About Us

The Autism Society of Hawaii is a 501(c)(3) organization serving families and individuals touched by autism and autism spectrum disorders. We are the Hawaii chapter of the National Autism Society headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Reach us by phone at +1 (808) 368-1191 or via email at autismhi@gmail.com.

Meet Our Board

July 12, 2017


It is with mixed emotions that we announce the resignation of Dr. Ryan Lee as Board President of the Autism Society of Hawaii. Dr. Lee became Board President at the request of Dr. William Bolman before his passing in 2014. Dr. Lee has worked hard with the board to support families affected by Autism as the leader of ASH. He has done so while working at Shriners as a pediatric neurologist, director of the neurodevelopment clinic, and director of medical research, all with the focus on Autism Spectrum Disorders and other disorders of the developing brain.

Although saddened to see him step down, we are fortunate that Dr. Lee has agreed to continue to support ASH as Director Emeritus. His knowledge is invaluable and we will be reaching out to him regularly as we move forward. We wish him much success in all his endeavors.

Board Vice President Dennis Maher was recently elected as ASH’s new President. Mr. Maher, a board member since 2014, is a father of five, including a 15-year-old son who is on the Autism Spectrum. He is very active in the community as Board member of Surfers Healing Hawaii, Trump International Hotel and Tower (Secretary), and Hawaii Hotel Visitor Industry Security Association (Vice President), Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Associations’ Engineers Advisory Council (President). He is committed to supporting those on the Autism Spectrum in addition to developmental delays and their families. Many of you have met him at the many ASH activities. We believe his broad vision and commitment to the families will take the Autism Society of Hawaii to new levels.

John Dellera Esq. has been elected as the new Vice President. He is an attorney admitted to the New York Bar in 1970 and the Hawaii Bar in 1996. He practiced law in New York City for 15 years with the firm of Baker Nelson & Williams and was New York Regional Counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1985 to 1994. He served as assistant attorney general of New York and moved in Hawaii in 1996. He served as deputy attorney general of Hawaii for 13 years and as executive director of the Hawaii Disability Rights Center from 2009 to 2011. He has been caregiver for a young man with autism since 1996.

Dr. Kelly Yamasato has been elected Treasurer. She is an obstetrician who is currently completing a fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine with the University of Hawaii John A Burns School of Medicine. Kelly was born and raised on Hawai’i Island in Waimea. She graduated from Hawai’i Preparatory Academy then obtained her undergraduate degree in ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University. She also has a strong research interest in prenatal factors and childhood outcomes, including autism. Kelly and her husband, Jake Shimabukuro, have been strong supporters at many ASH events.

Naomi Tachera has been elected secretary. She was born and raised on Hawai`i Island, and has two children with autism. She is also a parent representative for Hawai’i Association for Behavioral Analysis. Naomi is from the first graduating class of Kanu o ka `Aina a Hawaiian-focused, bi-lingual Public Charter School. Naomi has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, and is currently attending graduate school at the University of West Florida in Exceptional Student Education specializing in Applied Behavioral Analysis. Her goal is to become a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) and to deliver behavioral analytic services on Hawai’i Island to the under-served and rural communities.

ASH is dedicated to meeting the needs of all those touched by autism throughout the islands of Hawai’i. We continue to grow in membership every day. Thank you all for your support and dedication.

Jessica Wong-Sumida
(808) 368-1191

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