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Islanders of the Year: The 7 People Who Made the Most Impact on Hawai‘i in 2016

From world-circling voyagers, a disease-hunting doctor and more, these seven shaped Hawai‘i in 2016.


Islanders of the Year 2016



This month, we honor the 2016  Islanders of the Year, our way of shining light on the people shaping our community. This is a tradition we brought back last year, after publishing it every year between 1988 and 2005.


We define the Islanders of the Year as the people who made the most impact on Hawai‘i in 2016. We’ve chosen folks nominated by the community in categories that include health and medicine, housing, the Native Hawaiian community, fashion and more. Some are often in the spotlight, others work behind the scenes, but they all share a common thread of making a significant difference in their areas of expertise. 


Sometimes, we name more than one individual as an Islander. For example, it would be impossible to choose one person as being the single force of the Mālama Honua expedition. When sailing around the world using ancient navigation techniques, it takes a village to make a voyage.


Of course, the Islanders in this story are not the only ones who helped us navigate our world in 2016—Hawai‘i is defined by all of its passionate, effective people. We bring attention to these few in hopes that they inspire even greater change in 2017, and the years to come.



John John Florence

John John Florence


Stanford Carr

Stanford Carr


Kaui Hart Hemmings

Kaui Hart Hemmings


Manaola Yap

Manaola Yap


Malama Honua

Mālama Honua

Health and Medicine

Sarah Park

Sarah Park


Dwayne The Rock Johnson

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson



We’d like to hear from readers about this round of Islanders of the Year. Who’d we miss? Send us an email at letters@honolulumagazine.com


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