Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is responsible for oversight of the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture’s industry development plans, policies and programs, including concurrence on the allocation of the available annual budget. The Board of Directors is also responsible for development of ancillary agreements with other agencies and institutions. The Board:
- provides oversight for regional program development, execution and management;
- appoints and removes individuals to the Industry Advisory Council and Technical Committee;
- approves the proposed duties and membership of the Industry Advisory Council and Technical Committee;
- approves the proposed strategy for project selection;
- approves the Annual Plan of Work, including budget allocations;
- approves the Annual Accomplishment Report for consistency with the goals and objectives of CTSA and the authorizing legislation; and
- directs the Executive Director to respond to its information needs.
The Executive Committee (EC) of the Board of Directors is comprised of the presidents, or their appointed representatives, of the University of Hawaii and the Oceanic Institute, the two institutions that co-administer the Center.
Shaun Moss, Ph.D., of The Oceanic Institute and Rachel Novotny, Ph.D., of the University of Hawaii are the two Executive Committee members.
The Executive Committee is responsible for making the final decisions on administrative policy, budget and procedures of CTSA. It also appoints the Executive Director of CTSA.
A brief profile of each Board member follows:
Rachel Novotny, Ph.D.
Rachel Novotny is Professor of Nutrition and Interim Dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dr. Novotny trained in maternal child health, nutrition, epidemiology, anthropology and environmental biology. She has published more than 135 scientific papers related to maternal, infant and child nutrition and health in remote regions and among culturally diverse populations. She is Principal Investigator of the Children’s Healthy Living Program for Remote Underserved Minority Populations of the Pacific, or CHL, a 25 million dollar community-based multi-level intervention, training and outreach program throughout the US Affiliated Pacific region including Marshall Islands, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Hawaii and Alaska.
Singeru Singeo, Ph.D.
Singeru Singeo joined the CTSA Board of Directors in 1996. Singeru wears several hats at the College of Micronesia (COM). He is COM’s Executive Director and also Interim Director for Land-Grant Research, as well as the Extension Program.
Singeo while also majoring in Business Education earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology at Pacific Union College in Angwin, California. He went on to earn a doctorate in dentistry from Loma Linda University in California. Singeo has a diverse background. He is licensed to practice dentistry in California and in Micronesia where he worked as staff dentist for Pohnpei Health Service for several years. Director and Instructor of Technical Training at the College of Micronesia Dental Nursing School in Palau. He also was an adjunct instructor at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry for its program in Micronesia.
Singeo has held several administration positions at the College of Micronesia. He has served as Development Officer, Personnel Officer, and Chancellor of the College of Micronesia System.
His interest in Marine Biology has led him to support the establishment of an aquaculture hatchery in Pohnpei for spawning and grow-out work related to pearl oysters and sea cucumbers. He continues to promote the establishment of other aquaculture hatcheries throughout the Micronesian region.
Lee Yudin, Ph.D.
Lee Yudin has represented the University of Guam as a member the CTSA Board of Directors since 2003. Yudin is the Dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Guam (UOG). He has been with the University of Guam since 1989. Yudin earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in entomology from the University of Hawaii. As a professor at UOG, his research was primarily in urban pest management with an emphasis in the control of subterranean termites. Yudin sits on the Board of Directors for the Agricultural Development in the American Pacific (ADAP) program – a consortium of land grant institutions in the Western Pacific. He is also a member of the Asian Association of Agricultural Colleges and Universities (AAACU). Yudin has numerous extension and research publications. He has traveled extensively throughout the world working in the Middle East and in East Africa. Yudin is a strong supporter of aquaculture on Guam and in the region.
Dr. Yudin was elected to the Policy Board of Directors (Board on Agricultural Assembly) from 2008 – 2010 and most recently from 2010-2012, as a voting member representing the Insular Institutions. In addition, Dr. Yudin is also a member of Budget and Advocacy Committee and the Committee on Legislation and Policy (former Farm Bill Committee).
Harry Ako, Ph.D.
Harry Ako joined the CTSA Board of Directors in 2009. Ako recently retired from the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, where he served as chairman of the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering among other roles during his tenure. In the years leading up to his retirement he devoted his time to nurturing and advancing the department’s award winning research programs in the areas of molecular biosciences and bioengineering, despite the limitations in available resources and its outreach activities (via winning business competitions), as well as its strong, dynamic and growing instructional programs, both undergraduate and graduate.
His earlier scholarly work led to the formulation of marine shrimp and marine finfish feeds that were not only well considered, but also held dominant commercial positions as well. There was a focus on the nutritional as well as palatability aspects of feeds. Live feeds developed for baby marine fish focused on their fatty acids and led to greater stress resistance for these animals. The omega-3 fatty acid DHA (22:6n-3) was found to be critically important. Ako conducted research on freshwater ornamental fish and ornamental fish coloration with carotenoids.
Other aspects of his research team’s work with fatty acids led to the development of the Hawaiian oils industry. Kukui nut oil products have made it into the cosmetics industry and macadamia nut oils have a presence in the cosmetics as well as the food oil industries.
Todd Low joined the CTSA Board of Directors in 2009. He is the Manager of the Hawaii State Aquaculture Development Program (ADP), which is charged with implementing the state plan through planning and policy development, providing support services, and funding research, development and demonstration projects. He recently served as the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Market Development Branch Manager and managed several programs focusing on marketing Hawaii’s agriculture products to local, domestic and international markets. The programs included the Seals of Quality program, which helps companies market their premium products; the Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign, which encourages Hawaii consumers to purchase local food products; and the Matching Marketing Funds Program, which supports the marketing efforts of local farmers by providing matching funds for distribution, tradeshow and education projects. His knowledge of agricultural distribution systems is seen as a key component in increasing the market for aquaculture products.
Low has an MBA, and prior to being employed by the State, he was the Product Development Manager for American Savings Bank (ASB), where he constructed financial modeling for new products in addition to overseeing training modules prior to the roll-out of those products. Previous to ASB, Low was the Interactive Marketing Manager for the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, where he was responsible for marketing programs to Asia, Australia, Europe and North America, and where he developed the state’s official tourism web site.
Shaun Moss, Ph.D.
Dr. Moss received his doctoral degree in Zoology from the University of Hawaii in 1993. From 1993-1994, Dr. Moss worked in eastern Indonesia as a Fulbright Scholar and he returned to Hawaii in 1994 where he was an Associate Professor in the Marine Sciences Department at Hawaii Pacific University. From 1997 - 2009, Dr. Moss served as Director of the Shrimp Department at Oceanic Institute (OI) where he conducted research on a variety of topics related to shrimp aquaculture, including selective breeding, biosecurity, and environmentally sustainable growout technologies. From 2009 - 2012, Dr. Moss served as Vice President of Research and Development at OI and as Director of the USDA-funded U.S. Marine Shrimp Farming Program. Currently, Dr. Moss is Acting President and Chief Executive Officer for Scientific Programs at OI.
Ron Weidenbach is Co-Owner/Manager of Hawaii Fish Company Inc., a multi-species aquafarm formed in 1978 and now located on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. He has been a member of the CTSA Industry Advisory Council (IAC) since 1992, Chair of the IAC since 2010, and President of the Hawaii Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association since 1997. Ron holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Natural Resource Management from the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and the Rackham School of Graduate Studies. He began his aquaculture career as a researcher with the University of Miami, Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences in 1970, and subsequently held fisheries and aquaculture research positions with the National Audubon Society, the University of Michigan, and the East West Center. He has served as an aquaculture consultant to Pfizer Pharmaceutical International, the World Bank, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the East-West Environment and Policy Institute, and has been Principal Investigator on numerous aquaculture research and economic development grants. Ron was honored by the U.S. Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society as its first Honorary Life Member, and was awarded the prestigious Tibbitts Award by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a national model of excellence for the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program, and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his years of aquaculture research and development work.