Board of Directors
Honorable Judge Karen Radius, Ret., President Hawaii State Family Court, First Judiciary
The Honorable Judge Radius is the founding judge of the Hawaii State Juvenile Drug Court and Girls Court, which is one of the first of its kind in the nation. She volunteers her time to preside over Girls Court and has served in every division of the First Circuit Family Court, including serving as the lead judge of the Domestic Division where she heard divorce trials involving contested child custody, visitation, and other child related issues, as well as property division and financial issues.
She was also lead judge of the Special Division, hearing petitions for restraining orders in cases involving domestic violence, guardianship, adoptions, and mental health commitment cases. Judge Radius has presided over child abuse and neglect/child protective services (CPS) cases, juvenile law violations, and status offenses. In 2007, Judge Radius was named Jurist of the Year by Chief Justice Ronald Moon.
Judge Radius is profoundly committed to supporting at-risk and troubled youth and is an avid supporter of innovative and impactful methods. She is an avid reader, and has often joined her Girls Court cohorts in their surf sessions.
Annabel Murray, Esq. Vice-President, Founder, The Children’s Law Center
Annabel Murray is life-long child advocate dedicated to ensuring that custody litigation, foster care and child support agreements are always guided by the best interests of Hawaii’s children. She’s among Surfrider Spirit Sessions’ original mentors, and was instrumental in developing SSS pilot programs with Founder Cynthia Derosier and Judge Karen Radius in 2006. Annabel is presently Best Interest Facilitator and Custody Evaluator with The Children’s Law Center, a private firm in Hawaii focusing exclusively on child advocacy. Previously, Annabel worked as lead attorney and project coordinator for Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii at the Na Keiki Law Center. Annabel’s focus has always been on making lives better for all of our keiki. She’s one of original founders of Project Visitation, which works to maintain the relationship between brothers and sisters living in separate foster homes.
She began her child advocacy work with Judge R. Mark Browning and the Hawaii Family Courts. In 2007 she was the recipient of the VLSH – Na Loio Pu’uwai Aloha Award for outstanding commitment in providing equal-access to justice. Annabel believes in the deep connections between Hawaiian cultural values, respect for the aina, and malama of the next generations. Annabel is a descendant of the Daughters of Hawaii, a group founded in 1903 and dedicated to preserving Hawaiian cultural heritage. She grew up in Hawaii, attended high school in San Diego, and graduated from the University of California San Diego and the California Western School of Law before moving back to Hawaii to in 1992. Annabel lives with her awesome daughter and their chihuahua “Viper.” An avid surfer and hiker, she dreams of sailing around the world on an endless summer surf trip.
Katherine Cho, Treasurer Partner, Wailele Holdings LLC
Kathy is a proud returnee to the islands after studies and careers in finance and business development led her through California, New York, and Hong Kong. Her professional experiences include senior positions at PCCW Limited, Morgan Stanley, Salomon Brothers, and Hewlett Packard. In philanthropy, Kathy was a Director at the ADM Capital Foundation which focused on helping marginalized children and environmental conservation in Asia/Southeast Asia.Now managing real estate investments, Kathy seeks to balance investment with community and social impact. Kathy is a graduate of Iolani School, and holds a BA from Santa Clara University, an MBA in Finance and International Business from the Stern School of Business at NYU, and completed an exchange program at the London School of Business. In addition to serving as Treasurer, Katherine is a key advisor to SSS outreach and development efforts. Kathy is an avid yoga practitioner, enjoys hiking and the vast beauty of the Islands.
Cynthia Y.H. Derosier, Founder, Former Executive Director/CEO, Program Advisor
Ms. Derosier leverages her experience as an advertising and communications business owner, specializing in marketing communications, corporate relationship building, and strategic planning and facilitating, into helping Surfrider Spirit Sessions’ organizational development and continued success. Cynthia is the author of “The Surfer Spirit,” the book which inspired the Surfrider Spirit Sessions Program. She established and began implementing Spirit Sessions in 2007. Since that time, she has also conducted corporate team-building programs that incorporate the Spirit Sessions to benefit the non-profit organization. She continues to lead the Spirit Sessions programs and oversees program development.
Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Cynthia is a graduate of Iʻolani School. She attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where she earned a BFA with a focus in Advertising Art Direction and Graphic Design. She has over 20 years’ experience in brand building and relationship marketing, working with top agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather (NYC, Australia and Hawai‘i), J. Walter Thompson (NYC), and Cohn & Wells (NYC). She attended Columbia University Teachers College, working towards a Masters in Child Art Therapy, when she returned to Hawaii to work as a lead team member on The Hawaii Convention Center account. She is also certified as a graphic recorder, strategic planner and team building facilitator.
Cynthia is an active member of the Organization of Women Leaders (OWL) and is on the Executive Committee of The Surfrider Foundation, O‘ahu Chapter. She has paddled in outrigger canoes and in sail canoes including long distance travel from Oahu to Kauai. She also scuba dives, draws, paints, and of course, she surfs.
Edward Haik, Bank Of Hawaii, Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager
Mr. Haik has over 25 years of experience in the investment industry, and has worked at Bank of Hawaii for the last 19 years. He manages short-intermediate term taxable portfolios, comprised of government and corporate notes.
Prior experience includes positions at Garban Tokyo, Ltd., Cantor Fitzgerald Securities, and Merrill Lynch. Education: BA College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Ed joined Surfrider Spirit Sessions in 2009 as a volunteer mentor and in late 2014 became a member of the advisory board. He is happy for any and all opportunities to pass on the stoke of surfing he is grateful to have received many years ago to all our students, junior mentors, mentors and sponsors.
Paul S. Kikuchi , Chief financial Officer, Retired
Recently retired after 31 years of government service, Paul has started his second career as the local Claims and Changes Auditor for PGH Wong Engineering Inc. out of San Francisco, CA.
During his years as a public employee he most recently served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. Paul has served in that position for over 10 years and was responsible for overseeing the financial and accounting functions of the Board.
His work experience also included 21 years at the University of Hawaii where he served in various capacities, including Director of Accounting and Loan Collections, division head of federal compliance, personnel officer, procurement specialist, accounting specialist and fiscal officer. Mr. Kikuchi has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Hawaii. Mr. Kikuchi is also a Board Member and Treasurer of the Friends of Halawa Xeriscape Garden.
Alexander Peach, Colliers International
Mr. Peach is a commercial real estate advisor with Colliers International specializing in office. He works with both tenants and landlords to assist with any of their commercial real estate needs.
Prior to working at Colliers International Mr. Peach held a variety of roles at Bank of Hawaii for 3 years.
Alex joined Surfrider Spirit Sessions in 2015 as a volunteer mentor became a member of the advisory board in 2016. Alex is an avid waterman and is pleased to be able to share his love of the ocean through the program.
Frances Nuar, Hawaii Lux Investments
Frances Nuar is a real estate investor and agent. Her company, Hawaii Lux Investments, focuses on maximum returns for investors while giving back to the community. She is partnered with Hawaii Lux Homes to provide a seamless real estate experience to both the most seasoned and first time investors. These sister companies are brokered by eXp Realty, the most innovative Brokerage in the US. She loves experiencing new cultures, connecting with people, and enjoying her beautiful Hawaii home, surfing, hiking, and trying to keep her balance in yoga.
Connie Sizemore, Executive Director
Connie Sizemore is currently the Executive Director for Surfrider Spirit Sessions, where she utilizes over 20 years of experience to helping at-risk youth and vulnerable children in Hawaii thrive. Her passion and expertise in development, marketing, public relations, communications and event management is a necessity for any nonprofit organization.
Adding even greater value to these skills is her fervor for helping youth effectively.
She began her career in the Hospitality field, as Sales and Marketing Director for several hotels on the mainland. She heard a deeper calling when she came to Hawaii in 1980 and spent several years working in the fashion industry and later as an Art Sales Consultant. It was then that the seed for helping Hawaii’s youth was planted.
That is when she decided to begin working as a Development Officer for several human service agencies in Hawaii, concentrating on her souls work with at-risk children including foster kids, youth in residential treatment, and special needs children.
At Surfrider Spirit Sessions she found she could merge her enthusiasm with her love of ocean activities and her desire to help youth excel. “I am thankful for this opportunity to help guide kids to a healthier lifestyle utilizing salt water therapy to help youth build resiliency to manage troubled spots in their lives”. An avid paddler, runner and hiker, Connie also volunteers her time for many other worthy causes in Hawaii.
We at Surfrider are honored to have her on board for this new chapter of prosperity.
Samson “Uncle Santa Sam” Rodrigues, Program Manager, Surf Instructor
Sam Rodrigues has spent his lifetime supporting others and has over 40 years of experience in social services. In 2010 Sam retired from Hawaii State Family Services where he last served as a case manager for families in crisis. In addition to monitoring these families and their children, “Uncle” Sam taught effective parenting skills so children could be successfully reunited with their parents.
He has extensive training in all facets of child and family welfare including: identifying and treating sexual abuse and domestic violence, dealing with aggressive clients, human development and adolescence, effective parenting, substance abuse identification and treatment, gang awareness and prevention, and grief, trauma and suicide prevention. Sam is an avid waterman and has worked as a Waikiki Beach Boy on weekends for over 20 years.
He is Spirit Sessions’ original surf instructor and worked with founder, Cynthia Derosier, to develop the program from the very start. (In fact, Sam is one of the instructors who first taught Cynthia how to surf!). Uncle Sam has a natural warmth and charisma that draws people to him and commands love and respect from our youth. He has been featured in local commercials as a “Surfing Santa,” and appears in several surf films. True to his Hawaiian heritage, Sam loves outrigger canoe paddling as well as surfing. He has competed in the Molokai Channel over a dozen times and has raced all over the world including in Tahiti, Rarotonga, New Zealand, Australia and France. When he’s not working, you can often find him in a canoe or working at the beach stand in Waikiki.
Julie Durham, Resource & Community Coordinator
Julie Durham grew up in middle Tennessee, but fell in love with the ocean starting with her very first trip to Florida when she was 4 years old. She spent her formative years landlocked but started skateboarding around age 12, and later found her passions were living a healthy eco-minded lifestyle, spending time in nature, and experiencing life via art and music.
At age 18 she made her way to the Big Island where she lived for a summer out of her backpack, and though she left to return to college on the continent, she promised herself she would someday return…
Fast forward some years later, and Julie is joining us via the AmeriCorps VISTA program. She is bringing years of experience in Business Development in the Natural Foods Industry, as well as years of experience working in outdoor education, with youth, and in living, traveling, and surfing around the world in places ranging from Costa Rica to Australia.
“As I’ve only had the chance to live near enough to the ocean to surf sporadically, I’m still a total newbie when it comes to surfing. That being said, I’m super passionate about surfing, the ocean, and about using my own experiences to make a difference in the lives of the kids in our program. I’m honored and super psyched to contribute all I can and to make a huge difference in my time here with Surfrider Spirit Sessions!”
Tina Hau, Administrative Coordinator
Tina Hau, our Administrative Coordinator is originally from Aotearoa, New Zealand and loves the ocean, which allows her to make Hawaii her new home.
She joined our team in Feb 2016 and brings with her extensive experience in business administration and organization, helping us coordinate the administrative and reporting tasks for our major grants, coordinating spirit sessions and keeping our office running smoothly.
Burt Thornburg, Program Coordinator
A loyal and active mentor for over four years before taking on the position of Program Coordinator of the Boys Program, Bert Thornburg came to SSS through the Combined Federal Campaign at his workplace. He keeps coming back to Spirit Sessions because he loves to surf and to witness the changes in the boys through each session.
"I also love the other mentors - they are a great group of people with passion. I have witnessed how one-on-one time in the water allows the mentees to open up and have a deeper conversation with their mentors."
Bert works full-time at the Veteran’s Administration and has brought many wonderful mentor volunteers to us over the years. His hobbies, aside from surfing, include rebuilding classic cars.
Tiana Meyers, Women’s Program Coordinator
Tiana is a "take charge" kind of volunteer who had been mentoring girls for almost three years at our Spirit Sessions when she agreed to take on the Program Coordinator position for the Girl’s Program. Tiana understands how to listen and talk to teenage girls, helping many make better choices in their lives.
Recalling one of her favorite mentor moments, Tiana shares, "watching two girls, Morgen and Tiffany, go through session and grow up to become Junior Mentors was amazing for me. I was so proud of them."
"I love kids and enjoys seeing youth graduate from program and not give up, even though they didn't like it in the beginning. I especially love celebrating my mentees' first waves," adds Tiana.
Tiana works for the Marriott Corporation, who is very supportive of her work with SSS and usually gives her Saturdays off to participate in Sessions.
Kevin Lee Fujimoto, Psy.D
Kevin Lee Fujimoto, Psy.D. is the former Surfrider Spirit Sessions Executive Director. He has been a part of the Spirit Sessions Ohana since 2008, beginning as a mentor, assisting with the development of the SSS Mentor Handbook, and as an Advisory Board member. Affectionately referred to as “Dr. Kev,” he led program days on the beach with his staff while also being responsible for the financial sustainability of the organization.
Dr. Kev is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 10 years of extensive experience as a clinician, supervisor, consultant, and researcher in mental health services in Hawaii and California. Dr. Fujimoto received his doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University and obtained his master’s degree in developmental psychology from Columbia University Teachers College in New York City.
After extensive travels across Southeast Asia during 2016, participating in numerous meditation and yoga retreats, he is excited to return to Surfrider Spirit Sessions as an Advisory Board member!
Kumu Ramsay Taum
Ramsay Remigius Mahealani Taum is the founder and president of the Hawaiʻi based Life Enhancement Institute (LEI) of the Pacific LLC. He is also Director of External Affairs and Community Partnerships at the School of Travel Industry Management (TIM) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where he lectures on host cultural values in the workplace.
Born and raised in Hawaiʻi, Ramsay is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, attended the United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. Ramsay’s eclectic background and experience in business, government and community service makes him a valuable asset in both public and private sectors and has been instrumental in for-profit and non-profit business.
His work in promoting sustainable practices based on Hawaiian cultural stewardship principles and practices is acknowledged locally, nationally and internationally. In addition to being awarded the 2008 East West Centers Leadership Certificate Program’s Transformational Leadership in Sustainability, Ramsay is Hawaiʻi Home + Remodeling, HONOLULU & Hawaiʻi Business magazines’ “Who’s Keeping Hawaiʻi Green” 2008 Individual Educator Honoree.
A recognized cultural resource Ramsay is sought after as a keynote speaker, lecturer, trainer and facilitator. He is especially effective working with Hawai‘i’s travel, leisure and retail industry where he integrates Native Hawaiian cultural values and principles into contemporary business. Mentored and trained by respected kūpuna (elders), he is a practitioner and instructor of several Native Hawaiian practices including hoʻoponopono (stress release and mediation), lomi haha (body alignment) and Kaihewalu Lua (Hawaiian combat/battle art).
Kahu Wendell Silva, Hawaiian Culture Specialist
Kahu Silva brings a lifetime of experience and knowledge of Hawaiian culture and performance talent to the Good Juju Team. As president and CEO of Hawaii Cultural Services, LLP, Kahu Silva shares his mana‘o and talents in Hawaiian traditions including chant, ceremonial protocol and rituals as well as contemporary Hawaiian music performances and an extraordinary voice over talent.
Kahu Silva is a Master Chanter. His mentors include Hawaiiʻs chant and hula masters and cultural luminaries Uncle Henry Pa, Pele Suganuma, Edith Mckinzie and Uncle George Holokai. Kahu has performed regularly as a professional Master of Ceremonies, Presenter, Musician, Chanter and Voice Artist for over 50 years. He has won awards for his music compositions and has recorded 2 albums.
Honored by the City & County of Honolulu as a Living Cultural Treasure, Kahu continues to share his wisdom and mission to perpetuate Hawaiian culture. Kahu conducts cultural workshops and educational tours, and continues to perform traditional Hawaiian blessings and ceremonies.
Risa Beer is an award-winning producer/director, factual scriptwriter, and a media educator. She spent over 10 years based in Asia, producing and directing documentaries for major international broadcasters including Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, History Channel, Bio Channel, Crime & Investigation Channel, The Travel Channel, Channel News Asia, and Sony Pictures.
Her programs have garnered numerous awards, including a Gold World Medal for Best Social Issues Program at the New York Festivals’ International TV and Film Awards, and Silver World Medals for Best Directing, Best Biography and Best Community Service Program. Her work has also received recognition at the Asian Television Awards for Best Infotainment Program, and Cross Platform Content.
Bilingual in English and Japanese, Risa is experienced in reaching global audiences with compelling narratives and message-driven content. Her work has covered a wide variety of subjects, from rodeo bullriders in Texas to human trafficking in Nepal; from the ancient wonders of China, to the history of Japanese food.
As media educator, Risa is experienced in developing and teaching filmmaking curricula for students of all levels, and is a trained Design Thinking coach through the Stanford University d.school. She currently teaches a film production class at ‘Iolani School, and is a media consultant for Waipahu High School.
Risa holds a B.A. in International Relations and Drama from Stanford University.
Dr. Peter Muller
Dr. Peter Muller has had a long and distinguished career as an oceanographer. He did research at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and at Harvard University before he moved to the Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii where he taught and did research for the last 32 years. He is now a Professor Emeritus.
Hawaii fused his intellectual interests in the ocean with his love for the ocean. Ocean waves, especially rogue waves are one of Dr. Muller’s areas of expertise, After teaching many classes on ocean waves to students he is now excited to help a program where ocean waves teach young people to respond to the challenges of life “with courage, balance and joy.
Michela Mol, M.S.W.
Michela Mol is a licensed social worker in the state of Hawaii who has experience working with children, youth, families and adults. She attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa and received her Master’s Degree in Social Worker with a focus on child and family practice.
Ms. Mol was also a recipient of the prestigious Title IV-E Child Welfare Education Collaboration Scholarship and completed her practicum at the Department of Human Services Child Protective Services Branch. Ms. Mol has worked for the Department of Health in Early Intervention Services and at Epic ‘Ohana on a pilot program for youth who are involved in the juvenile system and multiple state agencies. She currently works at CARE Hawaii as a behavioral health case manager.
Originally from Brazil, Ms. Mol has been living in Hawaii for the past 9 years and can be found surfing when she is not working with her clients. She is a lover of the aloha spirit and is very grateful for having the opportunity to serve her community as a social worker.