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Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation staff is a team of experienced leaders both in the classroom and in the community. They are dedicated to and passionate about the mission of the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation.

Natalie McKinney

Executive Director

Natalie was raised on the North Shore of Oʻahu. She has worked in the non-profit sector for the majority of her professional career, with an emphasis in environmental education and curriculum development. Natalie loves home-grown mountain apples and enjoys ocean sports of all kinds.

Kaliko Amona

Educational Resources Coordinator

Kaliko was raised in Kailua, Oʻahu, where she developed a deep love of the ocean and being outdoors. She is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools and Occidental College and a product of Hawaiʻi’s public and private school systems. Her work with the ʻĀINA In Schools program has allowed Kaliko to contribute to two of the things she feels most passionately about: the health of Hawaiʻi’s people and its natural environment. Kaliko is a mother of three young children and enjoys spending time with her family, surfing, and studying herbal medicine.

Diane Fitzsimmons

Office Manager

Diane was born on Hawaiʻi Island, raised on Kanēʻohe Bay. Diane graduated from Kamehameha and is currently working on her BA in Hawaiian-Pacific History at UH West Oʻahu. Dianeʻs passion is in preserving Hawaiʻi's limited, vital resources. During her spare time, Diane loves to hike in the mountains, swim the ocean, and work in the familyʻs lo’i.

Sarah Gelb

ʻĀINA In Schools, Nutrition Coordinator

Sarah is originally from Hermosa Beach, CA. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner with a Masters in Nursing from UH Mānoa. She also has a B.S. in Psychology from Tufts University and a Masters in Education from Carthage College. Sarah brings with her a wealth of experience in non-profit management and curriculum development, previously serving as the Executive of Director of Growing Great, a Los Angeles-based school garden and nutrition education non-profit. She also works as a Nurse Practitioner at Kalihi Palama Health Center. Sarah is passionate about promoting health and wellness through nutrition and primary care. She loves spending time with her son and husband and going for runs in the mountains or on the beach.

Stepahnie Loui

ʻĀINA In Schools, Program Coordinator

Stephanie is an educator and farmer living on her family's āina in Kahaluʻu. Deeply passionate about access to healthy food, Stephanie loves to cook, feed her ohana and friends, and connect to the land by growing food to feed the community. With a B.A. in Creative Writing from Wesleyan University, Stephanie plans to pursue further education in health, wellness, and sustainability.

Summer Maunakea

ʻĀINA In Schools, Educational Specialist

Summer is from Waipahu, Oʻahu. She is driven by her kuleana to mālama ʻāina—to care for, protect, and ensure the continuity of all that nourishes and sustains life. Summer is an educator at heart and aims to encourage all children of Hawaiʻi to cultivate deep kinship with their natural environment and community. She is currently pursuing a PhD in education at UH Mānoa with a focus on ʻāina-based pedagogies. She loves surfing, paddling, growing food, and spending time with her ʻohana.

Jennifer Milholen

Waste Reduction Coordinator

Jennifer comes to Kokua Hawaii Foundation with a diverse background in the sustainability world; from fighting plastic pollution, composting and food waste reduction to energy and water efficiency. Jennifer has honed her skills at creating waste reduction programs through her work as the President of Styrophobia and as the Composting Program Manager for the IUCN World Conservation Congress held in Hawaii 2016. Jennifer is excited to work with Hawaii’s schools to develop effective and engaging waste reduction plans that inspire students and their families to take an active role in lowering their environmental impact.

Kelly Perry

ʻĀINA In Schools, Program Manager

Kelly Perry is a life time North Shore resident. After graduating from the University of Hawaiʻi with a Liberal Studies degree with an emphasis on environmental science, Kelly began her career as an Environmental Educator at the Hawaii Nature Center, this sparked Kelly’s love of nature and the importance of connecting children to the environment, and where her respect of volunteerism was sparked working alongside dedicated docents. A decade later, Kelly continued her non-profit environmental work closer to home, as the Volunteer Manager at the Waimea Valley Audubon Center, where she experienced the power of a concerned and involved community in caring for our natural resources. Kelly has a Certificate of Volunteer Management.

Doorae Shin

Plastic Free Hawaiʻi, Program Manager

Doorae graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies. Moving to Hawaiʻi from the east coast deeply connected her to nature. As a student, she was an organizer for social justice and environmental issues. Doorae lead an effort that successfully banned EPS foam (“Styrofoam”) from UH Manoa, and she then went on to serve as the first Student Sustainability Coordinator for the University of Hawaiʻi System. Doorae is passionate about empowering youth and the local community to live in alignment and in balance with nature. She loves to dance, surf, practice yoga, and have vegan potlucks with her friends!

Joe Wat

ʻĀINA In Schools, Program Coordinator

Joe graduated with a degree in biology from Tufts University and was inspired to garden by the diversity ways plants have adapted to the world around us. After working in a few kitchens he smashed his love for food and interest in botany together as he evolved into a school garden and nutrition educator. In the future, Joe plans to help remember food traditions by sharing them with students and further his education in time-tested farming practices. In his spare time Joe enjoys hiking, trying new recipes, climbing trees, and napping outside.

Mahalo to our Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation staff who worked with us in the past!

Marti Fujita, Crystal Young, Carol Feinga, Dexter Kishida, Deanna Moncrief, Jacque Leinau, Katie Pere, Betty Gearen, Tia Silvasy Meer, Pete Dye, Hunter Heaivilin, Lydi Morgan Bernal, Mara Pyzel, Rachel Harvey, and Julius Ludovico