“I WAS RAISED THAT WHEN YOU SEE
SOMEBODY WHO NEEDS HELP,
DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE
PERSON ASKS YOU FOR HELP.
YOU JUST GO HELP.”
— Ikaika Marzo
Marzo’s incomparable leadership qualifications come from the ground level where he led community action to Hawaii struck by natural disaster during the 2018 Lower Puna Eruption. His instincts, organization skills, response and guidance were a crucial life raft and bridge to over 700 families who lost their homes to lava. Not only did Hawaii witness Marzo’s initiative, but the world saw - and the world cared. Marzo managed many complicated parts of the relief operation out in the field with strong leadership, organization, hustle, and communication with experts and professionals of various fields. Professional disaster relief workers and political leaders have the luxury of considerable resources and structure with training for such work. They are able to pull from a reservoir of federal and state resources - not to mention, get paid for their service like any career. But Marzo voluntarily determined the need on the ground, analyzed possible solutions then rolled up his sleeves and simply stepped up and made it happen, while the Hawaii County government hid. Marzo’s work saved lives.
In his twenties, Marzo earned the titles of Master Slack-Key Guitarist and Master Musician. While also working under Hawaii State Department of Education for Hawaii Public Schools and starting his own business in Hawaii’s tourism industry, through his trade as a Master Musician, Marzo was contracted to work worldwide including performing at the world-famous Carnegie Hall of New York, in Japan, all around the U.S. mainland and at very specifically-skilled Master Musician Festivals.
Marzo has found this creative platform to be an effective way to nurture and grow Hawaiian Culture, keeping the nearly lost art of Hawaiian slack-key guitar alive and teaching the next generation in worldwide workshops, all while fueling his lucrative global entertainment business.Although Marzo encompasses the heart and humble attitude of any picturesque musician casually strumming on a lanai under the Hawaiian sun, this is just one of many entrepreneurial endeavors MASTERED by Marzo. Marzo uses his creative innovation to help the world care about what is happening in someone’s little backyard in Hawaii, that is, salvaging the nearly-extinct art of slack key while reviving and bringing new life to the industry by sparking interest from younger generations.
"I am honored to run for Mayor of Hawaii County! I seek to unite our local government with all its people. I bring proactive leadership, better communication, a fresh vision of the future with a ‘can-do’ attitude and motivation to benefit our island. I am passionate about my home island where I have spent my life. I was raised among a wonderful family and community. But I seek to make our keiki’s life even better than my own.
I am a humble worker and businessman. I have always worked hard and volunteered for diverse leadership roles. To me, a key to leadership is first having a vision, then having the heart and passion to pursue that vision, and then achieving that vision with community support, expert information and consultation with qualified professionals. Leadership is listening to the ho’olohe (people), hearing opposing ideas then making the best decisions for the success of the place and its future as a whole. I make decisions based on a vision, expert input, facts, cultural and environmental impact, law and common sense all while keeping our island morals and ethics closest to heart."