Our Staff

Roxanne Bolden – Executive Director

A graduate of Hawaii Pacific University with a degree in Psychology, Roxanne began her career in the independent living field in 1992 where she worked as a student intern at Hawaii Centers for Independent Living (HCIL). She was later hired as an Outreach IL Specialist in 1996 where she covered the Leeward and North Shore areas of Oahu. She was then promoted to Outreach Coordinator where she assisted former Executive Director Mark Obatake, with the creation and hiring of staff for the Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Centers of Independent Living.

Under new management, Roxanne became the Special Programs Coordinator as the Liaison for the San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Rehabilitation Community Educational Program (RCEP) and the Coordinator for the National Technical Assistance Center (NTAC) for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Employment.

After leaving HCIL in late 2004, she was contracted by Independent Living Waipahu, Incorporated (ILW, Inc.) as the Project Coordinator, where she raised thousands of dollars in fundraising efforts and helped to bring public awareness to Hawaii’s first technically enhanced, accessible environment for persons with significant physical disabilities.

As the Executive Director, Roxanne not only does her administrative duties, but carries a case load of consumers and provides direct services. She had been appointed to the Mayor’s Advisory Committee for Disabilities under former Mayor Peter Carlisle.

In addition, she currently sits on the board for the Honolulu Community Action Program and sits on their financial committee.  In addition she is the site liaison for ILW, Inc. She was also the former board chair for Hawaii Fido Service Dogs for over five years. Finally, she has completed the Weinberg Fellows program for Executive Directors of non profits and is now a Weinberg Fellow graduate.

Aside from her professional career, Roxanne is a loving and devoted mother to her two children, Leelynn (21 year old college student at HPU) and RayGil (who will be entering the 5th grade at Mililani Mauka Elementary next school year).


Lupe Kaawaloa – Independent Living Specialist

Grew up in Hau’ula on Oahu and now resides in Pahoa on the Big Island. She is the eldest of 7 children, the mother of a 16 year old daughter and the wife of a very supportive husband. Her family is her heart and soul. After graduating from the University of Hawaii at Hilo with Bachelors degrees in Administration of Justice and Sociology, Lupe looked forward to pursuing a career as a Juvenile Probation Officer. However, her interests changed after having worked in the social services field for 8 years as a Paraprofessional with TIFFE (The Institute For Family Enrichment). She has worked with children/teens with developmental disabilities in DOE settings and children/teens with mental health/ behavioral disabilities in community/home settings. As an Independent Living Specialist with Aloha Independent Living Hawaii, she enjoys working with Consumers of all ages and disabilities. She enjoys challenges and will do her best to continue assisting her Consumers with achieving their IL goals.


Sam Nagasawa – Independent Living Program Coordinator

Originally from Germany came to live in Hawaii in 1983 when she married a “local boy” from the Big Island. Her family settled in Pahoa in the Puna District. When her husband became disabled in a 1985 car accident she learned firsthand about the challenges of living with a disability.She became a skills trainer and worked with children with autism, along with behavioral challenged youth. After a few years she had the opportunity to work as an Independent Living Specialist. She also took training and became the Elderly Blind Teacher for the agency she was working for. During that time she was a member of the Mayor’s Committee on Aging and involved in the planning of the Adult-Disability Resource Center now established in Hilo on the Big Island.After working in the Child Protective Service field for the last five years, she is excited about the opportunity to work for Aloha Independent Living Hawaii.


Thomas Lum – Independent Living Specialist

Worked for over eight years at Lanakila Rehabilitation Center Inc. During his time there, he was responsible for training and monitoring peoples with disabilities, along with coordinating with different social workers, parents and guardians in making plans to prepare and train them to gain work experience and social skills. One of Tom’s fondest moments was assisting a consumer who is visually impaired to learn how to weave a hula skirt. He was asked to take this challenge and wholeheartedly embraced it as he came up with a solution of videotaping himself weaving the skirt and sharing it with the consumer’s mother so that the consumer can continue his lesson at home. He also provided training to other staff members in Lanakila.


Lani Kellett – Independent Living Specialist

Leilani “Lani” Cabanilla-Kellet is our newest Independent Living Specialist servicing the island of Maui. Lani was born and raised on the island of Maui and is the youngest of nine siblings. She graduated from the University of Hawaii with a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Resources. Lani brings hands on experience working with the youth. As a Teen Program Director at the Boys and Girls Club in Lahaina, Maui, she provided positive mentoring and ensured best practice programs to promote and encourage opportunities for young people to develop physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. Lani previously lived on the island of Oahu working with various community, private and state agencies such as PATCH, Hawaii’s only statewide child care resource and referral agency; Department of Human Services Benefits, Employment and Support Services Division; Department of Attorney General’s Office Civil Recovery Division; and PACT (Parents and Children Together). Lani has conducted several community outreach presentations to various community agencies on Maui since her hire in December. In addition, she has met with the Mayor of Maui, the Deputy Director of the Department of Housing and Human Concerns and the Director of the Office of Aging. She has also conducted an in-service training for the staff at Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Maui Branch.


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800-385-2454 (AILH)
P.O. Box 283 | Pearl City, Hawaii 96782

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