Who We Are
Founder & President
He has worked with youth for many years as a coach for high school and college track athletes. He has a passion for just being a kid and loves to mentor youth. He has handled many aspects of ranch life in dealing with cattle and other livestock over the past 30 years. He has a heart to serve others.
Dawn has owned and worked with horses for many years. She owns her own Barbering business, and has taught dog obedience in Hawaii for several years prior to joining Heart Ranch as a Director and mentor. Dawn has worked as a veterinary technician, a volunteer at Hale Anuenue Restorative Care, a volunteer at the Hawaii Humane Society , and as a volunteer with (NOAA) Marine Fisheries Service. Dawn has worked with youth as well, as a piano teacher, a volunteer at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, as a volunteer for a variety of youth programs at her church, New Hope, Hilo. Dawn is also a member of the Hawaii Island Dressage Eventing Association (HIDEA), and has attended many clinics in Hawaii. She currently teaches and works with participants at Heart Ranch and has a passion for horses and teaching kids how to care, love and respect animals.
Founder & Director/Secretary
She holds a license to teach in the State of Hawaii, and has previously held licenses to teach in Oregon and California. She taught high school health as well as physical education at the elementary school level and served as the Education Director for her private career school. She was a Hawaii 4-H leader, and taught private horse riding lessons to students for several years prior to Heart Ranch’s inception.
New Board Member
Rio grew up in Florida before going to college at West Point. There, he studied philosophy, trained to be an Army Officer, volunteered in Big Brothers Big Sisters, and led a community service club. After graduating, he was stationed on Oahu, and enjoyed surfing, hiking, and free diving. He volunteered with HUGS and learned about Heart Ranch when he began dating Tony and Fronda’s daughter, Lyndsey. Rio and Lyndsey moved to the mainland, got married, and are now preparing to start the Wharton Masters in Business Administration program at the University of Pennsylvania. He hopes to help the board with long-term planning and strategic thinking, so Heart Ranch can continue to grow, and support its community.
Youth Volunteer Coordinator
Virginia has been a volunteer for Heart Ranch since 2016, and we consider her a precious unpaid staff member. When she came along, we were under utilizing youth volunteers, so she started our youth volunteer group, Impact! She organizes all youth volunteers, leads their weekly meetings, and leads mentorship sessions too. She also does a terrific job running our Facebook and Instagram pages. Her husband does a great deal for the ranch, and her daughter, Mercy, is a youth volunteer.
Grant Writer/Ranch Hand
Marleena is our first paid staff member ever. She started out as a volunteer and graciously accepted the job of helping us write grants to fund the ranch, and keep the horses in shape. We are so excited to have her on our team, and we know the horses are too!