Our Team

Brent Kakesako
Executive Director
Brent feels humbled to co-learn alongside communities across Hawai'i and beyond and blessed with an awesome team he supports as best he can. He is driven by his family upbringing, the connection he feels to this place, and his initial eye opening community engagement experiences. Brent also dabbled in supporting the startup ecosystem, founded a small consulting business, coaches wrestling, and wipes out alot at Kewalo's. He received his J.D. from the William S. Richardson School of Law, an M.B.A. from the Shidler College of Business, and his Bachelors from Harvard University focused on the study of teams.
Keoki Noji
Chief Operating Officer
Keoki Noji is the Chief Operating Officer of HACBED and supervises the planning and execution of training and technical assistance activities. In addition, Keoki is responsible for grant writing, budgeting, and reporting. He has extensive experience and background with grant and project management, operation, and evaluation. Before coming to HACBED, Keoki was employed by the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Program at Kapi‘olani Community College (KapCC) as the Marketing Coordinator.
Malachi Krishok
Program Specialist
After completing his term as an AmeriCorps VISTA, Malachi joined the HACBED staff in his current role where he continues to grow his own capacity to support by listening, learning, and engaging with communities across Hawai`i. Before his time at HACBED, Malachi dabbled in legal aid, volunteered for an oral history project, and played/coached/watched a lot of baseball. Malachi graduated with a B.A. in Politics with a minor in Urban and Environmental Policy from Occidental College and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa.
Will Simmons
Food System Specialist
Will is inspired and challenged by the dedication of HACBED's community partners, and he is humbled to listen and learn alongside them. He earned his bachelor's in Neuroscience from Baylor University, during which time he also conducted child nutrition research with the indigenous Luo tribe of western Kenya. Will's work at HACBED involves Hawai`i's food systems - building capacity, strengthening networks, and increasing access.
Foley Pfalzgraf
AmeriCorps VISTA
Foley is excited to join the HACBED team as an AmeriCorps VISTA and looks forward to working with the many dedicated partners who strive to create a better future here in Hawai'i. She is excited to grow her skills in listening, facilitating and capacity building while at HACBED. Foley completed an MSc from the University of Oxford in Geography with a dissertation focused on disaster preparedness in Vanuatu and how to incorporate elements of traditional knowledge. She obtained her BA from American University in Anthropology and International Studies and worked for a number of environmental NGOs in Washington, DC.
Athena Esene
Administrative Assistant
Athena is HACBED's all star bookkeeper, ensuring that our accounting, administrative, and other behind-the-scenes needs are covered. She is also a proud wife and mother of three.
Ave Galeai
Administrative Intern
Ave is currently HACBED's multi-talented intern who supports with numerous administrative and bookkeeping tasks. Her love for R&B transcends the headphones into the workplace! Ave recently completed her bachelor's degree at Chaminade University and graduated from the Hogan Entrepreneur's Program.


We mahalo the following former team members for their hard work and dedication:

Bob Agres · Paige Allen · Will Chen · Molly Chlebnikow · Jamie Cook · Ben Costigan · Brent Dillabaugh · Trung Doan · Anna Dorman · Kamuela Enos · Justin Fanslau · Maggie Flynn · Elwen Freitas · Sharde Freitas · Randy Gingras · Tony Hall · Hunter Heaivilin · John Higgins · Manish Joshi · Larissa Meinecke Kick · Derrick Kiyabu · James Koshiba · Trevor La Torre-Couch · Vivienne Lee · Jay Mason · Gary Maunakea-Forth · Blake McElheny · Hermina Morita · Briana Monroe · Paula Nagao · Mika Okuno · Gaby Orantes · Tommy Otake · Vini Pabon · Kehau Padilla · Sang-Hyoun Pahk · Pi`ilani Pang · Joong-hee Park · Richard Pezzulo · Ethan Porter · David Rothwell · Padmendra Shrestha · Collin Siu · Susan Tamanaha · Lee Tokuhara · Hanale Vincent · David Washburn · Johnathan Yim