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Barbara A. Hastings


Barbara A. Hastings develops communication strategy and provides editorial direction for the H&P team. She oversees public outreach programs, crisis and issue management and participates in garnering public support for programs and issues. Hastings advises clients on handling sensitive matters as well as on energy, environmental and technical communication. She offers experience in publication management, design and content.

She has been a newspaper journalist and professional communicator for 40 years in Honolulu and on the Mainland. She has been a public relations professional for 20 years. She has received local and national recognition for her writing, campaign strategy and crisis management.

Hastings, who lives on Hawaii Island, provides neighbor island perspective to communication strategies. She participates in various civic and service organizations with the dual objectives of keeping an ear to the ground and advancing community wellbeing. She is president of the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay, a board member of Zonta International, District 9, and area director for Zonta’s Hawaii Clubs.  She has served as president of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce; she sits on the boards of Hawaii Public Radio, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii and the Lyman Museum.

Hastings taught journalism courses for several years, and has continued to mentor aspiring communication professionals.

Hastings is married to retired journalist Mike Middlesworth, and has one daughter, Rhea Hastings Olsen, who is a social worker in Honolulu.


Barbra An Pleadwell


Barbra Pleadwell is a communication strategist for a broad range of industries. She architects major media campaigns, maneuvers organizations through issues and crises, and oversees design or revamp of communication tools.

Pleadwell leads H&P’s new media strategy and works with clients to expand campaigns online. Her campaigns and observations about online communication have been covered in media reports.

Hawai‘i Business Magazine featured Pleadwell in its 2007 cover story, “25 People who will shape the next 25 years.” Among the first and youngest to be honored by Pacific Business News in its Forty Under 40 Awards in 2000, she also was named Small Business Hawai‘i’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001. In 2007 she was among women leaders to be recognized by the Hawaii Women’s Business Center for contributions to Hawai‘i’s businesswomen. She and partner Barbara Hastings received the Small Business Administration’s Champion of Women in Business Award for Hawai‘i and Region IX in 2007. In 2011, she received OWL’s private sector Leader of the Year award.

Pleadwell serves several nonprofits. She is a longtime member of the Junior League of Honolulu (JLH) and was instrumental in the development of the high-profile HerStory women’s conference, bringing speakers such as Dr. Dot Richardson and Sally Ride to Honolulu audiences. Pleadwell received the JLH’s Active Award in 2001, and the Community Service Award in 2004. In 2008, she led a merge of HerStory with Hawaii Business Magazine’s Wahine Forum.

Pleadwell is immediate past board chair for the YWCA of O‘ahu. She is a past president for the Organization of Women Leaders (OWL) and past board chair for Kahi Mohala Behavioral Health. She is also a past board member for Montessori Community School where her daughters attended. Pleadwell is a member of Wahine Forum Network at Laniakea (YWCA), a mentor for Blue Startups (accelerator) and holds memberships with Hawaii Venture Capital Association (HVCA), National Federation of Independent Businesses (NIFB) and The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.

Originally from Guam, she worked as a journalist for Guam Business News and the Pacific Daily News.

Pleadwell graduated with honors from Chaminade University of Honolulu, and holds a masters in American Studies from University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

She is married to Jayson Harper and has two daughters.


Ashley L. Kierkiewicz

Senior Account Executive

Ashley L. Kierkiewicz provides ‘high-touch’ service and communication strategy to clients and directs targeted outreach for carefully identified audiences, from business leaders to rural communities. Her Hawai`i Island roots give her a unique understanding of the state’s cultural diversity.

Kierkiewicz represents clients in government, energy, healthcare, social services and traditional private business. She is passionate about working on projects that move Hawai‘i forward while keeping the islands a special place.

In addition to strategy and outreach, Kierkiewicz crafts messaging, provides issues management and media relations. She has a grip on social media and provides art direction for websites, collateral material and video.

Kierkiewicz interned for the office of Senator Daniel K. Akaka in Washington D.C., former Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim, as well as the Department of Environmental Management Personnel Section.

Kierkiewicz holds a B.S. in political science from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and is a member of the National Political Science Honor Society, Phi Sigma Alpha. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Hawai‘i Island Economic Development Board and YWCA of Hawai‘i Island. Kierkiewicz is Vice-President of the Zonta International Club of Hilo, and the club’s 2015+2017 Fashion Frenzy fundraiser chair. She is Regional Director of Temple Children, a global-reaching public art organization. Kierkiewicz is a founding member and chairs the Hawai‘i Island Young Democrats; she has experience with political campaigns, including coordinating a Hawai‘i Island campaign for U.S. Senate Brian Schatz. She is the former Vice-Chair of the Hawai‘i County Cost of Government Commission 2014. In April 2014, Pacific Business News recognized her as a “Woman to Watch” in business.

You can find her on Twitter @kierkiewicz.