YP Synergy Symposium


1:30 PM Registration

2:00 PM Welcome & Keynote Speaker Panel including:

  • Ann Botticelli, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Hawaiian Airlines
  • Robert Nobriga, President, Island Holdings, Inc., and
  • Nicole Velasco, Business Development, NORESCO

Ann Botticelli is the Senior Vice President – Corporate Communications & Public Affairs of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., a position she has held since October 2011. In her position Ms. Botticelli oversees strategic external and internal communications, as well as government relations and community relations for Hawaii’s largest and longest serving airline. Prior to entering the communications field, Ms. Botticelli spent two decades as a news reporter in Honolulu, covering business, consumer affairs and state government for KITV-4, KHON-TV and The Honolulu Advertiser.

Robert K.W.H. Nobriga is the president of Island Holdings, Inc., where he oversees a family of Hawaii companies engaged primarily in private equity and real estate investment, insurance products and services, and technology consulting. The family of Island Holdings’ companies include Tradewind Capital Group, Island Insurance, Atlas Insurance, IC International, and Pacxa.  Prior to joining Island Holdings, Mr. Nobriga held several senior leadership roles in Hawaii primarily in the banking and healthcare sectors.

Nicole A. Velasco serves as Hawaii’s business development lead for NORESCO, an energy services company. On behalf of NORESCO, she raises awareness about Hawaii’s energy efficiency opportunities, supports green collar workforce training, and drives impact through systems optimization for both public and private entities. Prior to assuming her new role, Velasco served the City & County of Honolulu as the Executive Director for the Neighborhood Commission Office followed by service as the Executive Director of the Office of Economic Development.

3:00 PM Professional Development Class Breakout Sessions
1A: Advancing Your Life and Career Through Community Leadership and Volunteerism with Evan Leong, CEO, Brain Gain Hawaii

Evan Leong is a Hawaii born and raised entrepreneur with businesses ranging from international distribution to management and executive level career coaching, recruitment and consulting. He is the co-founder and CEO of multiple distinguished companies including: Greater Good Inc., Bubble Tea Supply, and Brain Gain Hawaii.

Evan’s most recent venture focuses on providing career coaching, mentoring and employment services to Hawaii’s top professional talent. He created Brain Gain Hawaii to coach, motivate and retain our leaders of today, and those of tomorrow. Brain Gain Hawaii not only assists local professionals career services, but has a special focus of helping Hawaii raised professionals transition back to Hawaii by helping them find the right opportunities to bring them home.

2B: Young & Leading With Aloha with Breana Grosz, General Manager, International Market Place

Learn how to make an impact as a young boss and lead your team to success. This class will discuss overcoming impostor syndrome, learning how to lead, don’t let your age stop you – go for that promotion, and navigating a multi-generational workplace as a young leader.           

Over the course of Breana Grosz’s career in Hawaii, her experience has included business development, healthcare, operations, construction management and strategic communications for Bennet Group, a locally based public relations firm working with local and national clients in the retail, healthcare, finance and nonprofit industries. Grosz joined The Taubman Company as an owners’ representative assistant in 2016 to work on the International Market Place development project. She then joined the International Market Place marketing team and in June 2019 became one of Taubman’s youngest General Managers in their 70 year history.

3C: Change from within and creating change in your community with Dawn Lippert, CEO, Elemental Excelerator

Navigating the intersection of purpose and profession and working to create change in your organization and in your community.

Dawn Lippert is CEO of Elemental Excelerator (EEx), a non-profit startup organization formed in collaboration with Emerson Collective, the investment and philanthropic platform led by Laurene Powell Jobs. EEx has become one of the most active funders of startups solving urgent climate and environmental challenges.  Dawn initially started funding startups in Hawaii in 2009 and has now funded over 100 companies. In addition to leading Elemental Excelerator, Dawn is Director of Innovation and Community at Emerson Collective. Through her role at Emerson Collective, Dawn shares a place-based innovation model pioneered by Elemental Excelerator with communities around the world.

4:15 PM Exec Connect Breakout Sessions

Gregg Dunn
President & CEO, Hawaii Theatre

Gregg Dunn oversees all aspects of the state’s preeminent
performing arts venue and it’s real estate holdings to direct growth and ensure
consistency of HTC’s message and mission to be the place to celebrate arts and culture
in Hawaii. Prior to joining Hawaii Theatre Center, Gregg spent the last five years as the
President & CEO of Hawaii’s Better Business Bureau where he led the effort to reposition
the iconic brand in the marketplace. Gregg also previously served as the Vice President of Operations for the privately-held Hawaii-based real estate investment firm Fair Horizon LLC where he spearheaded the organization’s residential property acquisition and sales division.

Marie Kumabe
Principal, KumabeHR

Marie Kumabe is Principal and Owner of Kumabe HR and oversees the Executive Recruitment and Human Resource Consulting Division. Marie is a recognized leader in Hawaii in the field of staffing and human resources as is demonstrated by her thriving firm and her appointment as the current Faculty Director for the Masters of Human Resources Management program at the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii. 

Jason Lazzerini
President & CEO, Locations

Jason Lazzerini is President and CEO of Locations, Hawaii’s largest local real estate brokerage. Prior to joining Locations, he served as Senior Vice President at American Savings Bank. At the bank his tenure included positions as Director of Home Loans, overseeing the Investment Services and Business Banking divisions, a Regional Executive and Director of Learning and Development. Jason has also held leadership roles at Deutsche Bank, US Bancorp and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

Sherry Menor-McNamara
President & CEO, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii

As President and CEO of the Chamber, Sherry is the youngest and first female and Japanese-Filipino leader in the organization’s 169-year history. She previously worked for the Hawaii State Legislature, ESPN’s Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Sony Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Estee Lauder Company, Elton John Production, U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka and the Executive Office of the United States President. Sherry serves on numerous boards including The Queen’s Health Systems, JAIMS Foundation, FILCom Center, East-West Center Foundation, Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders and Move Oahu Forward, as well as on a number of task forces.

Michael O’Malley
Partner, Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel

Emily Porter
Chief Operating Officer, The MacNaughton Group

Emily Porter is The MacNaughton Group’s Chief Operating Officer, having joined the company in 2015 after 15 years of legal and business experience in Honolulu, San Francisco and Washington D.C. as a law firm litigator, in-house counsel and executive at a technology company.  At The MacNaughton Group, Emily works closely with the CEO and her colleagues sourcing, planning and executing real estate development and investment projects.  

Larry Rodriguez
retired financial executive

Maya Rogers
CEO, Tetris, Partner, Blue Startups

5:30 PM Program Launch Pau Hana Party

Executives in attendance include:

Mike Ching
Managing Partner, Ernst & Young, LLP

Mike is the managing partner for EY’s Honolulu office, and a Banking & Capital Markets partner in the firm’s financial services group. With 23 years of experience with the firm, Mike has served clients in both Hawaii and the US Mainland. Mike began his career in 1993 with EY in the Honolulu office, and in 2002, he transferred to Phoenix, Arizona where he led the firm’s efforts to develop a financial services practice amongst the Phoenix, Denver, and Las Vegas offices. Mike returned to Honolulu in 2005 and became the Office Managing Partner in 2012. Mike left the firm in 2015 to become the Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer at First Hawaiian Bank, and returned to EY in June 2018.

Jeff Higashi, SVP & Area Manager, First Hawaiian Bank

Ann Teranishi, EVP Operations, American Savings Bank

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