Richard Turbin, Esq., President
Rich is the founder and President of the law firm Turbin Chu where he practices personal injury, wrongful death and malpractice in Honolulu, Hawai’i. He received his BA, magna cum laude, from Cornell University and his JD from Harvard Law School. He served as the 2005 President of the Hawai’i State Bar Association, and was elected to the National Council of Bar Presidents of the American Bar Association (ABA); Chair of the ABA Tort & Insurance Practice Section; elected President of Consumer Lawyers 2002 – 2003; Civil Rights Commissioner for Hawai’i 2002 – 2006; Traphagen Distinguished Alumni speaker at Harvard Law School 2004; received Pursuit of Justice Award of the ABA Tort & Insurance Practice Section 2006; he’s taught numerous courses and written articles for ABA & a text book; served as Chair of Waialae Kahala Neighborhood Board 1994 – 2004; member MADD and Alliance Francaise of Hawai’I and chair of the East West Center board of directors.
Roger Epstein, Esq., Vice President
Roger is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School. He was a lawyer with one of Hawai’i’s largest law firms, Cades Schutte, in Honolulu for 30 years, which he retired from as a senior partner. He specializes in tax law, has taught law in China and applies his expertise where needed. He is a co-founder of the Hawai‘i Forgiveness Project (http://www.hawaiiforgivenessproject.org and is dedicated to improving our community.
Madonna Castro Perez, Secretary
Madonna works at the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i (LASH) in the Fair Housing unit as a Civil Rights Advocate. Prior to working at LASH, Madonna interned in Washington, D.C. at the American Legislative Exchange council and doubled majored in Political Science and History. Shortly after, she moved to Hawai‘i for graduate school and received her Masters in Pacific Islands Studies. A passion to serve others, she volunteers at random places and events. From holding a sign for three hours on the side of the road in Hawai‘i Kai to waking up at 5:30 am to count whales; there is always something interesting that she helps out with. On her spare time, she likes watching Korean dramas, eating delicious food with friends, running, and documenting her cooking and eating adventures on thenosyfoodcritic.blogspot.com.
Lisa Jensen, Treasurer
Lisa Jensen has worked in the field of youth risk behavior prevention for over 10 years. She developed Peace Table, a conflict resolution education process for 5-12-year-old youth, and has practiced applying the process within programs at the Family Education Training Center of Hawai’i, Catholic Charities Hawai’i, Montessori Community School, Boys and Girls Club Spalding Clubhouse, Wai’alae Elementary Charter School, and Kalihi Elementary School.
Ian grew up in Pearl City, played football, and attended Foothill College in California. He is a licensed electrician in the state of Hawai’i. He is extremely proud of his only child, who works in forensics for the FBI. Ian had one of the first restorative reentry circles in 2005 at Waiawa Correctional Facility where he was imprisoned for drug-related offenses. He spent three years in prison with little family contact. The reentry circle enabled him to make amends and rebuild relationships with his family. He became his father’s caregiver before his father passed away. In 2014, Governor Neil Abercrombie pardoned Ian’s criminal convictions. Ian has been an important supporter of Hawai’i Friends of Restorative Justice for over ten years.
Daphne is from Windward side of O’ahu and a member of a family with a long line of educators. After being released from prison in 2010, Daphne earned a certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling. She went on to the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and received a bachelor’s degree in social work in 2017 and completed her master’s of social work program at UH Manoa in May 2018. Daphne works as program director for Kailua United Methodist Church’s outreach program. She along with, Reverend Samuel Cox, and Mark Patterson developed the Beacon of Hope House to support women transitioning to the community from prison and furlough programs.
Cheri Tarutani, MSW, LCSW
Ms. Tarutani earned a BA in Women’s Studies from the University of California Los Angles and a MSW from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She was a child welfare services social worker for over six years and has been a part of the School of Social Work faculty since 2009. Initially, Ms. Tarutani was responsible for instruction and practicum coordination for the Distance Education option. She is currently the project manager for the Hawai’i Child Welfare Education Collaboration, a partnership between the School of Social Work and Child Welfare Services to train students to work in public child welfare. She has authored several articles on Hawai’i Friends’ work.
Thomas Hala, JD
Thom was born and raised in Honolulu and graduated from the University of Hawai’i William S. Richardson School of Law. He is the proud father of three young adult women and two male former foster youth he raised from ages five and six to adulthood. Thom enjoys a successful family law practice and especially child welfare cases. He has served as a guardian ad litem, kokua kanawai, custody guardian ad litem, court-appointed child advocate, custody evaluator and best-interest fact-finder. Thom also serves as a per diem District Judge in the First Circuit. He finds his work rewarding and gratifying. In his spare time, Thom enjoys walking his labrador retriever Lex, the beach, working in his yard and around his home and tinkering with older cars.
Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD
Leela was born in Bangkok, Thailand and raised in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. She is Executive Director of Women’s Fund of Hawai‘i, a grant making foundation dedicated exclusively to supporting women and girls statewide. Leela received her BA in French and her MA and PhD in Linguistics, all from UC Berkeley, and was honored to be named one of Pacific Business New 2018 Women Who Mean Business for her non-profit work.
Joelle is a partner of the law firm of Gallagher Kane Amai & Reyes, whose practice focuses on estates, trusts, probate, conservatorships, guardianships and insurance. She represents clients in state and federal courts at all phases, and also serves as arbitrator, Kokua Kanawai and Master in Circuit Court matters and as Guardian Ad Litem for matters in the United States District Court, District of Hawai’i. Joelle currently serves on the Boards of various community-based organizations, including the Women’s Fund Hawai’i, Daughters of Hawai’i, Hawai’i State Bar Foundation and RYSE, and is a former Director of the William S. Richardson School of Law Alumni Association and Chair of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai’i.
Larson is a graduate of Kailua High School and Sacramento State College where he played on the volleyball team. He has been the Recreation Specialist at the Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) since 1988. He is the chief organizer of all major events involving the women incarcerated at WCCC. Since 2009, under the auspices of then visionary Warden Mark Patterson, Larson introduced programs promoting healing, bringing about cultural and spiritual awareness, and encouraging higher education. These activities continue until this day and include ones that HFRJ developed, introduced, and studied. Larson has received many awards for his community service work.