledge of Hawaii real estate analysis and market trends. He has directed and participated in dozens of studies on Hawaii real estate including feasibility studies, highest-best use analyses, market analyses, opinion letters and the Hawaii Housing Policy Study. John has worked extensively in market research and related fields since 1984. John has also worked in the Oahu residential lending industry and in Operations Analysis within the Hawaii hotel industry. Since joining Prudential Locations in 1990, John has risen from analysis assistant to be the senior market analyst in the Research department. John has given presentations on real estate, testified and presented new projects before the Honolulu City Council, and has been qualified as an expert witness on Hawaii real estate in Honolulu district courts.
Founder, Innerwork Mortgage- With 10 years in the mortgage industry Mr. Sheppard’s organization has funded over 2 billion is residential mortgages. Mr. Sheppard opened their Hawaii office in 2006. Mr. Sheppard is a Jumbo mortgage specialist and his company helps high net worth individuals navigate the unique Hawaii real estate market. Dustin also has deep family ties to Hawaii with multiple generations of his family living on the North Shore of Oahu.
Phillip K. White
otherwise known as “Pip,” is president and founder of the company that bears his name. From the beginning, he brought a unique perspective to the practice of architecture with extensive field experience as a builder and as an architect. His experience as a carpenter sharpened his ability to design buildings that make the transition from blueprint to construction in one seamless process. Born and raised in Hawaii, Pip is a sixth generation kamaaina who has special regard for the local environment and culture both of which inform and influence the way he designs. He specializes in signature commercial and residential projects that combine regional forms with new technologies. His designs communicate a sense of accessibility and sophistication and this is particularly evident in his award-winning residential projects, which link living spaces to the outdoors in a way that reflects the more relaxed aspects of the local lifestyle. Pip’s experience as an architect includes land planning for a new town, master planning residential communities, and urban super blocks, as well as designing shopping centers, luxury homes, resorts, commercial buildings, a museum, and visitor destinations. Pip earned a B.A. in geology from Colgate University in New York, and is a member of the American Institute of Architects. He has served on several non-profit boards and currently serves as president of the Asia Pacific Center for Architecture. He is also a board member of the Hawaii Architectural Foundation.
Principal, Leed AP, Walker | Warner Architects
Greg’s interest in contextually appropriate design was greatly influenced during his years raised in the Hawaiian Islands and further developed while attending the University of Oregon where he graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1983. Greg spent several years working for various bay area firms where he gained experience in residential and commercial design. Greg co-founded Walker Warner Architects in 1989 and has had the privilege of working on a wide range of projects. In the year 2000, Walker Warner Architects won a competition to design a winery for the Quintessa Estate where Greg served as the principal-in-charge. Since the completion of Quintessa in 2003, the firm has been working on the design of several new winery estate projects. Greg resides in Lafayette, California with his wife and two children. He continues his love and interest for the outdoors with pursuits ranging from fly-fishing to participating in triathlons.
Loan Center Manager, Bank of Hawaii
Pom Luxton is a Vice President and Manager at the Downtown Loan Center. Her 30-year career span at Bank of Hawaii includes time on Maui and at Oahu branches, as well as a new business development and relationship officer role in the Private Banking Group. Pom attended both the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Chaminade University. Her professional designation included a real estate license and Series 7 Securities license. Pom is well versed in working with self employed borrowers and complex loan transactions. In 2003, Pom funded over $100 million in loans and has been the top originator since 2002, winning the top producer award each year for the Mortgage Banking Division. Pom is the recipient of many Bank of Hawaii awards including the Chairman’s Circle award for the past eight years since its inception and was also recognized with an award for those who have made a significant impact to the company. In her spare time, Pom enjoys traveling with her husband and is active in the tennis community – playing leagues, tournaments and serving on the Beretania Tennis Club board. She captained a women’s 4.0 tennis team to a National Championship in 2001 and a local league Championship in 2002. Her two daughters played collegiate volleyball on the Santa Clara University team that competed in the Final Four tournament in 2005.
Her motto in life is – whatever you do, do it with a passion…
Principal, Data@Work Ricky answers questions big and small about the resort residential market, anything from a client who wanted to buy anywhere but Hualalai (Dad lives there) to one who wanted to buy all of Hualalai. Or one who wanted to buy all Makena, Princeville, or Kauai Lagoons. Or sell Lanai, Hokua or Coco Palms. Clients include developers and landowners, like A&B, Stanford Carr, Castle & Cooke, Kobayashi/MacNaughton, The Resort Group, MSD Capital, Colony Capital, Discovery Land…and the Catholic Church (the effect of Aulani on church attendance in Kapolei). He is 2.135% Hawaiian and was raised on Oahu. Schools he wasn’t expelled from include Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Punahou, George Washington and Georgetown. Jobs he was fired from or quit include taxi driver, professional surfer, creative services for Monty Python, analyst for the Heritage Foundation, market research for Frost & Sullivan, Gentry Homes, and Castle & Cooke Homes – but not his own firm (Data@Work).
Founder of Agent Caffeine and the CEO of REcake, a branded mobile app for real estate providing effortless client communication and instant brand engagement with simple, powerful MLS search tools for the consumer. She is also an actively licensed real estate professional with 8 years of award-winning experience. She draws from 20+ years of strategic marketing, business development and digital marketing expertise. Her background includes successfully launching four startup companies each in a unique industry including technology and real estate. The inaugural President of the Social Media Club of Hawaii, she founded Next Level Hawaii, a business centric social media event bringing world-class social media speakers together in Honolulu. Ms. Mitchell was responsible for acquiring a commercialization technology agreement with NASA and the development of products using NASA’s DC-Tune, a digital compression algorithm. Her real estate company, The Kelly Mitchell Group at Elite, is an active extension of her award winning real estate practice. Ms. Mitchell is national speaker, most recently speaking for New York City’s Inman Connect on Digital Marketing. She is also the producer and host of Agent Caffeine, a Real Estate-centric Business Blog Talk Radio Show. She serves on the Board of Advisors for the Hogan Entrepreneur Program at her alma mater, Chaminade University.
Co-Founder and Director of Kobo Wealth Conservancy and Family Office. Prior to founding Kobo, Mr. Borden was the lead Tax-Exempt Bond Portfolio Manager at Bishop Street Capital Management, a subsidiary of First Hawaiian Bank. There he was responsible for portfolio management and trading of approximately $450 million in tax-exempt assets. Under Mr. Borden’s management, the Bishop Street Hawaii Municipal Bond Fund received the Lipper award for highest total return in its class for 2001, 2002, and 2004. Mr. Borden spent much of his time advising Private Banking clientele on cash management, constructing bond portfolios to minimize tax liabilities, and other investment matters. Raised in the Chicago area, Mr. Borden earned his M.B.A. in Finance at American University in Washington, D.C., and his B.A. in History from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua and later worked on classified international projects as an analyst with the Rendon Group in Washington.
Fritz Johnson is an architect practicing in the city of Honolulu. His design approach is focused on intelligent material choices and environmentally adept formal strategies. He works in a style that reflects the climate and international culture of the people of Hawaii. Before creating his own studio, Mr. Johnson was a designer with NBBJ in Seattle where he worked on a variety of large mixed-use projects on the west coast and throughout Asia. In 1997 he joined Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates in New York where he continued as an integral part of the design teams work in on educational, commercial and hospitality / entertainment projects in the United States. Current influences include the west coast Modernism of Richard Neutra and John Lautner and the clear, refined work of Singaporean architect Kerry Hill. As it was with those architects whom he most admires, Mr. Johnson’s work is always motivated by a desire to build in a way that is both of this time and is rooted in its place. Mr. Johnson was recognized in Architectural Record with the publication of his Pupukea Beach House in the magazine’s 2006 Record Houses feature. Other recent projects include new luxury custom residences on Oahu and the Big Island, and a prominent commercial renovation in the Honolulu city center. Fritz Johnson received his Bachelor of Architecture from Kent State University in Ohio, and completed his Masters at Cornell University in 1994. He is a registered architect licensed to practice in the State of Hawaii.