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 EducationatWaialai, 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.


Angie.jpgAngelina 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.


Mandy Finlay, Director of Public Policy

Mandy is passionate about using strategic advocacy to change laws and policies that perpetuate cycles of poverty and inequality. Prior to joining HCAN, Mandy served as the chief lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii. Mandy holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. She serves on the board of the Hawaii LGBT Legal Association and volunteers as a docent at the Honolulu Zoo. She currently lives in Kakaako with her partner and their two cats.



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.



Kristin Osakada, Data, Evaluation & Community Leadership Coordinator

Kristin is very happy to join the HCAN Ohana as the AmeriCorps VISTA member responsible for data coordination. Born and raised in Chicago, she recently received her BS in Statistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is excited at the opportunity to contribute to HCAN’s fight for Hawaii’s children. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, biking, exploring, playing tourist in Oahu, and taking in the sights.



Jaylene.jpgJaylene 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. 



Jaylin Petersen, Policy Intern

Jaylin is currently a senior at University of Hawaii at Manoa’s and expecting to graduate with a BS in Family Resources and BA in Political Science in Spring 2018.  Jaylin loves being involved with UH and currently serves on the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii’s (ASUH) 105th Senate as the Senator for the College of Tropical Agriculture and Resources and the Chair for the committee on Student Affairs and is president of the Manoa Pre-Law Association for the 2017-2018 school year.  In her free time, she loves to take dance or yoga classes, hang out with friends, read good books, and do outdoor activities like going hiking or to the beach. She also just got a new puppy named Dallas and will probably be spending a lot of her free time taking care of him!