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.
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.
Cheryl Bellisario, Data, Evaluation & Community Leadership Coordinator
Cheryl is an AmeriCorps VISTA member and responsible for all the fun data at HCAN. Originally from New York, Cheryl came to Hawaii in 2009 for her undergraduate degree in International Relations at Hawaii Pacific University. After receiving her B.A. (with a minor in Spanish), her family joined her and Cheryl now lives in Kaneohe with her parents, older sister, brother-in law, cute baby nephew, and her rescue cat, Koa (who is deaf and blind). In Fall 2017, Cheryl will start her masters studies in Understanding and Securing Human Rights at the University of London – School of Advanced Study. In her spare time, Cheryl volunteers with Aloha Dream Team, the Arthritis Foundation, and is as involved as possible with other progressive groups in Hawaii. Cheryl loves to travel and has visited or lived in 12 countries, with more to come...
Jaylene Meyer, Communications Intern
Jaylene is a proud senior at UH Manoa born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. In spring 2018, she is planning to receive her BA in Communication. She has a part time job at a restaurant to support her educational goals and to go traveling. On her free time, she occasionally goes hiking with friends and relaxes with online shopping therapy. She is ready to join HCAN to support early childhood education and childcare to ensure children a bright future. Her goal is to learn and make a difference for the mothers and children in Hawaii who need help by getting involved. Hoping to make positive changes by being a part of the HCAN Ohana and create new memories.