Board of Directors
Our board members provide guidance and oversight, in order to help us fulfill our mission.
Dean Au was born and raised in Manoa Valley, island of Oahu. He graduated from Maryknoll High School in 1993. He has 24 plus years of experience in the Construction Industry as a Carpenter and General Contractor. He has volunteered his time and construction expertise to help many non profit organizations on the Big Island, most recently Hawai’i island Food Basket and Saint Joseph Schools/Church. He is currently the Hilo Field Representative for the Hawai’i Regional Council of Carpenters.
Rev. Robert Stark, SSS
Rev. Robert Stark, SSS
Father Robert Stark has worked for social justice in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean for more than 30 years, and is currently the Director of the Office for Social Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. Prior to his appointment in Hawaii, Father Stark headed the New Mexico Community foundation for nine years, serving primarily immigrant and Native American families. He also led the Policy Alternatives on Central American and the Caribbean, a non-governmental multinational organization. Ordained in 1977, Fr. Stark has a masters and doctorate degree in social ethics from the University of Chicago. He has also served as a parish priest and is currently parochial vicar of Malia Puka O Kalani Parish in Keaukaha, Hawaii.
Gwen DeCoito was raised in the plantation community of Pepeekeo Mill Camp on the Hamakua coast of Hawaii Island. She graduated from Hilo College with a degree in Sociology. In 2009 she retired from a career in residential and commercial property management of Waiakea Villas and Village in which she served in various administrative capacities over twenty-six years. At the time of her retirement, she held the position of Property Manager for the Managing Agent, Hawaii First Inc., a Honolulu based company. Gwen is a licensed real estate sales agent with Coldwell Banker Day-Lum Properties located in Hilo, Hawaii. Gwen serves as a co-chair of the Stewardship Committee of St Joseph Church-Hilo since 2015 and was appointed East Hawaii Vicariate Representative to the Diocese Stewardship & Development Commission in 2017.
Peter Hoffman serves as a Director.
Patrick Hurney, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Hawaii Island, was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has lived in Hawaii since 1992. In 1997, he moved to Kamuela, Hawaii with his wife and three wonderful children. Patrick began his career in education, teaching at St. Anthony Junior/Senior High School, on Maui and then at St Joseph Schools in Hilo. For the past twenty years, he turned his attention and passion to working in the non-profit sector. He has experience in Substance Abuse Counseling; Child Abuse and Prevention; and Homeless and Affordable Housing Services. In 2006, he was the Program Director for Catholic Charities Hawaii at the Kawaihae Transitional Housing Program. In 2009, he joined Habitat for Humanity.
Carol R. Ignacio
Carol R. Ignacio has dedicated her entire career to developing, implementing and advocating for programs that serve the poor. Hired by the Catholic Diocese in July 1986 as a community organizer, Carol led the charge in opening the first emergency and transitional homeless shelters as well as the Care-A-Van program that met unsheltered homeless persons where they live, in caves, lava tubes, and encampments, on the island of Hawaii. In 1989, she founded the Hawaii Island Food Bank, by receiving donations and delivering food to the needy from the trunk of her car. In 2013, she retired as the Executive Director of the Office for Social Ministry, Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. Carol spends her retirement at her son’s restaurant in Honoka’a, Grandma’s Place…. you’ve got to try her personally made pies! Carol has been recognized for her work by receiving numerous awards, including the Zonta Rose 2004 Award as Outstanding Woman in the community, and the Richard Smart Special Service Award.
“I have experienced homelessness 3 times in my life, twice with my children... I am grateful you are there for the people of Hawaiʻi.”
Susan, Hawaiʻi Island resident