Meet the Board

Left to right: Deb Kimball Robinson, Bruce McCutcheon, Secretary. Amber Lopez, Vice President. Lou Levesque, Treasurer. Wendy Peskin, President. Steve Peyton. Genevieve Aiona. Gene Hennen. David Penhallow Scott.

The Palace Board of Directors encompasses many talents

The Executive Committee

President – Wendy Peskin
Wendy has 24 years of non-profit experience with Heifer Project International.  She worked for 9 years in Development (also known as Fund Raising).  She moved to East Hawaii from Massachusetts in 2010 and was drawn to the Palace because of her interest in foreign and independent films, but she has grown to be an avid fan of Palace concerts and productions like the Musical and Variety Show. She has served on the Board since 2012, and became its president in January 2014. “I was drawn to the Palace because of my fondness for indy and foreign films but I have grown to love the variety of Hawaiian music concerts and the fall musical showcasing our local talent.”

Vice President – Amber Lopez
Owner and Agent of Pacific Island Insurance LLC. Amber was a cast member in both 2014 and 2015 Palace Theater Fall Musicals.

Secretary – Bruce McCutcheon
I am retired from United Airline and moved to the Big Island in 2013. Having seen many of the old movie gems on the mainland torn down, it’s a joy to see a wonderful treasure as the Palace Theater restored and reused as a community venue for cultural events, such as concerts, play and independent movies. As a newly appointed board member, I’m excited to actively participate in maintaining this piece of Hilo’s history, What I like most about the Palace Theater is it’s architectural beauty and cultural diversity.

Treasurer – Susan Starkey Hendricks
Owner of Puna Notary Services, Susan is currently in her second term as a Board member for the Palace.


Genevieve Aiona
I arrived in Hilo in 1956 from Micronesia with my parents and 6 younger siblings.   I have seen many and much change here in Hilo town and lived through the 1960 Tsunami. My occupations have been varied from toy demonstrator, rental car agent, jobs in the food industry to 13 years at a children’s specialty store. I love working with people especially children. I’m humbly proud that I have the opportunity to help to perpetuate one of Hilo’s famous landmarks …the grand lady of film, theater and music … the Palace Theater.

Steve Peyton
A resident of Hawai’i for 30 years, served as Administrative Director with United States Department of Agriculture for 12 years serving Hawai’i and the Western Pacific. Fifteen years as Assistant Human Resources Director/ Employee Relations Specialist for Hawai’i Health Systems Corporation serving Hilo Medical Center, Honoka’a and Ka’u Hospitals – from which I retired in September 2016. For the past 14 years worked with every community theater organization in Hilo including University of Hawai’i – Hilo Performing Arts Center, Kilauea Drama and Entertainment Network, Hilo Community Players and The Palace Theater. This includes directly providing continued hands-on support, theatrical resources and monetary donations. Worked on every Palace musical production since Gypsy in 2004, as well and many other Palace productions over the years. As a community theater activist and advocates; I have also designed and built sets, provided sound effects, stage managed and performed in countless productions with all of the above named theater groups, and then some.

Deborah Kimball-Robinson, Ph.D.
Member since March 2018.

Larry Reitzer
Director of the Palace’s 18th Annual Fall Musical : GYPSY! Larry is actively developing the inaugural Youth Theater program at the Palace with a production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. He is also an accomplished Television Writer & Producer

 Beth Block
Member since October 2019