Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation staff is a team of experienced educators both in the field and in the community. They are committed to growing a healthier future for Hawaiʻi, dedicated to serving their community, and passionate about the mission of the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation.
Co-Founder, President & CEO
Raised in California, Kim spent her childhood playing on the beaches and exploring the mountains. She attended UC Santa Barbara where she double majored in Art and Mathematics, received her Masters in Education and teaching credential in secondary math education...and met her future husband, Jack Johnson. In 2003, Kim and Jack hosted the first Kōkua Festival and founded the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation. Kim served as the Executive Director for the first 12 years, helping to develop and oversee KHF’s main programs, and transitioned to President of the Board in 2015. Since KHF acquired the new property in 2019, Kim has stepped back in to create the vision and oversee the strategic planning as Kōkua embarks on this new journey. Kim enjoys being in the field as an environmental educator assisting with lessons, cleanups and workdays, which allows her to guide KHF's programs and development from a multifaceted perspective.
Chief Operating Officer
Liz was hired in 2021 as Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation’s first Chief Operating Officer. She is tasked with aligning people, processes, place, and programs to advance KHF’s long-standing non-profit mission, and the vision for its new home, eight acres of 'āina housing a community hub, learning farm, production farm, staff office, and network of sustainable social enterprises. Liz has worked in non-profit management, social innovation, and social justice for 15 years, including as the Executive Director at Molokai Child Abuse Prevention Pathways and a Program Manager at Kupu. Before returning home in 2015, she worked in progressive advocacy for ten years in Washington, DC, where she also performed as a modern dancer, trained as a community organizer, and became part of the global sangha of socially engaged Buddhists. Born and raised in central Oʻahu, she is a Hawaiʻi public school graduate and holds a BA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology. She sits on the Board of the Hawaiʻi Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations and the Grantmaking Committee of the Hawaiʻi People's Fund. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, playing with her dog, building beloved community, and venturing into wild places, especially in her new home moku of Waialua. In the effort to be an ally and accomplice to the indigenous people of Hawaiʻi, Liz is in a daily practice of learning, unlearning, stepping up, stepping back, and cultivating complex forms of kinship, care, and responsibility.
Chief Program Officer
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 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 supporting her wellness coaching clients.
Volunteer & Partnership Director
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.
Jaclyn was born and raised on the North Shore of Oʻahu. She attended Sunset Beach Elementary and graduated valedictorian from Kahuku High and Intermediate. She studied at the University of California at Santa Barbara where she received a degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Sustainable Food Systems and Minored in Education. She previously worked for Heal the Ocean, Explore Ecology and Bureo. Jaclyn is also a 5 Gyres Ambassador and is passionate about waste reduction. She enjoys reading, cooking, surfing and gardening!
Social Enterprise Director
Sara is originally born in New York, but moved to Oʻahu after college to serve as an Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, her most rewarding assignment being Captain of a Patrol Boat that served the life-saving and environmental protection missions throughout the Hawaiʻian Islands. She then obtained her MBA, attending Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. Sara comes with 6 years of retail merchandising and buying experience in industries ranging from fashion to consumables to electronics at some of the world’s biggest retailers while also having started her own clothing line and e-commerce business. Sara is extremely excited to have made her way back to Oʻahu, and is a proud Waialua resident who has a deep love for the North Shore Community, surfing, gardening, and hula.
Kōkua Learning Farm Manager
Daniel was born and raised in Haleʻiwa! He is passionate about farming, restoring native Hawaiian plants and taking care of the ʻāina.
Greer was born and raised in Aeoteroa New Zealand where a love for protecting the outdoors, ocean conservation and indigenous studies was ingrained. Greer obtained a Bachelor of Communications at Auckland University of Technology and opted to take electives in te reo Māori focusing on the Māori language, culture and history. Greer has grown up with a keen interest in supporting her local community spending time volunteering for St Vincent De Paul house in their Caritas program, helping create activity based, educational after school programs as well as a safe space for children whose families have recently become homeless. At Motatapu, a small island off of the Auckland coast, Greer worked in their native plant conservation program with the ultimate goal of getting Motutapu pest and weed free. At both Lunches of Love and KidsCan Charitable Trust Greer supported their teams in putting together healthy lunches for children to never go to school hungry.
Ana Lea Mathis
Ana Mathis is a dynamic educator, seasoned food activist and farmer with a wide range of expertise in the fields of organizational management, 'āina based education, youth development and community engagement. Growing up between Kealakekua on the Big Island and Pauoa Valley on Oahu, Ana has grown up with a love of learning and growing with the land since she was a keiki. Her life purpose is to use food as a guiding force in connection with others. She has been able to execute this life purpose through her work as an educator for food justice associations, non profit organizations, summer camps, as well as starting her own plant based cafe and juicery.
Caitlyn was born and raised in California, where she grew up volunteering for various nonprofits in her community and blossomed her love for hiking. She learned from family about the reciprocal benefits of caring for the ʻāina and an interdisciplinary approach toward environmental stewardship. Following her passion, Caitlyn graduated from UH Mānoa with a B.A. in Sustainability in May of 2022 while simultaneously operating as an environmental educator and staff member at Sustainable Coastlines Hawaiʻi. Caitlyn enjoys upcycling marine debris, diving, skating, camping, gardening, and finding the next great eatery. Her favorite quote is: “Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.” ― Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass"
Carolyn was raised in Boise, Idaho and moved to O‘ahu to attend UH Manoa - shortly after being here she knew it would not be a temporary transition but a place to call home forever; as a foreigner to the land it only felt right to dedicate her life to learning more about and caring for ‘āina. In May 2020 she graduated with a degree in Natural Resource and Environmental Management focusing on community and cultural resource management. She is passionate about composting and its effect on soil health, community engagement in growing their own food, utilizing native agricultural practices for sustainable food growth, and normalizing the use of staple island food crops in our everyday diets. Her past work with Ho’okua’āina, Keiki and Plow, and Windward Zero Waste Schools Hui has sanctioned growth in each of these areas. She believes the best way to shape the future is by teaching and inspiring the next generation. In her freetime, Carolyn enjoys many heart-racing hobbies, a good book, and practicing yoga.
Lisa has been a licensed teacher in Hawai`i for over 20 years, supporting both public and private sectors, as well as non-profit organizations. She also helped pilot the Navigating Change Program with NOAA and PVS, the Waialua Kilohana Program with Kamehameha Schools, and was a member of the Hawai`i Environmental Education Alliance (HEEA) Leadership Team in 2015 that developed the Hawai`i Environmental Literacy Plan. She has also been the recipient of the State of Hawai`i Keeping Hawai`i Green award as well as the National Disney Magazine Award for Community Service.
Social Enterprise Coordinator
Mariah was born and raised in California. This was where she developed a deep love for protecting and preserving the environment. She is currently attending her last year at University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa where she is majoring in Natural and Environmental Resource Management specializing in Sustainable Communities and Systems. In her free time she loves recipe developing, hiking with her dog, and rock climbing.
ʻĀINA In Schools, Nutrition Coordinator
Sarah 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 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 two sons and husband and going for runs in the mountains or on the beach.
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 has 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.
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, Julius Ludovico, Doorae Shin, Diane Fitzsimmons, Stephanie Lou, Kona Johnson, Jennifer Milholen, Joe Wat, Alexandra Narrajos and Rachel LaBuda!