Andrea Dean

Founder, Sustainable Initiatives Hawaii

Hawi, 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.

Andrea celebrates people and the planet both in her personal and professional life. She is the founder of Sustainable Initiatives, a company that spearheads community projects including eat and buy local
campaigns, agricultural tourism, and expanded access to locally grown foods for low-income populations.

Dean is also a writer and performer, she views storytelling as a way to understand herself and to connect humanity. She is the author of Fifty Days to 50: A Mini-Memoir of My Midlife Crisis. An upcoming book memoir chronicles the struggle of a New York girl trying to live a spiritual and sustainable life in Hawaii for twenty-five years.

Andrea currently splits her time between an off-the-grid farm in Hawaii and a fully electrified condo in the San Francisco Bay Area.


  • 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.
  • Collected, processed, and re-distributed thousands of pounds of excess, locally grown food though the Community Harvest Hawaii project.
  • Raised awareness about the benefits of breadfruit for food security — with a cumulative attendance of 5,000 people at2011-2012 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.