University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa graduate and Hawaiian cultural practitioner William J. Aila Jr. has been named the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ 2016 Outstanding Alumnus for his environmental and cultural leadership at two state agencies. He will be honored at CTAHR’s 28th Annual Awards Banquet along with Ernest Tottori, the visionary chairman of HPC Foods Inc. and its iconic Taro Brand products.
The May 6 banquet will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fashion Design and Merchandising program’s Senior Fashion Show and CTAHR scholarship recipients, as well as faculty, staff and student awardees. Special guest Senator Daniel Akaka will be honored for the work of the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests.
Reflecting on the major award recipients, CTAHR Dean Maria Gallo commented, “Both men are invaluable resources to the college and to Hawaiʻi. Ernest brings the voice of experience, both within the local food industry and as a member of the CTAHR Advisory Council. He demonstrates how to pair hard work with entrepreneurship to carry a family business successfully into the fourth generation. Bill Aila is the voice of advocacy, long active in efforts to preserve Hawaiʻi’s natural and cultural resources.” A Waiʻanae native, Aila helped establish the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.