Carol Bain: A woman of vision

PUHI — Carol Bain will be remembered for her aloha spirit.

“She had such a Hawaiian heart,” said Nathan Kalama, founder of the Maile Foundation. 

Bain died unexpectedly Monday. She was 64.

“She lived with so much aloha and care,” Kalama said Tuesday.

Kalama met Bain in the early 1990s when they were working at the Garden Island Art Festival.

When Kalama started the Kauai Mokihana Festival, Bain became a board member, where she continued to serve until her death.

She kept the rest of the board on their toes, he said.

“One of the things I admired about her was she did whatever she said she was going to do,” Kalama said.

Bain also served on the board of directors of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

She was first elected to the KIUC board in 2007 and was re-elected in March to her fourth three-year term. She served as secretary of the co-op board from 2013 to 2014 and was most recently chair of the board’s Policy Committee.

“It would be difficult to imagine a more committed and dedicated board member than Carol Bain. She was a tireless advocate for our members and for the co-op,” said Board Chairman Jan TenBruggencate. “She did her homework and made important contributions to our board.”

Under the KIUC’s bylaws, vacancies on the board are filled by an appointment by the remaining directors.

Recently, she received the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Directors Gold Certificate in recognition of her continuing education as a cooperative director.

Bain also volunteered for the League of Women Voters of Kauai County, which she served as president from 2003 to 2006.

“I’m so sad to hear she’s gone, she was a contributor in so many ways,” said Althea McCleery, chair of League of Women Voters.

Bain was a journalism lecturer at Kauai Community College and adviser for its student publication, Ka Leo O KCC, which she helped start, said Ian Ross, who served on the KCC Board of Publications and student government.

“KCC was the last college in the university system (of Hawaii) to get a paper, and Carol had been a champion of it for a long time,” said Ross, who met Bain in 2009 when he was a member of the student council.

Ka Leo O KCC needed funding from the student government, so the two worked together to make the paper a reality.

“She was someone who had a lot of vision,” Ross said. “It was definitely a pleasure making her vision a reality.”

Ross remembers talking politics and world affairs with Bain in her husband Ed Coll’s KCC office.

“She was well-informed, and embodied thinking global and acting local,” he said.

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