Nancy Aleck

Nancy Aleck is retired from work (paid and chosen) in nonprofit, social justice, and community education. She now spends time pursuing creative endeavors such as drawing and poetry. She is also a cat whisperer; herding cats is much easier than people!

Kehau Costa

Kehaulani Costa was born in Pohnpei, Micronesia and at the age of two returned to Pupukea, O‘ahu where she grew up playing freely in the valley and bay of Waimea. A childhood filled with hiking in the Ko‘olau, bodysurfing Ehukai and jumping off “the Waimea rock” instilled in her a deep love and respect for the ocean and Hawai‘i’s natural environment. A graduate of Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, she now lives in Hilo and works for the County of Hawai‘i as a housing policy specialist. She enjoys being a community volunteer and connector, but her true love is being Mom to her four boys who fill her life with joy, challenges, adventures, and pride.

Cheryl Edelson

Cheryl Edelson is Professor of English and Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Design at Chaminade University of Honolulu. Since 2007, she has served as co-organizer of the Oceanic Popular Culture Association—a regional chapter of the Popular Culture Association. Cheryl is general editor of Pacific Coast Philology, the journal of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association.When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, and horseback riding. She became a board member in 2021.

Maja Grajski

Maja Grajski, a board member since 2019, recently joined the Trust for Public Land as Associate Director of Philanthropy in its Hawaiʻi office. She previously served as Executive Director of the Donkey Mill Art Center on Hawaiʻi Island. Maja found her strength as an “expert generalist” in understanding and responding to the data needs of multiple stakeholders as Head of Collection Information & Digital Assets at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  A longtime resident of Honolulu, she previously held the position of Collections Manager at the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design. Maja holds a BFA from The Cooper Union, School of Art; a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies and a Master’s in Library & Information Science from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She is deeply inspired by the sea change in philanthropy today in recognizing the power of ground level, cross-sectoral networks to build community resilience.

Mary Therese Perez Hattori

Echo of my ancestors, geek from Guåhan, poet, philanthropist, director of the Pacific Islands Development Program at East-West Center, and affiliate faculty of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and Chaminade University of Honolulu.

Halena Kapuni-Reynolds

Halena Kapuni-Reynolds is the Associate Curator of Native Hawaiian History & Culture at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and works remotely from his hometown of Hilo. He was born on Hawaiʻi Island and raised in the Hawaiian Home Land community of Keaukaha and the rainforest of ʻŌlaʻa,  where he developed a lifelong passion for learning more about Hawaiian language, history, and culture. When he is not busy at work or serving his community, Halena enjoys learning old Hawaiian songs and composing new mele Hawaiʻi.

Demaney C. Kihe

Demaney C Kihe is a life-long learner and student who enjoys listening to peoples stories!  As a Vice President and Senior Commercial Banker at Central Pacific Bank, Demaney is passionate about guiding, mentoring and teaching individuals, businesses and organizations along their financial journey. Demaney is a veteran of the United States Air Force, has served on various non-profit boards, and has advised/strategized with hundreds of people and businesses professionally and informally for nearly 30 years. Demaney believes that life is a journey. While our journey is a deeply personally one, he believes we can grow incredibly during our passage by connecting with people, listening to them with humility and appreciation, and learning from their knowledge and experiences.

Vincent Ryan Linares

Retired now for 12 years from the University of Hawaii, I seek to be of whatever service I can given the breathe of my career at the University and in the Maui theater community.

Kristen Namba Reed

Kristen Namba Reed is yonsei (4th generation Japanese in Hawaiʻi) born and raised on Oʻahu, now raising her gosei (5th generation) keiki in her hometown after studying and living in various places on the continent and beyond. She is passionate about inclusive, situated storytelling approaches, diverse representation in narrative, and using multimedia stories as a way to foster empathy, engagement, and resilience. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director of Publishing at Bess Press, a local print publisher in Kaimukī, and is working towards her MA in Communications at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Mark Ombrello

Mark Ombrello is a long time Hawaiʻi History Day volunteer judge going back to graduate school days at UH Mānoa, and now serves as Kauaʻi Lead Historian Consultant for our program. Mark teaches History and Japanese language at Kauaʻi Community College. He enjoys playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild with his precocious son. He has been on our board since 2019.

Shelly Preza

Shelly Preza is proud to be from Lānaʻi, where her family has lived for generations. She attended Kamehameha Schools: Kapālama and earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights from Harvard College. She is now fortunate to be working back home in cultural preservation with the Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center and Pūlama Lānaʻi. She became a board member in 2021.

Pualiʻiliʻimaikalani (Pua) Rossi-Fukino

Pualiʻiliʻimaikalani (Pua) Rossi-Fukino is Kanaka ʻŌiwi from Wailua, Kauaʻi. She is an Assistant Professor of and Program Coordinator for the Hawaiian Studies Department at Kauaʻi Community College. Her favorite thing to do is spend time in the ʻāina with her two sons, especially if it means getting to jump in the ocean!

Misty-Lynn Sanico

Misty Sanico writes any kine and lives in a very small Honolulu apartment with a very large amount of books that she moves around constantly so that there might be just enough room for her husband. But only just.

Dawn Sueoka

Dawn Sueoka is the Congressional Papers Archivist at the UH Mānoa Library. She enjoys playing independent videogames, and finds peace in the garden and in the ocean. She is so grateful for the opportunity to serve on the HiHumanities board!


Ben Treviño

Ben Treviño is an experienced executive, entrepreneur, and technologist. He currently serves as the network coordinator for the Omidyar Fellows program where he fosters connections across the network to lead to a more active and catalytic community of Fellows. Previously, he was the brigade program director for Code for America. Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of the Hawaiʻi Institute for Public Affairs as well as Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s sustainability planner, the president and COO of Bikeshare Hawaiʻi and was a co-founder of Interisland Terminal, a Honolulu-based nonprofit organization with projects including community innovation spaces, the Kakaʻako Agora, and R&D Bookstore and Cafe. He has held previous positions with University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization (UHERO), Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival, and Google.