Our team

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Founding Executive Director

Jennifer Karaca

Jennifer graduated with her Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Sustainable Science Management from the University of Hawaii. Her education and experience in agriculture has been formal, informal, and hands-on for the last 10 years, in the areas of permaculture design, farming, gardening, integrated pest management, systems thinking and regenerative agriculture studies. Jennifer also has a hospitality background which has provided her experience in management, scheduling, sales, marketing, event planning, and inventory. In addition to being a Veteran of the United States Army and having teaching experience both locally and abroad in Hawaii, Costa Rica, Turkey, and Peru, including curriculum design and implementation, Jennifer also worked as a Legislative Analyst for the County of Maui. This position has helped her develop incredible insight for the gaps in the local food system at the County and State level. That position allowed her to gain knowledge about local, state, and federal regulation in the agricultural sector and afforded her the opportunity to develop community building skills and develop an extensive network of relationships with community organizations on the island of Maui, as well as throughout the State. She is using these relationships, her past work experience, educational background, and her perspicacity from living abroad to identify patterns that negatively affect her community to engineer change. 

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Program Assistant

Sarah "Noelani" Reyes

Noelani Reyes was born and raised on Maui. Growing up here gave her a deep appreciation of the land and those that nurture it. She has always been interested in the outdoors, and more specifically plants and the ability to grow food. Noelani graduated from Kamehameha Schools Maui in 2015, where she was a part of the Science and Natural Resources Academy. Her education allowed her the opportunity to take Agriculture Courses, Environmental Studies, and even take part in soil competitions with other schools around Maui.
After high school, Noelani attended Northern California at Notre Dame de Namur University, where she was a
full-time student athlete, playing soccer and studying communications. After returning to home to Maui, she attend the University of Hawaii, Maui Campus and studied agriculture, while also working in management positions in the hospitality industry. Noelani joined Common Ground Collective in April of 2021 and has been an incredible asset to the organization since her arrival.   

The CGC Board

President/ Co-Founder

Terese Masters


Terese graduated with her degree in Sustainable Science Management and has worked in law and politics  and grew up on a farm here in Maui. On top of being an incredible mother, Terese is a champion for food security, whose college capstone was food hubs and creating food security on Maui. She has sat on the boards of Maui Tomorrow and HFUU the Haleakala Chapter and was a graduate of the HFUU FAM program. She is an incredibly intelligent researcher who is passionate about helping her community and the environment. She devotes much of her free time to learning about subjects that can help improve her surroundings and volunteers for various organizations throughout the island.


Nicolas Timpone

Nicolas Timpone grew up on Maui and is an avid lover of the outdoors. When he is not surfing or enjoying time away in the mountains, he spends his time working at his family's company, as their sustainability consultant. He is leading the way to promote eco-friendly designs in the surfboard industry and is always looking for new and innovative ways to minimize waste and help transform the relationship between the surfboard manufacturing industry and the environment. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Science Management from the University in Hawaii and is enthusiastic about continuing to learn of ways he can help make a positive difference in both his work and personal community.



Trinette Furtado

Born and raised on Maui, Trinette attended a combination of public and private schools before graduating in 1988 from Maui High School. She is a Kanaka Maoli (Indigenous Hawaiian) descended from five generations of ‘ohana (family) on Maui alone. She is a single mother to a keiki (child) currently attending Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Samuel Enoka Kalama Intermediate School and believes that every one of us deserves to live in a community that is healthy, sustainable, prosperous, engaging, communicative and works together. She advocates tirelessly to ensure that our keiki and their keiki will be able to drink clean water, grow food in healthy soil and provide for themselves and their families long after the seeds we plant today, have sprouted. Trinette previously worked as a legislative analyst for Maui County Councilmember’s Alika Atay and Keani Rawlins-Fernandez and has orchestrated and participated in various community initiatives to uplift her community. Trinette is currently a small business owner and artist, who spends her free time chasing Maui’s beautiful sunsets.



Pahnelopi McKenzie

Pahnelopi is a firm believer that if you look after the land the land will look after you. For years, Pahnelopi worked as the office manager for Makai Glass and raised her beautiful daughter Chandra, as a single mother. Pahnelopi has since transitioned to farming the 4-acre permaculture farm she lives on in ʻUlupalakua, where she takes pride in living a minimal and sustainable lifestyle.  Pahnelopi is also involved in the maternal health community where she works to provide education, support, and advocate for birth and wellness choices. She has been a life-long activist and is passionate about women’s rights and food sovereignty. Pahnelopi spends her free time finding ways to serve her community, caretaking and creating art from natural materials. 

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Board Member

Mailani Souza

A firm believer in sustainable agriculture, Mailani Souza firmly supports the concepts of nature-based education and sustainable food systems in Hawaii.  Being born and raised on the Big Island, she has a true passion for regenerating the land and spreading that knowledge to next generations.  Mailani holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agriculture from University of Hawaii at Hilo and is certified in Korean Natural Farming and Holistic Farm Management. Before joining CGC in 2020, Mailani worked in agricultural education, teaching in public schools, charter schools, and colleges throughout Hawaii. She has worked with a range of ages from kindergarten to college.  In addition, she has over 15 years of sustainable farming experience and is a small business owner in Hawaii.  Mailani's background in agriculture, education, and grant writing provide a perfect foundation for her board position at CGC.

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Board Member
Nakota-Kai Crumbo

Nakota-Kai Crumbo is a 29-year-old Hamakualoa resident, a supporter of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and an enrolled tribal member of the Potawatomi Nation. He is a firm proponent of righteous natural resource stewardship, deep ecology, civic duty, grassroots movements, small scale agriculture, and food sovereignty. Nakota has volunteered for a variety of Maui organizations including Hui O Wa’a Kaulua, Camp Imua, Women Helping Women, Loʻiloa kalo patch restoration, various river, wetland, and beach clean-ups, etc. To understand our host culture better, he earned an A.A. in Hawaiian Studies at UH Maui. He is also a UHMC/HFUU FAM Program graduate, a small-scale food producer, hunter, ocean harvester, forager, and a food preservationist.

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Board Member

Jade Bystrom

Jade is a Haiku resident, an Americorps VISTA alumni, and Returned Peace Corps Madagascar Volunteer. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2014, with a BA in Neuroscience and Psychology. Before the Peace Corps, Jade worked in the non-profit health and human services sector on Oahu, providing access to clean water for sanitation and hygiene, as well as wrap-around services for residents experiencing homelessness. Jade continued her work within the nonprofit sector on Big Island and Maui, providing boots-on-the-ground assistance to regenerative land initiatives, and grant writing for agriculture-based non-profits to increase food sovereignty for locals, in the Hawaiian islands. Jade is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Regenerative Development, focusing on the regeneration of earth’s vital ecosystems, social advocacy and policy change, in order to be an advocate for marginalized groups and indigenous rights.