About Us

To inspire and empower leaders to create a better Hawaii.



About Hawaii Cares
Together we are building a better community for all. Hawaii Cares is a way to engage professional and community leaders ages 35-plus in philanthropy and community caring. We are passionate about leading, inspiring, educating and empowering one another to share of our time, talent and resources to effect positive change The group’s commitment and financial investment will enable Aloha United Way to unite people, organizations and resources to improve lives on Oahu. The goal of this group is to serve as a catalyst for change. It takes many people to truly make our community better and this is our way of doing so.


What Makes Us Different?
We are a catalyst for change. People of all generations and walks of life are looking to make a connection – to make things better, to be part of something bigger. Through Hawaii Cares, we are igniting a social movement in Honolulu by empowering people to unite and solve complex problems that affect us all. Our goal is to make a BIG impact on our community with significant results.


What’s in it For You?
Our hope is that you create deeper relationships with members of this affinity group, use this as an opportunity to make a significant impact in our community for those around us who are less fortunate and to become a leader in social change. Through unique networking events, hands-on volunteering opportunities and innovative leadership trainings, members are able to leverage the power of Hawaii Cares to connect, serve and grow, both personally and professionally.


Get Involved
You’re part of this community. We know you want to see it succeed. So do we. Hawaii Cares believes we can do more together as a team. Join us.


Time Commitment
As for time commitment, this organization is truly what each individual makes of it. The group is designed to ‘create-your-own experience,’ meaning you invest what time that you can, that you want and are able too. As such, members have the freedom to choose what activities fit within their lifestyle.

This includes signing up for multiple community service projects, attending networking events, collecting items for our quarterly drives, or participating in any combination of the activities that are hosted throughout the year. It’s truly up to you.



AJ Halagao

Executive Vice President, HEI Charitable Foundation

  • AJ is passionate about helping make Hawaii a better place.
  • He proudly serves on the boards of After-School All-Stars, Aloha Medical Mission, Filipino Community Center, Japanese American Citizens League, Honolulu Grants-in-Aid Advisory Commission, and University of Hawai‘i Shidler College of Business Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship.
  • AJ loves his day job, which is serving as manager of corporate and community advancement at HEI, and executive vice president of the HEI Charitable Foundation.
  • His other passions include spending time with his family, exploring the world, and watching and playing sports.


Michael Garcia
Local Sales Manager – Oceanic Time Warner Cable

  • Believes that we all have many gifts and talents to help people.
  • Helping people excites him to do all he can for our community.
  • Lives by the motto, “To me everyone is important…no one should be left behind! Together we can build an amazing future and support each other and inspire big dreams.”


Brian Kealoha
Executive Director – Hawai’i Energy

  • Grateful for all of God’s blessings and strives to give back our community.
  • Has a great ‘Ohana which is one of the many reasons Hawai’i is so special to him.
  • Has been involved with advancing clean energy in Hawaii and on the mainland for over 20 years.
  • Is a big fan of sports, especially all LA teams, University of Hawai’i, and his alma mater Gonzaga
  • Plays basketball regularly, although you wouldn’t guess that by his game.


Sandy Kobayashi
Sales- Oceanic Time Warner Cable

  • Committed to helping make our community a better place to live and thrive
  • Passionate about Media and Marketing
  • Involved in helping the community through Dress for Success at the YWCA, Scrabble Tournaments at KPT, Project Visitation
  • Loves to golf, eat, travel
  • Avid University of Hawaii Sports Fan. Go Bows!


Sherry Menor-McNamara

President and Chief Executive Officer of The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii

  • Sherry Menor-McNamara is the youngest and first female President and CEO of the Chamber in the organization’s 166-year history.
  • She currently is a fellow of the Omidyar Fellows Leadership Program. In 2015, Sherry was selected to represent the United States in the Korea Foundation’s Program for Distinguished Individuals in Economy. In 2014, she was recognized as “Top 10 to Watch” by Pacific Business News. In 2012, she was recognized as a “Top 20 to Watch” by Hawaii Business magazine.
  • Born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Hilo, where she graduated from Waiakea High School, Menor-McNamara is married to John McNamara.
  • She enjoys golfing, traveling and spending time with her husband and dogs, Bruin and Kuma-chan.


James Sereno

Owner/Director/Producer – Kinetic Productions

  • In business in Hawaii for almost 20 years
  • Loves basketball and tries to catch as many games as he can
  • Client lists includes HECO, American Savings Bank, Island Insurance, and Aloha United Way
  • Used to do triathlons, but the key word here is “used to”
  • Has a passion, drive and commitment to serve


Jody Shiroma
Vice President, Marketing and Communications – Aloha United Way

  • Oversees all of the marketing and communications for Aloha United Way
  • Is grateful to work for an organization that is making a significant impact in our community
  • Believes strongly that, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
  • Is an avid reader and hiker and is addicted to Egan’s Bootcamp


Donna Takeda

Vice President and Director of Customer Experience – Central Pacific Bank

  • Extensive marketing experience in various industries including agriculture, retail, tourism and banking.
  • Currently manages the community, marketing and customer experience programs and the Central Pacific Bank Foundation.
  • Under her leadership, the bank developed a strong employee culture encouraging community involvement with over 90% of all employees participating in at least one charitable endeavor each year.
  • Grew up in Mililani, Hawaii and graduated from the University of Hawaii with a bachelor of business administration degree in marketing.
  • Enjoys traveling (primarily to eat), cooking, hiking and making crafts on her free time.


Jason Thune
Director – Network Planning – Hawaiian Telcom

  • Oversees a team responsible for the strategic planning, capital budgeting and implementation of the company’s telecommunications, TV, high-speed internet, voice, and fiber optic networks.
  • Holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Hawaii.
  • Is currently a Pacific Century Fellow and a Hawaii Asia Pacific Association Young Leader.
  • Was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune and holds a Commercial Pilot’s license.