About the North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership

Our Mission

To improve communication, networking and civic and civil engagement across the communities of the North Shore, in order to identify opportunities for economic growth from within the region and promote community-driven solutions that blend our traditional strengths in agriculture, manufacturing and hospitality and integrates new opportunities to build a strong and resilient economic foundation for the region.

Our Vision

We envision a healthy and vibrant community based on an integrated economy of local businesses that leverage our core strengths in agriculture, manufacturing and hospitality to sustain our economy, create new jobs and improve our quality of life while protecting the environment and preserving the overall rural character and cultural significance of the region.

Our Story

The North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership (North Shore EVP) was formed in 2015 as a result of a comprehensive, community-based economic analysis focused on creating new jobs and economic opportunities from existing regional resources especially at the intersection of agriculture and tourism, the two largest economic drivers in the region. Our initial project was to build a regional food hub facility that would purchase produce from small farms in the region and then aggregate, pack, market and distribute those products to larger commercial and institutional customers thereby opening new market opportunities for these small farms. To prepare farmers for these new markets North Shore EVP started the state’s only USDA GroupGAP food safety training and certification program in 2016. Although the vast majority of Hawaii farms remain uncertified, farmers now have the opportunity to attain their Harmonized GAP certification, the most common standard required by commercial and institutional buyers.

North Shore EVP GroupGAP is now responsible for 12% of certified farms on Oahu. Now that farmers are being trained, farms are getting certified and plans are underway for the food hub facility, North Shore EVP is leading the effort to document and improve the region’s entire food system in an effort to maintain agriculture as an economic pillar in the region’s economy

The North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership Team

Kevin Kelly - President & CEO - NSEVP

Kevin Kelly

President & CEO

A marine geologist with extensive seagoing and deep submergence experience, Mr. Kelly went on to received his MBA and for the past 15 years has served as an advisor as the University of Hawai‘i’s Vice-President of Research and Innovation. He has managed several large federal research awards from the National Science Foundation, Department of Homeland Security and NASA and has served on the boards of numerous community organizations including the Hawai‘i Science & Technology Council and the Defend O‘ahu Coalition. He was the Chairperson of the 2013 Clusters of Opportunity project, a community-driven, economic analysis of the North Shore region focused on integrating existing assets, including people, to generate new jobs and new economic opportunities that contribute to the growth and sustainability North Sore communities while protecting the environment and preserving the overall rural character and cultural significance of the region

Lisa Rhoden

Director of Food Safety

Melissa (Lisa) comes to NSEVP from the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, where she managed the 220 acre Ag Park at Kunia and the Local Inside CSA program. Lisa acted as the land manager for the Hawaii Agriculture Foundation from March 2013 to July 2017, assisting farmers with good agricultural practices, pesticide safe handling and distributing produce. She previously worked at Pioneer Hi Bred and the Oahu Resource Conservation & Development Council. Lisa is a graduate of the Agriculture Leadership Program of Hawaii, Class XIV, and currently serves as Secretary on the ALFH Board. Lisa co-founded O`ahu Fresh, another Oahu CSA, and collaborated with GreenWheel Food Hub to establish EBT/SNAP benefits at local farmers’ markets. Lisa moved to O`ahu in late 2005 after receiving her MSc in Environmental Science & Policy from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She now lives on Kauaʻi.

Lisa Rhoden - Director of Food Safety - NSEVP

Francesca Scola

Food Safety Specialist

Francesca Scola joined North Shore EVP as an intern in July 2020. After completing her final semester of college at University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in May 2020, she received a BA from Oberlin College in environmental studies with concentrations in food systems and sustainable agriculture. Francesca’s love of agriculture began during high school, when she worked summers at Blue Heron Organic Farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Her interest in agriculture and regional supply chains was continued by a summer in central Nepal, where she had an opportunity to study local agricultural practices, and a semester in Thailand studying sustainable agriculture and the regions food systems. Francesca continued her work in Thailand through an internship with GreenNet Organic Center outside of Chiang Mai, where she worked with a local seed bank and MeaTha Organic an agricultural cooperative.

Ingrid Dufford

Food Safety Specialist

Ingrid is a passionate and determined individual who recently embarked on a transformative journey in the field of agriculture. Holding a Masters in Education, Ingrid brings a unique perspective to the world of farming and food safety. Her educational background has equipped her with valuable skills in communication, problem-solving, and effective teaching methods.
With an insatiable curiosity and a deep-seated commitment to making a positive impact on the agriculture sector, Ingrid has transitioned into the role of a Food Safety Specialist. This career move reflects her dedication to ensuring the safety and quality of our food supply chain.
In her new role, Ingrid is excited to collaborate with farmers, local buyers, and regulatory agencies to educate and help implement the best practices in food safety. Her enthusiasm and fresh perspective promise to bring innovation and educational insights to the North Shore EVP team!

Ingrid Dufford - Food Safety Specialist - NSEVP
Deya LugoRuiz - Food Safety Specialist - NSEVP

Deyaneira Lugo Ruiz

Food Safety Specialist

Deyaneira (Deya) graduated from UH Manoa in May 2020 with a BS in Animal Science. Her passion for agriculture started at a very young age in Puerto Rico where she grew up. After graduating college, she started volunteering as a beekeeper at the Waimanalo Research Center. In 2021, Deya was allowed to start an Apiary department at Kualoa Ranch to support orchard pollination. Not only does she care and expand honeybee colonies, but she practices sustainable beekeeping. Her interest in sustainable agriculture began to spike at Kualoa as she led a group of hardworking diversified farmers through increasing food production and practicing organic orchard care. Deya’s goal at North Shore EVP is to help increase sustainable agriculture in Hawai’i to protect the environment and increase local food production.

Our Board of Directors

Kevin Kelly - Chairperson

Kevin Kelly


President & CEO,
North Shore EVP

Milton Agader - Treasurer

Milton Agader


Twin Bridge Farm

North Shore EVP - Board Director

Ron Weidenbach


Hawai‘i Fish Company

North Shore EVP - Board Director

Lisa Gibson


Rising Tide Economics