The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) will be awarding Jon Matsuoka of the Consuelo Foundation with its 2015 Community Resilience Leadership Award at the Pacific Risk Management ʻOhana (PRiMO) Conference Awards Luncheon at noon on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center.

The award recognizes Matsuoka’s work with the Consuelo Foundation and his efforts toward building resilience in Hawaiʻi and the Philippines, as well as his 20 years of work at UH Mānoa and his time served as dean of the School of Social Work.

Each year NDPTC selects an individual who is dedicated to building resilience, has made significant contributions to community resilience and shares NDPTC’s concerns related to natural hazards, coastal communities, islands and territories. The award will be presented by NDPTC Executive Director Karl Kim.

The Consuelo Foundation in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

After visiting areas ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan, NDPTC representatives were able to see firsthand some of the projects that the Consuelo Foundation is currently heading. Current projects include providing assistance to widows by providing counseling, gifting coastal communities with boats to help them regain their fishing industries and rebuilding damaged day care centers and schools in remote areas that are only accessible by boat.

The Consuelo Foundation also organized a conference with Philippine scientists at the University of the Philippines to discuss the useful typhoon preparedness information for distribution in low coastal areas.

Said Kim, “Under Jon’s leadership, the Consuelo Foundation has made significant contributions to the Philippines following the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda. Traveling with him to many of the hardest hit communities, I witnessed first-hand not only his deep commitment to the Filipino people, but also his ability to leverage assets and resources from agencies and institutions across the Pacific to assist in building back after disasters. He brings a deep long-term commitment to restoring livelihoods and repairing not just the physical environment but the emotional and social damage as well. He is committed to building, strong resilient communities through training, education and capacity building. He shares many of the values that we hold at the NDPTC. He demonstrates how Hawaiʻi can contribute to the world. We are honored to honor Dr. Jon Matsuoka with this award.”

About the Pacific Risk Management ʻOhana Conference

The Pacific Risk Management ʻOhana PRiMO conference is a partnership involving various Pacific region organizations who are focused on community resilience and risk management. The PRiMO conference is held annually to bring together public and private organizations and individuals from government and the community.

Some of the conference attendees this year include His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, head of state of the Independent State of Samoa, and Mark Keim, founder and CEO of DisasterDoc and former associate director for science at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

—By Kapiʻolani Ching