Nancy Zimmerman Pechner, M.S., Counseling Psychology, always needing to keep it fresh, is somewhat of a Renaissance woman. Her careers have been many. Dedicated community lay-leader, including Founder and Co-President of the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, President of Congregation Rodef Sholom’s Religious School Board and Marin School of the Arts Music Boosters, Nancy has also sat on numerous non-profit boards and committees in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is
a professional artist, curriculum developer, teacher – using art as a vehicle towards self-awareness, and facilitator. Holding space for growth and change is the common thread that runs through her lifetime of personal research on the human condition, and putting what she has observed into action for the greater good. Most recently, she is author of Them Before Me – Born into Grief. Journeyed into Love.,
book sale proceeds going to Nā Keiki O Emalia. Nancy lives in Haiku, Hawaii. She is married to her husband of 34 years, and they have three adult children.
Ken Travers is a retired physician who spent almost 40 years in practice devoted to women and children. He has 2 adult daughters and four grandgirls ranging in age from 4 to 21. His focus on bereaved children started abruptly in 1984 when he needed to explain to his 4 and 8-year-old daughters that their 11-year-old brother had died suddenly. After this, it became a mission to reach out to others who had lost a child. He has led grief support groups, addressed medical professionals in grief seminars, participated in ceremonies to honor stillborns and children who died in the hospital where he worked, and counseled countless individuals and couples in his practice. When he became aware of the existence of Nā Keiki O Emalia, it was a natural fit that he fully embraced. Ken trained as a facilitator in 2022 and wishes to serve the children, teens, and families of his adopted home for as long as he is able to do so.
Angee (the Diva) is a well known comedian, event planner and community member of Maui whose calling is to bring together people in cross- community events that are safe spaces for all. Trained in early elementary childhood education, Angee has taught children with autism and special needs, English language learners and focuses on social emotional learning and play as a way of engaging with children. Angee has had roots on Maui home since 2002 and lived in Southeast Asia for 4 years as well.
Angee is grateful for this opportunity to join the board of Nā Keiki O Emalia. With her wealth of relevant knowledge, immaculate social skills and a
compassionate heart for the children of Maui, she hopes to bring some diversity, balance and fresh energy to the organization. Following two successful keiki grief events, she is excited to continue working with and expand offerings to Nā Keiki O Emalia.
Michael Green, Treasurer (effective 1/24, but will consult until then), retired in 2017 from a successful career as a California CPA since 1969. He started his career working for Richard Flage CPA, where he made partner; managed Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur; and started and owned his own CPA practice in Carmel and Monterey in 1978-2008. Since his retirement, he has been retained as a consultant by several clients to serve as trustee of their trusts; and has owned and was a partner in several businesses and real estate development companies. Mike has served on many boards over the years, some including the American Lung Association for the tri-county area, Robinson Jeffers Tor House, Neuropathy Association of West Coast, and Knights of the Vine. Mike has lived in Maui since 2015 and resides with his wife in Kula.
Zadoc Brown III
Zadoc has been involved with Nā Keiki O Emalia since its inception, as the organization was founded by his mother to honor his sister, Emalia. Zadoc has played an integral role in the development and growth of the organization, and he is passionate about helping children in need.
Zadoc is proud of the collaborative spirit of the organization, with everyone working together towards a common goal. He believes that the strength of the board lies in the diverse skills and expertise of its members.
Zadoc is committed to furthering the mission of the organization and providing support to children facing difficult situations. He understands the important role that Nā Keiki O Emalia plays in the community and is dedicated to ensuring that the organization continues to make a positive impact in the lives of Maui’s youth.
Voted onto Board
Nikki is a Maui girl and graduate of Seabury Hall. She earned her BA in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2010. Following graduation, Nikki followed her heart back home to Maui and began her career at Bank of Hawaii as a Teller at Kihei Branch. She has steadily worked her way up through various positions in four different branches and currently serves as a Vice President and Branch Manager at Bank of Hawaii’s Kahului Banking Center, one of the busiest branches in the state.
As a member of a family with three generations of business owners, Nikki feels a great sense of responsibility and joy in being able to help the community that has long supported her own family. She is very excited about this development in her career which will allow her to help an even larger segment of the Maui community. Adding to that sense of community responsibility, Nikki is a 2015 graduate of the distinguished Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program, a non-profit, community-based program designed to identify and develop future Maui leaders.
Nikki has her hands full at home with 2 little ones, Riley (7) and Leia (4), as well as her husband Adam. In her spare time, Nikki enjoys going to the beach and camping and fishing with her family in Kaupo, in the desolate backside of Haleakala.
“I am interested in joining Na Keiki O Emalia because I truly care about protecting and serving the keiki and families in our community. Also, I had the privilege and honor of being one of Emalia’s students at Seabury Hall while in high school. Just from the short time I spent with her in the school setting, I felt her positivity, optimism, and true kindness. Now that I am a leader and mother, I remember Emalia as a true role model and someone I aspire to be more like.”
Janna Woods is a real estate agent on Maui who returned from the Bay Area early in 2020 with her two young children. She is overjoyed to be raising her kids in local community and schools and grateful to be rekindling her connection to the aina, enjoying all the beauty that our island has to offer and soaking up the spirit of aloha that is present here. Janna served on the NKOE committee to put together and deliver care packages for 45 grieving children this June and enjoyed working with others to help keiki thrive after the death of someone important to them. Having recently experienced the death of a close friend, Janna values teaching her kids how to express their feelings and be helpful to others. Her children Kanoa and Leilani have helped with NKOE projects and events since Janna heard about Nā Keiki O Emalia.
Lesley Parker was the Revenue Accountant for the San Diego Chargers, and was heavily involved every year in the finance department audit for the NFL. She worked throughout the year with the Chargers Community Foundation participating in many fundraisers, and community events, such as “shop with a jock” football camps for underserved children, on field pregame “make a wish” programs, Gala’s, the weekly program to feed the homeless, as well as numerous activities highlighting and honoring youth football and baseball champions. As well as the administrator for the yearly scholarship program for high school seniors graduating and heading to college. Leslie also volunteered for a number of the Chargers Football Players foundations, helping with their golf tournaments, fundraisers, Gala’s and underserved football camps.
Robyn Watts, At Large (effective immediately), had worked with students of all ages for 25+ years as a school counselor and retired 2 years ago and made the move to Maui without looking back. She interested in doing some supportive work in the community especially after the devastating fires as “our help will be needed for a very long time.The mental health needs should be a huge priority especially for children.” Robyn has experience putting together large events (Career Day, 5th grade orientation) with 300+ students. Training student leaders was a highlight. She also served on several committees including her school of employment’s leadership team. Most of her days were directly working with students and their families, and was also a facilitator for parent- teacher conferences on a daily basis.
Nadav Recca currently works as a software engineer for a Lithium Ion battery recycling company. He has spent 10+ years working in software, with an emphasis on cybersecurity. In his free time, he volunteers as staff for weeklong mediation retreats helping to hold space for people to connect to their authentic selves. He has spent many happy weeks in Haiku on Maui, where he feels supported by the island in connection to his own self. He’s excited to be able to contribute his technology skills to help NKOE support the grieving community on Maui.
Carole Zoom has been a dedicated member of the Nā Keiki O Emalia community since 2018 when she joined the board of directors. With a decade of experience living on Maui, Carole has developed a deep understanding of the community and is passionate about supporting children in need.
As a member of Nā Keiki’s Board of Directors, Carole collaborated with Founder Brooke Brown and former Executive Director Terri Erwin on fundraising and outreach initiatives. Concurrently, Carole served as the Outreach Coordinator for Evermore, an organization dedicated to improving bereavement care systems nationwide.
Carole has been a community organizer since 1991, trained by the Industrial Areas Foundation. As someone living with congenital Muscular Dystrophy and using a ventilator and mobility scooter full-time, Carole is a fierce advocate for disability rights. She served as the former Executive Director of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and worked with the Texas contingent to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, Carole directed the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange and served as the Leadership Exchange coordinator for Mobility International USA.
Through her extensive experience and passionate advocacy, Carole brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Nā Keiki O Emalia. She is committed to ensuring that the organization continues to make a positive impact in the lives of Maui’s children and the wider community.
Birgitte brings a wealth of experience in non-profit and business development to her role as Operations Manager at Nā Keiki O Emalia. She has held key positions at a variety of organizations, including the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center, HUE Home & Design, Pier 1 Imports, and OSU Federal Credit Union. Her extensive background in these fields has provided her with valuable skills and expertise that she can now apply to her work with Nā Keiki O Emalia.
Born and raised on Maui, Birgitte has a deep appreciation for Hawaii’s unique culture and diversity. She is personally connected to the mission of Nā Keiki O Emalia, as a friend of Emalia Brown Guard and her family. Birgitte is grateful to be a part of the NKOE team and is committed to furthering the organization’s mission of supporting Maui’s children through their grief journey.
Birgitte’s passion for bettering the lives of others and her genuine aloha for the community make her an ideal fit for her new role as Operations Manager. She is excited to use her skills and expertise to support the organization’s programs and services and to make a positive impact in the lives of Maui’s youth.