Many hands contributed to the foundation of HNP. Thank you to our core volunteers without whom we wouldn’t have built the organization you see today. Mahalo.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Individually and collectively, our board members bring a wide range of experience and expertise necessary to keep our organization functioning.
CO-FOUNDER | PRESIDENT
Mahalo to those key individuals who helped found and build HNP and who continue to give back as volunteers.
CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Mr. Harris is a Partner at The Shidler Group, where he is responsible for research and strategy development for new business ventures and investments. Working out of the Honolulu office, Mr. Harris co-developed many of The Shidler Group’s leasehold, leased fee and ground lease innovations.
Prior to joining The Shidler Group in 2005, Mr. Harris had a 22-year career in the U.S. Navy, including that of Commanding Officer of the USS HONOLULU, a fast attack nuclear submarine based at Pearl Harbor.
Mr. Harris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina.
VICE-CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Sterling Lee Sterling Lee puts his BA from UH and his Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to work in his current position as Senior Pastor at the first Baptist Church of Pearl City, where he oversees the day-to-day operations of the church, as well as all counseling programs. Prior to this position he worked with students in schools and churches as a teacher, coach, counselor and mentor for at-risk youth for 20 years. He continues to work with families and lead the parenting workshops at the Ke Kama Pono Safe House Program in Kalaeloa.
At present, Sterling also serves as Program Management Specialist at the Ke Kama Pono Safe House. He consults and assists the management administration team of the program. This work includes licensing, policies and procedures, staffing, and case management. Sterling previously served as Program Director for the Ke Kama Pono Safe House venture with Partners in Development Foundation.
Mr. Boyce is a former Partner of Highland Capital Management, L.P. and recently served as the Chief Financial Officer of Le Jardin Academy in Kailua, HI. During his career at Highland, Mr. Boyce served in multiple firm-wide operating and investing roles including Chief Financial Officer and Head of Private Equity.
Before joining Highland, Mr. Boyce worked in the Investment Banking departments of Solomon Smith Barney and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Los Angeles focused on the portfolio companies of financial sponsors.
He has an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BBA in Finance from Baylor University where he was a Teagle Scholar and on the NCAA golf team. In addition, Mr. Boyce has earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (Illinois). Mr. Boyce has served on the boards of a variety of middle-market companies with significant experience in the healthcare services and education sectors.
MSN, APRN-RX, FNP-BC, PRESIDENT
Jessica Munoz is the Founder and President of Ho`ōla Nā Pua. She is also a practicing Nurse Practitioner in Hawaii. While working as a pediatric crisis nurse, Jessica encountered first-hand the brutality and traumatizing effects of sex trafficking on children and young women. She recognized the need for a comprehensive system of care specific to meeting the unique needs of girls who have been sexually exploited. In 2011, Jessica volunteered with a mainland-based organization hoping their stated mission to build a home for trafficked girls would be successful. In 2013 Jessica and members of Ho`ōla Nā Pua decided that in order to complete their mission they needed to be independent, Hawaii established, and focused on their four core program areas of Health, Education, Advocacy, and Reintegration. Ho`ōla Nā Pua was founded on the core premises that sexually exploited children require a safe refuge and comprehensive renewal services tailored to their individual needs.
She has authored and co-authored several articles on the issue of trafficking and how it relates to health care providers and emergency personnel. During the past 5 years she has provided training to more than 4,000 health care professionals and medical and service providers across the country and Islands wide. She has provided anti-trafficking training and guidance on responding to victims of trafficking to law enforcement officers at conferences, police academies, and in multi-disciplinary meetings. She has also trained members of prosecutors’ offices, judiciary, probation, and social services.
Through Ho`ōla Nā Pua, Jessica has emphasized long-term aftercare for underage trafficking victims through collaborative, trauma-informed systems and victim-centered approaches. Since 2010, Jessica has been a leader in the development of the anti-trafficking movement on the Hawaiian Islands which has had a ripple effect across the country. Her passion to serve child trafficking victims and her pursuit of comprehensive understanding of their needs has fostered her role as trainer and advisor in Cameroon, Africa with Vital Voices Global Partnership and CSS-LLC.
Jessica is a noted conference speaker, lecturer, and workshop facilitator. She has lectured at the American College of Osteopath Emergency Physician National Scientific Assembly and was a selected speaker for TedX Honolulu in 2013. She was the 2007 Kapiolani Medical Center Nurse of the Year for Women and Children. In 2010, Jessica was awarded the Faces of Nursing for the State of Hawaii and in 2012 she was the national awardee of the Emergency Medicine Physician Nurse Practitioner of the Year.
Jessica earned a Master of Science in Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Bachelor of Nursing with certification as a Public Health Nurse at the Long Beach State University School of Nursing.
Laura Esslinger has more than 20 years’ experience in the managed care industry including roles in public policy, consulting and small to large health plans. She brought best practices knowledge to AlohaCare from starting a variety of new Medicaid programs around the country as well as managing health plan operations in Arizona, Florida, Tennessee and New Mexico. She previously served as CEO of two other health plans. Her career has focused around mission centered work – primarily working with Medicaid and Dual Eligible populations focusing on service integration, care coordination and program development to better meet individual needs.
Kanakolu Noa is a native Hawaiian woman from Hāna, Maui-Nui-a-Kama where the moʻokūʻauhau of her father originates. At the age of thirteen Kanakolu and her ʻohana returned to the ʻāina of her mother in Kuliʻouʻou, Oʻahu-a-Lua to live. Kanakolu graduated from St. Francis School for Girls, Gonzaga University with a degree in Special Education, and the University of Otago with a Masterʻs in Indigenous Studies.
After many experiences that allowed her to study, travel, and live across the globe, Kanakolu returned to Hawaiʻi in 2007, worked in the non-profit sector, in both public and independent schools, and completed a second Master’s in Business Administration. In 2010 Kanakolu began her work at Kamehameha Schools Maui campus as a Curriculum Coordinator and has served the Kamehameha organization in various capacities for the past eight years.
Currently Kanakolu is the Manager of Strategy Development housed within the Community Engagement and Resources division at Kamehameha Schools.
Bill Placke is a senior executive with over 25 years experience in cable, technology and software. He most recently served as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and General Counsel at an early stage software and network company in Silicon Valley. Prior to this he was the Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Company Secretary of a publicly listed digital media company. Bill has served in executive positions for the network operators Charter Communications and Liberty Global. Bill began his career as an attorney with the law firm of Roberts, Sheridan & Kotel in New York (now Dickstein, Shapiro) and Clifford Chance, LLP, one of the largest law firms in the world. Bill has served on the Board of Directors of companies in the US, Netherlands, UK, Ireland and France. Bill earned his BS in Business Administration from the University of Dayton, his Juris Doctor from St. John’s University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in European Community Law from the University of London, King’s College.
Mike Hogan has been in the investment, employee benefits and financial service industry for twenty eight years. From 1987-89 he served as lead employee benefits and financial services representative for Aetna Life and Casualty during the launch of Aetna’s 401(k) platform, “401EZ”, and its Preferred Provider Health Insurance Program, “Aetna Partners”. He worked in both the Los Angeles and Honolulu offices before starting his consulting practice in January of 1989 offering investment advisory, employee benefits and financial services to individual consumers, corporations, associations, and unions.
Scott Inatsuka, Principal , Inatsuka Engineering LLC has over 22 years of experience in the mechanical engineering field. His career has encompassed a wide variety of projects from healthcare to retail, and construction cost amounts in upwards of $200M.
Jeremy Munoz holds an MBA, a BA in Economics, and a BS in Management Information Systems. He is a licensed building contractor in Hawaii and California and has been employed by organizations such as the Irvine Company and Hewlett Packard. He is a former Army Infantry Officer in the 100th BN 442 Infantry Regiment. He has worked on construction or relief efforts serving vulnerable populations in Africa, India, Nepal and Mexico.
Local Hawaii native, Kaleo Schneider was born and raised on Oahu. Graduated from Punahou School in 1978, then attended the San Francisco City College Hotel and Restaurant management school. Currently Director of Operations for her family business known to many as Buzz’s Original Steak House, a 55-year-old successful island business. Kaleo spent time living on the Island of Hawaii where she was the manager of the Kahilu Theatre where she worked in operations as well as fundraising for the theater. Her work in the area of combatting child sex trafficking started in 2012 when she attended her first Shared Hope Conference and became an ambassador for ending this horrendous crime. She has passionately worked on legislative initiatives to better protect the keiki of Hawaii from being exploited. She has helped trail blaze as a volunteer HNP’s prevention and in school education program for the past 5 years and has educated thousands of Hawaii’s youth. With her noted history in hospitality, successful fundraising and business growth and partnership development strategies, she has helped to increase HNP’s capacity, growth, and collaborative efforts through multiple fundraising campaigns and initiatives.
Martha Smith joined Hawai‘i Pacific Health (HPH) in October 2004 and serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children. Martha has worked in hospital operations and health care in Hawai‘i and Florida for 25 years. Mrs. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Respiratory Therapy from University of Central Florida, a Master of Public Health from University of Alabama-Birmingham and a Master of Business Administration from Chaminade University, Honolulu. She is a Fellow in the American College of Health care Executives (FACHE). She was recognized in 2016 as Hawai‘i’s Business Leader of the year, recognized in 2015 as a Girl Scouts Women of Distinction and in 2014 as The Healthcare Leader of the year by the Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i. Mrs. Smith serves on the Child Family Services, Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i and Surgicare of Hawaii boards. She is also on the Board of Regents of Chaminade University and the Chair of the Board of Kapi‘olani Medical Specialists, a Physician Specialty Group of Hawai‘i Pacific Health.
Michelle Stofle has called Honolulu home for the past 26 years. Born in Illinois, at a very young age she moved to Hong Kong with her family where she spent most of her formative years educated in the British system and the American system at the Hong Kong International School and then graduated from Suffield Academy, a co-ed college preparatory and boarding school in Connecticut. After graduating with honors from Boston College with a double-major in Marketing and Communications, Michelle worked in television and the fashion, film and music industries in New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines.
Susan Utsugi is a Senior Vice President & Director of Business Banking at Central Pacific Bank. Utsugi manages the Business Banking group, which is comprised of 23 team members across the State. With 30 years of banking experience, Utsugi held positions as a Community Banking Region Manager, Senior Commercial Banking Officer and Branch Manager. Utsugi holds a bachelor’s degree of Business Administration in Finance from Seattle University and is a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School. Utsugi currently serves as Secretary of the Board for Hale Kipa, Advisory Board Chair for Patsy T. Mink Center for Business and Leadership, Treasurer for Hoops 4 Christ Hawaii, and Board member for Hawaii Baptist Academy Alumni Association. She was the 2008 SBA Small Business Advocate of the Year – Women in Business Champion – City & County of Honolulu. She resides in Aiea with her husband, Jim Utsugi and has two daughters.
Melissa Rueschhoff was born on Blytheville Air Force Base, Arkansas, in 1973 to a teacher and a B52 pilot who served in Vietnam. She was primarily raised in Plano, Texas, then received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from the University of Texas in Austin and a Jurisprudence Doctorate degree with a specialty in Criminal Law from South Texas College of Law in Houston. She is licensed to
practice law in Texas, Arizona, Alabama and Hawaii and five federal courts. As such, she has practiced civil and criminal law, state and federal law. She has also been a law professor at Faulkner University’s Jones School of Law, University of Hawaii’s Richardson School of Law and University of Arizona’s Rogers College of Law. The majority of her legal career has been focused on criminal prosecution in Special Victims Units and, most recently, in combating child sex trafficking at home and abroad.
In her spare time, she serves as the General Partner for an LLP established for real estate purposes in Texas, as well as the Lead Key Spouse Mentor for the 613 AOC on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.
Melissa is the first military spouse to become a licensed Hawaii attorney under the military spouse reciprocity rule enacted on July 1, 2018. Her husband, Colonel Jason Rueschhoff and two children, ages nine and seven, accompanied her to the Hawaii Supreme Court swearing-in ceremony in November 2018.