Directors & Staff

Pronouns: he/him/his
Director since 2022
Executive Committee: Chairperson
Chair: Development

As a product of Papakōlea, the first Hawaiian Homestead on Oʻahu, Haʻaheo synthesizes traditional Hawaiian values with hotel and restaurant operation knowledge throughout his 10+ years of industry leadership. Haʻaheo paves the way for a new generation of hospitality, prioritizing inclusivity, positive working relationships, and fostering efficient whilst sustainable best-practices for the workplace and island environment. His plethora of industry experience and passion for honoring Hawaiʻi and local communities solidifies Haʻaheo as an anchor for his team members and an empathetic, dynamic leader, mentor, and friend.

Haʻaheo adapts quickly to multiple priorities as he has executed management roles from Front Office, Heart of House, and Food & Beverage departments. He has held key roles and leadership positions at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, and Waikiki Beach Marriott. Currently, he is the General Manager at Kaimana Beach Hotel, “Waikīkī’s Only Boutique Hotel Located Directly on the Sand”, voted #6 “Top Hotels in Hawaiʻi in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards and Travel+Leisure’s 2022 IT LIST of the Best New Hotels In The World.

Haʻaheo pays homage to Waikīkī, making a full circle as his tūtū was one of the original lei sellers on Kalākaua prior to statehood. He honors her, his ‘ohana, his roots, and community in his daily practice of welcoming guests across the globe with an open heart in sharing his home and culture.

Pronouns: he/him/his
Director since 2018
Executive Committee: Vice-Chairperson
Chair: Honolulu Pride Parade

Andrew Ogata was born and raised in Kealakekua, Hawaiʻi, and attended the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa where he received his degree in Political Science in 2007. Andrew is the Director of Marketing and Development at the Hawaiʻi Health and Harm Reduction Center (HHHRC), an organization created through the merging of the Life Foundation and the CHOW Project. HHHRC serves Hawaiʻi communities by reducing the harm and fighting the stigma of HIV, hepatitis, homelessness, substance use, mental illness, and poverty.

Previous to his position at HHHRC Andrew was the Retail Manager of MAC Cosmetics at Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, where he continues to work as a Makeup Artist.

As a member of the Board of Directors of the Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation, Andrew focuses on community outreach and education, helping to organize projects such as 2020’s Rainbow Town Hall virtual panel discussions that bring diverse groups together to address the challenges facing LGBTQIA+ people and their ʻohana.

Pronouns: he/him/his
Director since 2022
Executive Committee: Treasurer
Chair: Finance

Chad is an advertising manager with First Hawaiian Bank with a passion for developing brand engagement, experiential programming, and community partnerships. As a member of the bank’s employee-driven LGBTQ+ resource group, he has worked to create a more inclusive and engaged company and has spearheaded its community initiatives.

Born and raised in Pauoa, Chad holds a degree in Business Administration and Finance from Seattle University. He can often be found running to catch his flight at the airport, dining with friends at local spots for his next Yelp review or whipping up something in his kitchen while Adele is playing in the background. He also serves on the board of the Honolulu Professionals Foundation and is a member of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Pronoun: he/him/his
Director since 2022
Executive Committee: Secretary
Chair: Social Initiatives

Dr. Ramirez, a board-certified Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with a specialty in emergency medicine, has lived in the great state of Hawaiʻi for the past four years.

Rick has been a continuous driving force and voice for the LGBT community through his work with LGBTQ sports leagues, nonprofit organizations, and community events. He’s the Commissioner of the Hawaiʻi Gay Kickball League and Board Chair of Aikāne ʻOhana, a nonprofit organization aimed a providing fiscal sponsorship to community sports and events.

Rick continually advocates for and educates on LGBTQ health and healthcare in the state, and brings a unique perspective to the Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation, providing growth and innovation in order to elevate the needs of the LGBTQ community.

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Director since 2023
Executive Committee: At-large
Chair: Honolulu Pride

Zabrina Zablan-Duvauchelle calls Kapolei home, where she resides with her partner Ipolani and their beloved fur companion, Grey. A proud alumna of Kamehameha Schools – Kapalama (class of 2012), she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Azusa Pacific University (class of 2016).

As the  CEO and Founder of The Gay Agenda Collective, LLC, a wedding and event planning company in Hawaiʻi specializing in LGBTQ+ events, Zabrina stands out as one of the few Queer Kanaka professionals in her field. Her mission is to pave the way for greater inclusivity and allyship, ensuring that every couple feels celebrated and represented on their special day.

Leveraging her extensive background in the service industry, along with experience in planning fundraisers and corporate events, Zabrina brings a wealth of expertise to her role on the Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation board. She envisions extending the foundation’s impact to the West Side of Oʻahu, facilitating a broader range of hosted events across the entire island.

Pronouns: he/him/his
Director since 2023
Chair: Public Relations

Micah ʻĀkau was born and raised on the Hāmākua Coast on the Island of Hawaiʻi. He pursued higher education at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. Currently, Micah serves as a dedicated Brand Manager at the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA). In this capacity, Micah places utmost importance on preserving and showcasing Hawaiʻi’s rich culture, fostering a sense of community, and ensuring authenticity in every aspect of the organization’s efforts.

Beyond his professional life, Micah is a strong advocate for inclusive spaces that welcome and support LGBTQIA+ and MVPFAFF communities, promoting connection and a sense of belonging for all. In his leisure time, he enjoys playing board games, exploring new and exciting restaurants, and binge-watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

Pronoun: māhūi
Director since 2022
Chair: Māhūi

Internationally, Sami L.A. Akuna has performed in Asia, Europe, North America, and across the Pacific. With over 25 years of professional experience, Sami has performed as principal dancer with Iona Contemporary Dance Theatre, is Artistic Director of Giinko Maraschino, Jhalak Dance Company and Piko Dance Arts.

Sami holds a BFA in Theatre and Dance, and MFA in Asian Theatre Directing from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and currently teaches the nation’s very first Queer Dance class. This course looks at the communal embodiment of gay nightclubbing during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s through Disco, the Hawaiʻi Drag Scene and Vogue and Ballroom Culture.

Sami began a career in Butoh and Drag in 1991, performing at various nightclubs, house parties, and non-traditional performance settings. Cocoa Chandelier, Sami’s alter ego, travels continuously as an advocate and spokesperson for HIV/AIDS, and is a long standing member with the United Territories of Pacific Islanders in Alliance that serves the Native Pacific Island and MVPFAFF+ community across the Hawaiian islands and the Pacific.

Pronouns: he/him/his
Director since 2024
Chair: Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival

Brent Anbe is a locally born and raised Hawaiʻi casting director, film-festival director and an award-winning filmmaker, writer and director. He’s dedicated over a decade to LGBTQI+ community activism as the Festival Director for Hawaiʻi’s only LGBT Film Festival, the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival.

Most recently, Brent is the Hawaiʻi Casting Associate for the Disney+ Series Doogie Kamealoha, MD Season 1 and 2, and Season 1 – 5 of CBS/NBC’s Magnum P.I. Brent’s previous accomplishments include original U.S. casting for the international Netflix hit series Terrace House: Aloha State and Casting Associate work for CBS’s Hawaii Five-0 and Jurassic World.

Brent has been awarded the Pacific Business News’ 40 Under 40 Award for his success in business and community work.

Pronouns: he/him/his
Director since 2021
Chair: Fundraising

Jeffrey Eslinger has 20 years of destination research and tourism marketing experience. He is currently senior director of market insights at the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) where he is responsible for analyzing trends impacting tourism in Hawaiʻi.

Prior to joining HVCB, he served as senior director of client insights with DK Shifflet, a leading full-service research and strategic marketing firm and wholly-owned subsidiary of MMGY Global, the largest integrated travel marketing organization in the world. Jeffrey has been involved in numerous professional affiliations, including the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), where he served as president and chairman of the board of the TTRA Hawaiʻi Chapter.

Jeffrey’s previous volunteer activities have included, Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation, Stonewall Community Foundation, Pittsburgh AIDS Taskforce and the Point Foundation

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Director since 2024
Vice-Chair: Honolulu Pride Parade

Nolene grew up on the Island of Hawaiʻi in Hilo with a large tight-knit family. Her mother is of Hawaiian and Filipino descent and her father was of Hawaiian, Russian, Portuguese and Chinese descent. She served 13 years in the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard as a Power Plant/Generator Mechanic; and was a member of the Combat Communication Squadrons located on Hawaiʻi Island, Kauaʻi and Oʻahu.

After separating from the National Guard, Nolene continued to work for the US military as a private sector consultant; specializing in logistics and supply chain for 15+ years. As a consultant, she was fortunate to work around the world and realized the benefit of growing up in Hawaiʻi allowed her to be successful in working with people from different countries and cultures.

Nolene has a BS in Business and Supply Chain Management and received her MBA at Chaminade University of Honolulu, with a focus on doing business from the island perspective. She’s authored and published Hawaiian Values for Future Leaders, a quick guide that introduces the values present in people’s lives here in Hawaiʻi. A percentage of the book’s profits is donated to the non profit Project Hawaiʻi, which focuses on the homeless keiki on Oʻahu, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island.

As part of the Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation, Nolene hopes to help provide positive and accurate resources to the community. With plans of starting a family herself, she hopes to be a part of the effort HLLF has with family inclusive events.

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Director: 2020-2021 and since 2024; Advisory Council: 2022-2023
Chair: LGBTQ+ Center Honolulu

Born and raised in Honolulu, Jennifer Li is a local girl at heart. She enjoys water sports, socializing with friends and family, dining out, traveling, and loves animals. Jennifer attended McKinley High School and graduated shortly after with a Finance Degree from University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Jennifer’s passion is real estate. Being a second generation American, since a child, she always dreamed of living the American Dream–owning a big house with a yard to entertain. Jennifer kicked off her real estate career with Keller Williams Honolulu in 2016 as a full-time Realtor and joined Locations in 2018 with a desire for growth to continue helping her clients meet their real estate needs. Within her first year at Locations, she was recognized with the Master’s Circle and Client Service Awards, and nominated by her own clients for the Aloha ‘Aina Realtor Awards. During the summer of 2021, Jennifer obtained her Broker’s License, furthering her knowledge and leadership to advise her clients.

In addition to her position at the Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation, Jennifer is also currently serving as a Board Member/Chair position of the Rotary E-Club of Hawaiʻi, Hawaiian Humane Society PetWalk Committee, Honolulu Board of Realtor Leeward Regional Group and Honolulu Board of Realtors Leeward Regional, and is a devoted volunteer for the Locations Foundation. Jennifer enjoys giving back to her community and participating in projects that improve the lives of people, not only in Hawaiʻi but across the globe.

Pronouns: he/him/his
Director since 2024
Vice-Chair: Māhūi

Lord Ryan Lizardo is a strong advocate for education here in Hawaiʻi and currently is the Associate Vice President of Education at the Chamber of Commerce Hawaiʻi.

Originally from Ewa Beach, Lord Ryan spent the first years of his career teaching at his Alma Mater, James Campbell High School. During his six years there, he taught Sociology and Psychology, advised the Class of 2020 Student Council, and co-advised the Rainbow Sabers, Campbell’s GSA / QSA. One of his proudest moments came from supporting the first cohort of Rainbow Sabers walking in the Honolulu Pride Parade.

In his current work, Lord Ryan provides access for students through connecting them to work-based learning opportunities in the state. In addition to this, Lord Ryan leads the Chamber’s Pride initiatives in the Young Professionals Program. Lord Ryan hopes to build a more LGBTQ+ accepting community and environment for current LGBTQIA+ and MVPAFF professionals and future leaders.

Lord Ryan is excited to continue to build more educational opportunities through his work with the Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation and build more connections to the community. In his free time, Lord Ryan likes to watch reality TV shows, read, exercise, and enjoy a Happy Hour with friends.

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Director since 2023
Chair: Queer Women’s Initiatives

Lisa Martin was born and raised in Central Illinois. After a semester abroad in Australia, she graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Kinesiology. Moving to Chicago for graduate school opened many possibilities for Lisa’s future. She landed a finance job working for Rocky Wirtz, owner of the Chicago Blackhawks. After five years in the organization, Lisa was promoted to Credit Manager for Wirtz Beverage, a wine & liquor distribution company.

Lisa has spent her thirty-year career in collections, bookkeeping, and finance. In 2015 she started her own company, Cloudscape Corporation, and built a bookkeeping business specializing in the construction industry. Lisa currently works for Kailuaʻs Beachside Lighting, and continues to manage her independent bookkeeping clients.

Lisa moved to Hawaii in January 2021 and has settled in nicely. Upon arriving to the islands, Lisa sought out ways to get involved in the LGBTQIA+ community and volunteering. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys traveling, exploring restaurants, beach walks and continuing her personal growth. She feels very fortunate to live in this beautiful corner of the world, escaping Chicago winters.

Pronouns: he/him/his
Director since 2021
Chair: Kūpuna Initiatives

Gary Permenter is passionate about helping marginalized people and underserved communities, and supporting organizations that prioritize welfare and social justice. His interests focus on inclusive and sustainable solutions to a range of challenges in areas including food security, human sexuality, gerontology, disabilities, healthcare, and criminal justice.

Gary has been engaged with the LGBTQ population in various ways over the years: assisting men living with AIDS in the home, assessing treatment program data, and screening volunteer applicants for an LGBTQ community agency.

Gary holds multiple degrees including a Doctorate in Psychology from Capella University, and a Master’s in Social Work from Simmons University.  He also holds other advanced degrees that include an MA in Psychology, and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Roosevelt University.

Gary works in the government sector as a probation officer as well as in private practice providing therapy to clients with a range of different needs.  Gary is also a holistic educator having held different teaching roles over an 18-year period. He has taught students from more than 45 different countries and has lived and worked in Malaysia, India, Thailand, China, South Korea, and Japan. Gary is a Rotarian, a ShelterBox Ambassador, a Toastmaster, and a Red Cross Volunteer. His hobbies are horticulture, astronomy, and music. Gary is a daily runner, plays tennis, cycles, swims, and hikes.

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Director since 2023
Chair: Talent & Entertainment

Tori grew up throughout the island of Oʻahu. From Kailua to Waiʻanae, then to Laʻie, and she is a proud graduate of Kahuku High School. Tori is a Native Hawaiian and proud of her Polynesian roots.

After graduating high school she started her career in the beauty and drag industries. She worked at numerous salons and spas and still practices esthetic work today. Tori found that her passion laid within makeup and started working for MAC Cosmetics in 2010 and continues to work with the brand today. As a makeup artist she has worked at multiple retail locations and soon joined the management team, working closely with training and development leaders. Tori also teaches makeup courses at Makana Esthetic School where she enjoys educating the next generations of artists. Tori has also had the opportunity to work along side some of Hawaiʻi’s top musicians like Amy Hanaialiʻi, Raiatea Helm, and The Lim Ohana, just to name a few. Tori is also Manaola Hawaiʻi’s lead makeup artist, allowing her to connect her culture with her passion.

Tori is also known throughout Hawaiʻi as a drag entertainer, and sheʻs worked at numerous LGBTQ clubs, venues, and events throughout the Hawaiian islands. She takes inspiration from the legends before her and believes in continuing the legacy of drag in Hawaiʻi. In 2017, she started her own drag production company Podagee Princess Productions.

Tori believes in building a strong community and educating the future generations to leave a better tomorrow.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Director since 2023
Chair: Media Relations

Max Rodriguez, a native of Coachella Valley, California, has worked in television news for the past seven years, and is currently a reporter at KHON2. Before moving to Honolulu in 2020, he worked at NBC Palm Springs as a general assignment reporter.

Max pursues journalism with a passion to share stories that impact those around him. Not only is it important for him to dive into topics that affect the LGTBQIA+ community, but also other issues like economic disparity, environmental justice and governmental affairs.

Max earned his master’s degree at Boston University and interned at WBUR Boston, and then at NPR headquarters in Washington DC during the 2016 presidential election. Public radio showed Max another side of news, with in-depth stories and reporting directly from the people who were affected. He knew that was his path.

As a first-generation American and son of Mexican immigrants, his mission is to normalize conversations about gender and sexuality within the Latino community. Max wants to continue to use his position to amplify the voice of others who would usually not get a chance to speak.

Pronouns: he/him/his
Director since 2023
Chair: Volunteers

Mathew “Manakō” Tanaka is from Āliamanu, Oʻahu and attended the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where he obtained a bachelorʻs degree from the School of Travel Industry Management and both a bachelorʻs and Masters degree in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi from Kawaihuelani, under the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. He currently works as Senior Specialist, Community & Cultural Relations at Hawaiian Airlines where he oversees community outreach projects, and both internal and external cultural activations.

Manakō is passionate about normalizing the recognition and celebration of native Hawaiian and local culture, and would like to see the LGBT+ community woven more tightly into that moena.  Prior to his current role, Manakō worked as a Sales Manager at the Oʻahu Visitors Bureau and served as Disney Ambassador to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa from 2017-2018.

Pronouns: he/him/his
Executive Director

Randy is a marketing and communications professional with over 15 years of management experience at proven industry-leading companies throughout Hawai’i. He has a long history of outstanding leadership and service to the MVPFAFF/LGBTQIA+, and non-profit communities, including the Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Center, HLLF and Rotary E-Club of Hawai’i. Randy is a graduate of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i’s Fellows Program, a Pacific Business News Business of Pride and 40 Under 40 honoree, and the recipient of Pacific Edge Magazine’s Young Professional of the Year award.

Photos of Haʻaheo, Chad, Rick, Zabrina, Sami, Jeffrey, Lisa, Tori, Gary, Tony, and Manakō by Kimo Lauer


The Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation produces Honolulu Pride, hosts the LGBTQ Center Honolulu and creates educational programs that inform and empower Hawaiʻi’s MVPFAFF/LGBTQIA+ community. The Foundation also provides financial and in-kind support to organizations addressing social, health and economic inequalities in our communities. You can help us continue our work by making a contribution. Just click here.Thank you!