Monique R. Yamashita
Monique R. Yamashita, Chief Executive Officer, since March 1, 2016. Ms. Yamashita was born in Michigan but raised around the country as an Air Force Brat. In 1991 she moved to Maui after an honorable discharge from active duty in the Air Force. Ms. Yamashita has over 15 years of social service experience by working for agencies on Maui that dealt with domestic violence services, anti-poverty services, child welfare services, and human resources. She has a Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Hawaii Manoa, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Hawaii West Oahu, and an Associates of Science Degree in Human Services from the University of Hawaii Maui College. However, her greatest accomplishments are her 3 adult children and grandchildren.
“I do this work because everyone deserves a dignified and healthy quality of life. Poverty is inhumane and no one should be without a home because of it.”
Thanaid Uralwong, Chief Financial Officer, was born in Bangkok but grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He worked in the environmental industry for 7 years as a chemist and technical services manager. After a career in environmental industry, he has been working in accounting and finance in both private and public sector for over 20 years. Prior to joining KHAKO in 2013, he worked at the County of Maui for 11 years as treasury accountant and interim treasurer. He has a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Seattle University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from San Jose State University.
“I do this work because there is no reason why everyone should be hungry or without a home. Food and Shelter for All – Article 25, The Declaration of Human Rights”
Joy Rucker, Director of Housing Programs, is originally from New Bedford, Massachusetts and moved and lived to Oakland, Ca for 23 years. Joy’s entire career has been being services to people who have multiple issues, from substance use, HIV, mental health conditions and homelessness. During Joy’s tenure in the Bay area she created a transitional housing program for the African Americans homeless population, substance users living with HIV/AIDS. That program won an award from HUD for Special Projects of National Significance, which was founded to replicate the model across the Country. Joy created the first Harm Reduction Drop-in Center in Oakland to be funded by the Center for Disease Control.
Joy moved to Hawaii 5 years ago, first to Honolulu and worked as the Director of Community Services for Waikiki Health. Joy moved to Maui and began working at Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers as the Director of Housing Programs in October 2015.
Joy enjoys riding her motorcycle, going to the beach and spending time with her family. I do this work because I want to be of service to my brothers and sisters in my community.
Lee Thompson, Director of Operations. Mr. Thompson was born and raised on the island of Oahu and graduated from Aiea High School. In 2009 he moved to the island of Maui, and on December 7, 2010 started working for KHAKO as a Resource Worker until being promoted to the Director of Operations for the agency. Mr. Thompson has a background of over 25 years in construction work, specifically as a union Dry Wall Finisher. He’s worked in the Security field since 2005. Mr. Thompson is also an active member with the Kanaka Hekili Motorcycle Club on Maui.
I do this work because I believe everyone should have a home and be treated as the way you would like to be treated.
Todd Andrew Aken Kanoa
Todd Andrew Aken Kanoa, Food Services Director. Born in Metairie, Louisiana then moved to Hawaii at the age of three. Mr. Kanoa was raised on the island of Oahu by his mother, Ret. CSM Virgine Kanoa and Aunty Marcia Alvior. A 1995 Graduate of Damien Memorial High, he has many years of experience in the food service industry. He has been with KHAKO since August 2017.
“I have a passion for cooking. I love putting together dishes that just make people happy. And in my eyes everyone deserves to be Happy whether Homeless or not.”
Joelvonne K. Kamaka
Joelvonne K. Kamaka, Leasing Director for Hale Makana O Waiale. Mrs. Kamaka was born and raised on O’ahu and moved to Maui with her husband in 1994. She is a mother of 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls, and has 5 grandchildren and another on the way. Joelvonne has also worked in the health care field for 10 years, Joelvonne completed internships at Ka Hale A Ke Ola, where she had been offered a FT position as a Case Manager. She has now been with Ka Hale A Ke Ola for over 13 years (6 years at Shelter as Emergency Case Manager and the 7 at Hale Makana O Waiale). She has an A.S. technical degree and is in the process of completing her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science degree. Joelvonne is the instructor trainer for CPR for all employees of Ka Hale A Ke Ola and has numerous certifications for affordable housing, such as Certified Occupancy Specialist a nationally recognized certification and is a C8P certified in tax credit properties.
“Because the importance of being here on this earth, is to serve” and if you are able to make a difference in one person’s life, you have met your purpose.
Luis A. Diaz-Perez
Luis A. Diaz-Perez, Resident Manager/Maintenance Supervisor. Mr. Diaz-Perez was born in Mexico City, Mexico but was raised in Los Angeles, California (Go Dodger Blue!) Mr. Diaz-Perez has been in Maui since October of 2016 and with KHAKO since August of 2017. After 33 long years in Los Angeles, him and his wife concluded that Maui would be an awesome place to relocate to. The island has not disappointed! With 8+ plus years of property management/maintenance experience, Mr. Diaz is now working with KHAKO as the Resident Manager and Maintenance Supervisor. The goal and vision of the company are noble and deserving of praise. He considers it an honor to work for said company.
Favorite quote: “Do or do not…there is no try”- Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
Nori Clements, Administrative and Human Resource Manager. Originally, from California, Nori moved to Maui in 1984. She began a small business with her husband Michael, and continued in this for 15 years. After owning and running a business, Nori chose to expand her knowledge and skills in the area of Human Resources. As a past President of Soroptimist International of West Maui, she created many community relationships. Nori found herself a part of the Ka Hale A Ke Ola Agency in 2016 where she felt she could be a part of helping people change their lives.