Governor Lingle presents Hawai‘i surfboard shapers Jeff Bushman (left) and Kyle Bernhardt (right) with the Governor’s Innovation Award.
HONOLULU—On Wednesday, January 28, 2009, at the Hawai‘i State Capitol, Governor Linda Lingle recognized recipients of the Governor’s Innovation Awards for their ingenuity and determination to find creative solutions to critical issues facing Hawai‘i.
The award for Innovation by Individuals was presented to North Shore shapers Jeff Bushman and Kyle Bernhardt:
“Master surfboard shapers Jeff Bushman and Kyle Bernhardt have found innovative solutions to protect Hawai‘i’s precious environment while perpetuating the sport of surfing and launching it into the 21st century. Bushman and Bernhardt founded Country Feeling Surfboards, which is devoted to surfboards made with environmentally friendly material, including soy- and sugar-based foams; plant-based and solar-activated resins; as well as hemp, silk, and bamboo cloth. The enviro-friendly, biodegradable surfboards represent another example of Hawai‘i’s innovation leadership and have practical applications to transform the surfing industry worldwide.”
“While we focus on addressing immediate needs and overcoming the current economic situation, these innovators are helping our state remain focused on creating a stronger future for Hawai‘i,” said Governor Lingle, who initiated the Governor’s Innovation Awards in May 2008. “Their innovative ideas, tenacity and willingness to try new approaches will ensure Hawai‘i is well-positioned to lead in the 21st century.”
The Governor’s Innovation Awards nominees are evaluated monthly by a 15-member selection panel comprised of industry, education and government representatives statewide. Nominations are submitted online and are judged on creativity; effectiveness in achieving a goal or purpose; transferability and adoptability by others; and significance in addressing an important local or global issue, problem or opportunity. The selection committee provides final recommendations to Governor Lingle for her selection.