Healthcare, education leaders will strengthen guidance for nonprofit advocacy organization’s work to ensure great schools for all

Honolulu, Hawaii – HawaiiKidsCAN: The Hawaii Campaign for Achievement Now has welcomed two new members to its local advisory board–Nancy Barry, the founding president of Hoʻāla Foundation for Education and Elisa Yadao, senior vice president and chief communications and community engagement officer for Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA).

“Our team is honored to include the rich, intersectional perspectives of Nancy and Elisa on our growing team of community advisors, and their respective decades of service in education and communications–across a diverse range of nonprofits–will fortify our efforts to improve public school policy in a way that’s holistic, mindful and high-impact,” said David Miyashiro, founding executive director of HawaiiKidsCAN. “Without community voices that reflect the reality of Hawaii’s unique strengths and challenges, we could not fulfill our vision for the future of education in the state we call home.”

Yadao joins HawaiiKidsCAN as the senior vice president and chief communications and community engagement officer for HMSA, where she has worked since 2009. Yadao’s prior work experience includes roles as the chief information officer for the City and County of Honolulu’s rail transit system; communications director for Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate; executive director of the Polynesian Voyaging Society; and television reporter and news producer for Hawaii’s CBS affiliate.  She is a proud product of Hawaii’s public education system and a graduate of Hilo High School and the University of Hawaii at Mānoa.

Barry is the founding president of Hoʻāla Foundation for Education which trains teachers in the Awakening Wisdom program, a social and emotional curriculum that transforms school culture.  She also serves on the board of Hoʻokākoʻo Corporation. Nancy received her teacher certification through the University of Hawaii and studied at Regis College in Weston, Mass., where she earned a B.A. in government; Harvard University; and University of Paris, Sorbonne.

A school leader and educator, Nancy taught for 18 years at La Pietra – Hawaii School for Girls and was the Head of School at Hoʻāla School in Wahiawa. Her leadership experience also includes work with Straub Foundation, Mid-Pacific Institute and Ronald McDonald House. Nancy counsels non-profits with SCORE, raised grant funds for Kalaupapa Arts and Crafts Center and was a Malama Honua crew member with Polynesian Voyaging Society.

The addition of Yadao and Barry brings the HawaiiKidsCAN advisory board to five members, including Board Chair Jeff Arce, senior advisor for The MacNaughton Group; Jill Baldemor, executive director of Teach for America-Hawaii; and AJ Halagao, AJ Halagao, director of marketing at Hawaiian Electric, and executive vice president of the HEI Charitable Foundation.

“We are thrilled to welcome Elisa and Nancy to our board,” said Board Chair Jeff Arce. “These outstanding community leaders bring a wealth of experience to our efforts to positively impact our local education system.”


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