Deborah Zysman, MPH Executive Director
Deborah provides overall leadership at HCAN and works with the Board of Directors and community partners to improve the lives of children. Deborah previously served as Executive Director of Coalition for Tobacco-Free Hawaii from 2003 to 2012. The non-profit advanced Hawaii’s smoke-free workplace and tax laws and achieved a substantial decrease in smoking rates.
She has a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her work has spanned chronic disease, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse prevention, women’s health and community health. Her work has focused on public policy, advocacy, organizational capacity building, and developing community coalitions.
Deborah is a Weinberg Fellow and the winner of the 2017 AIM for Excellence in Nonprofit Management award. Deborah and was named one of Hawaii’s “Forty Under 40” by Pacific Business News and she is the past board President of Hawaii Public Health Association and the Junior League of Honolulu.
In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, reading and going to the beach with her long-time partner and their two young children.
Mike Fahey, Senior Community Engagement Specialist
Mike has over 40 years of experience as an early childhood education/special education teacher and administrator. In Hawai`i, his career has spanned 40 years from Pali Preschool, United Cerebral Palsy Association to the Department of Education (DOE) 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 of the State of Hawai`i 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 HCAN 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 was a Vice President 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 and has served on several local boards. In addition to her passion for children, Angie is an animal lover and has rescued two dogs and a one-eyed cat.
Mandy (Finlay) Fernandes, JD 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 wife and their two cats.
Jan I'i, Office Manager
Jan brings over 20 years of management in the service industry to HCAN, 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 playgroups 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.