People at the Center

Dr. Failautusi Avegalio, Jr.
 

Director

Dr. Failautusi Avegalio, Jr. was appointed Director of the UH University Center in November 2000.  He is responsible for coordinating the day-to-day operations of the Center. As Director, he meets with government elected and appointed officials and with private clients throughout the state of Hawaii and the other Pacific Island states served by the Center, to ensure that the Center’s programs are meeting their current and future needs. He also develops and maintains relationships with various colleges and departments throughout the University of Hawaii so that the staff can readily access and utilize the university’s faculty and staff expertise. He assigns projects from the region to various staff members based on availability and areas of expertise, and also evaluates the quality of work completed by the Center’s staff, intermittent employees, and faculty consultants. Dr. Avegalio is also the primary point of contact for clients in American Samoa. Dr. Avegalio, previously adjunct professor of management and industrial relations in the College of Business Administration at the University of Hawaii, has over 25 years experience in teaching, managing and consulting in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.  Dr. Avegalio taught in the CBA’s management department from 1989 to 1992, before resigning to serve as president of American Samoa Community College from 1993 to 1997. He then was a research fellow at the East West Center in 1998, before returning to CBA to teach in 1999. Dr. Avegalio has taught courses in cross-cultural management, total quality management, and American management principles for the University of Portland, Hawaii Pacific University, and the Japan-America Institute for Management Sciences. He has served as executive director for the Consortium of Pacific Education to prepare a network of sub-regional institutions of higher learning for distance education and other information technology applications. He also was a teacher and administrator in American Samoa public education system. Dr. Avegalio has a BS in Education and a BA in social sciences from Emporia State University in Kansas, an MA from Truman State University in Missouri, and a doctorate in educational administration from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He is a Polynesian alii and holds the traditional title of “Papali'i” from Savaii, Samoa. As a Pacific Islander, and through his work and travels, he has developed close ties and working relationships with key government and private industry leaders in the region.

Senior Business Development Manager

David M. Gillespie is a Senior Business Development Manager with the Pacific Business Center Program (PBCP) and holds the same position at the Honolulu Minority Business Enterprise Center (HMBEC). Both programs are operated by the University of Hawaii and are housed at the Shidler College of Business on the Manoa campus. One of Mr. Gillespie’s primary responsibilities is to facilitate and create opportunities for businesses in Hawaii by linking University of Hawaii resources and technical expertise with entrepreneurs who are starting up or expanding their businesses. Mr. Gillespie has an MBA and a BBA from the University of Hawaii, Shidler College of Business. He has taught many business courses at colleges in Hawaii, and has held senior fiscal management positions at Hawaii’s leading utility companies. Prior to working at PBCP, he was most recently a management business consultant and also a retail franchise entrepreneur.

 

Senior Business Development Manager

Dr. C.L. Cheshire is a Senior Business Development Manager at the Pacific Business Center Program, UH Manoa, where he has worked since 1996. Prior to coming to Hawaii, Dr. Cheshire was the director of the Economic Development Center at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) from 1987 to 1995. Since joining the Pacific Business Center Program, Dr. Cheshire has been primarily responsible for providing business and economic development assistance to the Compact of Free Association States in Micronesia (Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau). While at the Pacific Business Center, Dr. Cheshire has authored or contributed to several regional and state economic development strategies and numerous business plans and market studies. Cheshire’s economic development strategy for resettling Rongelap Atoll, one of the atolls in the RMI that was evacuated due to radioactive fallout from atomic bomb testing nearby Bikini, was recognized by the National Association of Management and Technical Assistance Centers as the Project of the Year in 2002. In 2005, the East Timor Candlenut Oils Processing Enterprise Project, which Cheshire coordinated, was awarded a Project of the Year award by the University Economic Development Association for the innovative partnership that was assembled for the project. Dr. Cheshire holds a BA from Davidson College, an MA from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin Madison.

 

Business Development & Resources/Administrative Manager

Michelle Clark has worked at the Center since February 1999, first as a Graduate Research Assistant, later as a Business Development Support Specialist, since 2001 as the Center’s Institutional Resource Manager / Business Development Specialist, and since 2008 as a Business Development & Resources Manager. In 2010, she also added Fiscal & Administrative Manager to her title. Ms. Clark works with clients from Hawaii and all of the AAPI, especially focusing on projects related to tourism and small business start-ups or expansions. She also supervises the pool of student/support staff working for the Center and is responsible for the management and processing of PBCP's fiscal and administration functions. Ms. Clark has a BBA in Travel Industry Management and an MBA in International Business, both from the University of Hawaii.  She previously worked for the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Japan Travel Bureau in Vancouver, Canada and Hawaii. She has also taught English in Fukuoka, Japan as part of Japanese government’s Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. Since 2013, she has also been serving as a lecturer for the UH's School of Travel Industry Management, teaching an upper-level undergraduate writing intensive course (graduate student elective) on Destination Management and Marketing.

 

Business Development & Research Manager

Renata Matcheva joined the Center in December 2005 as a Graduate Research Assistant while pursuing an MBA at the University of Hawaii, was promoted to a Business Development Support Specialist in February 2007, a Business Development Specialist in October 2007, and since April 2011 has served as a Business Development & Research Manager. Ms. Matcheva works with clients from Hawaii and all of the AAPI, especially focusing on projects related to high technology business. She also trains the pool of student/support staff working for the Center on business plan writing and financial spreadsheets. She was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, and has lived in different countries including Tunisia, Germany, Austria, and the U.S. In 2004 she completed an undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in International Business with an emphasis in finance, and a minor in Western European Studies and German language. After graduation she worked as a sales and marketing assistant at the Omni San Diego Hotel until she moved to Hawaii to further her educational career. In August 2007, she graduated with an MBA from the University of Hawaii.