Meet Our Team!

A Message From Our Founders

Dr. Genesis Young (right) and Sulara James at Hale Pono’s Blessing Ceremony

We, Dr. Genesis Young and Sulara James, have created this foundation in honor of our son, Teran James Young, who landed briefly in the Earth on June 12, 1994. He opened his eyes, looked at his father with infinite love, then departed without taking a breath. He remains with us in spirit as we work together as a team guided by Spirit to serve the Love and the Light of the Creator.

The Teran James Young Foundation is funded by Sulara, made possible by the generous gifts of her family. Her father Bob (Robert A. James) was known as the Father of Financial Planning and was the founder of Raymond James & Associates. Bob, supported by his loving wife Helen, lived a life abundant in love and joy and filled with hard work, dedication, generosity, kindness, and service. The motto of the business he created remains “Service First.”

Joining his father right after receiving his master’s degree from Harvard Business School, Sulara’s brother, Tom James, has successfully headed and expanded the company since 1983 when S.O.B. (“Sweet Old Bob”) passed away at the age of 62. Tom’s continued hard work and dedication are responsible for the great success of the family’s company today.

The Teran James Young Foundation funds programs organized, directed, and overseen by Dr. Genesis Young and his dedicated team of administrators, teachers, and assistants. Training teachers and students in the skills and tools of Nonviolent Communication in many of the county’s schools and extending those trainings to parents and caretakers has led to success in expanding their programs in Peer Mediation and Restorative Justice.

After learning of the critical need for a Teen Shelter on Maui while offering these services to the community, Sulara & Genesis decided to create Hale Pono, a center dedicated to offering temporary residence, assistance, and services to youth of Maui ages 12 – 17 who are in need of them. The shelter will house up to 14 teens and provide meeting spaces and offices to offer services to the community and to the residents seeking a safe, loving, and supportive refuge.   Hale Pono serves as a center based on unconditional love, trust, kindness, compassion, peace, and hope.  

The purpose of the Teran James Young Foundation is to help create peace in the community and in the world by funding and offering a wide range of services to benefit the youth and community of Maui. At the foundation of Sulara and Genesis’s desire to serve is the belief that each person of any age is precious, and that love, honor, and respect are the keys to supporting and encouraging everyone’s gifts, happiness, self-respect, and success in life.

Our Board of Directors

Dr. Genesis Young (President/Director)

Dr. Genesis Young (MD, CM) was born in Calgary, Alberta in Canada. He earned his MD and CM from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in 1978 and served as the Chief of Plastic Surgery Division at Holy Cross, Colonel Belcher, and Rockyview Hospitals.

Now retired, Genesis devotes his full energy to facilitating the implementation of Nonviolent Communication and restorative practices in Maui’s schools, judicial system, and greater community. Genesis serves as the President of the Teran James Young Foundation as well as the Executive Director for NVCnextgen. Along with his work with students and educators in our schools, he also endeavors to create and promote legislation that will integrate restorative practices into the state-wide judicial system. Genesis now lives on the south-west side of Maui with his wife Sulara James, and enjoys working with her to propagate peace for all.

Sulara James (Secretary/Director)

Sulara was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, and attended Emory University and Florida State University. Some years later, she became inspired to study the healing arts, becoming a licensed massage therapist in 1979, and practicing for many years before retiring.

Sulara is a self-published author of 9 books, including her most recent children’s book, GRANDMA’S SCHOOL OF LIFE, which will be published by Black Rose Writing in the Spring of 2021. In her free time, she enjoys reading, yoga, dancing, and walking on the beach. She also loves taking daily swims in the ocean to listen to the whales singing.

Daneen Westerberg (Director)

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Daneen was born in Riverside, California. She studied Communications at Riverside City College, and later went on to spend 26 years working as a Conflict Resolution specialist at various federal natural agencies.

She now lives in Talent, Oregon, where she works with disabled adults and spends her free time gardening and enjoying the green state’s natural beauty.

The NVCnextgen Team

David Litman (Director of Training and Programs)

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David Litman (MA, LMFT Intern) has spent the past quarter of a century applying his knowledge and skills in Nonviolent Communication toward the fields of counseling, personal coaching, mediation, human resources management, and organizational development. David’s greatest passion is helping others to learn and grow. He dedicates his time to facilitating Nonviolent Communication and restorative practices in both our schools and our community, serving as the Director for our Hale Pono teen shelter and Teen Collective teen mentoring program, coordinating the Father Involvement program at Maui Youth and Family Services, and mentoring young men through Boys to Men Hawaii.

David holds a B.B. A in Operations Management from the University of Massachusetts, a Masters in Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, and is currently in the process of earning his LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) certification. Originally hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, he lived on both coasts of the Mainland for a time before moving to Maui with his wife, son, and daughter in 2010. When he isn’t hard at work promoting the development of others, David enjoys spending time with his family, singing, and playing his guitar.

Hawkeye Lannis (Lead Trainer/ Lead Facilitator)

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Hawkeye Matt Lannis is the lead Nonviolent Communication trainer at NVCnextgen. He trained under the founder of Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg, and has been teaching NVC skills and principles since 1996.

Hawkeye’s personal mission is to empower both youth and adults alike with the skills and mindsets that promote peace and wellbeing. He dedicates himself to this mission each day, imparting restorative practices and NVC conflict resolution in Maui’s schools, performing relationship and communication workshops at Malama (an addiction recovery center for women and their children), and serving as a mediator for the conflicts of Maui’s community at Maluhia Mediation. Hawkeye lives Upcountry with his sweetheart Brenda and their pet cat, where he spends his down time salsa dancing and playing pickleball.

Jamaica La Turner (Program Director)

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Originally from the Frontier state, Alaska, Jamaica came to us after earning her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Hawaii, with a focus in Peace and Conflict Education, Sociology, and Psychology. She applies her warm nature and wealth of knowledge in Nonviolent Communication to support schools and their staff in the implementation of NVCnextgen’s restorative and peer mediation programs.

Jamaica is a busy mom of three, and leads a very active family life, surfing with her daughter and husband, supporting her middle son in soccer and football, and skateboarding with the entire family. She credits her family’s deep connection to the communication skills that she acquired through her work at NVCnextgen.

Kristen Kaya (Administrative Assistant)

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Born and raised in Wailuku, Kristen graduated from H. P. Baldwin High School, and then went on to study at Oregon State University. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, she moved back home to Maui to utilize her administrative experience and her knowledge of social sciences toward handling the administration, promotion, and public interfacing for the Teran James Young Foundation and its many programs.

Kristen now lives on the West side of Maui. In her free time, she enjoys scuba diving, watching YouTube, and playing Dungeons & Dragons and video games.