Dennis C. Maher
President Dennis C. Maher was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He arrived in Hawaii 25 years ago and made the Islands his home. He is currently the Secretary of the Board at Trump International Hotel™ Waikiki Beach Walk® and is also an active member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Trump Waikiki. He serves as Vice President and Treasurer for the Hawaii Hotel Visitor Industry Security Association and President of the Board of the Engineers Advisory Council for the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association. He coaches athletes with intellectual disabilities in soccer, basketball and softball. He is married and the father of five.
Chapter Vice President
Vice President Sarah Beppu, was born and raised in Hawaii. She is a graduate from Kamehameha Schools and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, CA. After 17 years of clinical nursing experience, she is currently a Clinical Systems Trainer at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. She is the mother of 3. Sarah volunteers her time with Surfers Healing, Susan G. Komen Hawaii, as well as advocates for bullying prevention through a program she created called Embrace Uniqueness. She also authors a blog called “My Life in a Snow Globe” to help others going through the grieving process after losing a spouse.
Naomi Ka`ae Tachera
Secretary Naomi Ka`ae Tachera 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 to become a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) are to deliver behavioral analytic services on Hawai’i Island to the under served and rural communities.
Director Lindsey Shepherd is the co-owner of Autism Services Kauai, LLC, an early intervention clinic for children with Autism on the Island of Kauai. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who received her Bachelors in Social Work from Eastern Washington University and her Masters in Autism and Applied Behavior from Sage Graduate School. She also provides contracted services through the Kauai School District. She helped create the Kauai Autism Task Force and is a member of Hawaii Association for Behavior Analysis (HABA). Lindsey has a four year old son and is a licensed foster parent.
Jessica is originally from the Pacific Northwest and migrated to the Aloha State pursuing a degree in psychology. She is currently a junior at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and is interested in neurology and neuroscience. As a person with autism, she understands the challenges people with autism face first hand. Past employment as a lifeguard and swim instructor gave her the experience of working with children impacted by autism. From that experience, she gained a passion for helping those who like her, have autism. She has made it her life’s goal to heal challenges people, particularly children with autism face first hand, through integration and acceptance. She is honored to be a board member for the Autism Society of Hawaii and excited to work with families of Hawaii impacted by autism.
Honorary board member State Senator Suzanne Chun-Oakland has served in the Hawaii State Legislature since 1996. She is a strong advocate for children’s rights and sponsors the annual Children and Youth Day at the state Capitol, Child and Youth Summit and Keiki Caucus.
Honorary board member Ivalee Sinclair has over 40 years’ experience helping students with disabilities. She received the lifetime achievement award from the Mental Health America of Hawaii and served as chairwoman for the Special Education Advisory Council. She was nominated for the Jefferson Award in 2008 and served on the Coalition for Children with Special Needs. She has fought for services for her own children when they were in school.