“Individually and collectively, our board members bring a wide range of experience and expertise necessary to keep our organization functioning.”
Jessica R. Munoz is a clinical emergency/trauma nurse practitioner, CEO & Founder of Hoʻōla Nā Pua Pua (HNP) which means “New life for our children”, a nonprofit organization whose mission is the prevention of child sex trafficking and providing care for youth who have been exploited.
Rooted on the “justice gene in her DNA”, her passion to “forever shine the light” into the dark places and watch new life come forth shapes her vision and life’s mission.
She provides executive leadership, innovative thinking, business development and strategy, development and enhancing funding capacity, strategic growth and vision. She has 18 years of health care experience, entrepreneurship, and community advocacy, transformational systems change, and leadership. She has built multiple partnerships across diverse sectors, both public and private, to bring a unified response and resources to ending the exploitation of children through a public health and systems change lens.
Over the past 14 years she has published articles, provided training and strategies on prevention, identification, intervention, and response for hundreds of health care professionals, service providers, law enforcement, and community leaders. She works closely with the judiciary, district attorneys, and state, federal, and local law enforcement to help shape a multi-disciplinary collaborative response to trafficked youth and young adults in Hawaii and beyond.
Since 2009, Jessica and her team have been driving the anti-trafficking movement in the Hawaiian Islands, the Pacific, and across the national landscape. Her passion to serve exploited children and her pursuit of comprehensive understanding of their needs has fostered her role as a trainer and advisor in Cameroon, Africa with Vital Voices Global Partnership. She has also provided training on trauma informed survivor centered care, medical services, and building multidisciplinary teams in Samoa, Cambodia, Africa, Guatemala, Mexico, Africa, and Thailand.
Through her work, Jessica has emphasized the continuum of care and the Response Framework needed for trafficking survivors through collaborative, health centric, trauma-informed systems and victim-centered approaches and partnerships. She envisioned, developed, and opened Pearl Haven— Hawaii’s first residential treatment campus for sexually exploited teenage girls. A model of care that has gained national attention and recognition.
Of note, she and her team worked with CBS and the executive producers of the TV show Hawaii Five-0 to bring awareness through their March 10th, 2017 episode Puka ‘Ana or “exodus” which highlights the issue of child sex trafficking in Hawaii and the work being done by the organization. This episode had over 8.9 million viewers in the first viewing and multiple PSA’s created by the cast to help spread awareness.
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Karen is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Her long career in the field of opera, began at Virginia Opera directly after graduating from college. Two short years later, she became the Director of Production for Opera Memphis. She was in Memphis for seven years, ending her tenure as the Executive Director.
When she left Memphis, she became the General Director of Opera Festival of New Jersey, the youngest General Director in the opera field, followed by the role of Managing Director of Music Theatre Group in Manhattan. During those years she served as both a frequent panelist and onsite evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts and a board member and board consultant for Opera America, the service organization for companies in the US and Canada.
In 2004, Karen moved to Honolulu and became the Executive Director of Hawaii Opera Theatre (HOT). She served as executive director for over nine years. During her tenure, she balanced the budget, re-organized the board, revitalized the development department, and achieved a 4-Star rating on Charity Navigator. She created and executed the implementation of a new strategic plan, which included the sale of outdated property and the renovation of their new location on Beretania Street.
Throughout her time at HOT, she directed several critically acclaimed HOT productions including: Susannah, Jun Kaneko’s Madama Butterfly, The Pearl Fishers, and the 2013 production of Turandot. Other notable productions in her career include; Sweeney Todd at HOT, The Turn of the Screw at Opera Memphis and Orpheo et Euridice at OFNJ. She directed Three Decembers for HOT with Frederica von Stade, which led to two more opportunities to work with the grand dame of opera at both Livermoor Opera and San Diego Opera. She continues to work as a stage director in Hawaii and beyond.
In April of 2018, HOT asked Karen to serve as the interim General Director while a search was on for a permanent replacement. She served the organization with pro bono work for about a year, until the replacement was found. Throughout her career, Karen has often worked with other non-profits as a volunteer and board member.
In recent years she served on the national board of the Joyful Heart Foundation, the board of the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific and a volunteer to the event committees for the Hawaii Humane Society, Hanahau’oli School, and event chair of Kama’aina Christmas at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Currently, Karen serves as a trustee for the Kapiolani Hospital Foundation in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she also sits on the Pediatric Heart Center Capital Campaign. She is also a member of the capital campaign committee for Ho’ola Na Pua’s Pearl Haven, a residential facility on the North Shore of Oahu for exploited girls. She is in her final term as commissioner at large for the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.
Karen is a proud mother to two wonderful children, Sophia and Eli.
Chris Eldridge is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Koa Capital Partners, a Hawaii-based private investment firm focused on buying and running local businesses in Hawaii. Koa seeks to preserve, enhance and grow local businesses that can both compete and beat out mainland competitors, while providing a proving ground for the next generation of leaders. Chris, having spent most of his professional life in Hawaii, brings to Koa a strong understanding of the local business community and a track record of revenue growth mixed with an emphasis on healthy business cultures. Prior to Koa, Chris was a serial entrepreneur, starting highly successful local companies such as FileMinders/PortaBox Storage and America’s Mattress. Presently he serves on the Board of Directors for the Hawaii Pacific Health Medical Group as well as on advisory boards for several local private companies. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). Eldridge attended Punahou School and earned a BA in Economics and Business from Boston University. Eldridge, his wife and two children reside in Honolulu.
Sondra Leiggi Brandon is the VP of Patient Care, Behavioral Health. Sondra is responsible for developing and implementing business and strategic plans for behavioral health services and programs across the continuum of care. Sondra is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She has Master’s degrees in Nursing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Johns Hopkins University. She also has a Master’s degree in Public Health from Loma Linda University. Sondra is an Omidyar fellow and was recently recognized as one of Hawaii Business Magazine’s “20 for the Next 20.”
As a visionary leader, Nabb has had continued success in building healthcare companies with an outside-in approach by driving innovation, operational excellence and strategic partnerships. He is best known for creating an organizational culture that thrives on authenticity, kindness, vulnerability and transparency. He believes in prioritizing the care of each colleague in the organization, at all levels, so they can in turn be of best service to their patients and communities.
Nabb most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer for Remita Health in Irvine, California for the past four years. There, he led all executive stakeholders, which included sales and operations for this multi-state, multi-site hospice and palliative care company. Additionally, he served as Board President for various joint-venture partnerships, with notable institutions such as CareMore/Anthem and Monarch/Optum. Nabb’s healthcare experience spans over 13 years in various executive leadership roles across the entire healthcare continuum. He brings experience leading care management, population-health models and care initiatives for both the payors and providers with companies such as HMSA – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Hawaii, Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care and Health Essentials. Nabb has in-depth knowledge of operations and growth experience particularly in the government and managed care areas. Nabb has led several healthcare companies through successful M&A evolutions and continues to partner in the private equity space to identify and sponsor future growth platforms.
Prior to his healthcare career, Nabb worked for 17 years as a banker in the wealth management and private banking sector for companies such as Wells Fargo, Union Bank and Bank of America.
When he is not working, Nabb, who refers to himself as an “adventurist,” enjoys the outdoors, motorcycling, camping, hunting/fishing and gourmet cooking
Nabb studied Business Administration at the University of Hawaii and holds both Administrator and Executive certificates for home health and hospice from CAHSAH.
Melissa Jackson is on the board of the Zilber Family Foundation, which supports nonprofit organizations that work to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and neighborhoods. The foundation’s work is close to her heart, and led her to be involved with several nonprofit organizations. She is on the governing board of Adventist Health Castle, where she helped establish the hospital’s best-in-class birthing center. She is a member of the development committee for Make-A-Wish Hawaii and the capital campaign committee for Ho`ola Na Pua’s Pearl Haven campus. She has a master’s degree in counseling psychology, is the mother of four young children, and an active school parent.
Chris currently serves as an executive coach and consultant to leaders and organizations in the mental health
field. Chris has been serving and leading in the mental health space for 31 years in a variety of roles to include division
president, regional vice president, CEO of an acute hospital, and executive director of multiple programs across the
continuum of care. Chris is most passionate about leading and mentoring individuals and teams to improve
performance and outcomes via industry-leading human performance frameworks.
Julie Hong is the Indo-Pacific Operations Director in Honolulu, with a focus on building infrastructure programs in the Pacific Rim. Ms. Hong has 27 years of experience providing infrastructure planning, environmental planning, and policy support for various DoD and government agencies, including Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and EPA. She assisted the Headquarters Pacific Air Forces/A7 Programs Integration Branch (HQ PACAF/A7PI) with management of several programs including the Environmental Impact Analysis Process (EIAP). Since 2005, Ms. Hong provided environmental planning support to HQ PACAF/A7PI at JBPHH, HI to protect the Air Force mission and their equities. She regularly interfaced with engineers, scientists, attorneys, Air Staff, major commands, bases, and third-party stakeholders on major federal actions to ensure compliance of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental laws.
Under the Defense Policy Review Initiative (DPRI) Planning Group Infrastructure and Enterprise Planning Services contracts, Julie provided National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) support and oversight of facilities management and engineering staff to the Marine Corps Activity Guam (MCAG), Okinawa Consolidation (OKICON), and Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) programs.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Art History from the University of Virginia and a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.
Julie is an Executive Board Member of the Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), which provides a platform for clean energy and climate change issues in Hawaii. For The last 5 years, Julie led the planning and execution of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Pacific Industry Forum.
Robin currently serves as Brand Ambassador for Black Bear Diners, a restaurant franchise company operating 150 diners across the mainland US. He has been with BBD for 25 years, working closely with its founders, as their financial and strategic planning officer, to take the concept from a small -town operation in Mt. Shasta, California, to a nationally-recognized restaurant brand. Robin currently serves on Saint Louis School’s Board of Trustees as Chairperson of its Education Programs, previously serving as its Board Chairperson. Robin has provided service on a number of charitable organization boards for over 30 years. Robin is passionate about the mission of Ho’ōla Nā Pua and for the past two years has been supporting it through philanthropic support, programming connections, awareness, and advocacy.
Jacquie Laird has been volunteering with Ho’ōla Nā Pua for the past five years. She has helped support fundraising initiatives for the gala committee, paniolo picnic, programming at Pearl Haven, as well as Ho’ōla Nā Pua’s community advocacy and awareness events on Oahu and Hawai`i island. Jacquie has a background in retail management and merchandise procurement for six retail stores. She has a background in holistic wellness and has hosted and facilitated wellness retreats for people from across the mainland. She has worked extensively in helping to provide a feeding program for the homeless in Waimanalo and at Ala Moana Beach Park. Jacquie is well connected in the community in the areas of program development, fund development and philanthropy, along with having a passion to serve HNP and widely promote and advocate for the collective shared mission to ensure youth have a bright future.
Ho’ōla Nā Pua CEO & Founder, Jessica Muñoz to transition into her founder role and focus on national advocacy
Miller will focus the six-month transitionary period on
seamless continuity of the nonprofit’s mission
HONOLULU – Ho’ola Na Pua (HNP) Board of Directors has named Dr. Jamee Māhealani Miller, Ph.D. as the organization’s next executive director. Dr. Miller succeeds HNP founder Jessica Muñoz, who has led the organization through a period of unprecedented progress in the prevention of child sex-trafficking, providing a progressive continuum of care for youth who have been exploited in Hawaiʻi and abroad. Muñoz will continue to serve as CEO through the transitional period.
“Ho’ōla Nā Pua’s remarkable journey has had historic regional and national impact; this is an exciting and expansive moment for the future of its mission,” said HNP Board Chairperson, Karen Polivka. “We placed a high priority on finding a leader that could both steward HNP’s legacy and sustain its bold vision for the future. The anti-trafficking movement requires incredible courage and resilience, and we know Dr. Jamee Miller will excel in this role.” As executive director, Dr. Miller will oversee development and operational leadership for HNP’s staff, expansive community programs including Pearl Haven, Hōkū Groups, Starfish Mentoring and Awareness, Education & Training, and overall execution of the nonprofit’s mission, which has boldly led in the anti-trafficking movement for more than 14 years.
Dr. Miller most recently served as the ʻĀina Ulu Director at Kamehameha Schools. During her tenure there, Dr. Miller oversaw a statewide team tasked with managing diverse land holdings, community partners, and programs. Having served in leadership roles at two ali’i trusts – Liliuokalani Trust and Kamehameha Schools – Dr. Miller has demonstrated a career commitment to serving the Native Hawaiian community, and to serving at-risk women and children. Her early-career experience as a social worker informed her perspectives on prevention and treatment substance abuse and child abuse, and her personal passion for the fair treatment and rehabilitation of incarcerated people.
“I’m inspired by Hoʻōla Nā Pua’s impressive track record and commitment to not only Native Hawaiian youth but to all youth and their families. I am honored to join the team,” says Dr. Miller. “Jessica has laid a solid foundation for me as HNPʻs new leader. I am thankful for her foresight and valor which birthed HNP to be a service provider of choice by delivering unprecedented programs of relevance to our keiki, ʻohana and community. I look forward to working closely with partners, volunteers, donors and the entire HNP team to lead this organization into its next phase of progression.”
Dr. Miller earned her doctorate in education with a focus on organizational leadership from the University of Southern California, after earning her undergraduate degree in Hawaiian Studies and a masterʻs degree in social work at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Born and raised on Oʻahu, Dr. Miller and her ‘ohana currently reside in Punaluʻu. “I am truly humbled to see what started as a vision has become a thriving, effective and essential organization making true community and policy impact to end child-sex trafficking in Hawaiʻi. Every day I see our HNP staff, volunteers, partners and donors lean-in to ensure that our unique services are sustained for long-term care and life-changing results,” said Muñoz.
“This collective commitment allows me to take this progressive model of care to a national platform, and I am excited for this new season of advocacy with its heartbeat always in Hawaiʻi, where our mission began.” At the end of the leadership\ transition, Muñoz will continue to serve as a consultant to the organization and serve in her permanent founder seat on its board of directors.
During its 14-year history thus far, HNP has been a catalyst for exponential progress and leadership in its progressive vision, to ‘shine the light’ on the dark criminal enterprise of sex-trafficking. HNP’s work has led to statewide and national impact on the issue of child sex-trafficking and the need for a systemic shift and collective policy and programmatic response to victims who deserve and need sustainable, comprehensive care.
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