Dr. Claire L. Asam, Ph.D.
Dr. Claire L. Asam, Ph.D. has long been a committed advocate for “Nā Pua o Hawai‘i Nei”, the children of Hawai‘i. Her professional career began at the Kamehameha Schools (KS) where she educated Native Hawaiian children. She remained at the schools for 25 years in teaching, research, and administrative positions including director of training and dissemination for the Kamehameha Elementary Education Program (KEEP) which helped teachers in Hawaiian communities improve their students’ literacy achievement. During her tenure she also contributed to efforts in extending the reach of Kamehameha’s educational systems through partnerships with the State Department of Education and the establishment of Kamehameha’s Maui and Hawai‘i campuses. Focused on working with Hawaiian children, Dr. Asam moved from Kamehameha Schools to become the president and executive director of the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center (QLCC). Under her leadership QLCC impacted thousands of Hawaiians, orphans and impoverished children across the state annually by helping to strengthen families and build healthy communities. Then in 2007 Dr. Asam was named a trustee of the Lili‘uokalani Trust. In addition to her Trust responsibilities, she continues to volunteer her expertise in support of education and community boards including the HKL Castle Foundation Board of Directors, and the MBT School of Social Work Dean’s Advisory Council. Dr. Asam was named Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scout Council of Hawai‘i, received the I Ulu Ke Kumu award from the Hawai‘inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, and honored as a Distinguished Alumna by the University of Hawai‘i and the Kamehameha Schools for her dedication to Hawai‘i’s children.
Senator (Ret.) Susie Chun Oakland
Senator (Ret.) Suzanne Chun Oakland has served her community with dedication throughout her life. She currently is the Program Coordinator for Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center. In her 26 years of service in the Hawai‘i State Legislature, she has been a leading advocate for children, the elderly, families and underserved communities. She served as Chair of the House and Senate Committees on Human Services for most of her career. She focused on child welfare, adult protection, long term care, Medicaid, affordable housing, public housing, vocational rehabilitation, public assistance, and early childhood education and care. She also served on the Committees on Agriculture, Health, Economic Development, Education, Government Operations and Housing, Energy and Environment, Hawaiian Affairs, Transportation, Water/Land, and Ways and Means. Senator Chun Oakland continues to be very active in the community. She was the co-founder and co-convener of the Keiki and the Kupuna Caucuses, co-convener of the Women’s Caucus, chair of numerous legislative task forces and working groups, and a member or officer of over 50 community organizations’ boards. She has provided invaluable support to human and social service organizations such as Blueprint for Change, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center, Susannah Wesley Community Center, the Pediatric Council of Hawai‘i, and the Hawai‘i Children’s Trust Fund. The daughter of retired Executive Director of Kalihi YMCA Philip S. Chun and retired social worker Mei-Chih Chun, Senator Chun Oakland was born and raised in Honolulu, is an honor graduate of McKinley High School, and earned two BA degrees in Communications and Psychology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her sister, Jeanne Chun, works for the San Francisco Community Foundation and her brother, Randall Chun, is a graphic artist. Her husband of 23 years, Mike Oakland, is a Deputy Sheriff and Kapolei Courthouse Section Commander. She and Mike have three children – Mailene, Christopher, and Lauren. She also has six grandchildren.
Dr. Claire K. Hughes
Dr. Claire Ku‘uleilani Hughes, DrPH, RD, has a distinguished career of raising public awareness for a healthy Hawai‘i, and in the last three decades, has worked tirelessly on behalf of Native Hawaiian health. Dr. Hughes became the first Native Hawaiian Registered Dietitian in 1959 and became the Chief of the Nutrition Branch for the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health. Her interest in Native Hawaiian health originated in graduate studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Public Health when she examined research on health disparities among this population. Her accomplishments are significant and include being a co-founder of E Ola Mau, a Native Hawaiian Health Organization; co-creator of the Moloka‘i Diet, a traditional Hawaiian diet; and an active contributor in the passage of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act of 1988, a key source of funding for health, education, and health programs. Her vigilance in promoting Hawaiian health is also evident in her service leadership to an extensive array of organizations including, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs; Hā Kūpuna – National Resource Center for Native Hawaiian Elders; and the American Cancer Society. She has published extensively in Native Hawaiian health, and is renowned for her health column in Ka Wai Ola – the Office of Hawaiian Affairs Newsletter. Her dedication and advocacy of health programs for Native Hawaiians and the broader community has culminated in being named one of 2011’s Living Treasures of Hawai‘i by Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i and receiving the prestigious 2011 O‘o Award from the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Caroline Wade Oda
Dr. Caroline Ward Oda has an extensive record of community service in Hawai‘i and internationally with prominent experience in education and social work. She currently serves as the Director of Transformation University, an online international training program for Transform Our World, a Christian non-profit. She has served as Head of School at St. Andrew’s Priory where she increased enrollment by 20 percent and created the first wireless all-laptop K-12 school in Hawai‘i; and was Chief Program Officer for the Consuelo Foundation where she coordinated establishing Ke Aka Ho‘ona, a drug-free and family violence-free community in Waianae. She also developed accreditation guidelines for community work for the Council on Accreditation. Dr. Oda has a BA from Stanford University, MA from San Francisco State University, MSW from the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD from Capella University in Instructional Design for Online Learning. She has served on the Boards of Girl Scouts (as President in 2006-08), the Queen’s Health Systems (as Chair of Executive Compensation Committee), and currently serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Board (Chair 2008-2010). Past service includes the Boards of the Hawai‘i Justice Foundation (Chair), Friends of the East-West Center, Punahou School PFA (Chair), and the Honolulu Rotary. Recognition for her work is reflected in numerous awards, including the Woman of Distinction for St. Andrew’s Priory (Queen Emma Ball), Leader Honoree for the YWCA, and the Lei O Ke Ali‘i Emalani Award. Dr. Oda authored the book entitled: Catch the Wave of Transformation: From the Shores of Hawai‘i. She is married to architect, Dr. Francis S. Oda, and has two adult children, Reid and Nalani.
Ms. Janis A. Reischmann
Ms. Janis A. Reischmann is the executive director of Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation, an independent grantmaking foundation with offices in Honolulu. She has served in this capacity since April, 2008 and was hired as the Foundation’s first staff member. In this capacity she has overseen all aspects of the development of the Foundation’s grantmaking and operations, working closely with its board of directors. In 2011, Janis was asked to serve as a member of the Foundation’s board. The Foundation makes grants primarily in Hawai‘i but also has a small international grantmaking program. Most of its grantmaking is focused on children and environmental issues. Currently the Foundation has a full time staff of five and in 2013, an annual grants budget of approximately $7.5 million. Ms. Reischmann brings to her role more than twenty-five years of work in the nonprofit sector. She was the vice president for Hawai‘i’s statewide community foundation overseeing its grantmaking and private foundation services and led a consulting firm specializing in organizational and project development. She served as adjunct faculty at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work where she taught community development. She has masters degrees in social work and business administration, both from the University of Hawai‘I at Mānoa. In her deep commitment to our community, she has served on various nonprofit boards; was a founding member of the Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i; serves on the advisory board of Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center; and was recently invited to serve as a member of the board of the Keith and Judy Swayne Foundation.
Mrs. Laura Lucas Thompson
Mrs. Laura Lucas Thompson, born and raised in Hawai‘i, is a renowned civic leader with a familial legacy of commitment and service to the well-being of Hawai‘i. Her mother, Clorinda Lucas, is the first Hawaiian to earn an advanced degree in Social Work (New York School of Social Work, 1937) and her husband, Myron “Pinky” Thompson, is a graduate and namesake of the School of Social Work at the University of Hawai‘i at Mā noa. Her father was a dairyman and rancher who understood the ecological value of sustaining people through the stewardship of the land and animals. Her children, Lita Blankenfeld, Myron K. Thompson, and Nainoa Thompson, have all distinguished themselves in continuing familial and cultural traditions of nurturing a safe and healthy Hawai‘i. Mrs. Thompson graduated from Punahou High School and received a B.A. from Lake Erie College in Ohio. Her life-long dedication to the welfare of people and caring for the ‘aina is exemplified in her extensive service history. Currently, she is serving on the boards of Alu Like, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Council, and Malama Maunalua. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Hawaiian Humane Society, the Hawai‘i Island Humane Society, the American Humane Association and the Latham Foundation (Alameda, CA), The Nature Conservancy, Hui Nalu Canoe Club, Hawai‘i Nature Center, The Outdoor Circle, Planned Parenthood of Hawai‘i, Parents and Children Together, the YWCA, Palama Settlement, and the Zoo Hui.
Ms. Sharlene K. Tsuda
Ms. Sharlene K. Tsuda was appointed Vice President in October 2005. Her area of responsibility includes Community Building, Governance Support, Fund Development, Native Hawaiian Health Program, Corporate Communications, and Volunteer Program. Since joining The Queen’s Medical Center in 1980, Ms. Tsuda has held various positions before her current position, most recently as Director, Governance and Administrative Services & Corporate Secretary. She holds a B.A. degree in Business and Administrative Studies from Lewis & Clark College. She is also the Corporate Secretary of The Queen’s Health Systems and The Queen’s Medical Center. Ms. Tsuda serves on the American Diabetes Association’s Hawai‘i Community Leadership Board, currently serving as its Chair; the Public Schools of Hawai‘i Foundation Board; and the Hawai‘i Academy of Science Board. She is a member of the Hawai‘i Society of Corporate Secretaries and previously served as its Vice President.
Mr. Kenneth Yeung
Mr. Kenneth Yeung has contributed to the community through the highly successful combination of entrepreneurial innovation and social justice priorities. In 1983 he founded and has served as President of the POP’s Foundation, a leading diversified company specializing in the marketing, importing and distribution of gourmet products; as well as product formulation, packing and private labeling. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, POP has branch offices in other U.S. cities as well as in Hong Kong, China and Malaysia. Profits from POP benefit the Prince of Peace Foundation which helps numerous community organizations in the U.S. and Asia. In particular, the Foundation supports the Prince of Peace Children’s Home (POPCH) in Tianjin, China which serves approximately 150 orphaned children. Through a partnership of the POP and the MBTSSW, select social work students are able to do their field internship at the POPCH during summer months. This cultural immersion field experience provides students with an intense learning environment in which they gain knowledge of working with orphaned children, many with disabilities; become familiar with the Chinese system of human services; and acquire an appreciation of global social justice. Mr. Yeung’s commitment to serving the community comes from his compassion and honesty, his religious and spiritual affiliations, and is reinforced with his education with a M.S.W. degree from the University of Hawai‘i School of Social Work in 1974.