Hawai'i SBDC Staff Profiles

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.

Nancy Ginter-Miller
Business Advisor - West Hawai‘i Center
Nancy’s background includes senior management positions for prestigious properties managed by Westin Hotels, Hilton International, the Rosewood Group and Kona Village Resort.  Her areas of expertise also include AgriTourism and the marketing, packaging and placement of Hawai‘i Farm Products.

Dennis Kwak
Senior  Business Advisor - O‘ahu Center
His recent experiences include spearheading business development in both domestic and global environments, and in developing and executing strategic plans.  Dennis has led financial, manufacturing production, process improvement, IT and facility management efforts both in Seoul, Korea and Shenzhen, China.  He served as an analyst for both Credit Suisse First Boston in New York, NY and Barclays Capital in New York, NY.  Dennis received his BBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  He speaks fluent Korean and has a working knowledge of Mandarin.

John Latkiewicz
Director - Kaua‘i Center
John comes to the organization from the Salt Lake Community College System where he served as a senior Administrator over workforce development, grants and contracts, institutional change and strategic planning.  He has led numerous  initiatives including transitioning from a technical college to a community college, developing and expanding several service centers and numerous programs, and facilitating a merger with another educational institution in the Utah System.  He received his BLS and MA in from Bowling Green State and a PhD in Communications from the University of Utah.

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.

Kanoelani Pu‘uohau
Senior Business Advisor - East Hawai‘i Center
Kanoe is passionate about working with entrepreneurs at the intersection of business and law.  Kanoe previously worked with clean energy startups and managed operations at the Energy Excelerator, a program of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research.  She holds a Juris Doctor and MBA with a Certificate in Entrepreneurship, University of Hawaii, 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.

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 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. The website may not reflect the most recent programs and offerings of the Hawai'i SBDC and other resource partners. The Hawai'i SBDC reserves the right, without prior notice, to change, delete, supplement, or otherwise amend at any time the information, requirements and policies contained in or implied by this website.