Schools of fish swim in Kaʻūpūlehu Marine Reserve in West Hawaiʻi.
Kaʻūpūlehu Marine Reserve Schools of fish in Kaʻūpūlehu Marine Reserve in West Hawaiʻi. © Bryce Groark


New Trustees Join The Nature Conservancy Hawai‘i Chapter

The Nature Conservancy Hawai‘i chapter welcomes new members Kris Billeter, Judi Epstein and Matt Emerson to its Board of Trustees. The three bring wide-ranging knowledge, expertise and perspectives to the chapter as it celebrates 40 years of working to preserve the lands and waters throughout the Hawaiian Islands and 20 years working in Palmyra.

Hawaii Board of Trustee member Kris Billetter sits at the ocean, with waves crashing behind her.
Kris Billeter Kris is a member of The Nature Conservancy Hawaii's Board of Trustees. © Courtesy Kris Billetter

Billeter is an investor with corporate experience spanning nearly 30 years. Through her management consulting firm, KB Ventures, she has worked with companies in a wide range of industries including real estate, consumer products, health care, financial services, marketing/advertising and recreation. An ocean enthusiast, Billeter believes that nature can provide a sense of rejuvenation for all of us.

Portrait of Judith Epstein, a member of the TNC Hawaii chapter's Board of Trustees.
Judith Epstein Judi is a member of The Nature Conservancy Hawaii's Board of Trustees. © Courtesy Judith Epstein

Epstein is a retired review judge from the State Bar Court of California. She has a background in media, corporate, and environmental law, and has taught ethics and constitutional law. Epstein has provided pro bono counsel for TNC Hawaiʻi and the Asia Pacific Region on climate and marine conservation efforts. She feels that the rich environments of Hawaiʻi and Palmyra offer a unique opportunity to learn about resiliency in nature and looks forward to supporting TNC’s work in these places.

Portrait of Matt Emerson, a member of TNC Hawaii's Board of Trustees.
Matt Emerson Matt is a member of The Nature Conservancy Hawaii's Board of Trustees. © Courtesy Matt Emerson

Emerson is senior executive vice president of Bank of Hawaiʻi and a member of the bank’s Executive Committee. He oversees the bank’s Retail Lending, Consumer Deposits and Credit Card businesses. Seeing his 9-year-old son spend more time outdoors this summer, Emerson has become more appreciative of Hawaiʻi’s natural beauty and is excited to be part of TNC’s efforts to restore and sustain it for generations to come.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kris, Judi and Matt to our Board,” says Ulalia Woodside, Executive Director of TNC Hawai‘i. “Their diverse strengths will add to the chapter’s efforts to advance protection of Hawai‘i’s and Palmyra’s unique wild spaces that allow people and nature to thrive.”

Billeter, Epstein and Emerson join 19 other members on TNC Hawai‘i’s Board of Trustees.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.