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.
Mike Lyons moved to Haleiwa in 1964 and attended Waialua HS, Leeward Community College, and BYU, where he studied Psychology and Biology. He enlisted in the Navy and was stationed at Pearl Harbor, where he met his wife of 43 years. Mike was raised in this community of caring for the abused and exploited, His mother is the founder of the Consuelo-Alger Foundation, a Hawaii non-profit organization formed to build homes for rescued orphaned and abandoned children and victims of trafficking in the Philippines. After the Navy, Mike joined the Honolulu Police Department, retiring after 34 years working primarily in the Kalihi and North Shore communities as a Sergeant and Acting Lieutenant. He had direct experience working with victims of sexual abuse and sex trafficking and became personally committed to work against this crime and help rescue and restore the victims of this criminal activity.
Michael has been involved in community organizations and served on boards such as the Chamber of Commerce, Waialua Scholarship Board, North Shore Christian Fellowship, political campaign chairman, and Chairman of the North Shore Neighborhood Board, where he continues to be an active board member. He has also worked as a volunteer with the Institute for Human Services and participated in multiple outreach programs under HPD, providing food and housing to the needy and underprivileged. Mike worked at Kalihi housing for outreach and information to national audiences about how the HPD interfaces with the needy community, setting an example for proactive law enforcement related to the problems of the homeless.
Jody Allione has an Industrial Distribution degree from the School of Engineering at Clarkson University and an MBA from Pepperdine. She has been an independent consultant since 1980 with multinational engineering, construction, and development companies, and she currently manages the development of large scale renewable energy projects in Hawaii. In addition to project development and management, her background includes writing and implementing business and marketing plans for many diverse companies, as well as site reconnaissance, major project proposal writing, and due diligence for project viability. Jody is known as a solution finder for logistics and siting issues related to new projects that are responsive to community needs.
With her background in strategic project development and organizational planning and implementation, Jody’s specialty is the conceptualization and development of complex projects—including site acquisition, community interaction, and permit strategy and contract negotiations. While attending a Social Justice conference in Australia in early 2012, Jody became aware of the problem of sex trafficking and was determined to become involved in addressing this problem in Hawaii. She met the early team members who were looking for a site and realized that she had the ideal blend of connections and experience to help locate, permit, and license the home and work with stakeholders. In addition to site development, she is also actively recruiting volunteers and helping to coordinate corporate development.
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.
Jeremy Munoz graduated from CSU Chico with a BA in economics and a BS in business administration/management. He is currently pursuing his MBA. Jeremy worked for Hewlett Packard as a programmer and business analyst from 2000-2002. He also worked as a construction management project director for the Irvine Company and holds a general building contractor’s license in California and Hawai’i. He now runs his own construction and excavation business in Hawai’i. He has also served for the past 6 years in the United States Army infantry reserves as an infantry officer. He has had the opportunity to engage in building projects for underserved and vulnerable populations in Africa, India, Nepal, and Mexico.
Mark Peterman is the Executive Pastor of Inspire Church. As Executive Pastor, he is responsible for all of the Administrative Teams of the church, as well as leading Celebrate Recover.
Prior to joining the church, Mark worked in the technology industry for over 30 years. Mark and his wife, Sue, have a blended family of 2 daughters, 1 son and 6 grandchildren.
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.
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.
Carol Taira is from Hawaii and has worked in the accounting and fiscal management field throughout her career. In her current role as VP Finance / CFO she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from her 17 years at Goodwill Industries of Hawaii. She has worked for both Goodwill Industries ($30 M annual revenues) and Goodwill Contract Services ($4M). Her role includes financial management, preparation and analysis of financial statements, preparation of annual budgets, compliance with State and Federal reporting requirements, contractual reporting and compliance and supervision of Finance Department. In her previous role as Director of Finance, she developed and completed an IT project to network computer system.
Her previous roles were Controller/ Treasure of Tropical Trading Company, a $10 million retail clothing company and Healthcare Association of Hawaii as VP of Fiscal Services, a non-profit trade association for Hospitals and Long Term Care Facilities. This latter role included financial management over multiple entities including payroll and accounting services. She also automated financial records for this organization.
She started her career at Ernst & Whinney as a senior accountant and auditor for retail companies, financial institutions, and non-profit organizations. This was followed by a role as Internal Auditor for Pacific Resources Inc.
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.
Born and raised on Oahu’s North Shore, Dane K. Wicker knows the community and island lifestyle well. Dane begin his career in public service in 2010. Having worked for the Honolulu City Council, the United States House of Representatives, and the Hawaii State Senate, Dane has a diverse background in public policy, government relations, and political strategy.
A graduate of Kahuku High and Intermediate on the North Shore of Oahu, Dane received his Liberal Arts degree from the Leeward Community College and a Bachelor’s in Arts in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at West Oahu.
While public service is Dane’s primary career, he has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the private sector owning and managing small businesses as well as consulting services.
He also serves on the Filipino Community Center Board of Directors and the Mililani-Waipio Neighborhood Board. His wife is a nurse in the neonatal intensive care field and they have a one-year-old son.