Editor’s Page: Building Our Team

HONOLULU welcomes new talent.

Working at a 125-year-old city magazine here in Honolulu offers a world of opportunity as we tell the stories of our diverse community in changing times.

Over the years, we’ve transformed from a printed edition that looked like a newspaper into a glossy magazine focusing on our city’s people, places and trends. We’ve been fortunate to have loyal readers make our publication the best-selling monthly magazine in Hawaii. And we remain very grateful for that honor.

But we’re not sitting still. We are evolving, responding to the ever-shifting ways in which people access news, commentary and magazines. Our printed magazine is our core, but we’ve launched a digital edition so people can subscribe and read us on their iPads, iPhones and Android tablets. Over the past few years, we’ve expanded our presence on the web at honolulumagazine.com, and added social networking on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Of course, the heart of any business is its staff, and we are fortunate to have ours evolve, as well. With this issue, we welcome three new staffers, each of whom further strengthen our team. Loren Moreno joins us as a senior writer, returning home to Hawaii after four years in New York City. Loren has nearly 10 years experience as an award-winning journalist and writer, including five years as a daily newspaper reporter for The Honolulu Advertiser, where we worked together.

For this issue, Loren introduces us to a “Summer of Books,” with new and notable reads by local authors, interviews about how the books came to be, what the writers are reading and how to get started on your own memoir.

If you read us online, you’ve also found Loren helping with another new addition to our magazine, the politics blog. We follow the issues, the players and the money, but also keep an eye out for quirkier stuff that includes campaign survival tips as well as food and fashion on the campaign trail. After following politics for 25 years, I couldn’t stay away from this year’s elections. Helping enable this effort is writer Treena Shapiro, a fellow political junkie who’s been writing about politics and education for 15 years.

Expanding how we communicate in the cyber-sphere is our new digital media manager, Ambika Castle, who joins energetic digital web producer Diane Lee to make up our dynamic digital duo.

Ambika brings eclectic talent and positive energy to our team, coupling her creativity as a designer and writer with the keen analytics of an attorney (literally—she’s licensed to practice law).

The third new member of our team can most often be found in our weekday Lei Chic email newsletter, another way we reach out to readers. Savvy shoppers get the scoop daily from Natalie Schack, a student of cultural anthropology who worked in museums and graphic design before digging into retail therapy as part of our staff.

We know challenges lie ahead, but we’re confident that our new staff members, combined with the strong team already in place, will help us keep telling stories you’ll find compelling.

We would love to hear your thoughts on how to make the magazine even better. Email me at robbied@honolulumagazine.com.


125 Years of Covers

This month, we also have a chance to celebrate our rich past and congratulate other team members for winning a Hawaii Book Publishers Association award for HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers. The compilation of striking, beautiful and interesting covers earned top honors in the Illustrative/Photographic Books category.   The team behind the book included:  our multi-talented managing editor Michael Keany, who found as many of the 1,000+ covers as possible; art director Kristin Lipman, who helped select 300 of the best cover images; former editor A. Kam Napier, who wrote the book’s thoughtful captions; and Erik Ries, who supervised the project. Find it at shop.honolulumagazine.com.


New Staffers

Ambika Castle

Ambika has been passionate about digital media since she got her hands on Photoshop at age 12. She’s a self-taught web and graphic designer and has worked as a freelance writer. A graduate of UC Hastings College of the Law, Ambika is also a licensed attorney in California.


Loren Moreno

Loren recently returned to Hawaii from New York City after earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from The New School in Greenwich Village. He has previously covered Hawaii public education and local politics for The Honolulu Advertiser. He is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University’s journalism program and a registered yoga teacher.

Natalie Schack

After growing up in Mililani, Natalie studied cultural anthropology and journalism at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. She has worked as a Peach Games educator, an SPJ intern, in the Education Department at Bishop Museum and at UH dabbling in graphic design and social media.