Courtesy of Sust’ainable Molokai
Annette Pauole-Ahakuelo was a special individual who was a key person at the Sust’aina ble Molokai conference in 2009 and integral to the start up of the Sust’ainable Molokai non-profit organization. Her presence, passion and kindness motivated our community and her light will be dearly missed.
Annette Mililani Chieko Pauole-Ahakuelo, 65, passed away on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 at The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu. Annette was born on February 19, 1947 in Hoolehua to Robert and Helen Pauole.
Annette grew up on Molokai and was a proud graduate of Molokai High School in 1965. After high school she moved to California where she worked for Levitz Furniture of the Pacific, which was one of the largest furniture retailers in the nation. This opened the door for her to return to Hawaii and work for the well-known, family-operated furniture store, C. S. Wo & Sons on Oahu. She became the Warehouse Operations Manager and Special Projects Coordinator.
When Annette moved back home to Molokai with her more than 30 years of experience in retail, operations, and business management, she was the perfect candidate to serve as the Molokai Small Business Specialist for the County of Maui – Office of Economic Development – Kuhao Business Center. In this capacity, Annette used her leadership skills, business acumen, engaging demeanor, and special brand of aloha to not only put her clients at ease, but also empower them to build their own successful enterprises.
Her clientele included people of all ages, from school children to kupuna. She ascertained what was needed in her community and provided it through various projects, workshops, and programs. Whether her client was a farmer, artist, inventor, value-added food producer, or someone with just an idea, Annette drew on the strengths of her clients encouraging them to dream, be realistic, and acquire the skills they lacked in order to succeed.
She transformed the face of the community and strengthened the island’s economy, having directly inspired more than 100 business start-ups on Molokai. In 2007, she was awarded the Hawaii Financial Services Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
In addition to this, Annette was an active Realtor Associate and served as a private design consultant for a number of years. She volunteered her design and planning skills to help organize a number of community events such as the annual Business Expos, agricultural fairs, and the Sustainability Conference. Annette left an indelible imprint on her island community. She is dearly loved and will be greatly missed by the many lives she has touched.
Annette is survived by her husband Clarence Ahakuelo, daughter Michelle (Quentin) Brown, grandson Ivan (Elizabeth) Pauole, twin sister Beverly (Dale) Pauole-Moore, sisters Irene (Charles) Kaahanui, Roberta “Cookie” Helm, Melinda Talon, brother Stanley “Mickey” (Nadine) Pauole, many nieces and nephews, cousins and extended ohana.
A Celebration of Life service for Annette took place at the Lanikeha Community Center in Hoolehua last Saturday.