Ceeds Team

Maya Soetoro-Ng

Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng

Founder, Peace Educator

Maya serves as a consultant to the Obama Foundation, working closely with their international team to develop programming in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to her work with the Obama Foundation, she was the Director of the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa where, in addition to leading outreach and development initiatives, she also taught Leadership for Social Change, History of Peace Movements, Peace Education, and Conflict Management for Educators. She was awarded a master’s degree in Secondary Education from NYU’s College of Education and a PhD in Multicultural Education from the University of Hawaiʻi. For many years, she worked at the University of Hawaiʻi College of Education where she taught Multicultural Education, Social Studies Methods, and Peace Education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Maya has published a number of book contributions as well as a picture book entitled Ladder to the Moon and is currently under contract to write a Young Adult novel entitled Yellowwood. Maya sits on many voluntary boards and is the co-founder of the nonprofit Ceeds of Peace, which creates peacebuilding action plan workshops for educators, families and community leaders and is the co-founder of the Institute for Climate and Peace which advances effective and inclusive processes to build peaceful and climate-conscious futures for the wellbeing of all.

Kerrie Urosevich

Dr. Kerrie Urosevich

Founder, Peace Educator

Kerrie Urosevich, MA, PhD, is the Early Childhood Action Strategy Coordinator, overseeing a multi-disciplinary early childhood systems building plan, convened through Collaborative Leaders Network. She previously served in both Governor Neal Abercrombie’s and Governor David Ige’s Administrations. Over the last 18 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 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 young children, who ground her in all of her work.

Scott Nishimoto

Scott Nishimoto, J.D.

Executive Director

Scott Nishimoto was born and raised here on the island of O`ahu. He was raised by two incredible storytellers, mentors, and community catalysts – Michiko and Warren, both retired oral historians. The stories they’d bring home to his dinner table about violence, injustice, and inequality inspired him to attend law school to study social justice. There, he became actively involved in community organizing and peace initiatives.  After finishing law school, he followed his passion into the non-profit world where he worked with adults with disabilities for nearly 7 years at a local non-profit called Abilities Unlimited. In his role as the Vice President of Workforce Development & Community Relations, he was able to develop several innovative programs designed to help adults with disabilities to gain employment, independence, and dignity. Even more than his qualifications, though, Scott believes it’s his identity as a father that shapes his plans and actions for Ceeds of Peace. As the father to his baby daughter, Elle, he has a deep personal urgency pushing him to bring his community and the world closer to this goal of peace, as distant as it may sometimes seem.

José Barzola, M.Ed., M.B.A.

José Barzola, M.Ed., M.B.A.

Program Manager, Peace Educator

José Barzola has a passion for creating social change through nonviolence, nurturing relationships that transcend cultural barriers, and focusing on issues of diversity, identity and multiculturalism. He strongly supports the mission of Ceeds of Peace to create a more peaceful, respectful and just humanity through leadership and peacebuilding skills. José has a background in higher education as a student affairs professional for more than a decade and also experience as an adjunct faculty teaching negotiation and mediation, as well as facilitating open dialogues in and out of the classroom. Through his involvement at the Matsunaga institute for Peace, José has been involved in facilitating issues affecting the local community. José holds a BA in Anthropology, Spanish, and Latino Studies and a MEd in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Connecticut. He also holds an MBA with a dual focus on International Business and Marketing from Mercy College and a Certificate in Community Mediation Training from the New York State Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution. José aspires to continue to develop his skills as a peace educator and to strengthen his knowledge on the power of nonviolence.

Paula Adams

Paula Adams

Board of Directors

Paula Adams, originally from Argentina, has been living in Hawai`i since 2003. She is the Executive Director of the Hawai`i Afterschool Alliance. Ms. Adams completed her Master’s degree in Psychology. She began her professional career as a psychotherapist in a mental health clinic in New York City and she helped with research at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Before moving to Hawai`i she worked at the University of Buenos Aires in research and in education. After arriving to the Aloha State, she began working at the University of Hawaii as the Fun 5 program coordinator, a physical activity and nutrition program for afterschool kids. Working for afterschool programs gave her the opportunity to be selected as the Hawai`i Afterschool Ambassador, a program run by the national Afterschool Alliance. Since 2014, as the director of the Hawai`i Afterschool Alliance, Paula Adams has been supporting afterschool and summer learning programs for all children in Hawai`i. Paula is married and has two teenage children, as well as a cat, a dog, and a lot of plants.

Annie Cusick-Wood

Annie Cusick-Wood

Board of Directors

Annie Cusick-Wood is a Hawaii-based Director and Writer of theatre for children. Born in Scotland, Annie graduated as a drama teacher from Aberdeen College of Education and has taught and directed since 1987. She is a playwright and director of plays for several companies across the UK including TAG, The Citizens Theatre, M6, Newcastle Playhouse, Leicester Haymarket, Visible Fictions, the macRobert and Catherine Wheels. The recipient of the Scottish Arts Council’s ‘Creative Scotland Award’ in 2000, Annie’s shows ‘The Red Balloon,’ ‘Martha,’ and ‘The Happy Prince’ have played in New York and toured internationally. She has also won a Victor Award, and ‘Best Play for Children’ (Shanghai Children’s Theater Festival.) In Hawaii, she has directed “The Red Balloon” and “Charlie Brown” for Hearts, and “Stellaluna” for Kids Entertainment. Annie wrote and directed “Blue”, “Sort It Out”, “Peter Rabbit and the Garden” and “Auntie Martha and the Nene” for Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY).

Aaron Domingo

Aaron Domingo

Board of Directors

Aaron Domingo is a financial advisor at Westpac Wealth Partners – One of Hawaii’s fastest growing financial services companies.  Aaron has always had a heart for being involved in the community and has a passion for spreading financial literacy to all in need. In addition to his career in finance, Aaron is also a performing musician and has a degree in Music Business Production from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. He is a volunteer musician for “Make ‘em Smile” a local non-profit that brings music to children battling illness in our local hospitals. Aaron and his wife Jenn are proud parents to their daughter Teagan.  Their hope is to raise Teagan to know and be a delegate for empathy and peace.

eric johnson

Eric Johnson

Board of Directors

Eric Johnson is the Artistic Director of Honolulu Theatre for Youth, leading an ensemble of local theatrical artists creating new work celebrating the diverse cultures and dynamic stories of Hawaii.  Since his arrival in 2005 the company has collaborated with numerous local non-profits, government organizations and cultural communities across the State and abroad. His work has toured nationally and internationally winning numerous awards and recognition including a Helen Hayes Award for Anime Momotaro and a Visionary Voice Award from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.  He is a proud alumnus of the TCG/NEA Early Career Directors Program and the Princess Grace Fellowship.

Olin Lagon

Olin Lagon

Board of Directors

Olin Lagon incubated and then spun out Shifted Energy while he was Executive Director of Kanu Hawaii, one of Hawaii’s largest grassroots organizations with nearly 20,000 members statewide. Olin is a technology innovator and social entrepreneur with a long time passion for sustainability. He co-founded several companies and helped invent pioneering technologies in diverse fields including content localization and crowdfunding. He co-authored multiple technology patents and his inventions have been adopted by many Fortune 500 companies as well as organizations like MIT and the Olympics. His startup ChipIn created the first commercial crowdfunding system and directed nearly $100 million to causes worldwide. Half of Olin’s life has been spent in service including the U.S. Navy, the Peace Corps, and several nonprofits. Born and raised in Hawaii, Olin got first-hand experience of low opportunity communities through his years living in public housing projects. He spends all of his free time with his family and volunteering at a Foundation he co-founded, Purple Mai’a, which teaches coding and computer science through after-school or elective classes to Native Hawaiian students, low-income youth, and others who are underrepresented in tech.

Borjana Lubura-Winchester, M.A.

Borjana Lubura-Winchester, M.A.

Peace Educator/Facilitator

Borjana Lubura-Winchester was born and raised in Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzegovina. When she was 17, civil war broke in her country. Borjana experienced two harsh years of war followed by five as a refugee. She lost many family members and friends and witnessed the devastating impact of war. Upon return to Sarajevo, Borjana worked at the NATO base as a liaison and interpreter between local contractors and international peace building forces, helping overcome the obstacles that communities face while trying to rebuild peace and live together. In 2005, Borjana came to Hawaii, and earned an Associates degree with honors from Leeward Community College, a BA with Honors in Geography and Geographic Information Systems and MA in Geopolitics with focus on Humanitarian Interventions, both from UH Manoa. Meanwhile, Borjana continued to help build peace in her native Bosnia. In 2011, she began facilitating with the Matsunaga Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution, where she earned a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution. Her facilitation includes seminars for the Department of Defense Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies on security, development, and transnational issues in the Asia-Pacific region. Borjana teaches geography and geopolitics at Leeward Community College and UH Manoa. Her three children fuel her passion for peace building.

Naomi Rombaoa Tanaka, M.S.

Naomi Rombaoa Tanaka, M.S.

Peace Educator/Facilitator

Naomi Rombaoa Tanaka, M.S. is a faculty member of the Center on Disability Studies at the College of Education, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where her work has focused on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports in early intervention. The Principal Investigator/Project Coordinator of the Hawaiʻi Positive Engagement Project (H-PEP), her projects aim to grow the strengths of educators, families, and students. Naomi is passionate about strengthening teams through technical as well as adaptive leadership. She is the author and illustrator of a self-published award winning children’s book, Brighter, Brighter, Brighter!, which was originally created as a peace project assignment in one of Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng’s classes. Naomi holds a BS in Educational Studies/Family and Community Services and an MS in Early Childhood/Special Education from the University of Oregon. She also has a post-masters Interdisciplinary Certificate in Disability and Diversity Studies, and is currently working on her PhD in Education, with a focus on Learning Design and Technology. Her area of study is how technology can be used to increase personal happiness, peace, and resilience.

Katie Ranney

Katie Ranney, M.A.

Peace Educator/Facilitator

Katie Ranney was born and raised on O’ahu. Her interest in conflict resolution and social justice bloomed during her undergraduate studies at Santa Clara University in California. After graduating summa cum laude, she spent one year working at a daytime women’s shelter in Boston as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Katie returned to Hawaii and earned her Masters Degree in Communication and a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution from University of Hawai`i at Manoa. She currently works as a freelance facilitator and communication consultant as well as project assistant for the ACCORD3.0 Network. Katie’s latest projects include a Joint Fact Finding team on Kauai, and note-taking for a few of the IUCN’s World Conservation Congress panels.

Holly Polk

Holly Polk

Resource Teacher

Holly Polk is a Common Core State Standards Resource Teacher for Oahu’s Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt Complex Area. After 25 years in the Hawaii Department of Education, she still finds love and joy in teaching. Holly has 14 years teaching elementary school students, primarily in 6th grade, and 11 years teaching adults as a School Assessment Liaison, Data Coach, and Common Core Resource Teacher. She loves learning and hopes to instill that love of learning to her fellow teachers!

Joyce Bajet

Joyce Bajet

Resource Teacher

As a School Improvement Resource Teacher at Waipahu High School, it brings Joyce much joy to work with new educators who are passionate and eager to help all students succeed. The willingness and great attitudes of new teachers gives hope for the future they will inspire and instill a love of learning in their students. Prior to Waipahu High School Joyce worked at the district level as a School Assessment Liaison Resource Teacher, and an Induction and Mentoring Resource Teacher, and she also taught 6th grade at Leihoku Elementary School. Joyce believes that we can all learn from each other and that is why she enjoys working with students and teachers.

Stephen Chinen

Stephen Chinen

Resource Councelor

An educator for over 35 years, Steve has worked with youth from preschool through college age adults. A proud graduate of Hawai`i public schools, Steve has been a school counselor at Helemano Elementary since 1997, and previously served in the Marine Corps, Hawai`i Army National Guard, and the Army Reserve. He advocates “mindfulness,” something he has done since beginning Aikido in 1978, and works with Mindful Hawai`i, a community group. Steve has created “RAINBOWS in Me: Values of Aloha”, an evidence-based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program at Helemano. He is most proud of his college student daughter, and feels blessed to be involved with Ceeds of Peace, helping promote Aloha and build peace.

Brad Kusunoki

Brad Kusunoki

Resource Councelor

Brad Kusunoki is a School Counselor at Alvah Scott Elementary School in Aiea. As a board member of the Hawaii School Counselor Association, he is working to create more professional development opportunities specifically for School Counselors that count towards their reclassification. Brad has been a University of Hawaii football season ticket holder for many years, and hopes the team will once again return to the glory days, as it was in the 2007 season. He is also a new father to a son!

Dana Marcus, J.D.

Dana Marcus, J.D.

Advisory Committee Member, Web/CRM

Dana is a lawyer and nonprofit generalist, whose approach and perspective are defined by three decades of experience, as a teacher and curriculum author for the NYC Board of Education, director of development for a large charter school, and inaugural executive director of the Frieda C. Fox Foundation. Known nationally for her conference sessions, webinars and publications with the Council on Foundations, Exponent Philanthropy, and the National Center for Family Philanthropy, Dana’s tenure at Fox saw her incubate and implement innovative programs including Youth Philanthropy Connect and Education by Nature, and manage over $4 million in grants to nonprofits. Semi-retired, she shares expertise in cloud-based technology, online marketing, collaboration, and governance. Dana graduated from Wellesley College and the Santa Clara University School of Law.

Tina Nader

Tina Nader

Advisory Committee Member

Tina Nader, an educator in diverse public, parochial, and private schools for over 30 years, has taught preschool through college students in the US and South Africa, supervised teachers in Southern California inner city schools and on a Navajo reservation, and directed a diversity recruiting program at Sewanee: University of the South. In New York, Tina worked as a corporate salesperson with clients at Wall Street brokerage firms, Fortune 500 companies, and the United Nations headquarters. Over the past fifteen years, Tina has provided consultation for development projects in South Africa, Peru, and Cambodia, and promoted the PBS Village America series, which presented national news through a multicultural perspective. Tina also currently serves on the board of the United Nations Association: Hawaii-Honolulu. Tina and her husband, the Very Rev.Walter Brownridge, have been married over 30 years and have two grown sons, Alexander Thurgood and Martin Desmond.

Dennis Reker

Dennis Reker

Advisory Committee Member

A retired senior executive at Intel Corporation, Dennis applies decades of experience in corporate sales and marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and management of large teams and billion dollar budgets, to the nonprofit and social benefit sector. A 15 year mentor at Santa Clara University Business School’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI)/ Miller Center of Entrepreneurship, Dennis coaches award-winning social entrepreneurs in business plans for scaling enterprises that improve lives around the world. Dennis leads Strategic Planning efforts for the UCSF School of Dentistry, the UCSF Cranio-facial Center at Benioff Children’s Hospital and the UC Berkeley School of Optometry. He has advised, consulted and served on the boards of dozens of nonprofits. He is a decorated U.S. Army officer and combat veteran, and an avid golfer.

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