Directors


FRANCINE BEPPU
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Chairperson 
Director since 2018
Francine@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com
Committees:
• Executive
• Finance & Planning (Finance & Audit, Bylaw & Policy, Nominating Co-Chair)
• Sponsorships & Development (Sponsorships)
• Marketing (Media Chair) 
• Strategic Initiatives (New Events & Partnerships)
• Honolulu Pride™ 

Francine brings her unique skills back home to Hawaii with over 14 years of combined experience in developing new business and growth strategies for international corporations as well as start-ups in the entertainment, media, and technology industries.

After earning a double major in Marketing and International Business at NYU Stern, she began her career at Sony Electronics and was involved in marketing the successful launch of 7 luxury consumer electronics products under the exclusive Sony QUALIA line. During her time at Viacom’s MTV Networks, she was part of the team responsible for launching the first LGBT cable network, LOGO, growing viewership from zero to over 30M in the first year.

Currently the Network Strategy Director of Nella Media Group, Francine is passionate about new technologies, out-of-the-box thinking, and creating new channels to enhance the way entertainment is consumed.

Prior to joining NMG, Francine led digital campaign and corporate strategies with KHON2, Hawaii’s FOX and CW Networks. She has also been an e-council member of the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship to Kids (NFTE) program in Los Angeles, and has served on the board of the International Inspirational Women Awards.


SANDY HARJO-LIVINGSTON PhD
Pronouns: he/him/his
Vice-Chairperson
Director since 2021
Sandy@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com
Committees:
• Executive
• Sponsorships & Development (Sponsorships Chair)
Finance & Planning (Bylaw & Policy, Nominating)
• Community Engagement (LGBTQ+ Center Honolulu)
• Marketing (Communications & Public Relations)
• Strategic Initiatives (New Events & Partnerships)
• Honolulu Pride™ 

Dr. Livingston loves to learn and collaborate, and has spent his life traveling the world, earning degrees, writing, and making films. His skills and interests are as diverse as his ethnic makeup, coming from west Asian, south Asian, east Asian, Pacific Islander, South and Central American (indigenous), Iberian, and western and northern European familial backgrounds.

Before moving to Hawai’i, Sandy was a Political Theory and History Professor and award-winning Lecturer who researched the intersectionality of religion and politics. With his interdisciplinary background [psychology, philosophy, theology, and history], he developed a theoretical model to understand the deeply symbiotic relationship between religious and political institutions and leadership.

After moving to Honolulu, Sandy began to be involved with ‘Ōlelo Community media and became an award-winning filmmaker. Over the last few years, Dr. Livingston has worked with local filmmakers, writers, and actors to get their stories made and distributed. He founded Sa’Ke Film Group, LLC and two non-profits, Sa’Ke Film Collective and Sa’Ke Film School, in order to provide unfettered access to filmmaking and mentorship for local filmmakers.


WILLportraitTRACYWILL COLEMAN, DVM
Pronouns: he/him/his
Treasurer
Director since 2016
Will@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com
Committees:
• Executive
• Finance & Planning Chair
(Finance & Audit Co-Chair, Bylaw & Policy Co-Chair)
• Sponsorships & Development
(Sponsorships)
• Strategic Initiatives
(New Events & Partnerships)
• Honolulu Pride™ 

Will was born and raised in Georgia, then attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate and veterinary medical degree which he completed in 1999. He practiced emergency veterinary medicine for a decade in Colorado before moving to Hawaii with his husband, Chris, in 2009.

Here in Honolulu, Will opened Hawaii’s first 24-hour veterinary emergency and specialty hospital, Veterinary Emergency + Referral Center of Hawaii. In his free time, Will enjoys traveling, cooking, gardening, and spending time with his husband and friends.


RANDY SORIANO
Pronouns: he/him/his
Secretary

Director since 2019
Randy@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com
Committees:
• Executive
• Sponsorships & Development (Merchandising, E-Commerce)

Randy is a young professional with 10 years of marketing experience at proven industry-leading companies in Hawaii. He specializes in social media marketing, promotional PR, event planning and creative direction. He is currently the Marketing Manager at Title Guaranty of Hawaii, the oldest and largest kama’aina title and escrow company in the state.

Randy has a passion for meeting people and serving the community, which is demonstrated in the countless hours he dedicates to various non-profit and community organizations. He is currently the President of the Rotary E-Club of Hawaii, serving a two-year term that oversees an aggressive strategic plan to grow the Club’s membership and community partnerships. He also serves on the Hawaii FoodBank Alaka’i Young Leaders Board, which is a new initiative by the organization to utilize the talent of Hawaii’s up and coming leaders.

Randy and his partner, Howard, are avid travelers and have visited over 60 countries. Randy was recently honored by Pacific Business news as a recipient of the Business of Pride award. Honorees are recognized for their contribution to the LGBT community through business and community service.


SCOTTportraitTRACY

SCOTT D. LARIMER
Pronouns: he/him/his
Director
Director since 2016
Scott@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com
Committees:
Executive
• Community Engagement  (Education & Speakers Co-Chair)
Finance & Planning (Nominating Co-Chair)
Sponsorships & Development (Gala)
Strategic Initiatives (New Events & Partnerships)

Scott is a native of Illinois having lived in Champaign until moving to Hawai’i in 2008. It took nearly 15 years of vacation before the ultimate decision to call Hawai’i home.

A graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelors of Arts in Landscape Architecture, Scott’s career has been a mixture of Landscape Architecture, Commercial/Retail/Industrial Development and now Residential Real Estate. As an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeService Hawaii Realty, Scott serves clients across the island of Oahu.

Community volunteering has always played a role in Scott’s life dating back to his years in Champaign. Upon moving to Hawai’i Scott soon became involved with Equality Hawai’i, serving as Co-Chair, volunteering as an usher for Diamond Head Theatre and becoming a founding member of the Hawaii Business Alliance Networking Group.


SAMI L.A. AKUNA
Pronoun: ho’o
Director
Director since 2022
Sami@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com
Committees:
• Community Engagement (Partnerships & Events)
• Honolulu Pride™ 

Sami L.A. Akuna has over 25 years of professional contribution in dance/theatre and performance, and has performed internationally throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and across the Pacific. Sami has performed with numerous companies including being a principal dancer with Iona Contemporary Dance Theatre, Artistic Director of Giinko Maraschino, and most recently in collaboration with TeAda Productions, Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists, and Piko Dance Arts.

Sami is also a recipient of the MAP Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts 2020-2022. Sami holds a BFA degree in Theatre and Dance, and an MFA in Asian Theatre Directing from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM). Sami has academic experience in teaching dance, choreography, performance, drag artistry, and lecture courses at UHM and Leeward Community College.

Sami began a career in Butoh and Drag in 1991 as a product of the Club Kid scene in Hawai‘i, 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 the MVPFAFF+ (māhū, vakasalewalewa, palopa, fa’afafine, akava’ine, fakaleiti, fakafifine) community across the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific.


TATIANA KALANI’ŌPUA YOUNG
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Director
Director since 2022
Tatiana@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com

Committees:
• Community Engagement (LGBTQ+ Center Honolulu)
• Honolulu Pride™ 

Tati, as she is better known by friends and family, received her B.A.—majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Philosophy— from the University of Texas at Austin, where she also received an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies. Tati then completed her M.A. and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Washington.

Tati has over 20+ years serving in non profit and university organizations including, but not limited to: the Thurston County Council on Diversity and Human Rights (Olympia), Stonewall Youth (Olympia), the Equity and Diversity Advocacy Network (Olympia), the Gender and Sexuality Center (Austin), the Queer Students Alliance (Austin) Transgender Advocacy of Central Texas (Austin), People of Color in Anthropology (Seattle), the United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance (Seattle), Pu’uhonua O Wai’anae (Wai’anae) and Kahea: the Hawaiian Environmental Alliance (Honolulu).

A former Point Foundation scholar, Tati has worked to centralize and empower marginalized LGBTQIA voices in academia and in the community. When she gets time to herself, Tati loves to cook, walk around Honolulu, and dance to anything with a beat. She currently teaches courses at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and Hawai’i Pacific University.


WALKER ROWSEY
Pronouns: he/him/his
Director
Director since 2022
Walker@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com

Prior to moving to Hawai’i, Walker spent his adult life in Australia, where he received his health education from the University of Sydney.  With a passion for helping those around him, Walker has worked in the non-profit field for over 10 years, on scales ranging from small, local community action-based organizations, to global health policy groups, and the WHO. Upon moving to Hawai’i, Walker immediately jumped into community service. His Hawaii-based work has included Honolulu Community Action Program, where he worked as a classroom teacher, Special Olympics Hawaii (SOHI), where he oversaw health programming for the state, and Kids Hurt Too Hawaii, where he works to help children that have survived trauma experienced through the loss of parents.


CHAD YAMAMOTO
Pronouns: he/him/his
Director
Director since 2022
Chad@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com
Committees:
• Marketing Chair
• Sponsorships & Development

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.


HAʻAHEO ZABLAN
Pronouns: he/him/his
Director
Director since 2022
Haʻaheo@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com

As a product of Papakōlea, the first Hawaiian Homestead on O’ahu, Ha’aheo synthesizes traditional Hawaiian values with hotel and restaurant operation knowledge throughout his 10+ years of industry leadership. Ha’aheo 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 Hawai’i and local communities solidifies Ha’aheo as an anchor for his team members and an empathetic, dynamic leader, mentor, and friend.

Ha’aheo adapts quickly to multiple priorities as he has executed management roles from Front Office, Heart of House, and Food & Beverage departments. As 2012 O’ahu Concierge Magazine, ‘Concierge of the Year’, 2015, Ha’aheo has demonstrated his commitment to serving others with genuine hospitality. 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 Hawai’i’ in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards and Travel+Leisure’s 2022 IT LIST of the Best New Hotels In The World.

Ha’aheo 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.


JEFFREY ESLINGER
Pronouns: he/him/his
Director
Director since 2021
Jeffrey@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com
Committees:
• Community Engagement (LGBTQ+ Center Honolulu)
• Marketing (Communications & Public Relations)
• Strategic Initiatives (New Events & Partnerships)

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 Hawaii.

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 Hawaii Chapter.

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


GARY PERMENTER 
Pronouns: he/him/his
Director
Director since 2021
Gary@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com
Committees:
• Community Engagement (Education & Speakers)
• Strategic Initiatives (New Events & Partnerships)

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, an MA in psychology, and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Roosevelt University. He is currently a graduate social work student working with the disabled population in Hawai’i.

Gary is a holistic educator having different teaching roles over an 18-year period. He has taught students from more than 45 different countries. Gary has lived and worked in Malaysia, India, China, South Korea, and Japan. He 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, swims, hikes, and is a scuba diver.


IAN F. TAPU 
Pronouns: he/him/his
Director
Director since 2021
Tapu@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com
Committees:
• Finance & Planning (Bylaw & Policy Co-Chair, Nominating)
• Sponsorships & Development (Gala)
• Community Engagement (Kapaemahu Ceremony, Rainbow Town Hall, LGBTQ+ Center Honolulu)
• Marketing (Communications & Public Relations)
• Strategic Initiatives (New Events & Partnerships)

 
Honolulu Pride™

Tapu was born and raised in Hau’ula, Hawai’i and is grateful to have been brought up in a tight-knit community filled with family and friends who are like family. He is a proud graduate of Kahuku High School and later went on to receive his degree from Dartmouth College, majoring in Native American Studies and minoring in Public Policy and Education. Following college, Tapu worked for almost 10 years in the non-profit sector. His work primarily entailed supporting Pasifika youth and their families. 

Tapu then attended the University of Hawai’i William S. Richardson School of Law and graduated with his law degree in 2020. He has published extensively on topics ranging from LGBTQ rights, constitutional law, and Indigenous rights. His work has appeared in publications such as the Arizona Law Review, NYU Review of Law & Social Change, and the UCLA Asian Pacific American Law Journal. He was also honored by the National LGBT Bar Association with the Student Leadership Award.

In his free time, Tapu enjoys traveling with his partner, playing cards and mahjong with family, being an uncle to his nephews and nieces who keep him on his toes, and is a self-described foodie.


ANDREW OGATA 
Pronouns: he/him/his
Director 
Director since 2018
Andrew@hawaiilgbtlegacy.com
Committees:
• Sponsorships & Development (Merchandising, E-Commerce)
• Community Engagement (Education & Speakers Co-Chair)
• Marketing (Media)
• Strategic Initiatives (New Events & Partnerships)
• Honolulu Pride™

Andrew Ogata was born and raised in Kealakekua, Hawai’i, and attended the University of Hawai’i Mānoa where he received his degree in Political Science in 2007. Andrew is the Community Events and Social Media Manager at the Hawai’i Health and Harm Reduction Center (HHHRC), an organization created by the merging of the Life Foundation and the CHOW Project. HHHRC serves Hawai’i 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 Hawai’i 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 ‘ohana.


 

The Hawai’i LGBT Legacy Foundation produces Honolulu Pride, hosts the LGBTQ+ Center Honolulu and creates educational programs that inform and empower Hawai’i’s LGBTQIA+ community. We also provide 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 today; just select one of the options above. Thank you!