Deborah Zysman, Executive Director
Deborah provides overall leadership at HCAN and works with the Board of Directors and community partners to improve the lives of children. She has over a decade of experience leading non-profit organizations. Deborah has an MPH in community health, has served on many community boards, and was recently appointed as a Weinberg Fellow by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. She is passionate about social justice, community advocacy and building community leaders.
In her actual spare time she can be found running after her two small kids at Kaimana Beach and renovating her fixer-upper home in Manoa. In her imaginary spare time she enjoys yoga, reading and drinking good scotch.
Mike Fahey, Senior Community Engagement Specialist
Mike has over 40 years of experience as an early childhood education/special education teacher and administrator. In Hawaii, his career has spanned 40 years from Pali Preschool, United Cerebral Palsy Association to the Department of Education at Waialai, Honowai, Jarrett, and Lili`uokalani Schools. He served the DOE for 17 years as the State 619 Coordinator for Preschool Special Education Programs. Mike was one of the original members, back in 1997, of the State of Hawaii Interagency Transition Team for STEPS (Sequenced Transition of Education into the Public Schools) and remains very active state team member and liaison/consultant to community teams. He helped develop many of the transition tools and protocols made available through the Readiness Taskforce which he co-chaired with UH Professor Emeritus, Stephanie Feeney. He joined Good Beginnings in January of 2008 as the Professional Development Coordinator for the P-3 (Provisions for Early Learning to Third Grade) movement of the Hawai‘i’s P-20 Partnerships for Education. He facilitated the team who developed the Hawaii Early Learning and Development Standards (HELDS). In his leisure time he enjoys traveling, working out with his trainer, good films and books. He has lived in Mililani for the last 25 years and has just completed a new house in Massachusetts for his parents who are in their 80s.
Angelina Mercado, Director of Advancement
Angie brings a wealth of experience in developing funding strategies and risk management policies. Angie worked for more than a decade in credit and capital markets positions for major Wall Street firms. In her most recent role, she held a senior position in the central funding group of RBC Capital Markets. Based in Hawaii since 2012, Angie has been involved in a range of social ventures with a focus on non-profit operations and funding. In addition to her passion for children, Angie is an animal lover and has rescued two poi dogs and a one-eyed cat.
Kory Payne, Field Coordinator
Kory has spent the past fifteen years creating and executing nonpartisan grassroots policy campaigns at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels. Kory specializes in field plans and advocacy strategies that help achieve policy goals. He has consulted on legislative victories for Save The Children, Sierra Club, and many others. In 2008 he received the Honu Award for Special Achievement for leading an effort that passed a bill for election reform for Hawaii County. In his spare time, Kory likes to surf, camp, and golf.
Jan I'i, Office Manager
Jan brings over 20 years of management in the service industry to Good Beginnings Alliance, along with a passion for working with youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. Jan first came to the organization under the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant, planning and running play groups with children and their families at the Institute for Human Services (IHS) houseless shelter. Jan now manages the GBA office, providing support in ensuring smooth everyday operations, including payroll, general accounting support, clerical, and serving as a liaison to the Board of Directors and contractors.