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Hawaii Wood Utilization Team

The Hawai‘i Wood Utilization Team (HWUT) is a group of experts from various wood-related industries. The team has initiated innovative, cross-sector ideas and projects that expand wood product markets in Hawai‘i. Industries include Forestry, Architecture, Design, Engineering, Wood Products, Construction, Finance, Marketing, and Cultural Practice.  

HWUT promotes the use of hazardous fuel wood, as well as increasing the visibility, connectivity, and confidence in Hawai‘i wood products and local manufacturing for commercial building markets.


Joseph J. Valenti
Project Specialist for HWUT
He leads HWUT in bringing together multi-sector networks and strengthening markets for Hawaii’s wood industry.

Tanya Rubenstein
Cooperative Resource Management Forester for the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Department of Land and Natural Resources
As the active DOFAW representative, Tanya supports the coordination of HWUT projects.

Heather Simmons
Hawai‘i Forest Industry Representative
As a supporting member of the Wood Utilization Team, she oversees the development and maintenance of the HWUT website and Forest Products Directory and assists with project promotions.

Sierra Vaughn
Forest Utilization Coordinator
Coordinates all Hawaii Wood Utilization Team activities, including organizing team meetings, social media management, and outreach.


Ethan Martin DCI Engineers Associate
Prof. Ian N. Robertson, Ph.D., S.E., Structural Engineer
Ikaika Bantolina, Kuhikuhipuʻuone
Irene Sprecher, Forest Solutions, President
Kevin Miyamura, Kevin Miyama, Principal AMA A/E
Michael A. Tam, HFIA Representative
Paul H. Brewbaker, TZ Economics Representative
Peter D. Simmons, HFIA Representative
Scott Noble, Sr. Project Manager with Kaiser Group, Inc

About the Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association (HFIA)

Established in 1989, the Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association (HFIA) is a nonprofit corporation founded by people committed to sustainable forest management.  The mission of HFIA is to promote healthy and productive forests and a sustainable forest industry through forest management, education, planning, information exchange, and advocacy.

HFIA offers an annual woodworking exhibition, sponsors the Hawaii’s Wood trademark, manages forest ecosystems, and serves as an advocate for Hawaii’s diverse forest industry—from tree planting and harvesting to creating and selling wood products.  HFIA’s programs promote healthier forests, increased business in Hawaii’s forest industry, and more jobs within the sector.

Team Partnership

The Hawai‘i Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry & Wildlife (DOFAW) formed the Hawai‘i Wood Utilization Team, which is comprised of representatives from the following organizations:

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