"When I acknowledge where I come from, Iʻm healing, and when I heal myself then I help to heal my mother, my motherʻs mother, my motherʻs motherʻs mother."

PONWʻs Board of Directors, Aunty NaniFay Paglinawan


Executive Director

Dr. Dayna Schultz, Psy. D., LSW, CSAC

Dr. Dayna Schultz, Psy. D., LSW, CSAC (Kanaka ’Ōiwi) is the Interim Executive Director of Pouhana O Nā Wāhine. “To understand with your heart is Aloha.” Dayna believes that everyone has a story to tell and possess the ability to change their narrative as they grow. She welcomes individuals to share their stories with her in a safe space and at their own pace. She provides a sense of warmth, compassion and Aloha that fosters a “Kākou” (together) effort to remind each individual that she will be walking with them on their healing journey. As a Native Hawaiian Survivor of various traumas, Dayna continues to be guided by her na’au and ancestors daily in efforts of working toward ending violence from and within her people that will lead to peace, harmony, and sense of Aloha all ways, always.

Policy & Research Specialist

Dr. Nikki Cristobal, Ph.D

Training and Technical Assistance Specialist

Vernon Viernes

Communications Specialist

Jaki Knaus

Nikki Cristobal is from the island of Kauaʻi. She holds her Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy. Nikki is the Co-Founder and Executive Director for the grassroots Native Hawaiian culture, education, and public arts nonprofit, Kamāwaelualani. Nikki is also the Principal Investigator for the Missing & Murdered Native Hawaiian Women, Girls, Māhū Report- a ka pae ʻāina comprehensive report mandated by the Hawaiʻi legislature and part of the MMIW2S international movement. Nikki serves as the Policy & Research Specialist for Pouhana O Nā Wāhine. 
Vernon Viernes was born and raised on the island of Oahu with a passion for serving and helping others. With over twenty years of experience in the social work arena, he has touched the lives of various individuals from diverse backgrounds. Vernon has worked in addictions and incarceration, primarily focusing on the Native Hawaiian family unit. He has volunteered with prison ministries; Hawaiian health groups; Camp Agape, which serves children of incarcerated parents; malama aina work. His latest journey is with Pouhana O Nā Wāhine as their Training and Technical Assistance Specialist. His desire and love for the Native Hawaiian culture lead him to Malama aina work which includes growing and malama kalo/taro. Malama Haloa…Above all, Vernon believes in gratitude and guidance from his ancestors and shared, “I need to mahalo ke Akua and numerous kumu/teachers, kupuna, mentors and role models who helped me develop my abilities and gifts so that I can serve and malama communities and ka Lahui….” “Live aloha aku, aloha mai….”
Jaki Knaus is a skilled graphic designer and illustrator based on the island of Oahu, Hawai’i. After graduating from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa with a B.A. in Psychology, Jaki developed a successful career in Marketing and started his own design company in 2015. With over ten years of experience in design, Jaki has cultivated a robust skillset in various areas of creativity and technical know-how. One of Jaki’s most notable accomplishments was his part in developing the University of Hawai’i’s STAR GPS application, which is currently used across all campuses by students and faculty. His design company aims to grow local businesses and start-up companies in Hawai’i, on the West Coast, and in Japan. Most of his skills are self-taught, and he continues to learn new forms of technology daily. During his free time, he enjoys fishing, training jiu-jitsu, playing video games, training his therapy dog, and spending time with his friends and family. Jaki is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), an Audio/Visual Technician for the Cathedral of St. Andrew; an Episcopal Church founded by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV, and a proud advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights across the nation as an openly Queer Transgender Man.

Board of Directors & Advisory Committee

Under Construction - Coming soon!