Mānoa Heritage Center


MHC is led by a group of committed volunteers representing diverse sectors of our community.

Scott B. Power (President)

Ian Fitz-Patrick (Vice-President)

Helen Nakano (Secretary)

David Lee (Treasurer)

Maenette Ah Nee Benham

Beryl B. Blaich

Mark Burak

Catherine L. Cooke

Julie Cooke

Jack Gillmar

Patricia Halagao

Lynne Johnson

Sam A. Cooke (Founder Emeritus)

Mary M. Cooke (Founder Emeritus)

Carol M. Fox (Emeritus)


Jenny Engle

Director of Education

Jenny brings almost 20 years of experience designing museum education programs that engage students and help teachers. She has a Masters of Education in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Kenyon College, OH.

Emily Fay

Development Officer (Part-time)

Emily has worked in advancement for 25+ years. Prior to joining MHC, she worked for the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation for many academic areas including Lyon Arboretum and Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. She loves working for MHC because she believes that stewarding Hawaiʻi’s native plants, preserving this historic site, and sharing the cultural history of Hawai’i and its plants is crucial to everyone doing their part to preserve our fragile environment.

Kelsey Hara

Digital Content & Collections Associate

Starting off as an intern to currently working on staff, Kelsey manages MHC’s website, social media platforms, and e-news along with assisting our cultural site manager with the collections at Kūaliʻi. She has a Master’s degree in Library & Information Science and graduate certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Aside from exploring MHC’s garden of rare native plants, Kelsey enjoys baking and crocheting.

Skye Haraga

Garden Steward and Educator

As a garden steward and educator, Skye is a part of the team that tends to MHC’s gardens and shares them with school groups. Skye joined MHC in 2021 as a KUPU member and we loved working with her so much we hired her! 

Jenny Leung

Cultural Site Manager

Jenny is a specialist in collections management and historic preservation. She lives in Mānoa Valley, in the shadow of Kauhi, the Sleeping Giant.

Lilia Lorenzo

Garden Steward and Educator

As a garden steward and educator, Lilia is part of the team that tends to and shares MHC’s gardens. Born and raised on Maui, she rides her bike to work and has her own small business Lilia Poliahu Studio.

Kanoa Nakamura

Garden and Grounds Assistant (Part-time)

As the garden and grounds assistant Kanoa is part of the team that tends to and shares MHC’s gardens with school groups of all ages along with assisting our caretaker with the maintenance of our buildings. Born and raised in Waimānalo, Kanoa has a passion for native plants and is working towards a degree in the UH system. When he’s not at MHC, Kanoa can be found surfing and volunteering for island-wide restoration efforts.

Kevin Prior


As MHC’s first full-time Caretaker, Kevin ensures that our buildings and physical assets are well-managed and maintained. Originally from Pennsylvania, Kevin grew up on a farm, is a certified machinist, and moved to Hawaiʻi in 2009. 

Lisa Solomine

Executive Director

Lisa comes to MHC with 11 years of experience at the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives as well as arts and non-profit work in Europe and New York. She recently concluded her term as President of the Hawaiʻi Museums Association but remains active on the Board of Directors. She has an MFA degree in Exhibition Design awarded by the Berlin University of the Arts.

Keʻala Wong

Education Assistant and Cultural Steward

Lindsey Ke‘ala Wong is a graduate of Kamehameha Kapālama (2009) and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (2014/2020) where she received a BA in Hawaiian Studies/Hawaiian Language and a MA in STEMS^2 Education. She is passionate about perpetuating ʻike Hawai‘i and appreciates the Cooke ‘ohana and what they stand for: cultural preservation through education.

MHC’s gardens are lovingly maintained by KUPU members and a corps of volunteers.