Ho‛okāko‛o Board Members
Joseph Uno, Chair
President, J. Uno & Associates, Inc.
"A few years ago I heard a piece on NPR about Geoffery Canada and the Harlem Children's Zone. This story was so inspiring that when the opportunity to join an organization dedicated to making a difference in public education here in Hawai'i came up, I signed on immediately. Now it is the story of our Keiki and the dedicated Teachers of Ho'okāko'o that inspires me. We ARE making a difference, there is no doubt about that."
Kumau Pineda-Akiona, Vice Chair
Attorney at Law
“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.
Matthew K. Caires
Chief of Staff, Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine
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 Chief of Staff for Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine at the Honolulu Council, where he manages 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.
Nancy Greene Barry, Secretary
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."
L. Kaipoleimanu Ka‛awaloa
Civil Rights Compliance Office Equity Specialist
Hawai`i State Department of Education
“Kaipo” grew up on Hawaiian Homestead in Nānākuli, O‛ahu, and attended Pūnana Leo ‛o Honolulu, Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‛o Ānuenue, and Kamehameha Schools – Kapālama. She believes in education’s power to create opportunity and positive change; as such, she obtained her JD and Certificate in Native Hawaiian Law from the University of Hawai‛i at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law and her MBA and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Hawai‛i Pacific University.
Senior Advisor, Lili‛uokalani Trust
"My parents sent 4 of their 5 children from our rural home on Moloka'i to a private boarding school (Kamehameha) without any financial aid; they finally paid off the last of the loans for our education when I graduated from college. Their sacrifice left a lasting impression on me about the importance of a good education. In my work as a social worker, I am a firm believer in the capacity of people and communities to successfully address their needs. Charter schools represent an opportunity for communities to take more direct responsibility for determining the context and content of their children’s education. As a board member of Ho'okāko'o Corporation, I have the opportunity to put my personal and professional beliefs about education and community into action."
Paul I. Nakayama, Ph.D.
Founder, Jason Associates Corporation
Dr. Paul Nakayama was born and raised on O'ahu, in the Kaka‘ako District. He attended ‘Iolani
School from grade eight forward and went on to receive his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and
an M.S. in Math and Engineering Sciences from Michigan State University. He obtained his
Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences from Purdue University. Dr. Nakayama worked for more than 40
years as a physical scientist and technical manager in the nuclear power industry and nuclear
weapons complex. His experience in the weapons complex included analysis of weapons
systems performance and weapons systems safety issues. As a member of the Scientific Staff
at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he performed analysis and tests to ensure weapons survival
to anti-ballistic and mil.-spec. environments. In the nuclear industry, he maintained a long-term
involvement in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) reactor safety methodology for
degraded core accidents, and served as an NRC Expert Witness at hearings on the Three Mile
Island accident. During his career he founded, and served as President/Chief Operating Officer
or in high level management positions, at two companies — Jason Associates Corporation
(Jason) and JAYCOR. Most recently, Dr. Nakayama was engaged in formulating dose
reconstruction and remediation strategies for contaminated atolls in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and he was the Principal Corporate Officer, responsible for overall management and work performance, for Jason’s work on the Kaho'olawe Island Model Clearance Project. After more than 50 years on the mainland, Paul returned to Hawaii in 2010, settling in the North Kohala District on the Big Island. He is very happy to be back home, and spends his days serving as a Trustee on the boards for The Akaka Foundation and Hawai'i Preparatory Academy and hiking the hillside outside his front door.
Executive Director, Sheet Metal Contractors Association
Blake Parsons is the Executive Director of the Sheet Metal Contractors Association of Hawai'i, a trade association that represents owners of 40 signatory sheet metal companies. On behalf of the members, he engages in labor relations, lobbying, and public relations to promote and further the goals of the sheet metal industry.
Previously, he served as the Director of Business Development for Redmont Group, a commercial real estate development company in Kaka'ako. Prior to Redmont, Blake was the Executive Director of the Republican Party of Hawai'i, serving under former Congresswoman Pat Saiki. He began his career in Hawai'i public relations, serving as the media coordinator for former Governor Lingle Lingle's U.S. Senate campaign and then on the corporate communications and issues management account team for Becker Communications.
An Eagle Scout, Blake serves on the Board of the Aloha Chapter of the National Eagle Scout Association. He also serves on the Board of the Homeless Veterans Task Force, and volunteers his public relations and fundraising services to various other non-profits.
Blake received his Bachelor in Communication from the University of Hawai'i at Hilo.
Head of School, Hanahau'oli School
I have always been a supporter of "choice" in education as a member of the Independent School community and fascinated by the dedication required, and opportunity offered by charter schools to improve education as action research settings. A meeting with Lydia, Principal of Kualupu'u, was my first introduction to Ho'okāko'o schools some years ago; her enthusiasm for the vision of the HC Corporation was inspiring. Since then, I have followed the schools of the HC Corporation from a distance and continued to be curious to learn more about how the discoveries made by charter schools can be scaled to positively influence the education of all keiki in Hawai'i. The opportunity to join the Board has only increased my appreciation for the value of charter schools as leaders of innovative practices who recognize the importance of early learning as the foundation of school success and respect their communities and cultures by emphasizing the importance of place-based education.
Controller, Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
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.