about us




The goal of the Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society is to enhance the general well-being of older individuals in the State of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands by:


  • Fostering public understanding and continuing education in the field of gerontology;
  • Bringing together all people concerned and interested in the challenges, issues and problems of the older adults as realized in a changing society;
  • Advocating on behalf of older people in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands;
  • Stimulating interest in gerontological research and services;
  • Encouraging professional preparation for gerontological research and services; and
  • Promoting volunteerism in the field of gerontology.




The mission of HPGS is to increase awareness of and interest in the field of gerontology by providing networking and educational opportunities, as well as scholarships, to Hawaii's workforce or other interested parties, in which to support the creation of needed policies and programs that will enhance the quality and age-friendly services to our Kūpuna in Hawaii.



Rick Tabor, President


Rick Tabor’s background in the mental health field spans back to 1976 when he was a petty officer in charge of Kaneohe Marine Corps’ Mental Health Clinic, while getting his BA in psychology at Chaminade.  He received his masters in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon and worked at the Seattle Mental Health for thirty years before moving to Hawaii, the home of  his wife.  Rick is Generations Magazine’s Community Development Director, working to bring together resources for Hawaii’s kupuna and their families, being an advocate and educator through the Generations radio show podcasts and live webinars, as well as writing a mental health column for the magazine.  As busy as Rick is with Generations and a valued leader with HPGS, he has time to spend quality time with a number of other nonprofits who view his dedication and contribution to be an asset to their organizations too.


Cynthia Arnold, Secretary/Treasurer


Cynthia Arnold started her own consulting company in 2022, helping clients in many aspects regarding their future plans - from moving, downsizing, aging in place and organizing, and even event/wedding planning.

After 11 years of working with seniors to downsize, declutter and move, she decided to take a step back and spend more time with her husband and daughter Alexis. She is now helping clients to consult on their future; whether to age in place or make a move and where; and by helping with resources and information. Prior to this, she helped create and manage Senior Move Managers and De-Clutter Hawaii for 11 years, she worked as the Marketing & Fundraising Manager with the American Diabetes Association, Hawaii Chapter, and as a Catering Manager with the Ala Moana Hotel. In 2019, she retired after 20 years of coaching tennis for St. Andrew's Priory and Sacred Hearts Academy. Cynthia lives in Aiea with her husband Trey and daughter Alexis. As a family, they enjoy watching UH baseball, playing softball and tennis and enjoying time with their big Ihara Ohana. Cynthia also very involved in Pearl Ridge Elementary School PTA, Nishihara Chojin Kai Okinawan Club and Softball Team as well as the Kakaako Invitational Golf Tournament.



Sherry Goya, Executive Director


After working in the corporate office of the largest real estate company in Hawaii from 1973 to 1990 and coordinating the ERA franchise in Hawaii for three years, Sherry A. Goya, LLC was created in 1993 as a consulting company.  She utilized her experience in administration, organization, human resource, marketing, purchasing, events coordination, and writing to start her company. Since 2010, she has written articles, sold ad space, and coordinated the distribution of Generations Magazine. She is also the Executive Director of two other associations and has well over fifty clients requiring her marketing skills from newsletters, post cards, flyers, personal brochures, bulk mailing, websites, to events planning and fundraising, while owning and running Real Estate Referral Center, Inc. For fun and exercise, Sherry enjoys coaching tennis for St. Andrew’s Priory and Sacred Hearts Academy with her two daughters. She has been married since December 1976; and they also have a son, son-in-law and beautiful granddaughter.



Kathy Wyatt


Kathy Wyatt is is the KIA Conference Co-Chair and Founder/President of Hale Hauʻoli Hawaiʻi, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote positive aging through community education programs, adult day care options, and caregiver support groups. She is a registered nurse with Master’s degrees in Nursing and Business Administration. She is on the Board of Directors of the Policy Advisory Board for Elderly Affairs, on the board of Hawaii Pacific Gerontology Society, Treasurer of the Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition, Secretary of the Board of the Caregiver Foundation, on the Board of the National Adult Day Services Association, on the Board of Kokua Council, and she is active in the Kupuna Caucus. In addition, she operates Hale Hauʻoli Hawaiʻi, adult day care center in Aiea in two locations, as well as the Hoaloha Nurse Aide Training program.


Poki`i Balaz


Poki’i Balaz DNP is a family nurse practitioner who aims to serve our kūpuna, those with Alzheimer’s, other related dementias, caregivers, and underserved populations such as Native Hawaiians. Dr. Balaz received her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo with her focus on improving financial resources and advocacy for caregivers. Her professional passion stems from her personal experience as a caregiver to her father who is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She is active in the community as a support group facilitator, ambassador, and state champion for the Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter, induction and governance chair for Sigma Theta Tau, supporter of Special Olympics, and co-facilitator of the Savvy Caregiver and Dealing with Dementia Programs. She is also Regional Trainer for the National Task Group, Dementia Friends, and a Positive Approach to Care Champion. Dr. Balaz also enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, and has special interested in Brain Health and Wellness.


Laurie T.S. Adamshick, Esq.


Laurie is an elder law attorney and partner in the specialized Life Care Planning law firm of Rulon & Adamshick located in Honolulu. She discovered her passion for elder law as the result of her experience over several years as the primary caregiver and advocate for her late parents. Her law practice

focuses on comprehensive Life Care Planning to help older adults navigate the long-term care maze, and address the legal and myriad other issues that families are often faced with as a loved one declines. Laurie is a Veterans Administration accredited attorney and a member of ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Hawaii Estate Planning Council and the Elder Law Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association. She is a past Director of Hawaii Women Lawyers.


Tonya Hammond-Tulllis, Director


Tonya Hammond-Tullis is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Oahu Alzheimer's Association’s Hawaii chapter. She has over 20 years experience working in the Long Term Care industry. Tonya has her Bachelors in Social work with a minor in Gerontology and Dual Masters of Arts in Counseling and School Counseling. Tonya has been with the Alzheimer's Association since January 2019. Her greatest joy is to help families find hope through the resources of the Alzheimer's Association.


Kathy Jaycox, Director


Kathy has made a career of building bridges. During her 41 years as an educator, this Chicago native -- a Kailua resident since 1992 -- developed many coalitions across institutional boundaries. Originally an English teacher, she moved into higher ed administration in

1980. She worked for the UH System from 1993 until her retirement in 2010, where her major bridge-building effort was the establishment of the P-20 Initiative, which united early childhood ed, K-12 and higher ed, both public and private, in an effort to improve overall education outcomes in the state. In retirement, she continues to be an organizational bridge builder. As the Oahu president of FACE, Faith

Action for Community Equity, she works with a coalition of 23 organizations to address issues of social justice. She is also an active volunteer with AARP. Getting FACE and AARP to work together on the Kupuna Caregivers bill was the highlight of her 2017 efforts. Kathy also serves on the board of the Honolulu Catholic Campaign for Human Development.


Christy Nishita, Director


Christy Nishita, Ph.D. is an Associate Specialist at the University of Hawaii Center on Aging and Center on Disability Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Gerontology from the University of Southern California. Her focus is on improving community-based long-term care, with publications on aging in place, nursing home transitions, intergenerational programming, and health promotion. She is the consultant for the Mayor’s Age-Friendly Honolulu Initiative, fostering community intergenerational partnerships and conducting the evaluation. Dr. Nishita is also Principal Investigator for Hawaii's Alzheimer's Disease Initiative, a 3-year grant from the Federal Administration for Community Living. She is also evaluator for the Hawaii Going Home Plus project, a federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services grant. She is the recipient of the 2016 Na Lima Kokua Award in the Research/Teaching category, given by the Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society. She is also Co-Coordinator for the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, From the Field section as well as member of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education’s Intergenerational Learning and Research Committee.

Sara Lenzer Medeiros


Sara Lenzer Medeiros is a Retired Hawaii public school teacher of 25+ years. She has lived in Hawaii for over 50 years.  She holds a Masters of Education, from the University of Connecticut, a Bachelors of Education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Highly Qualified teaching certificate from the Hawaii State Department  of Education. She grew up in Kailua on Oahu in a Multi-generational household, and is a Surfrider, having graduated from Kailua High.  She was moved to Hawaii as a child from Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1968. Her father, Dr. Anthony Lenzer, came from the University of Michigan to start the gerontology program at the School of Public Health, University of Hawaii.  Her mother, Joan, was a social worker. Sara has professional experience in many things including television production, and employee corporate communications at Hawaiian Electric Company. She is keenly interested in the lives of our Kūpuna and was volunteering at the Hawaii county senior program until the shut down. Sara lives in Kailua Kona, Hawaii Island with her husband, and a friend. She has two children and six grandchildren.

Nena Hart


Nena has her Masters in Nursing Administration and is the Founder of Hart Healthcare Solutions, which helps senior care providers take back the operational health of their organization, stop the vicious cycle of agency use and critical staffing, enhance survey outcomes, and ultimately improve patient care and quality of life.   She transforms stagnant operations struggling with staffing and systems into thriving operations with high-performing teams.  Nena has extensive compliance experience and consistently successful outcomes with surveys from various regulatory bodies at providers of different sizes and industries. Empowering other leaders is her passion.  She has been married for 17 years and has 4 amazing children ages 16,12,8,5. Her family lives on Lana'i and her desire is to positively impact the healthcare system to increase the quality of care and life for our seniors while advocating for senior care providers.

Judy Mikami


Born and raised on Molokai and returned after college and husband's completion of pharmacy school in 1969.  Licensed as a RN and later receiving an MPH, enabled me to work in the public health sector and then later, do grant writing for the Native Hawaiian Health Care System and other entities in the area of health care.  Living in a rural and remote area, I've been conscious about the resource limitations in many areas: education, health care, jobs creation, housing.  However, Molokai has survived, though at times, barely, but recognizing that we need to be creative about maximizing what resources we do have.  As our community has aged and is aging, long-term care options have become more challenging.  We have had opportunities to partner with other agencies/organizations to benefit from these shared resources.  Participating in an organization, such as HPGS, gives us more insight into what is available and the potential to also garner some of these resources.  I appreciate all of the support Molokai and I have had over the years as we've advocated for long-term services for our kupuna.




HPGS 2022 Committee Chairs and Members


Publicity, Newsletter and Editorial - Chair:  Poki'i Balaz

Kathy Jaycox, Rick Tabor


Workforce Development - Chair:   Christy Nishita

Cullen Hayashida, Kathy Jaycox, Sara Medeiros, Cynthia Arnold, Kendi Ho, Whitney Katsutani


Membership, Nominations - Chair: Kathy Wyatt

Cynthia Arnold, Poki'i Balaz, Eileen Phillips


Fundraising - Chair:  John A. H. Tomoso

Rick Tabor, Kathy Wyatt, Eileen Phillips, Cynthia Arnold and Sara Lenzer Medeiros


Biennial Conference - Co-Chairs:   Kathy Wyatt, Eileen Phillips

Cynthia Arnold, Poki'i Balaz, Christy Nishita, Rick Tabor, Laurie Adamshick, Kathy Jaycox, Tonya Hammond-Tullis


Programs, Webinar - Chair:  Poki'i Balaz

Laurie Adamshick, Kathy Jaycox


NOTE:  The HPGS Chair and HPGS Executive Director are members of all HPGS Committees


Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society

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Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society