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

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.

Pronoun: māhū
Director since 2022
Chair: Honolulu Pride

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 to Disco, the Hawaii 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 2021
Chair: Māhūi

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.

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

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. On Oahu, Lisa currently works for Sutton Construction, Inc. as their Financial Coordinator 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 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.

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 masterʻs 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: she/her/hers

Director since 2022
Chair: LGBTQIA+ Center

Dr. Tatiana Kalaniʻōpua Young (Tati) is a Kanaka ‘Ōiwi Maoli (Native Hawaiian), māhū+ (queer/transgender) healer, scholar-activist, university lecturer, social worker and community organizer.  

Tati is the first known Native Hawaiian trans woman to complete a doctorate.  Her dissertation, Constellations of Rebellion: Home, Makeshift Economies and Queer Indigeneity (2019) is based on three years of ethnographic fieldwork.

With over 20 years of organizing for Queer folk, Tati believes in centralizing and empowering marginalized LGBTQIA voices in academia and in the community.  When she gets time to herself, Tati loves to chef up ono healthy grinds, walk around Honolulu, and randomly dance to anything with a beat.  She currently teaches courses at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and works full time as an outreach case manager.

An Ōlelo No’eau or Hawaiian proverb that really sings to her heart is “Ma ka hana ka ike” or “In doing one learns.”

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

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 3 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. Heʻs the Commissioner of the Hawaiʻi Gay Kickball League and Board Chair of Aikane Ohana, a nonprofit organization aimed a providing fiscal sponsorship to community sports and events. Rick is also a founding member and executive director of Atlas Honolulu, a LBGT dance club in the heart of Honolulu that provides a safe, inclusive space for all.

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, aimed at providing growth and innovation in order to elevate the needs of the LGBTQ community.

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 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: she/her/hers
Director since 2023
Chair: Honolulu Pride Festival Entertainment

Tori grew up throughout the island of O’ahu. From Kailua to Wai’anae, then to La’ie where 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 Hawai’i’s top musicians like Amy Hanaiali’i, Raiatea Helm, and The Lim Ohana just to name a few. Tori is also Manaola Hawai’i’s lead makeup artist allowing her to connect her culture with her passion.

Tori is also known throughout Hawai’i as a drag entertainer. She has 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 Hawai’i. In 2017, she started her own drag production company Podagee Princess Productions, as is one of her aliases.

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

Pronouns: he/him/his
Director since 2023

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 organizationʻs 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 Paulʻs Drag Race.

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

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 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, Thailand, 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, cycles, swims, and hikes.

Pronouns: he/him/his/they/them/theirs
Director since 2021

Dr. Harjo-Livingston loves to learn and collaborate and has spent his life traveling the world, earning degrees, teaching, writing, and making films.

Sandy grew up playing music, becoming an award-winning clarinetist and tenor saxophonist. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Studies and International Relations from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, U.K. While a professor, he researched the intersectionality of religion and politics. With their interdisciplinary background [political science, psychology, philosophy, theology, and history], he developed a theoretical model to understand the deeply symbiotic relationship between religious and political institutions and leadership. Dr. Harjo-Livingston taught a fairly wide array of courses, from International Political Economy, International Relations and Postcolonialism to Political Theory/Communications, Public Policy and Gender Studies.

After leaving academia, Sandy became involved with ‘Ōlelo Community Media, became an award-winning filmmaker, and co-founded the production company Sa’Ke Film Group to work with local filmmakers, writers, and actors to get their stories made and distributed. He later joined ‘Ōlelo’s Board of Directors and is currently the Vice Chair.  They also became a part of the Hawai’i LGBT Legacy Foundation where he participates on the Honolulu Pride and the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival committees.

Sandy is currently a reporter with KHON2 News.

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

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

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

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.

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Director since 2023
Chair: Honolulu Pride Festival

Zabrina Zablan-Duvauchelle currently resides in Kapolei, where she lives with her partner Ipolani and fur baby, Grey. She is a proud graduate of  Kamehameha Schools -Kapalama (class of 2012) where she went on to receive her Bachelor’s in Kinesiology at Azusa Pacific University (class of 2016). 

Zabrina is the CEO and Founder of The Gay Agenda Collective, LLC, a wedding and event planning company based in Hawai’i that specializes in planning LGBTQ+ events. As one of the few Queer Kanaka in her field, Zabrina paves the way for her industry to create more inclusivity and allyship, so that all couples can feel celebrated and represented on their wedding day.

Using her years of experience in the restaurant and service industry, and time spent planning fundraisers and corporate events, her hope is to provide her event knowledge to the Hawaiʻi LGBT Legacy Foundation board and offer support through their many hosted events. Zabrina’s goal is to further the foundations reach to the West Side of O’ahu and offer more hosted events across the island.

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

Anthone Sanchez is a Marine Corps veteran who recently graduated from Hawaiʻi Pacific University where he obtained his Bachelors in Science with a concentration in Human Health and Sciences. He currently works as a Research Associate at the Hawai’i Center for AIDS.

Anthone “Tony” was born in Mexico and raised in Texas until he shipped out to Marine Corps boot camp shortly after high school graduation. He completed two enlistments, a deployment to Afghanistan, and received an honorable discharge for his 8 years of service.  While serving, Tony received multiple decorative awards for his work in finance, procurement, and logistics.

Tony became engaged with the Hawai’i LGBT community through Hawaii’s first gay kickball league where has served as a Board Member and Treasurer for the past 4 years. He is dedicated to fostering a welcoming and safe community through sports.

In Tony’s spare time he loves spending time with his partner and friends, training for athletic events, and cooking Mexican food.

Photos by Kimo Lauer


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. Just click here.Thank you!