Laurie Au has devoted most of her life to lifting up the voices of everyday people, first as a newspaper journalist and now working alongside them as a community connector. She is the Director of Islander Institute, a civic enterprise formed to institute island values in the way we address systemic problems in Hawaii. In 2010, Laurie also served as Deputy Communications Director for Governor Neil Abercrombie. In 2014, Laurie received her Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she focused on community organizing and adaptive leadership. A Pearl City High School graduate, Laurie grew up in Waipahu and also holds a journalism degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Patrick Byrne, Treasurer
Patrick Byrne is Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Edgeworth Economics, a leading economic, financial, and quantitative consulting firm. Mr. Byrne is responsible for the firm’s operational leadership, which includes developing and overseeing the strategic direction that reflects the firm’s core values. Mr. Byrne handles the company’s day-to-day operations and long-term planning, including financial operations, IT infrastructure, real estate, and risk management. Mr. Byrne received his MBA from Yale University’s School of Management and his BA in economics from Hobart College, where he was inducted into Hobart’s Economic Honor Society, Omicron Delta Epsilon.
Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner
Mike Cruise is a partner at the firm Leavitt, Yamane & Soldner where he represents clients with personal injury claims. Mike began his career as a legal services attorney and maintains a strong commitment to social justice. He is a leader in his profession, with membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum (membership restricted to less than 1% of the attorneys in the U.S. based on case results), Hawai‘i Super Lawyers (limited to 5% of practicing Hawai‘i lawyers) and the Hawai‘i Association for Justice (past president and current Board of Governors member). Mike is also a member of the board of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i.
David D. Derauf, M.D.
Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
David D. Derauf, MD, MPH has been with Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, a federally qualified community health center in Honolulu for the last 28 years. In 1989, he was hired as KKV’s first Clinical Director and remained in this position until being named as KKV’s Executive Director in October, 2003. Dr. Derauf received his medical training at the University of Minnesota and worked from 1987-1988 as the Assistant Director of Public Health in the Thai Highland Project on the border of Thailand and Burma. He moved to Hawai‘i in 1989 to pursue public health training and received his MPH from the University of Hawai‘i in 1995, with a focus on epidemiology. He is board certified in General Preventive Medicine. Dr. Derauf has served as Assistant Clinical Professor of Public Health, Medicine, and Nursing at the University of Hawai‘i. He serves as a board member of the Association of Asian and Pacific Island Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), the Hawai‘i Primary Care Association, Aloha Care, a Hawai‘i Medicaid Managed Care Corporation, the office of Hawaiian Affairs Na Limihana O Lonopuha Native Hawaiian Health Consortium. He is married and has 2 sons.
Naomi Fujimoto, Esq., Secretary
Law Office of Naomi C. Fujimoto
Naomi C. Fujimoto is an attorney in private practice who concentrates in estate planning, trust administrations and probates. She is an arbitrator and mediator. She has done volunteer work on access to justice issues in Hawai‘i since 1999. Naomi was a charter member and past Chairperson of the Elder Law Section of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association, a past Chairperson of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the Hawai‘i State Bar Association, and a past Chairperson of the Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women. She is a member of the Hawai‘i Estate Planning Council. She was an editor-in-chief and an author of the Hawai‘i Probate Forms Manual and an editor of the Hawai‘i Bar Association Encyclopedia of Estate Planning.
Naomi has been a Director and the Secretary of the Hawai’i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice since its inception and has been a Director of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i since 1999, serving as its Secretary from 2012 to present.
Ryan K. Kusumoto
Parents And Children Together
Ryan Kusumoto serves as President and CEO of Parents And Children Together (PACT), a statewide family service agency dedicated to creating safe and promising futures for Hawaii’s keiki, individuals, and families. Prior to PACT, Ryan worked for Goodwill Industries of Hawaii, operated a small business, and worked at Hawaii Pacific Health and the Queen’s Medical Center. Ryan serves on other boards in Hawaii and the continental United States. Some of these include Hawaii Employers Mutual Insurance Company (HEMIC), Employer’s Protective Insurance Company (EPIC), Camp Mokuleia, Mental Health Association of Hawaii, the 501(c) Unemployment Insurance Trust, and The Church Pension Fund.
Joyce Lee-Ibarra, President
Joyce Lee-Ibarra is principal of JLI Consulting, where she conducts research and provides evaluation training and technical assistance to nonprofits and funders. Although her client base is broad, she has a special interest in organizations focused on improving social justice, meeting the needs of underserved youth, and advancing public health. She is also the lead organizer of Hawai‘i Community Benefit Consultants, a network of independent, socially-minded consultants seeking to advance the greater good in Hawai‘i. A former Teach For America corps member, Joyce graduated from the University of California-Berkeley, and holds a master’s degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
University of Hawai‘i
Neal Milner is an emeritus professor of political science at the University of Hawai‘i where he taught for over forty years. He is a political analyst, a contributing editor for Hawai‘i Public Radio’s “The Conversation” and a columnist for Civil Beat. He occasionally writes for Honolulu Magazine.
Professionally over the years Neal has written about how people think about rights, particularly in regard to home ownership, mental health and policing.
For many years he was on the board of Kumu Kahua Theater, where he also performed, as he has at other theaters in Hawai‘i.
Neal is the author of the book “THE GIFT OF UNDERPANTS.”
Nathan C. Nelson, Esq.
Nathan C. Nelson is the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Hawai‘i Gas. He is responsible for legal and regulatory affairs and for ensuring corporate compliance and managing corporate records. Prior to joining Hawai‘i Gas in 2011, Nathan served as the company’s interim general counsel while associated with Carlsmith Ball, LLC. In 2013, he was recognized as the Young Business Leader of the Year at Pacific Business News’ Forty Under 40 event. Nathan also serves on the board of the GIFT Foundation of Hawai‘i.
Garret Sugai, Vice President
Garret has nearly 20 years of experience in health care and information technology, including 15 years with Kaiser Permanente’s Health Plan Service and Administration and IT divisions. He has played an instrumental role in a variety of Kaiser Permanente Hawai‘i’s strategic initiatives, ranging from the consolidation and standardization of the region’s IT infrastructure to leading the region’s Health Care Reform implementation, Exchange Operations, and Membership Administration teams. Under his leadership, the region saw optimized operations and cost reduction through better collaboration to more efficiently leverage resources.
As Vice President of Health Plan Service and Administration in Hawai‘i, Garret provides leadership for the region’s claims, customer service, appeals, grievances, membership administration, benefits and contracts teams, and exchange operations. Garret earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Kerrie Urosevich, MA, PhD, is the Lead for Network Design and Innovation for Early Childhood Action Strategy. Kerrieʻs main responsibility is overseeing a multi-disciplinary early childhood systems building plan, which includes six team and over 100 public and private partners all working to improve the system of care for Hawai`iʻs youngest children. She previously served in both Governor Neal Abercrombie’s and Governor David Ige’s Administrations. Over the last 25 years, Kerrie’s work has been rooted in local and international community mobilization, peace building and violence prevention, including 10 years working with communities and organizations in transition, through her own mediation and facilitation consultancy. She serves as Affiliate Faculty at the Matsunaga Institute for Peace at the University of Hawai‘i-Manoa, teaching peace and conflict resolution courses, and has co-developed Ceeds of Peace workshops focused on supporting children’s social and emotional development. Kerrie serves as volunteer board member to Hawai`i Appleseed; Montessori Community School; EPIC `Ohana Inc.; and MPANZI, a Kenya-based organization. Kerrie received her Ph.D. in Political Science with a specialization in conflict resolution and systems design from the University of Hawai`i Manoa; Master’s Degree in International Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies; and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. She is a parent of three children, who ground her in all of her work.