KimiyoWhat do you like most about your job? 
So many things! I love the supportive, encouraging community of my First Prez staff, parents, volunteers, and especially the students - it’s been so fun to get to know them and come alongside in what the Lord is already doing in their lives!  

Tell us about your family. 

My mom is Japanese-American and my dad is Scottish-American and looks like Santa Claus. I have one older sister, Rachael, married to Bryan and they have an adorable baby named Ben. I have a pretty small but close-knit family, but married into a huge family as my husband Taran is Hawaiian, Chinese, Irish and Native American. We have a black lab/pit bull puppy named Hau’oli (Oli for short), who is our baby. 

 

What is your favorite comfort food? 

Chocolate chip cookies! Or cake. Or pie. Or ice cream…..not that I have a sweet tooth or anything. 

 

What is one of your pet peeves? 

Wasting time - I like to feel that I’m being productive

 

What book(s) are you reading right now? 

Surprised By the Holy Spirit, A Praying Life and every December I re-read The Chronicles of Narnia as a tradition :) 

 

What is your favorite movie? 

So many! Star Wars of course! And Lord of the Rings

 

If you could be a superhero, what superpowers would you like to have? 

Flying!

 

How weird are you on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the weirdest)? 

I was a Theater major in college, so I guess I’m pretty weird! Maybe a 7? Depends how weird Pastor Dan says he is….because I’m not as weird as he is ;) 

MarthaI received my BA in Elementary K-6 from Florida Atlantic University. I taught many years in a public school setting, teaching The Gifted and Talented my last 2 years in  the classroom. I am also certified to teach ESOL students which are students that English is not their first language. Currently, I am the sole teacher of my daughter whom I happily and humbly have home schooled the last 3 years.

 

 

 

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

I absolutely love watching children grow and develop right in front of my eyes whether it be socially and/or academically. Knowing that I am a small fraction of the learning children are acquiring through my knowledge and passion is what drives me to love and appreciate what I do. I joined the Children’s Ministry as a small group leader, so now I get to witness the spiritual growth of our keiki, which has been completely and utterly enlightening. 

 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY.

I am married to my wonderful best friend, Patrick Burns, the father of our two children: Brady, 21, and Danika, 9. Most of our family reside in South Florida and the New England area.

 

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD?

My favorite comfort food is homemade authentic Hispanic meals as cheat meals. However, as far as daily consumption, I really do enjoy super clean and raw foods. Therefore, veggies, salads, and fruits top my daily list of eats. 


WHAT’S ONE OF YOUR PET PEEVES?

Well, now that I have to think about it, I have more pet peeves than I thought, ha! The top one is probably unkind/unfriendly people. I wish people knew the power a smile and a simple “good morning” could be on someone, whether a stranger or not. Okay, if I can sneak one more in; folks who throw garbage out the car window really rattles my feathers. 

 

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?

Currently I am reading and really enjoying Molokai and a copious amount of literature on Thailand where I will be traveling to very soon!

 

FAVORITE MOVIE?

You can’t just list one favorite movie so I will list the three that immediately come to mind: Pretty Woman, Shawshank Redemption, and One Crazy Summer. 

 

FAVORITE RESTAURANT?

Hmmm…favorite restaurant in Hawaii is probably Haleiwa Joe’s, specifically the Kaneohe location. Runner-up is Over Easy (ahhh-maaa-zinng breakfast/brunch)!

 

IF YOU COULD HAVE A SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Not sure what the name of my superhero would be but the powers would be to take pain and suffering away. Or perhaps to be able to speak to our loved ones lost, in my case, my mother, whom I miss dearly and have had to learn how to live without hearing her beautiful voice and feeling her tender love and hugs. 

 

WHICH HOLLYWOOD ACTOR WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE OF YOUR LIFE?

Tina Fey or Julia Louis-Dreyfus would certainly have to play me in a movie, hands down!  

 

ON A SCALE OF 1-10, RATE YOURSELF ON HOW WEIRD YOU ARE (WITH 10 BEING THE WEIRDEST)

I can proudly say I’m a 20 on the 1-10 weird scale!


The Red Carpet Team

The Red Carpet Team is made up of all the teams that extend a warm welcome to everyone who comes to our church campus, especially on Sunday mornings. Under Red Carpet, we have the:

  • USHERS: Greet and welcome people, help seat them during worship services, get the Sanctuary ready for worship services.
  • HOSPITALITY TABLE GREETERS: Attend to first-time visitors of the church, make them feel welcomed, and help them find their way around the campus.
  • SHUTTLE VAN DRIVERS: Use the church vans to give complimentary rides from specific pick-up points in town to the church campus and back for Sunday morning worship services.
  • PARKING VOLUNTEERS: Attend to the needs of guests in our parking lot.
  • COFFEE BARISTAS are trained to make espresso coffee for guests and create a welcoming atmosphere at our Sunday Coffee Bar. 

Red Carpet Team members create the first impression of the church to guests. We’re looking for team members who are naturally friendly and are passionate about making people feel welcomed and accepted at First Prez. If any of these teams seem like a good fit for you, contact these team leaders for more info:

LeslieLeslie Paez

Interview questions to come… 

 Aaron Larson

Aaron Larson is the Director of Young Adults Ministry at First Prez.

 

What do you like most about your job?

I get to work with diverse, zany, Jesus-loving, go-big-or-go-home visionaries whose motto is "We are all in this together!"

 

Tell us more about your family.

Koreen, my amazing and gorgeous wife of 15+ years, loves the beach and transforming old furniture into chic classy pieces. She has lived in Taiwan, traveled to India, Nepal, and co-led an outreach to Cambodia with YWAM. Our son Ezekiel is a voracious reader who’s like Mozart on the computer and with anything Lego! Keala is our beautiful, creative daughter who loves to sing and has the ability to memorize poetry, songs, etc. And Israel whose insatiable thirst for adventure makes his parents grin and, at times a, bit nervous.

 

What is your favorite comfort food?

From scratch, hand kneaded, freshly baked, hot out of the oven white bread…. and Molokai sweet bread!

 

What is one of your pet peeves?

We don’t have any pets. No, actually it’s when someone reveals info about a movie I haven’t yet seen! And math.

 

What book are you reading right now?

"The Immortal Class" by Travis Hugh Culley 

 

What is your favorite Hawaii restaurant that you would recommend?

Sweet E’s

 

Favorite places to get dessert?

The First Prez church office. Seriously. We ALWAYS have sugary goodies!

 

What is your favorite movie?

  • Book made into a move: The Outsiders
  • Comedy: Better Off Dead
  • Christmas classic: White Christmas
  • Christmas comedy: Christmas Story (You’ll shoot your eye out!)
  • Horror: Jaws
  • Action/Adventure: Hunt for Red October, Avengers
  • Sci-fi: Blade Runner
  • Film noir: Maltese Falcon

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

Whaddya mean IF?

 

Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 on how weird you are.

If 1 is normal and 10 is really weird, I would say Z.

CarolCarol Stevens

What exactly do you do at First Prez?
I enter the info from the Aloha Forms passed down the aisle on Sunday mornings

What do you like most about your job?
The people I work with are the greatest!!

Tell us about your family
My husband Duane is Prof of Meteorology (weather) at UH. Our oldest son Tim is a Test Pilot in the US Air Force and Lt. Col. and Commander of a Squadron at Eglin AF Base in FL. He is married and they have 2 children. Our youngest son Matt is a teacher for delinquent teens on the island. He is married and they have 2 children.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Pizza and chocolate…not necessarily in that order.

What is one of your pet peeves?
Vandalism

What’s the last book you read?
Chasing the Wild Goose

What is your favorite song?
Theme from Steele Magnolias

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
To fly. 

Which Hollywood film actor would play you in a movie of your life?
Kathy Bates…but she would probably hate playing a Christian.

Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are.
2 I’m pretty predictable.

 

What is your favorite Hawaii restaurant that you would recommend?
Bravo’s and Cheesecake Factory

LillianLillian Hussein

Lillian is a part of our administrative support staff. You’ll see her bright shining smile whenever you step into the doors of our church. Her desk is in the front desk reception area. 

What do you like most about your job? 
The people I work with, the amazing view and free parking. I love the support I get here.

Tell us about your family.
I have 3 children and 1 grandson

What is your favorite comfort food? 
Chocolate

What is one of your pet peeves? 
When people don’t put things back from where they got it.

What’s the last book you read? 
Deliver me from me.   By LaToya Early

What is your favorite movie (song)?
I am redeemed – by Big Daddy Weave

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? 
Healing Powers– So people would live a more comfortable and peaceful life.

Which Hollywood film actor would play you in a movie of your life? 
Jada Pinkett Smith

Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are. :) 
6

What is your favorite Hawaii restaurant that you would recommend? 
Don’t have a favorite.

Ryan SmithsonRyan Smithson

 

Ryan Smithson is an ordained pastor, worship leader, and songwriter with over fifteen years of ministry experience. He strives to share the message of God’s love through biblical teaching, music, and the arts. He is passionate about unifying the church through corporate worship and creating opportunities for people to celebrate, reflect, and connect with God. His written music incorporates scripture and focuses on simple phrases that invite others to worship.  Ryan has spoken at and led worship for multiple youth, young adult, and pastoral conferences, and assisted with two church plants. He is currently the Associate Director of Worship at First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, where he resides with his wife and daughter. For more information about Ryan,  please visit his website, ryan-smithson.com.

What do you like most about your job?
I LOVE using the arts to bring joy and excitement into peoples lives on a daily basis.  I love working with extremely talented musicians and our incredible leadership team every day.

Tell us about your family.
I am married to the most beautiful woman in the world, Valerie, who is extremely talented in many areas such as the arts, writing, speaking, and teaching.  She has served as a full time missionary in Africa within the countries of Tanzania and Uganda.  I actually flew out to Uganda in 2011 to spend her final 3 months there together and ultimately propose to her.  We were married December 10th, 2011 in Temecula, California and have been happy growing in marriage ever since.  We have one child, Gianna Rae, who was added to our family on March 15th, 2014 and our lives will never be the same.  She is a treasure, just like her mom.  The name Gianna means, "God is Gracious," and she is truly our gracious gift from God.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Starbucks/Morning Brew (Kailua) coffee

What is one of your pet peeves?
When people grunt while they are eating

What book(s) are you reading right now?
"An Hour On Sunday" by Nancy Beach

What is your favorite movie?
"Chef" directed by and starring Jon Favreau 

If you could be a superhero, what superpowers would you like to have?
I’d like to have Wolverine’s superpowers. He has a body made of Adamantium, which is an incredibly strong fictional metal. He can heal his own wounds, and most of all, he has cool hair.

How weird are you on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the weirdest)?
Weird? Worship leaders are not weird…..

Chevas WongChevas Wong

Chevas is the one with the hair. Yes! That one! :) Chevas leads the Tech & Production Ministries at FPC.  

What do you think you’ll like most about your job? 

The best part of my job is building teams. 

 
Tell us about your family (siblings, pets, kids, etc.) 

Kelli and I were married on the Fourth of July (2013).   We adopted a puppy from the humane society a few months later.  His name is Spartacus.  He’s a Shiba Inu/Terrier. 

 

What is your favorite comfort food?

Spaghetti w/ Mizithra Cheese & Browned Butter from The Old Spaghetti Factory.   

What is one of your pet peeves?
Being locked-in with people who are SO anxious that I become anxious too. 

What’s the last book you read? 
The last book I read to the end is a comic that I had bought via Kindle.  

What is your favorite Hawaii Restaurant you would recommend? 

First thing that comes to mind is: Goma Tei, for their Tan Tan Ramen.

What is your favorite song?
My favorite movie (song) is, "Main Title" from Star Wars. But at the same time, “Strangers Like Me” from Disney’s Tarzan.    

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? 

My hero superpower would be the ability to project space/time portals to travel through.  Powered by my mind. 

 

Which Hollywood film actor would play you in a movie of your life?

Paul Rudd.  Directed by Wes Anderson. (If Nick doesn’t choose Owen Wilson for his, just edit it in for him…)

Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are.
Eight and a half.  

About this Group

KimiyoWhat do you like most about your job? 
So many things! I love the supportive, encouraging community of my First Prez staff, parents, volunteers, and especially the students - it’s been so fun to get to know them and come alongside in what the Lord is already doing in their lives!  

Tell us about your family. 

My mom is Japanese-American and my dad is Scottish-American and looks like Santa Claus. I have one older sister, Rachael, married to Bryan and they have an adorable baby named Ben. I have a pretty small but close-knit family, but married into a huge family as my husband Taran is Hawaiian, Chinese, Irish and Native American. We have a black lab/pit bull puppy named Hau’oli (Oli for short), who is our baby. 

 

What is your favorite comfort food? 

Chocolate chip cookies! Or cake. Or pie. Or ice cream…..not that I have a sweet tooth or anything. 

 

What is one of your pet peeves? 

Wasting time - I like to feel that I’m being productive

 

What book(s) are you reading right now? 

Surprised By the Holy Spirit, A Praying Life and every December I re-read The Chronicles of Narnia as a tradition :) 

 

What is your favorite movie? 

So many! Star Wars of course! And Lord of the Rings

 

If you could be a superhero, what superpowers would you like to have? 

Flying!

 

How weird are you on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the weirdest)? 

I was a Theater major in college, so I guess I’m pretty weird! Maybe a 7? Depends how weird Pastor Dan says he is….because I’m not as weird as he is ;) 


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