West Oahu Newsmakers

Wednesday - October 27, 2010
By MidWeek Staff
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Makakilo resident Jerry Pupillo has been appointed general manager of Sea Life Park. He officially started work May 31 at the 62-acre attraction, replacing Jesus Bravo, who resigned to return to his native Mexico.

Pupillo is a founding member of both the West Oahu Economic Development Association and Kapolei Chamber of Commerce. He is current president and board member of United Cerebral Palsy Hawaii and is on the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii board.


Nick Huntz of Kapolei has been hired as project developer for Distributed Energy Partners, a renewable energy services firm. Huntz will work with commercial customers to develop and install customized solar systems with financing options to meet their needs.

Huntz brings more than 10 years of sales experience to the company, most recently working as a senior account executive at Young Brothers. Huntz has a degree in applied trades from Honolulu Community College.

Amanda Tanchanleun of Aiea has been named the PacWest Scholar Athlete of the Year for women’s cross country. The Hawaii Pacific University junior, who is majoring in nursing, also finished 13th at the PacWest Cross Country Championships and was a Second-Team All-Conference selection.

Carla Kawehionalani Kobashigawa of Ewa Beach received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Washington State University May 8 in commencement ceremonies in Pullman, Wash.

Gerilyn Manago of Aiea made the Seaver College spring semester dean’s list for achieving a place in the upper 10 percent of her class and maintaining a 3.5 or better GPA. A junior, Manago is one of only 306 students to receive the distinction this year at Seaver, the liberal arts campus of Pepperdine University.

Samantha Desque of Aiea has earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Desque graduated from the private, nonprofit, accredited institution on June 29 in a ceremony held at the Georgia campus.

Kapolei High School’s Kirsten Stromgren and Pauline Sawai were among 50 educators selected to attend the 2009 National Gallery of Art Teacher Institute on 18th and 19th century American art, held last summer in Washington, D.C.

The two, six-day seminars brought together teachers of art, social studies and related subjects from 20 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands to study the country’s visual heritage. Instruction focused on the gallery’s collection of European-American paintings, with additional study in collections of the National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Aiea resident Karen Casil has been promoted to operations manager for the Hawaii region of Caliber Funding. She has 26 years of experience in the Hawaii mortgage industry and spent 10 years as COO of First Magnus prior to joining the national mortgage lender.

A certified FHA direct endorsement underwriter, Casil previously was vice president and underwriting manager for Central Pacific Bank. She currently serves on the board for the Mortgage Banking Association of Hawaii and chairs its Education Committee.

Former Ewa Beach resident Brother Dennis Bautista took his perpetual vows in the Society of Mary (Marianists) during Mass last October at Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel on the campus of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.


“It is with profound joy and pride that I receive the affirmation and support of my family, friends and Marianist brothers,” Bautista said, noting that the Mass included Hawaiian chants, prayers and songs.

He now lives in the Casa Maria community, teaching in the department of English-Communications Studies at St. Mary’s.

Bautista has a bachelor’s degree from Chaminade University, a master’s degree, and a doctorate in interdisciplinary intercultural communication from Washington State University.

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