Many of you have been inquiring about the status of the conference, which has traditionally been held during the month of April. We are gratified by your continued interest in the conference and apologize for the delay in communicating with you.
We will not be holding a conference in April 2017. We believe there will be a conference later this year, led by a new sponsor, and we have been holding back this communication in the hopes that we could use it to introduce the new leadership for the HEC. Unfortunately, we are not yet ready to do that.
Those who attended our successful 2016 conference last April will recall that we closed that event without naming an incoming chair for 2017. We did that because our board, the Hawaiian Educational Council, felt a need to reassess the interest in and value of the HEC format that we had been following. Staging a conference of this magnitude is a large task for a four-member volunteer board and a part-time executive director, and we also needed to determine if we had the wherewithal to continue as the sponsor.
Immediately after last year's conference, we conducted a survey which indicated that there is still interest among the business community in convening annually for a few days of discussion and fellowship. Buoyed by those results, we set about looking for a new sponsor who could take on the opportunity this forum presents with renewed vigor. That process is coming to a close. We are excited about the new leadership that is emerging and hope to be back in communication with an introduction soon.
We do want to share that the proceeds from this conference have been put to very good use. Funds from the conference most recently assisted the start-up of the Malama Honua Public Charter School (MHPCS) in Waimanalo, which was among the top-performing schools in statewide testing in 2016. We are very proud of that. The federal grants we administered on behalf of MHPCS have been drawn down, which means our work to help start this school is now complete. The Hawaiian Educational Council will be disbanding.
It is a good time for the next iteration of HEC to take shape. Those who have attended the conference in past years know that continuous growth and improvement have been hallmarks of this annual CEO gathering. After a short period of supervision by the Hawaii Employer's Council (1963-1969), during which managerial employment issues were prominent, the board of the Hawaiian Educational Council has encouraged volunteer conference chairs to plan programs designed to foster the intellectual growth of our local and regional CEO conferees, and to catalyze social action on numerous urgent issues. Since 1990, and with the leadership of Rod McPhee, Dan Case, Ed Carter and others, the adaptive nature of the conference has accelerated and intensified. With that 25+ year phase now ending, an opportunity calls out to the next leadership group to strive for even greater relevance and impact.
Mahalo nui loa for your patience and support.
Bob Lenz, Robert Witt, Wendell Lee and Ann Botticelli
The Board of Directors
Hawaiian Educational Council