Ho‛okāko‛o Board Members
Pualani S. Akaka, Chair
Retired Public School Educator
Pualani Akaka, resident of Molokai, graduated from the Kamehameha Schools (HSD), Illinois Wesleyan University (BFA), and University of Hawaii (Certificate in Public Administration and Professional Diploma in Elementary Education). She received her Master of Arts in Administration and Curriculum from Gonzaga University, and is a National Board Certified Teacher (2011-2021). Retiring in 2016 with 26 years in Hawaii's public schools of Nanakuli Elementary (1989 -1999) and Kualapuu Elementary (1999- 2016), Pualani currently serves as a Director and Archives Chair of the Rev. Akaka Ministries Foundation; Chairperson of Ka Hale Pomaika'i ( a place of recovery for persons suffering from alcohol and drug addiction) and Secretary of the Hook Chu Cemetery Association. She also enjoys volunteering at Kualapuu, reading, gardening, and playing ukulele and the autoharp, especially for her granddaughter.
Jonathan Ching, Vice Chair
Manager, Government Relations
Jonathan Ching was born and raised in Pearl City, Oahu. He is a proud graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapalama, Lewis & Clark College (B.A.), and the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D.). He currently is the Government Relations Manager for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. In this role, he develops and shapes strategy regarding government relations issues in collaboration with regional leadership. He also represents Kaiser Permanente before community, governmental, and regulatory bodies. Jonathan also serves on the City & County of Honolulu Neighborhood Commission and on the Blue Planet Foundation’s Young Ambassador Board. He is also a proud member and officer of the King Kamehameha Hawaiian Civic Club. He lives in Honolulu with his wife. During his free time he enjoys surfing, cooking, and trying new restaurants.
Kumau Pineda-Akiona, Secretary
Attorney at Law
In Motion Design Inc.
“I truly believe that sound education fundamentals make all career opportunities possible and that these fundamentals need to be developed at an early age. When I first heard about Hoʻokākoʻo, I was impressed by the vision to enhance educational outcomes for students and to enrich underserved communities through a more collaborative approach. As a Hoʻokākoʻo Board member, I am part of a team improving public education in Hawaiʻi.”
Kumau was raised on Moloka'i and has significant experience in the areas of real estate litigation, business disputes, and trust and estate litigation.
Ivan Takushi, Treasurer
Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
Ivan Takushi graduated from Aiea High School, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration (with a specialization in Accounting) from the University of Hawaii West Oahu, and obtained his Master of Accounting degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Ivan worked for a local CPA firm for 12 years and received his CPA certification from the State of Hawaii in 2011. He audited various not-for-profit organizations and governmental entities and became familiar with Ho’okako’o’s vision and mission while performing audits of the organization and its Charter Schools. Since 2017, Ivan has been the Controller for the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and oversees the Center’s accounting department. In his free time, Ivan enjoys watching sporting events, going to the beach, and spending time with his family.
Nancy Greene Barry
Founding President, Board of Directors
Ho'ala Foundation for Education
"Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, came to Hawai'i as a volunteer teacher at St. Joseph's School in Waipahu. Found myself most at ease with the Hawaiian culture and lifestyle and adopted Hawai'i as my home."
"My interests include traveling, sailing, Hawaiian culture and transformational education. As the Head of Ho'ala School in Wahiawa, HI until my retirement 5 years ago, I was introduced to a system of processes and practices that nurture students, families, and teachers. The Ho'ala Educational Philosophy inspires social, emotional, and academic learning and develops a more compassionate and relationship-based approach to teaching and learning that is long term and sustainable."
" My commitment to this philosophy is evidenced in the establishment of the Ho'ala Foundation for Education with a mission to transform schools into respectful learning environments to positively impact communities. We are in the process of the dissemination of the philosophy. My career path has been education, not-for-profit management and more recently fundraising consulting."
Matthew K. Caires
James Campbell Company LLC
Matthew grew up in different parts of the country before returning to his `ohana’s longtime home in Ko’olaupoko, O’ahu. He is an attorney at law, obtaining Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School and his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Southern California.
Matthew is currently the Manager of Development for the James Campbell Company and former Chief of Staff for Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine at the Honolulu Council, where he managed legislative affairs, community outreach, and public-private projects for District One (Wai`anae and `Ewa Moku) and throughout O`ahu. He is a Hōkūle`a crewmember and volunteer with the Polynesian Voyaging Society, a member of the Hui Nalu Canoe Club, and also volunteers his time with other organizations focused on ocean education and Hawaiian cultural practices.
Executive Team Leader
Hawaii Friends of the Future
Susan has served in the nonprofit sector in Hawaiʻi for more than 40 years, the last 25 as Executive Team Leader for Friends of the Future. She brings in depth experience in the early childhood education field, and is a passionate advocate for giving children the very best start in life, a rich educational experience and the skills to become Hawaiʻi's future leaders. Susan serves on a number of nonprofit Boards in addition to her recent addition to the Hoʻokākoʻo Board. She lives in Holualoa on Hawaii Island and has four adult daughters, 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Ann A. Mahi
Complex Area Superintendent (retired)
Hawaii Department of Education
Ann Mahi graduated from Castle High School, completed a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and was awarded a Master of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Master of Education Degree in Educational Administration. She has been an educator with the Hawaii Department of Education for forty years and retired on July 1, 2020.
Starting off as a high school teacher at Waianae High School in 1976 she also taught at Aiea High School, Radford High School and Kahuku High School until 1990. She then entered the DOE administrative training program, received her certification in 1991 and began her career as the Vice Principal of Heeia Elementary School, the Principal of Kailua Elementary School and moved to the Windward District Office as an Educational Specialist in 1997. From 2000-2007 she was the State Education Director for the Office of Curriculum and Instruction and moved back to school level administration in 2007 as the Principal of Roosevelt High School. Appointed to the position of Complex Area Superintendent of the Nanakuli-Waianae Complex Area in 2012 and remained until her retirement in 2020.
As a board member, I believe our kuleana is to provide every child hope for a better future through focused leadership and collaboration. The Hawaiian value of Laulima represents the belief that many hands working together in cooperation and harmony will yield great benefits.
David Y. Gibson
Executive Director, Ho'okāko'o Corporation
David Gibson has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and administration, project management and fund development serving youth and their families within Hawaii's most challenged communities. With a background in counseling and human services, he has created partnerships with Hawaii's public schools, juvenile justice organizations, and community agencies that provided prevention and intervention programs and services to equip, empower and build resiliency in our youth.