Grassroot Chairman Dick Rowland

Grassroot Chairman Dick Rowland

Richard Rowland, Chairman & Founder

Richard O. Rowland, a graduate of Texas A&M University (BS) and Columbia University (MA) came to Hawaii in 1971 as a key officer on the PACOM staff. Retiring as a Colonel in 1975, he was a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual for 26 years before co-founding Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

Mr. Rowland is a former life member of the MDRT, former President of the Hawaii Society of CLU, twice candidate for the U.S. Senate and once for the Honolulu City Council, a former member of the Small Business Hawaii Board of Directors, and the 1997 SBH Small Business Person of the Year.

Mr. Rowland is married to Marie with three grown children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Grassroot Board Member

Grassroot Board Member & President/CEO

Keli`i Akina, President/CEO

Dr. Akina joined Grassroot Institute as President/CEO on March 1, 2013.
His bio may be found at:
His academic c.v. and website are at:
Grassroot Treasurer Ed Kemp

Grassroot Treasurer Ed Kemp


Eddy Kemp, Treasurer

For more than 30 years, Ed Kemp has been President and CEO of E.N. Kemp & Associates, a firm providing various business and financial consulting services.  In recent years the firm has specialized in business appraisals, valuation consulting and litigation support.

 During the last few years, approximately five hundred business appraisals have been completed.  Appraisals (or valuations) were prepared for estate and gift transfers, purchases and sales of business interests, employee stock ownership plans, divorce, and various other purposes.  The size of business interests appraised has ranged from minority interests in small partnerships to controlling interests in large corporations with subsidiary companies.

 Prior to founding E.N. Kemp & Associates, Ed held the position of Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for the Estate of James Campbell and before that was a Manager in the Tax Department of KPMG, Hawaii’s largest public accounting firm.

Ed came to Hawaii in 1965 after graduation from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.  He moved to Kaneohe from Kailua in 1967 and has been active in various community and business organizations over the years.  He has been married for more than 50 years (to the same woman) and has three adult children and six grandchildren.

Grassroot Board Member Gilbert Collins

Grassroot Board Member Gil Collins

Gilbert Collins

In addition to being on the Board of Directors of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Gilbert Collins is currently Director of the Capital Research Center in Washington, DC and The Independent Institute in Oakland, CA. He lives in Hawaii and California.

Robin Tjioe

Grassroot Board Member Robin Tjioe

Robin Tjioe

Born and raised on Oahu, Robin Tjioe is a graduate of Roosevelt High School and the University of Oregon.  Currently she is the account executive for Experian Information Solutions in Hawaii.  Robin has been involved with the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii since its founding and has supported the organization in administration, fundraising, and event planning. 

Robin’s diverse background includes sales and consulting in the financial services, medical and technology industries. She is a past board member of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, the Pilot Foundation of Hawaii, and has been active in numerous community, charity and professional organizations.