P.A.R.E.N.T.S., Inc. Board Members give freely of their time and expertise, and come together to solve tough problems on behalf of Hawai’i’s underserved children and parents. We thank them for their service. If you are interested in becoming a board member, please contact us for more information.
Board of Directors 2016-2017
Jason Paloma, President
Jason Paloma grew up in Tigard, Oregon but his family has always had a strong connection to Kalihi with his father graduating from Damien High School. He moved to Hawaii after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Jason started his career with HMSA in the Community & Government Relations Department in 1998. He joined the HMSA Foundation in 2006 where he is now the Interim Executive Administrator. Jason is very active in the community. He has volunteered with various organizations including the Aina Haina Community Association’s Neighborhood Watch, Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame, American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life – Magic Island and the Punana Leo o Kawaiaha’o Parent Board. Jason also volunteers his time coaching the various sports his children play. The oldest of three boys, Jason says the best part about having three daughters is, “They teach me something new every day.” He is married to Diane Paloma, Ph.D.
Jill Kuramoto, Vice President
Jill is a veteran journalist, a long-time resident of Hawaii, and an active member in the community. She is currently the Director of Communications for the Hawaii State Senate. Previously, she was an anchor and reporter with KITV4 News where she earned several awards for her work. During her 20 years of journalism experience, Jill was a producer and writer for Good Beginnings for Your Keiki, a weekly news series that provided parenting tips to first time parents of young children. Jill is a graduate of San Diego State University where she earned a BA in Journalism. When she is not busy working or volunteering, Jill enjoys spending time with her husband and son.
Kathleen Kreinik, Treasurer
Kathi Kreinik, MSW, ACSW, DCSW, BCD, LCSW, graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Sociology and the University of Hawaiʻi with a Master of Social Work (MSW). Kathi is currently retired after more than 48 years as a professional social worker. She has served as executive director of both, the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Hawaii Chapter and Parents Anonymous, Hawaiʻi, which is now called P.A.R.E.N.T.S, Inc. She has also worked for the federal government in family advocacy. Her specialty is in the areas of child abuse and neglect. Kathi has been married for 39 years and has one daughter and a Sheltie named Toffee. Kathi enjoys going to movies, reading, writing and traveling.
Michelle Kreis, Secretary
Michelle Kreis grew up in Kaneohe, on the Windward side of O’ahu. She graduated from Washington State University with a B.A. in Business Administration and an emphasis in Management Information Systems. Michelle is currently a Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual in the Honolulu Office and has been helping people reach their personal, professional, and financial goals for the past five years. She has served on the Board for Women in Insurance and Financial Services in the Portland, Oregon chapter and is currently an active member of the Junior League of Honolulu. Her mission is to make a difference in the lives that she touches. Michelle has one son, Kaihokulele, and enjoys spending time with him and his various sports activities. She loves adventure, traveling, and trying new things.
Alex Santiago, Director
Alex Santiago, LSW, is the Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi Psychological Association. He also serves as a Consultant to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy – Hawaiʻi Division, the Hawaiʻi Dental Hygienists’ Association, Partner’s in Development, and LexisNexis. In the past, he has served as a Consultant to the Hawaiʻi Nurses Association, Easter Seals of Hawaiʻi, the Mental Health Association of Hawaiʻi, and others. Alex was instrumental in starting up the organization Protecting Hawaiʻi’s Ohana, Children, Under Served, Elderly and Disabled (PHOCUSED), and served for five years as the Executive Director. Mr. Santiago also served in the Hawaiʻi State Legislature from 1990 till 2000. Upon his retirement from public office, he served for two years as the Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi. Alex is a licensed social worker and has practiced in the field for more than 30 years. Prior to embarking on his political career, Alex worked for four years as a Child Protective Services (CPS) Social Worker, as well as the Director of Social Work at Kahuku Hospital. He presently teaches Advanced Policy Analysis at the University of Hawai’i, School of Social Work. Alex is married to Darylene and presently lives in Makaha with their three dogs. He enjoys playing golf in his spare time.
Raina Gushiken, Director
Raina Gushiken was born and raised on the island of O’ahu, with family roots in Kane’ohe and Kahuku. She obtained her B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, with an emphasis on Finance, in 1996. She received her Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1999. Raina is the senior associate at the law firm of Hosoda & Morikone, LLC, where she practices in the areas of torts, construction, contract, personal injury, real property, and trust litigation. Raina is a devoted mom to her son, Kahiwa, and spends her free time helping him to learn, grow and experience new things. While balancing the demands of work and raising her son can be a challenge, Raina appreciates the blessing of being able to provide, to give back, and to be an example to her son on a daily basis.
Wendy Chang, Director
Wendy Chang is currently the Director of Fund Development at the YWCA of O’ahu, where she oversees fund development and marketing. She graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa with a BS in Psychology and an MEd in Educational Psychology. Previously, Wendy worked as a Senior Project Coordinator for the Learning to Grow Project at the University of Hawai’i’s Center on the Family. Wendy is married to her college sweetheart, Nathan, and they have two sons: Nicholas (15) and Noah (11).
June Mellor, Director
June Mellor is an established business executive with over 18 years of hands-on experience in business operations and analysis, project management and most recently healthcare quality improvement and compliance. She is currently the Market Compliance Officer/Director of Market Compliance for ‘Ohana Health Plan, a health plan focused upon serving the needs of Hawaii’s families, children, and adults by helping them get the health care they deserve. June is passionate about giving back to the community and enjoys aligning with organizations that support Hawaii’s most vulnerable residents. She has earned a BA in Management from Saint Mary’s College of California and her Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in Health Care Management from Columbia Southern University. June is married to her college sweetheart, Chris and they have 4 children, Lexxi, Christyn, Alanna, and Marquez. “Being a parent is one of my greatest blessings in life and I am honored to support an organization whose mission is to help strengthen families by providing positive parenting resources and support.” You can often find the Mellor Ohana out hiking on weekends and exploring this beautiful island we call home.
Former Board Members
Ramsay Wharton has been an anchor/reporter with Hawaii News Now and KGMB9 since 2007. You can catch her most mornings delivering live reports from the field with the latest breaking news for Hawai’i’s number one rated morning show, Sunrise. Prior to that, she worked as an anchor/reporter at KHON2, and in radio news with CNN Radio/KHNR 650AM and KRTR 96FM. Ramsay received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Stetson University in Deland, Florida (1991) and her Master’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism and Public Affairs from American University in Washington, D.C. (1994). In 2010 she started to pursue her second Master’s Degree in Diplomacy and Military Studies at Hawaii Pacific University. She is a dedicated single mother to her 9-year-old daughter and understands the joys and challenges of parenting in this high-stress, high-tech world. She’s always looking for the next best parenting tool and strives daily to be the best mom that she can be.
Teri Okita has been anchor/reporter at Hawaii News Now, the CBS/NBC affiliate in Honolulu, since August 2010. Prior to that, she worked as a correspondent at CBS News in Los Angeles and Washington, DC for a decade. She has also been an anchor/reporter at WUSA-TV in DC, at KGMB-TV in Honolulu, and got her start in broadcast news at KECI-TV in Missoula, Montana. Teri graduated from Santa Clara University. She’s traveled extensively through the U.S., Europe, Africa, and the Middle East and has seen first-hand through her stories the advantages of good parenting and a strong support network. Teri sponsored the education of a young African she interviewed in Kenya. She’s also volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club and the Humane Society. She’s extremely close with her boyfriend Dale’s two children, Thomas and Erin, and considers her dog Monte the world’s cutest pooch.
Brent Kiyota graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and is currently an agent at Noguchi & Associates in Honolulu. Brent has a long history of giving back to the community through coaching youth sports, including flag football with Play Sports Hawaii, boys and girls basketball at Catholic Schools League of Honolulu, baseball at PONY-COYBL, Junior Lifeguarding and Boy Scouts. He has also held board positions at Mana O Lana Research Foundation and Central Oahu Youth Baseball League (PONY). In his spare time, Brent enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, as well as trying new restaurants, enjoying Hawai’i’s outdoor lifestyle and playing golf.