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Michael Magaoay has served on Hale Kipa’s board for nearly a decade. He has more than four decades of experience in various engineering disciplines, as well as serving for 10 years in the State House of Representatives for District 46. Michael discusses how his business and legislative background have shaped his time on the board, and what the future holds for Hale Kipa as the organization enters its 50th year and moves into a new headquarters on Old Fort Weaver Road in West Oahu. 

How did you become interested in serving on the board? 

Hale Kipa CEO Punky Pletan-Cross approached me about serving on the board after I stepped down from the State Legislature. As a legislator, I supported many community initiatives, and I have continued to volunteer with a number of organizations and causes on Oahu.  

Hale Kipa is entering its 50th year. Why is its mission as important today as it was in 1970? 

Hale Kipa serves Hawaii’s most vulnerable youth and young adults. We cannot stereotype and judge a book by its cover, and we cannot fault our younger generations for being abandoned or mistreated. We look at these kids as our future leaders, no matter what background they come from. If we polish them, they will be gems.  

As a board member and former legislator, what is your advice for getting things done? 

When you come into a conversation or a meeting, you should listen first. It’s how you develop trust with others. As a legislator serving our North Shore communities, I had to work with many different people. It helps to have a broad perspective and respect others for their unique background and culture.  

Hale Kipa has rebranded and is moving into a new headquarters in West Oahu. Can you tell us about the importance of these efforts, and what roles you played in making it happen? 

The headquarters itself is a breath of fresh air, it is like a rebirth for the organization. We have a mission, we have an identity, and the timing aligns perfectly with our 50th year in operation. It gives me chicken skin. I have assisted on various committees to provide guidance around everything from development to marketing to community outreach. The rebranding and the new headquarters have reinforced to the board and the staff the importance of our mission. This provides us the opportunity to clearly define and explain “What is Hale Kipa?” both internally and externally. 

What does the next 50 years hold for Hale Kipa? 

Hale Kipa will continue to blossom. The organization has a new place it can call home, consolidating many different locations and areas. This strengthens our sense of place and provides a fresh opportunity to improve. It’s like making a very solid carpet – we now have to determine how we weave it all together.  

Michael Magaoay serves as president of MYM Services LLC, providing electrical engineering consultingIn his more than 40-year engineering career, he has held managerial and supervisory positions for numerous companies. He also served in the State of Hawaii House of Representatives from 2000-2010. Michael received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is a graduate of Waialua High & Intermediate School. 

In addition to Hale Kipa, he has served on the boards for Damien Memorial School, the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation, Pacific Health Ministry, Catholic Charities Hawaii, March of Dimes, the Engineering Alumni Association at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the Mililani Lions Club. He has also served on the Dean’s Council at the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Engineering, on the Pastoral Council of St. John Apostle & Evangelist Church, as president of the Hawaii Society of Hospital Engineers, and as a lifetime member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)