Mānoa Heritage Center


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

Scott B. Power (President)

Mary M. Cooke (Vice-President)

Helen Nakano (Secretary)

David Lee (Treasurer)

Maenette Ah Nee Benham

Beryl B. Blaich

Mark Burak

Catherine L. Cooke

Julie Cooke

Ian Fitz-Patrick

Jack Gillmar

Lynne Johnson

Bitsy Kelley

Susan Shaner

Carol M. Fox (Emeritus)


Mary M. Cooke


A Kauai girl with a passion for historic preservation, Mary and her late husband Sam founded MHC in 1996. She is an active community volunteer and was the founding President of Malama Mānoa.

Jessica Welch

Executive Director

Jessica Welch grew up all over the world and has worked in museums for nearly two decades. She believes in the power of cultural sites to help humans connect, learn more about themselves and their place in the world.

Jenny Engle

Director of Education

Jenny Engle 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.

Jenny Leung

Cultural Site Manager

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

Keʻala Wong

Education Assistant and Cultural Steward

Lindsey Ke‘ala Wong is a graduate from Kamehameha Kapalama (2009) and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (2014) where she received a BA in Hawaiian Studies/Hawaiian Language. She is passionate about education and appreciates the Cooke ‘ohana and what they stand for: cultural preservation through education.

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. 

Mānoa Heritage Center also depends on dedicated part-time staff to implement its mission:

Emily Fay – Development Officer

Excie Batangan – Groundskeeper

The Native Hawaiian gardens are lovingly maintained by Anthony Ortiz, GREENSPACE HAWAII, Inc. and a corps of volunteers and service learning students.