Lauren traces her roots in Hawai‘i back to 1859 and is the 6th generation to be born and raised in the islands. Her great-grandfather started Peterson’s Upland Farm in 1910 and it just reached its 102nd anniversary this year as a family-run business supplying fresh eggs for our communities. Her grandfather worked at Waialua Sugar Company since 1966 and worked there until he retired. Lauren’s grandmother Suzanne Peterson was the first woman to serve on the Board of Agriculture and later became the Director of Agriculture under Governor Waihee.
Lauren graduated from the University of Hawai'i with a B.A. degree in film production with the Academy for Creative Media and minored in Business and Japanese. Her first experience with the legislature was with her documentary Farm Grown that helped pass the Feed Subsidy Bill. Lauren was a four year Division I scholar-athlete at the University of Hawai‘i as a Wahine Water Polo player. She was also a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and initiated the C.A.R.E. Collegiate Athletes Reaching Everyone program, which uses student-athletes to encourage youth to excel in academics and participate in athletics.
Lauren won the title of Miss Hawai’i 2011 and represented our state at the Miss America pageant in January. At Miss America she was recognized as a Quality of Life Finalist (award for community service), was awarded the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) Award for raising the most money in the country for Hawaii’s CMNH (Kapi‘olani Hospital), and won the talent portion of competition with a jump rope routine to the iconic song Hawai’i 5-0. She has tirelessly served our community throughout her life and during her year as Miss Hawai‘i. Lauren is passionate about making a difference in our state. She was planted in Waialua, grew up in Mililani, and is rooted in both communities.
After being elected in 2012, Lauren has worked relentlessly to serve her constituents. She served on the Agriculture, Education, Health, Higher Education, and Housing committees in her first year. On July 6, 2013, Lauren married the love of her life, Scott Matsumoto. In so doing, she has taken up his last name and is now known as Lauren Kealohilani Matsumoto.