Renee Holt — Board Chair
Renee Holt is a nurse and lawyer with a graduate degree in public health. She has worked in the international public health field for 25 years. She has experience in women’s rights, reproductive health, vaccines, and clinical trials. As a consultant for the World Health Organization, Renee drafted health legislation for many Pacific Island nations, including the Kingdom of Tonga, The Federated States of Micronesia and Tuvalu. Through her work and travels to the Pacific, Renee feels a strong connection with the Pacific Island people and the mission of Rise Beyond the Reef. Renee now works at PATH, a nonprofit global health organization based in Seattle, Washington.
Adi Sivia Qoro — Board President (Fiji)
Adi Sivia served as Fiji's Minister for Commerce and Industry in 2006. She graduated from Monash University (Australia) with an MA in Foreign Affairs and Trade. Adi Sivia headed up the Aid Unit in the Ministry of Finance, and established Fiji's Department of Culture and Heritage. Adi Sivia is a former head of the Pacific Women's Bureau at the Pacific Community (SPC) in Noumea and was responsible for 22 countries. She has also served as the First Secretary at the Fiji High Commission in Canberra.
Sivia is active in community work and is a Director of the Ba Provincial Holdings. She is the President of RBTR, working with remote communities to improve their livelihoods. She is the Vice President of Homes of Hope, a charity to help sexual abuse and exploitation survivors. She is also a found and President of the Fiji Unity Party.
Adi Sivia believes community engagement is an avenue for connecting with others, Community engagement improves lives, strengthens communities and, most importantly, provides intangible benefits through witnessing the t accomplishments of those you serve. She knows how great it feels to give back to society at large, as well as the value of empowering community members' own contributions, and helping others develop and participate fully in advancing their communities.
Bob Mazelow has been a teacher for the past 40 years and recently retired from Lakeside School. His teaching has centered on both intercultural and environmental education working at the International School of Kenya and Malaysia. His interest in traditional cultures started with Native Americans who he worked with in the Sierra Nevada’s and then in Kenya with mostly Masai cattle herders and Swahili fisherman on the Kenyan coast. His Global Village course, that he taught for 25 years, utilized his understanding from living in a variety of cultures to try and gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of a changing world. This is the reason he joined the “Rise Beyond Reef” project as a way to further understand the changes in traditional culture resulting from globalization both cultural and environmentally.
Etika Rupeni is currently the Regional Coordinator for the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation and Regional Learning Coordinator for the ADB-Coral Triangle in the Pacific since 2009. Rupeni also served as the Institutional Development advisor for the Asia/Pacific Locally Managed Marine Areas. During his work as the Regional Programme Manager of Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI) Communities and Coasts program, he lead coastal resource management efforts in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tuvalu. He formerly held management roles as Country Director for World Wide Fund For Nature and Deputy Director for Wildlife Conservation Society – Pacific Office, working on Fiji-based conservation projects in marine, forest, watershed, climate adaptation and eco-regional planning for the last 15 years.
Dilo Maciu is a Human Resource Specialist, having served in Fiji's forestry industry for more than 15 years. Maciu is committed to advancing landowning communities for job readiness, and supporting private sector companies to effectively engage and manage work teams. Maciu is a mother of three and deeply involved with her church.
Aliti Vunisea served as a professor at University of the South Pacific, interfacing with NGOs in Fiji, and working on gender issues in fisheries in Fijian communities. While working with the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Areas network, Vunisea conducted community trainings and consultations, and was part of fisheries management interventions in Qoliqolis in Fiji. Vunisea later moved to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and worked in management and on gender issues for the Coastal Fisheries Program. After six years in New Caledonia, she moved to the SPC Regional Office in the North Pacific where she was the Human Development staff focusing on gender, youth and culture. She has spent nearly 20 years in Fiji and other countries in the Pacific, working on gender issues in fisheries, climate change, and environment.
Rosi was born and raised in Fiji, where life was happy yet difficult, and no matter where she has traveled, her island heart was always in Fiji asking, "What can I do to be of service to my people back home?"
Rosi is currently a member of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, and also secretary of a newly formed service group called aMAYzing Helping Hands, which focuses on charitable support projects for Fijian communities and schools. She enjoys promoting RBTR products stateside, and helping support and create meaningful connections "back home" for the island diaspora community.