Andrea Dean

Strategic & Community Partnerships Manager, Hōkūnui Maui

Makawao, HI

Act Local First, Regenerate Soil & Nature  |  Community Economic Development, Food and Agriculture, Rural Community Development

Andrea supports the development of sustainable community food systems, strives to be a karma yogi, and is dedicated to a spiritual path and doing good work in the world.

A native New Yorker, Andrea began her professional career on the island Maui in 1989 when she was 23 years old.  She was a part of the nascent Permaculture movement in Hawaii and began learning about food self-sufficiency and community organizing from the ground up. From 2002 until recently she has been based on Hawai‘i Island where she founded the North Kohala Eat Locally Grown initiative, spearheaded the Think Local, Buy Local island-wide campaign, was Co-Director of the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project to revitalize breadfruit, a project manager with the Palili ‘O Kohala project, and a consultant with other for-profit and non-profit organizations under the auspices of her company Sustainable Initiatives.

Andrea has recently returned to Maui as the Strategic & Community Partnerships Manager at Hōkūnui Maui, a 258-acre regenerative farm community. The property was a former sugar cane and pineapple plantation for over 100 years and Hōkūnui Maui is now incorporating regenerative and Hawaiian farming best practices, working in harmony with animals and nature, to regenerate the land. The project is fully powered by photovoltaic and is completely off grid. Water resources are provided entirely by on-farm resources through use of a well and innovative water conservation techniques using contour roads as catchment and ponds. Hōkūnui Maui operates with a Regenerative Quadruple Bottom Line (QBL®) philosophy—striving to optimize environmental, social and cultural impacts while operating a financially viable business model.

Andrea is also a writer, her upcoming book God, Sex and Going Green will be published in 2017.


  • Launched EBT program at the Hawaii Farmers Market, which allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to use their EBT cards to purchase fresh, local food at the Hawi Farmers Market. In its first months, the program is injecting about $1,500 new dollars per month into the market, and therefore into the pockets of small farmers.
  • Engaged 100 local businesses, and developed strategic partnerships and extensive public outreach campaign in the pilot year of the Think Local, Buy Local initiative.
  • Raised awareness about the benefits of breadfruit for food security — with a cumulative attendance of 5,000 people at 2011-2012 festivals, extensive statewide media outreach, and distribution of hundreds of breadfruit trees.
  • Engaged 200 North Kohala residents in the development of a community-based strategic plan for developing a local food system.