Welcome the 2020 Board!
President: Sonya Mills
Sonya has been an active member of the Emergency Management Professionals of Hawaii for 3 years and brings a variety of experience to the table, both professionally and through community engagement with state and local government, the private sector, and non-profit organizations. Graduating with a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) with a focus in Emergency Management & Homeland Security in the summer of 2018, Sonya continued on, working for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) in Preparedness. Sony has also served as the State’s Situation Unit Leader (SITL) and State Coordinator for the Hawaii Disaster Recovery Center during the Kilauea Eruption in 2018, and also volunteers as an Incident Management Officer for the Coast Guard Auxiliary. As a recent graduate with a taste of the intricacies of the EM industry, Sonya’s passion is to see more students and young adults enter the challenging field of Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness.
President-Elect (Vice President): Flora Obayashi
Flora is a recent University of Hawaii – West O’ahu graduate holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Management/Disaster Preparedness. As a passionate emergency management volunteer, Flora has trained with the American Red Cross, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). She also serves as Co-Chair of the Emergency Preparedness Committee for the Kahalu‘u Neighborhood Board, and works to foster community resilience in the face of natural disasters and aim to raise the level of emergency preparedness for Windward O’ahu residents. To that end, Flora served as Program Chair and has previously coordinated a successful Windward Coast Emergency Preparedness Fair for 2019.
Peter Hirai is the co-founder of EMP-HI and is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM). With over 20 years in the Emergency Management profession, Peter has seen many accomplishments including, being the second President of the EMP-HI organization, serving on the North American CEM Application Review Committee (2015-2017), and being the longest continuous certified CEM in Hawaii for a total of 13 years. Peter currently works for the Army Pacific U.S. Army War College as an Emergency Management Specialist, and also teaches Emergency Management at Hawaii Pacific University as an adjunct professor.
Treasurer: Tamara (Tammy) Chapman
Tammy Chapman brings more than 14 years of experience working with government, private sector, non-profit, and academic institutions in emergency preparedness to EMP-HI. As a member, Tammy values the opportunities that EMP-HI provides to its members by teaching and connecting individuals within the emergency management field, allowing for the free exchange of ideas and information. With a background in consulting and project management, Tammy founded her own emergency management consulting company in 2018, serving clients throughout the state and the mainland. She also holds a FEMA certification as a Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP).Directors: Robert (Bob) Harter: Bob is a 30-year U.S. Army veteran with a variety of experience in planning, preparedness, exercise, and disaster/humanitarian relief. He has worked for the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Emergency Management since 2011, where he serves as an Emergency Management Staff Officer. He is also a founding member of EMP-HI and an Active American Red Cross volunteer. Timothy (Tim) Martinez, CEM, CMRP: Tim is an EMP-HI Founder’s Circle Member, and has served on the board of directors for the last 2 years. His emergency management experience includes health sector planning and responses to many foreign and domestic emergencies including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2011 East Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. Tim believes that building pre-crisis friendships and gaining awareness of the wide variety of disaster response and relief activities across Hawai’i through EMP-HI’s meetings and networking events are extremely important to disaster resiliency. His pledge is to continue to find new and interesting speakers and venues for our general membership meetings, grow EMP-HI membership, and increase EMP-HI’s value to our membership and community. Tim looks forward to another exciting year of networking, education, and fellowship! Patricia (Tricia) Wistinghausen: Tricia Wistinghausen is the former President of EMP-HI 2019, and is one of the leading voices in community engagement and public service in Hawaii. Becoming a founding-member of EMP-HI as an undergraduate student, Tricia took advantage of the knowledge and relationships in the organization, rising through the ranks from membership, to board member, to President, and now again as a board member. Tricia currently works for Pacific Wireless Communications and spends much of her time engaging with and serving her community through various programs. In addition to serving at EMP-HI, Tricia remains involved with an an array of causes including: Kauai Violence Prevention Coalition, Committee on the Status of Women, Kauai Women’s Caucus, Prevent Suicide Kauai Task Force, and Kauai Rural Health Association. Craig Gallagher: Craig currently serves as a Senior Medical Planner/Program Analyst for the U.S. Pacific Air Forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor – Hickam, Hawaii. His background includes 10 years of medical planning, medical readiness, strategy development, defense readiness, and logistics coordination. Jonathan (Yoshi) Mills: As an an active duty member of the US Coast Guard, Jonathan brings over 11 years of emergency management experience to the table. From serving in various EM roles, as well as participating as part of the Incident Management Team (IMT) for Sector Honolulu, Jonathan holds a wealth of emergency planning knowledge that he looks forward to sharing with the organization. Jonathan is eager to serve as a board member to further support the organization and provide feedback to improve its overall standing in the community. Furthermore, Jonathan believes EMP-HI provides a great networking opportunity for emergency management professional in the area. Gail Higashi-Takehara: Gail brings over 18 years of Emergency Management experience and comprehensive knowledge to the 2020 board. Her experience stems from serving with the American Red Cross, working for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, and from her current work with the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Gail has been an active EMP-HI member for the last 6 years and has had the opportunity to serve in almost every officer role, including the board. Gail is excited to continue serving as a board member and believes that her membership in the Emergency Management Professionals of Hawaii has helped her expand her knowledge of Emergency Management and meet more people who are involved in the field.