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Board of Directors

The Wai`anae Economic Development Council is governed by a Board of Directors who volunteer and bring a wealth of experience and expertise in community economic development.  The members of the board are also active members of the community and bring a broad perspective to the planning and implementation of the organization’s larger goals.  These members include:

Joseph Lapilio, President and CEO of the Wai`anae Economic Development Council, has worked on the Wai`anae Coast for more than forty years.  Joe is a community and organizational development consultant.  He was the executive director of the Wai`anae Coast Coalition for eleven years and coordinated community projects focused on economic development.  Joseph is active in the community including the Wai`anae Coast Rotary Club, the Lualualei Hawaiian Civic Club and the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, among others.  

Rocky Naeole is the Vice President of the Wai`anae Economic Development Council. He is a graduate of Wai`anae High School and a distinguished Veteran of the US Army. Rocky is the past President of the Wai`anae Coast Rotary Club and holds a number of leadership positions in the community including President of the Wai`anae Military-Civilian Advisory Council, Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, President of the Wai`anae Coast Crime Prevention Coalition, President of Old Soldiers of Hawai`i,  board member of Hale Na`au Pono, and a member of the Royal Order of Kamehameha.

Frances Ah Nee is the Secretary of the Wai`anae Economic Development Council.  She is the branch manager for Bank of Hawaii in Wai`anae and is active in the community as a member of the Wai`anae Coast Rotary Club.  Frances assists with business development classes and other support activities to current and local businesses.  

Gail Gomes is the Treasurer of the Wai`anae Economic Development Council. Gail is the editor of Westside Stories, the community’s monthly newspaper and is known for her knowledge of the community.  Gail has served on the Wai`anae Coast Neighborhood Board, the Neighborhood Board Commission, and is a current member of the  Wai`anae Coast Rotary Club.  

Annie Loving Ferreira graduated from Wai`anae High School and comes from a family of active community members. She sees herself following in her father’s footsteps, leaving a legacy of community development initiatives that will benefit the Wai`anae coast for years to come. Annie started her community work in Wai`anae with Model Cities and worked in a succession of jobs serving the community.  She has served for ten years in the USDA Rural Development Housing Program. Her passion is in creating affordable housing opportunities for Wai`anae Coast residents.

Verna Landford-Bright is a member of the Board of Directors.  She has lived on the Wai`anae Coast most of her life and is currently a Job Specialist with the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Community Services  Work Hawaii Program.  Prior to this, Verna was a case manager with the Wai`anae Mental Health Center.  She was a member of Valley of Rainbows until 2015.  Verna volunteers as a case manager for the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai`i  where she assists visitors in need.  Verna is a member of the Wai`anae High School Alumni Foundation where she was Co-Founder and President for five years.  

Cheryl Dela Cruz is a member of the Board of Directors. Cheryl and her husband run the family business, Just 4Kidz Party Rentals.  She is a resident of Wai`anae and the President of the Ke Aka Ho`ona Homeowners’ Association, a self-help housing project initiated by the Consuelo Foundation.  She is a member of Wai`anae Moku 2030 Navigators, a planning team member for Relay for Life – Wai`anae, and a member of the National Ovarian Cancer Society Association. Cheryl graduated from James Campbell High School and was a Community Building Facilitator with the Lili`uokalani Trust for seventeen years. Cheryl is married, has two children and one grandchild.


Dan Gomes is a member of the Board of Directors.  He is the President and CEO of Ulu Mau Development LLC, a firm specializing in business and economic development.  Dan was a consultant at Wai`anae High School, involved with the business management aspects of the school facility.  He is a member of the board of directors of the Wai`anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, the Wai`anae Boys and Girls Club, and also serves on  the Wai`anae High School Community Council.  Dan is retired from Pitney Bowes where he was the Honolulu District Manager.


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