Meet the Staff of Maui No Ka ʻOi Magazine
Diane Haynes Woodburn, Publisher
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Diane arrived in Hawaiʻi in 1974 with a backpack, a master’s degree, and a naïve sense of adventure. After surviving more than one death-defying escapade, she settled on Maui to teach at the community college—but soon found the entrepreneurial spirit irresistible. Her love affair with publishing began in 1983 with the launch of her first magazine, Art to Onions. Today she takes great joy in giving back to the Maui community, gardening at her home in Kula, and cooking for her family and friends.
Rita Goldman, Senior Editor
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In her 40 years as an award-winning author and editor, Rita has penned magazine articles, book reviews, advertising copy . . . and occasionally gets paid for writing humorous verse under the alias Lovely Rita, Meter Maid. In 2004, the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association gave their Award of Excellence to her pictorial history book Every Grain of Rice: Portraits of Maui’s Japanese Community, written as a fundraising project for the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center. Rita lives and works in Ha’iku, accompanied by a very large hapa-Siamese cat named Smudge.
John Giordani, Art Director & Senior Designer
Growing up in an isolated town in New York’s Catskill Mountains, John considered rock music one of his few links with the outside world. On discovering that his talents lay less in playing instruments than in playing with design elements on album covers, he focused his training in graphic design. In New York City after college, John spent 7 years at SPIN magazine and then Condé Nast’s Details magazine. His creativity flourished and he created award-winning work. As technology grew more sophisticated, John redirected his career to the web at Funny Garbage, a multimedia design studio where he designed and art directed sites for The Simpsons, Cartoon Network, Mariah Carey, and The Whitney Museum among others.
Lehia Apana, Managing Editor
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A Maui native and eternal nomad, Lehia has lived in some of the world’s great cities including Chicago, Rome and Sydney. Along the way, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication and Journalism from Loyola University Chicago and master’s degree in Media Studies from University of Sydney. No matter how many frequent flyer miles she collects, Lehia always finds a way to touch home base. Lehia has been writing about Maui for more than a decade, beginning as a reporter, and later as Special Sections Editor, at The Maui News. These days, when she’s not flexing her writing muscles as Managing Editor at Maui Nō Ka ʻOi Magazine and Kāʻanapali Magazine, she can be found training for her next triathlon, surfing, or exploring a new trail. Follow her Maui adventures at Everyday Maui.
Becky Speere, Dining Editor
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Growing up in a sleepy Filipino camp on Hawaiʻi Island, with a Hawaiʻi-born Japanese mother and a father hailing from the backwoods of Alabama, Becky loved eating chicken hekka, fried manini, koko and rice, along with butter beans and homemade smoked meats and sausages. Play consisted of harvesting bamboo and warabi (fiddlehead ferms) for dinner, chewing on sugar cane sticks in the hot fields, swimming under waterfalls with her brothers, catching crayfish, and bamboo pole fishing. Years later, she opened Paʻuwela Cafe on Maui. Hāʻiku folks (MNKO’s editor, for one) still miss her cooking.
Conn Brattain, Style Editor
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A native of Indianapolis and a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Conn Brattain started his design career in New York’s fashion industry. He spent eighteen years designing clothing, accessories, textiles and home furnishings, and produced runway shows for designers Gemma Kahng and Todd Oldham. In March of 2007 Conn moved to Maui, where he currently works as a graphic designer and stylist. In 2010, he was honored by AIGA, the professional association for design, for his cover design of Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris, as one of the fifty best book covers of 2010. He joined MNKO as style editor in 2011, compiling Great Finds, Holiday Gift Guides, and fashion features.
Laura Lewark, Sales Manager
The year she turned twenty-five, Laura made a goal to travel and explore a different country every year. So far, her sojourns have included Russia, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, France, Holland, Mexico and Canada. Happily, the California native finally landed on Maui, bringing with her a portfolio of eclectic experience, from working in New York’s financial district, to working at an Internet start-up in the early 2000s, and as a sales development manager for Yahoo. A recovered math geek (she majored in math and applied science at UCLA — go Bruins!), Laura enjoys the outdoor life Maui offers, running, spinning, gardening and camping with her rescue dog, Lilikoi.
Michael Haynes, Account Executive
Born and raised on Maui, Michael Haynes is passionate about his island home. Surfing ocean swells, hiking remote jungles, and relaxing Upcountry are his favorite ways to enjoy Maui’s beauty. After attending college in California, Michael studied architecture at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, before returning to Maui—bringing with him his love for art and design, and a laid-back approach to sales. If you see two starry-eyed lovers on the beach at sunset, you may have found Michael and his lovely wife, Katherine.
Kao Kushner, Controller and Office Manager
By the time she arrived on Maui at the ripe old age of 18, Kao Kushner had already lived on two U.S. coasts: she was born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles, and spent her teenage years in upstate New York. Kao worked in a variety of positions around Maui—including her own licensed daycare facility—while raising three youngsters of her own. She joined Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi as controller in 2011. Kao’s pooch, Wanda, joined as MNKO’s mascot in 2012.
Adelle Lennox, Website Manager
Adelle has a passion for internet marketing, design, and social media. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, she joined Portland’s Clear Channel Radio Group. In 2006, she founded Amazing and Helpful, a freelance website business that she continues operating today. She moved to Maui in 2007, and joined Maui Nō Ka ʻOi in 2014. Adelle loves beach days, gardening, hiking, and performance art.
Shelby Lynch, Graphic Designer
Raised on Maui, Shelby has been sharing stories all her life—her media as eclectic as the styles and cultures that shaped her growing up. She explored photography, writing, and drawing, before finding her most authentic voice in graphic design. Shelby pursued her education at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, and in August 2016, headed to the Pacific Northwest College of Art to further hone her talents. (We only said yes when she promised to continue to work with Maui No Ka ‘Oi through the miracle of the Internet.)