People at PBCP

People at the Center


Dr. Failautusi Avegalio, Jr. was appointed Director of the UH University Center in November 2000. He is responsible for coordinating the day-to-day operations of the Center. As Director, he meets with government elected and appointed officials and with private clients throughout the state of Hawaii and the other Pacific Island states served by the Center, to ensure that the Center’s programs are meeting their current and future needs. Dr. Avegalio, previously adjunct professor of management and industrial relations in the College of Business Administration at the University of Hawaii, has over 25 years experience in teaching, managing and consulting in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Dr. Avegalio taught in the CBA’s management department from 1989 to 1992, before resigning to serve as president of American Samoa Community College from 1993 to 1997. He has served as executive director for the Consortium of Pacific Education to prepare a network of sub-regional institutions of higher learning for distance education and other information technology applications. He also was a teacher and administrator in American Samoa public education system. Dr. Avegalio has a BS in Education and a BA in social sciences from Emporia State University in Kansas, an MA from Truman State University in Missouri, and a doctorate in educational administration from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He is a Polynesian alii and holds the traditional title of “Papali'i” from Savaii, Samoa. As a Pacific Islander, and through his work and travels, he has developed close ties and working relationships with key government and private industry leaders in the region.

David M. Gillespie is a Senior Business Development Manager with the Pacific Business Center Program (PBCP) and holds the same position at the Honolulu Minority Business Enterprise Center (HMBEC).  Both programs are operated by the University of Hawaii and are housed at the Shidler College of Business on the Manoa campus.  One of Mr. Gillespie’s primary responsibilities is to facilitate and create opportunities for businesses in Hawaii by linking University of Hawaii resources and technical expertise with entrepreneurs who are starting up or expanding their businesses. Mr. Gillespie has an MBA and a BBA from the University of Hawaii, Shidler College of Business.  He has taught many business courses at colleges in Hawaii, and has held senior fiscal management positions at Hawaii’s leading utility companies. Prior to working at PBCP, he was most recently a management business consultant and also a retail franchise entrepreneur.
Dr. C.L. Cheshire is a Senior Business Development Manager at the Pacific Business Center Program, UH Manoa, where he has worked since 1996. Prior to coming to Hawaii, Dr. Cheshire was the director of the Economic Development Center at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) from 1987 to 1995. Since joining the Pacific Business Center Program, Dr. Cheshire has been primarily responsible for providing business and economic development assistance to the Compact of Free Association States in Micronesia (Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau). While at the Pacific Business Center, Dr. Cheshire has authored or contributed to several regional and state economic development strategies and numerous business plans and market studies. Cheshire’s economic development strategy for resettling Rongelap Atoll, one of the atolls in the RMI that was evacuated due to radioactive fallout from atomic bomb testing nearby Bikini, was recognized by the National Association of Management and Technical Assistance Centers as the Project of the Year in 2002. In 2005, the East Timor Candlenut Oils Processing Enterprise Project, which Cheshire coordinated, was awarded a Project of the Year award by the University Economic Development Association for the innovative partnership that was assembled for the project. Dr. Cheshire holds a BA from Davidson College, an MA from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin Madison.
Michelle Clark has worked at the Center since February 1999, first as a Graduate Research Assistant, later as a Business Development Support Specialist, since March 2001 as the Center’s Institutional Resource Manager / Business Development Specialist, and most recently as a Business Development Manager.  Ms. Clark is the primary point of contact for clients in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau, where she travels to regularly to create opportunities for business development by linking University of Hawaii resources and technical expertise with government agencies and with individuals starting up or expanding businesses.  She also supervises the pool of student/support staff working for the Center. Ms. Clark has a BBA in Travel Industry Management and an MBA in International Business, both from the University of Hawaii.  She previously worked for the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Japan Travel Bureau in Vancouver, Canada and Hawaii. She has also taught English in Fukuoka, Japan as part of Japanese government’s Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.
Renata Matcheva joined the Center in December 2005 as a Graduate Research Assistant while pursuing an MBA at the University of Hawaii, was promoted to a Business Development Support Specialist in February 2007, and since October 2007 has been working full time as a Business Development Specialist. She is responsible for managing and providing technical assistance for overload business development projects in Hawaii and the American Affiliated Pacific Islands. She works closely with clients of assigned business development projects and is in charge of seeing the project thru from start to completion with overall responsibilities for the project deliverables and quality control. In addition, Ms. Matcheva manages special projects, conferences, fairs and other events and functions.  She was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, and has lived in different countries including Tunisia, Germany, Austria, and the U.S. In 2004 she completed an undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in International Business with an emphasis in finance, and a minor in Western European Studies and German language. After graduation she worked as a sales and marketing assistant at the Omni San Diego Hotel until she moved to Hawaii to further her educational career.  In August 2007, she graduated with an MBA from the University of Hawaii.
Byron Apo was appointed the Center’s Research and Fiscal Manager in October 2007. In addition to being responsible for management and processing of PBCP’s fiscal and administration functions, Mr. Apo oversees procurement compliance and management of PBCP’s grant and project budgets.  He received his MBA from Chaminade University where he is also an adjunct professor in economics and management. Mr. Apo has held various managerial positions in banking and finance over the past 20 years with Hawaii’s largest financial institutions beginning his career with Honolulu Federal Savings and Loan.  Most recently he was a project officer with the City and County of Honolulu-Office of Special Projects, overseeing a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Block Grant totaling $20 million. 
Dr. Naveen Amblee has served as an IT consultant with the Center since July 2008, after volunteering in American Samoa while still a graduate student. Dr. Amblee specializes in Information Technology and Internet Marketing, and serves as the IT specialist. He travels regularly to American Samoa to help provide technical expertise to organizations on the island, and is currently involved in establishing viable ecommerce systems for American Samoa and the various island nations and territories of Micronesia. Dr. Amblee has previously served as a visiting professor of Marketing at a leading university in Asia, where he conducted research on the digital economy. He previously lectured at the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii. Dr. Amblee has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Saskatchewan, an MBA in International Business from Temple University, and a doctorate from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in International Management, specializing in Management Information Systems and Internet Marketing.