Lifetime Achievement Awards

Starting at the 2011 Woodshow, a new award has been instated by the Association, the Lifetime Acheievement Award, to be given to individuals who has made extraordinary contributions to the field of forestry and/or woodworking. The award winners will be posted on this page to create a Hall of Fame for our association.

This year, 2011, HFIA is honoring two woodworkers for their outstanding work and their contributions to woodworking in Hawai’i.

Elmer Adams, Hawai‘i Island

Elmer Adams 

ha‘alele i ka la ka mea mahana
has left the warmth of the sun

Elmer Adams made a tangible difference in many woodturners’ lives. His kind presence, genuine smile and willingness to teach made him a mentor to many. Elmer was never afraid to dream big and take action on his ideas. He was a successful developer in the Pacific Northwest; a pilot— flying his small plane to Alaska for fishing expeditions; a captain—sailing his boat all around the Pacific; and after “retiring” in Hawaii in 1991, he became well-known for his HUGE Mediterranean vase forms turned from locally grown trees.

John Wittenburg, Maui

John Wittenburg 

John Wittenburg, a past director of HFIA, and a long time supporter, participant and judge of the Woodshow, is a native of Germany. He earned his journeyman’s papers as a cabinet maker in Germany in 1952 before immigrating to the US via Canada. John joined the US Navy and was stationed in Hawaii from 1958 to 1962 and became an American citizen. He moved to Maui 1966 where he worked as a ship carpenter on two Maui made films of Michener tales, “The Hawaiians” and “Hawaii”. John became well-known for his honest, well-built koa furniture—truly built to last. His handmade home and workshop in Kahakuloa Valley is no less famous.

Hawaii’s Woodshow 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award is sponsored by the State of Hawai'i Department of Agriculture.