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.

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.

Leilani Graves, Ambassador

Trisha Leilani Graves! Leilani, a proud Hawaiian, was born and raised in California. Having earned her BS in sociology and a masters in Social Work from San Jose State University, she's dedicated 24 incredible years to the social services field. 

Currently, besides being a devoted school social worker, she runs her private psychotherapy practice in San Jose. Balancing her time between her important work, cultural pursuits, and raising two amazing children, Leilani truly embodies the spirit of giving and caring.

Passionate about Hula/Tahitian dancing, she has graced the halau with her presence for over 40 years! Leilani also finds time to be a local high school track coach!

Leilani is partnering with us at the Ho’omau Foundation to mentor young adults and give back. We're beyond thrilled to have someone as dedicated as Leilani join our ohana.

Aaron Deal, Volunteer

Aaron is Native Hawaiian, born and raised in California. He is a versatile marketing and communications professional with proven experience in creating and managing programs that help accelerate growth. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a Bachelor of Arts in English. His career started as a copy editor with one of Hawai‘i's most well-known business publications.Today, he plays a pivotal role in shaping global corporate communications strategies—overseeing programs such as owned media relations, organic social media, employee advocacy, and awards. 

As a second-generation college student, the advice from his parents to pursue higher education was instilled from an early age. However, when the time came, the greatest hurdle emerged: navigating the challenge of financing his education. Faced with the prospect of taking out loans for his first year, he diligently applied for numerous scholarships. Fortunately, he emerged as a recipient of the APIASF Wells Fargo Foundation Scholarship, amounting to $2,500. This firsthand experience highlighted the profound impact of scholarship programs and served as a significant aid in alleviating his financial burden.

Aaron decided to join us in our mission to make education accessible for all! 

Kameron Jeffery, Volunteer

Kameron Jeffery, a proud Native Hawaiian and California resident, graduated from San Jose State University with a BS in Justice Studies.  During his senior year, he interned for the Record Clearance Project, helping people expunge their criminal records.

Now, he's set his sights on law school with dreams of becoming a family law attorney.  Kameron is proud of his native roots and believes strongly in perpetuating his culture. 

When he's in Hawaii, he volunteers with local organizations to strengthen his connection to the ‘āina (land) and volunteers with Ho’omau Foundation.  

Ariadni Pereira, Advisor

Ari is a creative, visionary event planner with a passion for designing unique and inspiring experiences for large company events. She has a unique perspective, and dedication to creating truly amazing events always shines through. Ari is an avid traveler and has landed on the island of O'ahu.

Her love for the beautiful Hawaiian culture, traditions and its people is evident in her work, making every event a spectacular showcase of the vibrant and diverse world we live in. 

With a keen sense of business and a plethora of growth ideas for companies, Ari is a game changer. She is not just an event planner, but a connector of people, a storyteller, and a dreamer who knows how to make magic happen.

Contact Us

Email: admin@hoomaufoundation.org

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