Robin Kealoha Black, Technology Specialist
Often I have served as a bridge between two different perspectives, seeking to find balance, science and technology, the sacredness of our beautiful island, and the wealth of information it offers as a learning environment, stimulating curiosity and stewardship.
A Hilo native, I grew up on the UHH campus the daughter of faculty academics, so communication and the language of science are familiar themes. Like many local kids, I developed a special bond with the island, a passion to protect the special nature of Hawaiʻi and its treasures. Even as a child this responsibility resonated deep within and I recognized the special nature of this place. Leaving Hawaiʻi for higher education, I completed a BA in Communications in Chicago before heading to Berkeley to study Counseling Psychology.
While there I did an exciting stint coordinating a music video which prompted a career change into the film industry. Returning to Hawaiʻi shortly thereafter, I soon found myself useful in serving our island community further as Big Island Film Commissioner, representing Hawaiʻi County at industry trade shows, industry functions, creating and coordinating off-island marketing and promotion efforts, published the first Big Island Production Resources Directory, and gained entry into the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI). I assisted prospective film productions in all aspects from cultural awareness and sensitivity, location scouting and selection, personnel and equipment resources, travel logistics and assistance with permits. My most notable project was the feature film Waterworld, which also included interfacing with the Army Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard, State Harbors Division, environmental assessment preparation and negotiation with labor union leaders.
In the private sector, I served the Jason Foundation for Education as Big Island Location Coordinator for expeditions Jason VI, and Jason XII, providing liaison services, coordinating travel, housing, transportation, meals and logistics for media and production teams, two film crews, two sets of student and teacher Argonauts as well as visiting cultural practitioners,. I interfaced onsite with USGS , NPS and security personnel and enjoyed incredible experiences while we shot 60 live broadcast educational programs for kids during each expedition.
Enjoying creating Big Island live events I also helped coordinate several music festivals (9th, 10th, 11th Big Island Slack Key Guitar Festival) a George Winston concert, and assist annually several local events such as Downtown Hilo’s Black & White Night and Hilo Chinese New Year, and the Festival for King Kalākaua at Kalākaua Park.
In expanding my aloha and appreciation for technology, I taught application software at TRI Computer Training Center for six years before joining the conference center staff in 2002 as a Computer Database Specialist. Since then I have assisted with published conference proceedings, abstracts and on-site presentations for numerous conferences. While on-site in our presenters’ “Ready Room” I have the BEST job – a combination of working with incredible minds af the forefront of science, health care, education, planetary health, engineering and technology. I get to meet the best and the brightest and work side by side with them to insure their media presentations flow successfully while they are here.
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