The Community Crackerjack
by Anu Yagi
“Matt Lane is relentless in his passion for Maui, an uncommon quality in young, typically transient transplants,” we wrote in a 2009 cover story spotlighting Lane’s then fifth, highly successful installment of the Lahaina Town Cleanup. “More than talk, his actions speak powerfully.”
Since then, our awareness of Lane and his activism have grown. Over the last year we’ve learned that when Lane so much as casually espouses a new idea to change Maui (or the world), it’s no flighty proposition. He’s got a knack for devising innovative solutions to support his lofty ideals—which, most importantly, yield measurable results. Some of the seeds he’s helped plant and nurture to fruition this past year include the Community Work Day Program, Guitars in the Classroom and the island-wide expansion of his coastal cleanups to include the island’s South, Central, North and East shores.
His accomplishments stem from a number of qualities—he’s affable, positive and vision-driven—but maybe most of all it’s his ability to organize a team and maximize the strengths and skills of others. In fact, try to give Lane any credit for his leadership skills and he’s the first to turn around and dole it out to anyone but himself.
“I didn’t always think about these things. Now, every day of my life I’m thinking of it,” he told us in 2009. When reminded of that now, he laughs—not at his idealism, but at how the sentiment is even truer today.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE from MauiTime‘s January 13 cover story “20 for ’11: Who Matters on Maui?” featuring twenty movers and shakers in art, food and politics who are shaping our island’s future.