Leadership Changes at MEO Molokai

MEO News Release

Mahie K. McPherson officially took over as Maui Economic Opportunity Molokai Manager in late March and will run agency operations on the island while serving as liaison to the community and identifying needs.

McPherson joins the 57-year-old nonprofit Community Action agency after a diverse employment background. Prior to joining MEO, she worked at the county Department of Motor Vehicles and Licensing in Kaunakakai for 10 years as a customer service representative.

She spent six years in Kalaupapa as a facilities management clerk with the Kalaupapa National Historical Park and state Department of Health as business services supervisor and office assistant. Her resume also included stints with Kamehameha Schools Maui high school as administrative coordinator and Parents and Children Together – Family Peace Center as program assistant.

In the community, she has been an officer and board member of school and parent organizations in Kaunakakai and Kualapu‘u elementary schools and a member of the state Commission on the Status of Women.

As Molokai Manager, McPherson will direct MEO programs on the island and connect with the community to identify and assess needs. Most MEO programs are available on Molokai, including a Head Start preschool in Kaunakakai; specialized Human Services transportation that takes residents to dialysis, health appointments, shopping and other activities; rent and utility assistance; job and employment training; monthly food distribution; business planning classes; and kupuna club support through the Planning and Coordinating Council.

She replaces longtime manager, Yolanda Reyes, who retired after 12 years at the helm of MEO Molokai. Reyes joined the Maui Economic Opportunity ‘Ohana, bringing with her a life of experiences at the FBI on the East Coast, the hotel industry, Molokai Ranch and the Molokai rodeo and a deep understanding of the community that nurtured and shaped her.

“MEO thanks and honors Yolanda for her 12 years representing the agency so well on Molokai,” said MEO Debbie Cabebe. “Lives have been helped and changed by her work. We wish her well in retirement and know that we will still see her around as a volunteer.”

Through her years leading MEO’s Molokai office, she kept her hand on the pulse of the community, marshalling residents’ help to spruce up and improve MEO facilities, adjusting and adding routes for buses – the only public transit lifeline on the rural island – and helping residents at their most desperate times with food and rent assistance and changing their lives.

“I am so thankful to have been able to work here and work in the community to help the community of Molokai,” Reyes said.

In the last month, MEO Youth Services began its bullying and suicide prevention program and the alcohol and substance abuse prevention program Kaohi at Molokai High and Intermediate.

For more information about MEO Molokai programs, call (808) 553-3216.


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