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.
Treasurer Kelly Yamasato is an obstetrician currently completing a fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine with the University of Hawaii John A Burns School of Medicine. This training will allow to her care for women with high-risk pregnancies. 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. Following college she returned home to complete medical school and residency at the University of Hawai’i.
As a clinician Kelly is devoted to women with high-risk pregnancies and their children. She also has a strong research interest in prenatal factors and childhood outcomes, including autism. Kelly currently lives in Honolulu with her husband and two sons.
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 a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) working on Kauai with Aptitude Habilitation Services. She received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Eastern Washington University and her Master’s in Autism and Applied Behavior from Sage Graduate School. She provides contract Applied Behavior Analysis services through insurance and Kauai school district for youth 2-21. Lindsey helped create the Kauai Autism Task Force and is a member of Hawaii Association for Behavior Analysts (HABA). Lindsey is a married mother to a two-year-old son.
Board Member 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.
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.