About Us

Ho'omau Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt non-profit focused on the success and development of Native Hawiian and Pacific Islanders.


Our mission is to provide scholarships, mentorship, and networking opportunities to Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) students who are active in the NHPI community. By combining the support for academic success and perpetuation of our culture, the foundation will help recipients succeed in their endeavors while maintaining and growing their cultural ties and identity.

JoNelle Sood, Founder & President

JoNelle Sood is Native Hawaiian, born and raised in the Bay Area. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA. JoNelle has over 20 years of corporate experience in Human Resources as a Talent Acquisition expert. She developed and managed global recruiting teams, designed and implemented HR systems, and implemented strategic programs, including University Programs and Contingent Workforce programs.

JoNelle is the second person in her family to attend and graduate college, an opportunity which she feels is a great privilege. Higher education was not a common practice nor considered a necessity in her family until her older brother advised her to attend. She saw firsthand that a degree opened doors and created possibilities for her to work in the high tech industry, opportunities which she would not have had otherwise.

Throughout her career, she did not see a big presence of Hawaiian Natives or Polynesians in the workplace. JoNelle's long-term goal is to provide a means for Polynesians to attain higher education and to support active members in the Pacific Islander community to further sustain the culture and sense of pride.

Taelson Larrow, Vice President & Treasurer

Taelson Larrow is a Master Mariner in the United States Merchant Marines, he works directly in the operations of international and domestic trade. He is a graduate of California Maritime Academy and a long standing union member of the International Organization of Master, Mates, and Pilots.

As a Pacific Islander, his passion and life's work is rooted in community, sustainability, food security, and wellness. Taelson has many affiliations with ʻaina (land) based movements and businesses in Hawai'i. He hopes to help cultivate the recreation of an active ahupuaʻa one day. Taelson is honored to be a board member of Hoʻomau Foundation and looks forward to fostering a community of like-minded Pacific Islanders to better our island earth.

Noelani DeVincent, Secretary

Noelani DeVincent, a native Hawaiian, was born, raised and currently resides in Wahiawa, Hawaii on the island of O'ahu. She had the privilege and honor to graduate from Kamehameha Schools Kapalama and attend Leeward Community College.

Noelani is an active member in the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture and practices. She is an avid hula dancer and the founder and Kumu Hula of Na Papa Hula o Noelani, a hula halau. For the past 12 years, Noelani has worked as a Hawaiian Studies Kumu (teacher) in the Hawai'i Department of Education Kumu/Kupuna program at elementary schools in the Central O'ahu district. She is the current Pelekikena (President) of the Hawaiian Civic Club of Wahiawa (HCCW), which she has been a member of for 12 years. The purpose of the HCCW is to protect and maintain Kukaniloko, which is one of the most significant sites of Hawai'i and a wahi kapu (sacred site).

She is the mother of two sons, whom she tries to keep connected to their kuleana (responsibility) for Aloha 'Aina. Noelani embraces and tries her best to perpetuate and preserve Hawaiian culture, which she loves so much. Her life is encircled with practices and teachings of her beloved Hawaiian culture and other indigenous studies and practices near and far. She is excited to be a part of Ho'omau Foundation, and all that this non-profit will do for our fellow Pacific Islander community.

Jeff Maruyama, Board Member

Jeff Maruyama is the CEO, Chairman of i-Hire, Inc founded in 1999. Jeff’s goal of founding i-Hire is to provide comprehensive, quality support to recruit and acquire top talent. The foundation of i-Hire’s systems and procedures is built on Jeff’s prior experiences in manufacturing and process improvement. Jeff is a graduate of University of California at Berkeley. He serves as chairman in i-Research, Inc, i-Fund, a private venture fund and RoundPeak Systems. He currently sits on the board for Startforce, a Japanese software company. He is on the Board of Trustees for the Japanese Community Cultural Center of Northern California.

Jeff approaches every business opportunity, new venture and all friendships with Aloha and that is why he’s excited to be a board member at Ho’omau Foundation. He loves the Pacific Island culture and people. He believes if everyone worked with the intentions of Aloha, the world would be a better place. Jeff’s youngest son is a graduate of University of Hawai’i, West O’ahu. He’s excited to be part of an organization whose mission is to maintain the culture, encourage education, mentorship and create a professional network of like-minded individuals.

Michelle Valteau, Ambassador

Michelle Valteau was born and raised in the Bay Area. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from San Diego State University in 2001, and Master of Arts in Leadership at Saint Mary’s University of California in 2012. As the first member of her family to graduate from college, Michelle knows firsthand the challenges students can experience without proper support while navigating the higher education system and future career development.

Michelle’s connection and love for the Pacific Islander community were instilled through her upbringing. She was brought up in the tradition of Hawaiian culture by her mother, a woman born and raised in Hawaii of Puerto Rican descent.

Professionally, Michelle is a healthcare manager for a major health maintenance organization (HMO), and has worked in the industry for the last 14 years. While attending graduate school in 2011, she discovered her passion for mentoring and coaching others in their education and career pursuits.

Today, Michelle continues to be passionate about sharing her experiences as a means to elevate others in their educational and career pursuits. She is a busy mom of two teenagers and enjoys sharing her love of Hawaiian and Pacific Islander culture with them. We look forward to her inspiring and guiding our Recipients and future generations.

Dane So, Ambassador

Dane was born and raised in O’ahu before moving to the Bay Area to attend college in 2001. He’s a proud graduate of the Hawaii public school system, more specifically Lunalilo Elementary, Washington Intermediate, and Kalani High. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 2005 and has spent the past 15+ years working within the field of finance and accounting at companies based in the Bay Area. He currently works at a cloud software technology company called Postman and is part of the Finance team.

Dane and his wife have been blessed with three kids and they spend the majority of their time enjoying outdoor activities and all that the Bay Area has to offer. He spends almost every year in Hawaii vacationing and visiting family.

Dane has a passion to learn continuously and take on new challenges and I’m looking forward to him sharing his wisdom with our Recipients.

Shane Kutaka, Ambassador

Shane Kutaka was born and raised in Honolulu, HI, and resides in the Bay Area however, he spends a lot of time going back home each month. He’s a proud graduate of Punahou and the University of Denver with a BS, in International Business where he learned how to snowboard. Shane knows firsthand the challenges of living so far away from home and experiencing new weather conditions and longing for home. Shane currently works for Cisco Systems on the Merger & Acquisition Team as an Engineering Integration Project Manager.

Shane has a love for surfing, snowboarding, golfing, and being a soccer player. You can find him out on the “field” every chance he gets. Shane has always thought about being a mentor or giving back to his community. He’s had some great mentors and influencers in his life, through college, and in his professional career, and would like to pay it forward. He knows the guidance and the relationships he built have left a lasting impression on him and he’d like to be able to do the same for others.

Contact Us

Email: admin@hoomaufoundation.org

Address: P.O. Box 1366, Fremont, CA 94538