Hawai'i SBDC Staff Profiles

Bernard Balsis
Senior Business Advisor - East Hawai‘i Center
Bernard was the Senior Business Development Center for HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union for the Big Island, where he grew both commercial and consumer relationships.  Bernard assumed this role after facilitating a merger between IEG Federal Credit Union, where he was President, and HawaiiUSA.  At IEG FCU Bernard obtained secondary capital direct from Treasury, developed a marketing plan, Product & Services manual and was able to grow loans.  Prior, Bernard was the CEO of Ka`u Federal Credit Union for 15 years which served the southern part of Hawaii Island.  During his tenure at Ka`u FCU Bernard doubled assets, expanded services to financially unserved areas and was involved in the socio-economic development of the Ka`u district. In addition to 20 plus years in the Credit Union movement Bernard Balsis worked in commercial banking and the non-profit sectors.  He has a diverse perspective in financial services and developing businesses in multicultural environments.  

Dennis Boyd
Director - West Hawai‘i Center
Dennis comes to the SBDC with over 30 years of experience in owning and operating his own successful business in the health care/rehabilitation arena, and so has personal experience with probably all of the stresses and excitement common to all small business owners.  In addition to his experience in the private sector Dennis has also worked in the public and non-profit sectors.  His areas of expertise include human resource management, marketing and program development, and he holds Master’s Degrees in Anthropology and in Public Administration and certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources Management (SPHR).

Joseph Burns

Director - O‘ahu Center
Joe has many years of extensive high-level consulting experience with both private companies and U.S. Government facilities with particular emphasis in metrics development, implementation of a Balanced Scorecard system and aligning objectives, initiatives and metrics to drive strategy into action.  He received a BA in Chinese-Liberal Arts from Oakland University in Michigan, and an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona.  He is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and is fluent in Chinese.

Lori Hiramatsu
Senior Business Advisor - O‘ahu Center
Lori has more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry serving in various capacities including district manager overseeing several branches, a business and consumer banking team, and operations. She has served numerous businesses in various stages of their business life-cycle and assisted them in obtaining capital for their business needs. Besides her commercial banking and lending background, she is knowledgeable of all SBA loan programs, and has deep experience in the financing of PV systems. She holds a BBA from the University of Hawaii Manoa, and graduated from the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.

Erin Kanehira
Senior Business Advisor - O‘ahu Center

Erin was a procurement counselor with the Hawaii Procurement Technical Assistance Center.  In her capacity as a counselor, Erin  helped clients navigate the government procurement process.  In addition to counseling, Erin planned outreach events for PTAC and attended industry events to promote PTAC and increase her knowledge of contracting. Prior to joining PTAC, Erin worked in a variety of disciplines, including higher education, real estate, government, and human services.  This wealth of experience ranges from public to private and small to large organizations.  More recently, Erin has found her niche working for non-profits. Born in Los Angeles but raised in Honolulu, Erin received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from Mills College in Oakland.

Marty Kennedy
Business Advisor - West Hawai‘i Center
Marty Kennedy has started and run several successful businesses including a Day Care and a Housecleaning business. She understands how intimidating it is, as well as the joys and frustrations of, starting and running your own business. Marty has served many years in the nonprofit sector as well. She has a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management. In 2018 she earned her certification in NAV as a Credit and Lending Specialist. Marty is passionate about helping businesses start, grow, and thrive.

Judi Mellon

Director - East Hawai‘i Center
Judi operated her own business for many years. She earned the designation of Certified Business Consultant while working with Idaho SBDC for 2 years.  She served 20 years in the U.S. Marines, earned a BS in Accounting, MS in Financial Management, and PhD in Adult & Organizational Learning and Leadership.  She has strong skills in finance, process improvement and strategic planning.  Judi’s passion is working with entrepreneurs to generate sustainable growth in their businesses.

Han Montambault
Specialty Center Research Advisor – Hawaii Business Research Library
Han brings 15 years of experience as a Librarian in special, academic and public libraries to enable the HBRL to provide quick and easy access to a wide variety of business, market, economic, and demographic data. Prior to moving to Maui, Han was a manager for the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Government of British Columbia, Canada. Han holds a Master's degree in Information Science from the École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l'information (EBSI), Université de Montréal, an American Library Association (ALA)-Accredited Degree.

Micolas Ogawa

Senior Business Advisor  - O‘ahu Center
Micolas has started and operated his own business, before joining the SBDC. He has worked on consulting projects in hotel management, retail, and the food industry and has a background in Construction Management, Engineering, and Small Business.  Born and raised in Honolulu, Micolas received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and MBA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Cathy Wiltse
State Director - Lead Center
Cathy joined the Hawaii SBDC after having served as the Associate State Director of the Virginia SBDC at George Mason University for the previous 8 years. Prior to that, she was a Senior Internal Auditor for George Mason University.  Her earlier career included positions in the public sector, property management and telecommunications industries. Additionally, Cathy was small business owner.  She received her BA in Business Management from Ursuline College in Ohio and her MPA from George Mason University.

Dennis Wong

     Senior Business Advisor  - O‘ahu Center

          Currently a senior business advisor with Hawaii Small Business Development Center. Retired senior bank administrator                      in the banking industry with over 41 years experience in business, mortgage, and consumer lending along with                                    banking operations. Graduate of Pacific West Coast Banking School at the University of Washington and                                              Advanced Commercial Lending Graduate School at the University of Oklahoma.

Wayne Wong
Director - Maui Center
Wayne brings over 30 years of IT experience evolving from coder to senior management; concentrating on ecommerce, online marketing and data security.  He most recently served as the Small Business Solutions project director under EdVenture at UH Maui College responsible for planning and executing curriculums for small employers to remedy skill shortages and education/training gaps.  His community outreach and employer engagement experience, combined with his expertise in small business commerce and technology represents a compelling offering to assist our small businesses struggling to keep up in this ever-changing environment.  He holds a BS from the University of Washington and an MBA in marketing from the University of Puget Sound.


The Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a program of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

This web site provides general information about the Hawai'i SBDC and other resource partners. The information contained in this website is not necessarily complete and does not constitute a contract. Information is subject to change at any given moment without prior notice and at the Hawai‘i SBDC's discretion. 

The Hawai‘i SBDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Hawai‘i SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency as well as reasonable accommodations can be made for persons with disabilities.