Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center Elects New Board Member

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Sherilyn Tavares was recently elected to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center’s board of directors. Courtesy photo.

Sherilyn Tavares was elected as Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center’s newest board member.

Tavares fills the seat of The Honorable Dakota Frenz, who resigned from the nonprofit community mediation center board upon becoming a family court judge.

Tavares currently serves as deputy public defender in Hilo for the State of Hawaiʻi Office of the Public Defender. She received her B.A. in sociology, political science and administration of justice from UH-Hilo and her J.D. from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the UH-Mānoa.


She also obtained her certificate in Native Hawaiian law and was selected as the 2009 Patsy Mink Fellow.

Tavares serves as the vice president of the Hawaiʻi County Bar Association, on the board of directors for the Big Island Drug Court and on the planning team for Big Island Veterans Treatment Court.

In addition, Tavares oversees the Hilo internship program with the Office of the Public Defender and provides learning opportunities for both college and high school students.


Also on the Ku‘ikahi board are land use planner Jeffrey Melrose as president, attorney and retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Douglass Adams as vice president; retired HELCO human resources administrator Norman Kawabata as treasurer; and HELCO director of government, community and media relations Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter as secretary.

Directors include Jeanine Acia, Parent Community Networking coordinator for Keaʻau Middle School, East Hawaiʻi Program director for Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaiʻi and district manager for Junior Achievement Hawaiʻi Island; Aaron Brown, executive business manager for the County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works; Jeri Gertz, director of the choral group Harmony On Tap and owner of the singing telegram service Singin’ In The Rain; Romy Saquing, a Community Emergency Response Team volunteer at the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency and a volunteer mediator at Ku‘ikahi; and The Honorable Andrew Wilson, retired per diem judge and private mediator and arbitrator.

“Ku‘ikahi is extremely grateful to have such a talented and committed group of directors governing our human services agency,” said Ku‘ikahi Executive Director Julie Mitchell. “Their diverse backgrounds, careers, and skills guide us in fulfilling our strategic plan and building capacity, while staying true to our mission, vision and values.”


Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center empowers people to come together–to talk and to listen, to explore options, and to find their own best solutions. To achieve this mission, Ku’ikahi offers mediation, facilitation, and training to strengthen the ability of diverse individuals and groups to resolve interpersonal conflicts and community issues.

For more information, call Ku‘ikahi at 935-7844 or visit

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments