PRiMO Conference

About the Conference

The Pacific Risk Management ‘Ohana (PRiMO) conference is the premier venue for community leaders interested in protecting Pacific Island communities from natural hazards. Each year, hundreds of participants gather to make connections, learn from each other, discuss ongoing initiatives, and design action plans.

This year's conference theme is "Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction," and will take place in Honolulu, Hawai'i on August 6 to 9, 2018, at the Hawai'i Convention Center.

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The diverse group of attendees includes heads of state, representatives from business, nonprofits, and environmental groups, and concerned citizens. Topics range from water quality to disaster management and economic sustainability. This diversity and collaborative focus is what makes PRiMO work. People and organizations must work together if communities are to become more resilient. The action plans must be far reaching if Pacific Island natural resources, quality of life, infrastructure, homes, economic framework, and citizen health and safety are to be preserved. This is a tall task that requires inhabitants of the region to work and learn together. PRiMO provides that opportunity.

PRiMO conferences offer at least 25 different sessions, many led by distinguished leaders and innovators. Field trips and preconference training sessions provide opportunities to increase professional skills and gain firsthand knowledge about active hazard-reduction activities. Participants return to their organizations with new skills, information, ideas, contacts, partners, and perspectives. They leave better equipped to find the creative solutions today's coastal hazard challenges require.

Each conference has a community resilience-focused theme. Attendees are encouraged to submit an abstract, for it is through sharing with one another that we all become stronger!

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PRiMO session in progress

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Pricing for Government, Nonprofit, Community, Academic

Early Bird (through June 30) Regular (through August 3)
Training (August 6) Free with RSVP Free with RSVP
One day (August 7 or 8) $225 $250
Half day (August 9) $100 $125
Full registration (Aug. 6 to 9) $490 $590
Register Here

Pricing for Private Industry

Early Bird (through June 30) Regular (through August 3)
Training (August 6) Free with RSVP Free with RSVP
One day (August 7 or 8) $250 $300
Half day (August 9) $150 $175
Full registration (Aug. 6 to 9) $590 $690
Register Here

Late Registration: After August 3rd, register onsite at the conference (daily - $350, full week - $750)

Registering for Trainings: Preconference trainings on Monday, August 6, are free and open to conference attendees and the public, but participants must register here no later than July 20, 2018.

For questions on training registration, please contact Lori Leong at (808) 237-5160 or by email at

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Conference Schedule

The conference schedule is now available. View the Thursday Plenary Agenda here.

View schedule here


Ala Moana Hotel
410 Atkinson Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814

A room block for the 2018 PRiMO Conference has been secured at the Ala Moana Hotel, located just across the street from the Hawaii Convention Center. A number of their Waikiki Tower rooms are being held for us at the government rate of $177 per night (plus taxes).

The room block cut-off date is Thursday, July 5, 2018. Room requests after the cut-off date are not guaranteed, but the hotel will extend the group rate if there is availability.

To book your reservation, please click below to access a special reservation site for our group.


You can also reach the hotel’s Group Reservations at the following phone numbers:

Reservations Toll Free: (800) 367-6025
Reservations Local Phone: (808) 955-4811


Cancellation Policy: No later than seventy-two (72) hours prior to the date of your arrival. Any cancellations made within the 72 hours will be assessed a one night room and tax penalty.

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Exhibit Booths and Sponsorship

The 2018 PRiMO Conference offers an opportunity to connect with approximately 300 policy makers, decision makers, state and federal agency representatives, business leaders, local planners, and academics from a variety of disciplines.

Sponsorship Levels

  • Morning or Afternoon Breaks – starting at $500 per break
  • Exhibitors’ Showcase and Networking Reception – $1,000 to $5,000
  • Exhibit Booths for Various Levels
    • Title – $25,000 and above
    • Platinum – $10,000
    • Gold – $5,000
    • Silver – $3,000
    • Bronze – $1,500

Don’t miss your chance to participate in this forum for interdisciplinary collaboration and discussion of issues regarding community hazards and resilience in the Pacific.

To sign up as a sponsor or exhibitor, or for further information, contact Lori Leong at

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2018 Award Nominations

PRiMO is seeking nominations to recognize outstanding partner efforts that foster collaboration while embodying the spirit of PRiMO. Award nominations are reviewed and selected by the PRiMO Navigators, with awards given at the annual meeting, August 6 to 9, 2018, in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

Award Nominations

PRiMO Leadership Award

This award recognizes exemplary individual or team accomplishments that enhance the sustainability, effectiveness, and public image of PRiMO and PRiMO partners.

PRiMO Partnership Award

The award recognizes outstanding partnership efforts that enhance the resilience of Pacific communities.

For more information, and to submit nominations, fill out the form.

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Keynote Speakers

Dr. Jaehyun Shim

Dr. Jaehyun Shim

President of National Disaster Management Research Institute

Dr. Jaehyun Shim is the president of the National Disaster Management Institute, the “advanced disaster safety think tank” of South Korea. In this role, he oversees a state-of-the-art research facility and leads the implementation of technologies, in Korea and across Asia, that include satellites, sensors, simulators, unmanned aerial vehicles, and communications and decision-support systems.

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For over 25 years, Dr. Shim has held senior governmental positions leading disaster prevention efforts and the integration of technology for disaster risk reduction, publishing 51 papers, 11 conference papers, and 45 research reports. Dr. Shim represents South Korea on the United Nations’ Typhoon Committee, a body composed of 14 countries and run under the auspices of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, and the World Meteorological Organization.

As an appointed cabinet member, Dr. Shim also has a front seat to the emerging negotiations between North and South Korea, the U.S., and regional countries. In recognition of his accomplishments, Dr. Shim has received some of the highest accolades in South Korea, including the Order of Service Merit (Red Stripes) in 2016, the Presidential Citation in 2009, and the Prime Minister’s Commendation in 2003. Dr. Shim is a hydrologist with a PhD in civil engineering from Yonsei University and a PhD in public administration from Myongji University.

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Plenary Panel

Adapting to the New Normal in the Information Age

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

We have experienced several extreme events in the Pacific Islands region in 2017 and 2018, including record-breaking rains on the North Shore of Kaua‘i, volcanic eruptions in Hawai‘i, and Cyclone Gita ravaging the South Pacific. The Pacific Islands have not been the only U.S. Flag islands affected, since both the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were devastated during the 2017 hurricane season in the Atlantic. Frequent impacts of severe events were once something we spoke of as occurring in the future—but this may be the new normal.

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At the same time as this increasing frequency of extreme events, we are witnessing rapid technological development. Smartphone and Internet usage is increasing rapidly, and we can better manage large amounts of data and deliver information quickly. But how can we best leverage these technologies to adapt to this new normal? How can connectivity and access to information assuage the trauma of a disaster or be used to disseminate critical warnings and help communities organize?

We have seen how, after a disaster, social media immediately turns into a fast-paced hub for people to hear the latest news, ease the worries of their loved ones, gather donations and support, and organize recovery efforts. However, along with the power of new technologies come unintended and often unexpected consequences. For example, the ease of sharing information has enabled distribution of experiences and first-hand accounts, risking the spread of misinformation.

Information technology can save lives, and many think it is critical to adapting to the “new normal,” but how can we navigate the potential pitfalls of rapidly changing technologies and trends. This panel will delve into these questions and others to explore the role that information and communication technologies play in disaster risk reduction, with a focus on the Pacific region and island communities.

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Kristina Kekuewa

Kristina Kekuewa



Burt Lum

Burt Lum


Burt Lum is executive director of Hawai‘i Open Data, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the principles of open data, and has more than 30 years in Hawai‘i’s technology and communications sector. He is an instructor at the University of Hawaiʻi in the Information and Computer Science Department and teaches Intro to Social Media. He also teaches Social Media for Emergency Response and Recovery for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center. At the City and County of Honolulu, he is a community manager for their Open Data–Citizen Engagement Initiative.

Chad Blair

Chad Blair


Chad Blair has been a writer, editor, and teacher in Honolulu for more than 25 years. His job as reporter and editor is to cover Hawai‘i, especially how political decisions impact people and communities.

Chad has worked as a journalist for Pacific Business News, Hawai‘i Public Radio, and Honolulu Weekly. He has taught at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Honolulu Community College, Hawai‘i Pacific University, and Chaminade University of Honolulu.

Leigh Anne Eaton

Leigh Anne Eaton


Leigh Anne Eaton, a master’s degree graduate from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, currently works as a general forecaster for the National Weather Service’s Honolulu Forecast Office (HFO). There, she is part of a team that is responsible for producing the state’s weather forecasts, as well as issuing all of the hazardous weather watches, advisories, and warnings. She is also the social media program lead for HFO, producing and assisting team members in the creation of useful content for the office’s social media pages.

Colby Stanton

Colby Stanton


Colby E. Stanton serves as the director of readiness for the Pacific Area Office (PAO) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Region IX. She joined the region in March of 2010. From the PAO, located in Hawai‘i, Ms. Stanton supports the coordination and implementation of FEMA’s mitigation, preparedness, and mission support programs related to natural and man-made disasters in the Pacific.

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