Kelly Ah Hee

General Manager

Kelly Ah Hee was born and raised on Hawaii Island, graduating from Kohala High School as a proud member of the Class of ’98. He received his BA in Economics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2005 and currently brings his valuable and diverse skillset to his role as the General Manager of Security and Landscaping for NAH Security Services. As the GM, Ah Hee oversees the landscape and security departments for the Mauna Lani Resort’s Master Association along the Kohala Coast. In addition to enjoying quality time with his wife and four children, Ah Hee finds meaning through his volunteer service at various community events including being a judge for robotics competitions and High School senior projects.

Gino Amar (Treasurer)

Administrator, Kohala Hospital

Born and raised in North Kohala, Gino graduated from Kohala High School as Student Body President in 1985, received his BS in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from Hawaii Pacific College four years later, and returned home to become Kohala Hospital’s Assistant Administrator, Support Services. In December 2009, he received his Master’s in Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix. He now serves as Administrator of Kohala Hospital. Active in the community, Gino has contributed to service projects including helping extend the concession area and re-leveling the infield of the baseball diamond at Kamehameha Park, coaching youth basketball and varsity sports and is an active member in community organizations such as the Kohala Reunion 2005 and 2010. He is also a well-known and recorded musician.

Beth Bohn (Secretary)

Small Business Owner

Beth was raised on Oahu in Kailua town. After graduating from Punahou School, she attended the University of Hawaii, and graduated with a BS in English & minor in Art from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Beth spent 30 years in the hospitality industry in Hawaii and on the mainland. She is an active member in the North Hawaii chapter of 100 Women Who Care, and a Director for the group iPods For The Elderly. Beth enjoys participating in the Hawaiian arts of lauhala weaving and lei making and spending time in the ocean with her retired lifeguard husband.

Chris Brown (Vice President)

Retired Kohala Teacher

Originally from Connecticut, Chris earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Boston College. He is a long-time Kohala resident who taught mathematics at Kohala High School for 38 years. He, his wife Billie, and now his daughter Jessica, have educated Kohala’s high school youth for more than 40 years. Chris and Billie have three adult children. Chris is also an active member of the Kohala Lions Club.

Morgan Davis

Youth Director – Hawaii Preparatory Academy

Morgan Davis, a sophomore at HPA, is a motivated student athlete playing on her school’s volleyball and water polo teams and serving on student council. Her considerate nature keeps her engaged volunteering at the humane society and in her free time she enjoys riding her horse and hiking. As a youth director, she hopes to positively impact the community by spreading awareness about NKCRC and to influence youth just like herself to get out in their community.

Kaya-Lee Galan

Youth Director – Kohala High School

Kaya-Lee Galan is a brave and ambitious junior at Kohala High School. Her zealous attitude keeps her active in the community participating in the Leo’s club, serving on the board of the student credit union, and playing three sports- cross county, basketball, and tennis. When she is not playing sports she is helping her family with chores or enjoying the outdoors. As a youth director, she is excited at the opportunity to explore new topics and information and hopes to widen and expand the knowledge of what the NKCRC really does for the community.

Denni Keyes

Small Business Owner

Born and raised here on the Big Island of Hawaii from the cool country town of Kamuela to the quaint and cozy town of North Kohala, Denni is a Kohala High School Class of 2003 graduate. Since her family relocated to North Kohala in 1992, she has actively been a part of the community through school projects and organizations, church and religious initiatives, and sports and extracurricular activities. She has an array of professional and business experience from healthcare, hospitality, title and escrow and is currently an active licensed Realtor with Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers. She brings a diverse set of skills with precise attention to detail, solution focused thinking, and a warm, friendly personality to the team here at the North Kohala Community Resource Center.

She along with her husband and three children still live here in North Kohala where his family has roots that go back several generations deep. Majority of her time is spent enjoying the Hawaii Life with her family either at the beach, up the mountains, on the courts, or playing music.

Vicky Kometani (President)

Public Relations

Vicky has 30-plus years’ experience in the Hawaii hospitality industry in marketing, IT, and public relations, and now serves as the Director of Public Relations at Mauna Kea Resort. She is deeply committed to the Kohala community and has previously served on the Board of Directors for PATCH, Kohala School Community Council, and Board of Education Committee on Weights. She is the past Secretary/Treasurer for Liquid Aloha Aquatics and past North Kohala Vice President for the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of St. Augustine’s Church.

Melanie Matsuda

Kohala Elementary School Teacher

Melanie Matsuda was born and raised in Kohala.  Excited to leave home, Melanie attended UH Manoa and graduated with a degree in elementary education. After 9 years of being away from home, teaching on Oahu, Melanie finally made the decision to come back to Kohala and teach where she went to elementary school.  She always knew she wanted to give back to the community that helped raise her. Talk about full circle! She looks forward to serving this community in many capacities, just like her mom and dad!

Wendy Nickl


Wendy is a Hilo native who has been a resident of Halaula since 1991. She has been a public school teacher for 29 years and currently teaches at Kohala Middle School. In her free time, Wendy is a “taiko mommy,” a Staff Developer for AVID- a global non-profit educational organization, and a board member of Kohala Hongwanji Mission. Wendy has served as co-chairperson for Kohala Project Grad and volunteers with other community projects.

Kim Takata

Small Business Owner

Kim Takata has a Bachelor’s degree from VA Tech in Horticulture and has been involved in agriculture in Hawaii for 27 years. Her experience includes working in a botanical garden, managing Watanabe Floral (a wholesale cut rose nursery in Waimea), and managing her own nursery in Kohala for the past 11 years. She is an active member of the Kohala Coqui Coalition, the Kohala Community Athletic Association (KCAA), the Kohala Ditch Foundation, and a member of the Hawaii Farm Bureau.

Grace Todd

Youth Director- Kohala High School

Grace Todd is a receptive individual, strong-willed, and compassionate. She is a part of Kohala High School’s Student Council, as well as the School Community Council and multiple planning committees. Outside of school, she performs in Waimea as a member of the Kahilu Theater Youth Troupe and conducts research as a Mauna Kea Scholar. She hopes to positively influence the community through her position as youth director by standing as a voice for the youth and young adults of Kohala.

Sydney Wiernicki

Youth Director- Kohala High School

Sydney Wiernicki is a member of Kohala High School class of 2021. She enjoys swimming at the beach, riding horses, and prefers dogs over cats. She grew up in Kohala and is proud to say that she is a result of what our amazing community has to offer. One of her goals is to provide the upcoming keiki in our town with even more opportunities than she had and being a part of the resource center gives her the chance to help and support them.

Honorary Directors

Alida Adamek

Certified Public Accountant

Alida has resided in North Kohala since 2006. She has been the Treasurer of the Kohala Country Fair since 2009 and was co-founder of the Kohala Fitness Station for Women. She was a Certified Public Accountant for 30 years and worked as a sole practitioner, CFO of a national loss prevention company and a partner in a multinational public accounting firm. Alida has been married to her husband Pat, a personal trainer, for 42 years.

Lani Bowman


A native of North Kohala and Kamehameha Schools graduate with a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Puget Sound, Lani has served on the County Water Commission, North Hawaii Hospice, Hawaii State Advisory Commission on Drug Abuse and Controlled Substances, Hawaii State Foster Parents Association, and as a delegate to the Native Hawaiian Convention. Lani also helped initiate the Kohala Country Fair, and T.E.A.M. Kohala. Program Manager for Kohala’s Project Venture.

Joe Carvalho

Retired Bank Officer

Joe was born and raised in North Kohala. He is an active supporter of youth sports programs. After thirty years in Information Technology for the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco, Joe has retired with his wife Marcia, a high school classmate, in North Kohala. He is a volunteer member of the Kohala Country Fair committee and a former member of the North Kohala Community Development Action Committee. Joe enjoys shoreline fishing.

David Gomes

Luthier, Musician

David was born and raised in North Kohala. He is well-known worldwide for his musicianship and his handmade quality musical instruments. Music Director at St. Augustine Episcopal Church, and Director of the church’s Youth Ukulele Choir. Father of two, he is a Director for the Kohala Hospital Charitable Foundation and an avid hiker.

Chris Helmuth

Small Business Owner

Chris first visited North Kohala in 1991, moving here full-time in 2004, after successfully selling his manufacturing business in Los Angeles. Chris is the President/Principal Broker of Kohala Pacific Realty. Further, he founded Aloha Man in 2010, a small local boutique in Hawi. He holds a business degree from Pepperdine University and a master’s degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He was Board President of NKCRC for over five years and is also a past Vice President of the West Hawaii Mediation Center, where he served for six years, and member of the Kohala Merchants Association. He graduated from the one-year Nonprofit Manager Certification Program at Kapiolani Community College in 2007, and has completed the one-week Training Program with the Grantsmanship Center. Chris resides in Kapaau with his wife and two high school daughters.

Bob Martin

Small Business Consultant

A retired executive from AT&T, Bob offers small business consulting in North Kohala and is a partner in a local coffee shop. Bob’s community service includes six years on the Kohala High and Intermediate School’s School-Community Based Management Council, President and Treasurer of the North Kohala Merchant’s Association for three years each, Chair of the Kohala Country Fair for three years and member for six years, Advisory Council of the Kohala Intergenerational Center and Director of the West Hawaii Mediation Center. He writes grant proposals for nonprofits, has completed the Foundation Center’s Grant seeking on the Web and Proposal Writing courses in New York, and the one-week Grantsmanship Training Program with the Grantsmanship Center. Bob holds a Certificate of Professional Development in Nonprofit Management from Kapiolani Community College. Kohala Citizen of the Year, 2005. A twenty-one year resident of Kohala, he lives in Hawi with his wife Karen.

Dennis S. Matsuda

Former District Supervisor, North & South Kohala District, County of Hawaii, Parks & Recreation

A North Kohala native, Dennis has worked for the Country of Hawaii for the past 25 years, and is currently the District Supervisor for our area of the Big Island. Over the years he has been involved in many community-based groups: the King Kamehameha Day Celebration Committee, Chair of the Kohala Millennium Reunion, T.E.A.M. Kohala, a drug intervention program, a Board Member of the Kohala Intergenerational Center, Taste of Kohala Steering Committee, the Kohala Golf Club, the Kohala Okinawa Kenjin Kai Club, Pop Warner football and Little League baseball.

Kathleen Matsuda

Small Business Owner

Kathleen Matsuda was born and raised in Kohala. She graduated from Kohala High School with the class of 1980 and went on to study Hotel Management/Reception at Cannon’s Business College. She has been involved in the local Boy Scouts of America for almost 20 years and currently holds the position of Activity Chairman for the Hamakua/Kohala district. Kathy was the previous owner of her family’s Union Market business that was started by her grandfather. She is now the president of Kohala Okinawa Ken Jin Kai and has been Day Camp Director for 4 years. Kathy has also leads the Kohala chapter of Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii. She is married with two children.

Amy Meyer-Sullivan

Small Business Owner

Amy moved to North Kohala from the San Francisco Bay Area in 1988. Her two children were born and raised in Kohala, and together she and her husband have run their small business here. Throughout the years, Amy has been involved in various projects and organizations that have benefited the North Kohala schools and community.

Faye Mitchell

Preschool Director, Personal Historian

Raised in North Kohala, Faye attended Kohala Elementary and High School before graduating from Parker High School with the Trustees’ Award for community service. She went on to college in California and obtained a Masters Degree in Psychology. In 2003 Faye returned to her home town to raise two children and begin her career developing and directing community service projects. She founded Living Journals, a oral history project which has collected life histories of 16 North Kohala seniors and published 4 books – most recently “A Storyteller’s Story: Kindy Sproat of North Kohala” and “Ranching Under the Rainbow – Monty Richards of Kahua Ranch.” Faye has also developed and directed a local Montessori preschool.

Nani Svendsen

Self Employed

Born and raised in North Kohala, Nani has been one of the community’s most active contributors since 1980. She received the “Citizen of the Year” award in 1999 from the North Kohala Merchants Association for outstanding contributions to the community. Organized the Makapala and Niulii villages to address water and general plan issues during 1980- 1982. Conducted community workshops on mountain food gathering and floral arranging-wreath making in 1984-1985, organized the first Kohala Christmas Crafts Fair in 1994 to benefit the Summer Fun Program for local children, Co-Chair Taste of Kohala 1995-1996, Kamehameha Week Celebration committee member last six years, and member of T.E.A.M. Kohala last two years. Project Organizer for Kukui Garden.

Frances Woollard

North Hawaii Hospice

A resident of North Kohala since 1974, Fran has served an a Registered Nurse at the North Kohala Hospital, Family Nurse Practitioner for the Kohala Family Health Center 1982-1991, and Kohala Home Heath Care 1991-1997, and has been employed by North Hawaii Hospice since 1986. She has contributed to the CARE program, the North Kohala Intergenerational Center, was a Director of North Hawaii Hospice, Kohala Healing Arts, and co-facilitates the Hawaii Nature Fast and O’Ka Mana Ka Ho’ola, an Hawaiian Cancer Retreat.

Desiree M. Medeiros

Business Owner

Desiree is a North Kohala rancher and former President of the Kohala Community Athletic Association, the North Kohala Hawaiian Civic Club, and co-chaired the Kamehameha Week Celebration Committee for many years. She has lived in North Kohala for 25 years and was born and raised in Honokaa.

Our Staff

Christine Richardson

Executive Director

Christine brings a wide-ranging background to our Center. With a BA in Human Service Advocacy and five years as the Clinic Manager for North Kohala’s Native Hawaiian Health Research project, she has considerable experience in providing grassroots service to residents in our community. She has managed large projects and accomplished important community-related goals. As a professional RN, she has served Kohala Home Health Care and Kohala Hospital and is an on-call RN for North Hawaii Hospice. She completed a Certificate of Professional Development in Nonprofit Management from Kapiolani Community College in September 2004. She has lived in Kohala since 1994.

Michelle Kawai

Office Manager

Fourth generation of Kohala, Michelle Kawai, former Program & Events Coordinator at Feed Hawaiʻi dba Kohala Village HUB. She graduated from Kohala High School Class of 1993 President and attended Central Oregon Community College and Hilo Community College. Michelle being an active community member, currently is the Treasurer for the Kohala Kamehameha Day Committee and a volunteer for the Kohala Reunion 2020 committee and the Kohala Country Fair committee. When she is not emersed in projects and events, Michelle enjoys going holoholo with the kupunas, cooking and some quiet time at home with family and friends.

Leslie Nugent

Associate Director

With a passion for sustainable agriculture and youth empowerment, Leslie has been an active community organizer in North Kohala since 2010.  She holds a BA in Sociology with a minor in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Vermont. After serving as a project organizer for numerous community projects under the center, she joined the staff in January 2018.