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Nā Kālai Waʻa Staff


Chadd Paishon  - Senior Captain and PWO Navigator

Chadd Paishon has sailed aboard Hōkūleʻa since 1984. His voyages include the 1985-1987 Voyage

of Rediscovery, the 1992 No Nā Mamo voyage through the Pacific,  the Nā ʻOhana Holomoana voyage, and the 1999 E Mau voyage to Micronesia aboard the voyaging canoe Makaliʻi.  In 2007, on the island

of Satawal, Chadd received Pwo along with four other navigators from Hawai'ï.  Chadd is a motivational speaker for many schools, communities, and conferences throughout the state.  

Chadd also facilitates many of the education programs for Nā Kālai Waʻa. Together, Chadd and Keōmailani Case serve as the organizational leaders of Nā Kālai Waʻa.





Milton (Shorty) Bertelmann - Pwo, Master Navigator - Volunteer

Shorty is one of five Pwo in Hawaiʻi recognized by Master Navigator Mau Piailug.  As the Canoe

Crew Training Director of project Hanauna Ola, Shorty teaches advanced-level cultural knowledge, practices, and skills of voyaging to 30 canoe trainees to become future leaders of NKW.  He has extensive voyaging and canoe-building expertise and experience that he also shares with school groups and community organizations who visit the canoe.




Kealiʻi Maielua  - Makaliʻi Captain / Vessel Manager

Kealiʻi Maielua is one of the Makaliʻi Captains with Nā Kālai Waʻa and also the vessels manager in charge of all NKW vessels.  As a boatwright, Kealiʻi has recently worked alongside Shorty Bertelmann and Chadd Paishon to lead the 2 year drydock and refurbishing of voyaging canoe Makaliʻi.  Kealiʻi is also an alakaʻi in the education programs of Nā Kālai Waʻa and a mentor for the Holokai cohort.




Leiohu Santos-Colburn  - Program Coordinator - Holokai

Leiʻohu Santos-Colburn has been raised around the voyaging canoe Makaliʻi.  As a student at Pūnana Leo o Waimea, she was introduced to the waʻa and she has continued to be an important part of the NKW family.  Her interest in plants has led her to the position of Project Leader at the Hoea site in Hawi.  Leiʻohu leads the care of this site and the growing of canoe plants there.  She is an alakaʻi in NKW education programs both at Hoea and aboard Makaliʻi.

Pualani Lincoln Maielua - Project Director : Mauloa Restoration Project

Pualani Lincoln Maielua is from Puʻukapu, Waimea, Hawaiʻi, and fell in love with the ocean and sky as

a child. She was first introduced to voyaging through Nā Kālai Waʻa as a student in high school in

1999. In 2007, she sailed aboard Alingano Maisu on the Kū Holomau voyage to Satawal and Yap in Micronesia, in 2017 she served as an apprentice navigator on Hōkūleʻa’s final leg from Tahiti to Hawaiʻi for the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, and in 2019 she navigated Makaliʻi to Mokumanamana.

As a mother and educator, Pualani shares her passion for cultural revitalization, traditional lifestyles, and thriving communities. Pualani is the project director for the Mauloa Restoration Project.

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