Our Founder, Karyn Clay ~ Gerontological Specialist
Karyn Clay began her career in the aging field at Ocean View Care Home in Cayucos, California. She quickly decided to major in Gerontology at San Diego State University and completed her Internship at Kona Adult Day Center in Kealakekua, Hawaii. It was during that Summer program in 1997 that Karyn realized her dream to open a Care Home in Waimea. In 1998, she graduated from SDSU and, within a few weeks, had moved permanently to the Big Island. Her experience spans long-term care, home health, residential care and adult day care. With the support of her father, Ken Kjer, she opened HoʻoNani Day Center in 2002. In 2015, her college dream became a reality when she opened HoʻoNani Care Home.
Karyn participates in a variety of organizations that enhance her skills and professionalism. She has been Secretary and President of Adult Day Centers Hawaii, Inc., and also enjoyed being President of the Waimea Professionals chapter of Business Networking International (BNI). Karyn is currently Vice President of the North Hawaii Hospice board of directors.
Through their connection in BNI, Karyn and KC Stallsmith of CrossFit AllStar collaborated in 2013 to create Kupuna CrossFit. This program has gotten national attention due to it’s innovation. A feature was filmed by CrossFit Media which highlights this program and especially acknowledges the ever inspiring Kameichi Yawata who started working out at CrossFit at 99 years of age and continued to work out weekly until he was almost 102. You are invited to watch the video here.
Once a month, Karyn also has an opportunity to reach out to her Waimea community through an article in the North Hawaii News titled “Kupuna Transitions.” The name of this article reflects her understanding of the ever changing dynamics that the older population experiences, especially when they require some form of care from family and/or professional services.
Karyn also leads a caregiving support group at Tutu’s House the first Wednesday of each month from 11am-12pm and offers private consultations through a personal business.
Gracia “Grace” Custodia: Registered Nurse ~ joined our team in 2008
MABUHAY! I’m Gracia “Grace” Custodia, and I came from the Northern part of the Philippines. I moved here to Hawaii to join my husband. I finished my Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Mariano Marcos State University in April of 1988. I took the Board of Nursing that same year and luckily I passed. So, I worked as a Registered Private Nurse in a hospital close to where I lived. I am so grateful to be working at Ho’oNani for I feel that I am caring for my Grandmothers and Grandfathers whom I have missed so much… I really love and enjoy working with the clients. I am so thankful to my Executive Director Karyn for giving me the chance to work with them, since this was my first job here in the Island of Paradise (Hawaii).
Bobbie-Lee Kawamoto: Currently pursuing RN degree ~ joined our team in 2012
Hi, my name is Bobbie-Lee but most call me Bobbie. I was born on Maui but have lived on the Big Island since I was 4 years old. I am a KS graduate of Kamehameha Kapalama and I am currently attending Hawaii Community College with a goal of earning a degree in Nursing. I became a CNA in 2012 as a start to my nursing career. I love my job at Ho’oNani because I love the home-like environment and the close relationships that I have with our clients. I have a passion for helping people and ensuring that I leave an imprint on each individual that I come to meet. I have learned that life is a gift that cannot be taken for granted so to make a difference in someone’s life, whether big or small, makes my job more fulfilling and gives my life a greater purpose.
Ashley Batacan: Certified Nurse Aide ~ joined our team in 2014
Aloha! My name is Ashley. I was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii. I graduated from Honoka’a High School, in 2007. I’m currently attending Hawaii Community College in Hilo. My major is nursing, and I hope to one day be a RN. I became a CNA in 2014 as a way to gain experience in the medical field. But I don’t just do it for the experience, I’ve found it be a passion. I love working with the elderly. It puts a smile on my face to see them happy. I love my job and I love working in the environment of Ho’oNani. It’s like a home away from home. Everyone is family here, and you can feel that “ohana” spirit as soon as you walk in the door. I’m very grateful to be given the opportunity to work at Ho’oNani, with Karyn and the rest of the beautiful clients of Ho’oNani.
Faren Perez: Personal Care Attendant ~ joined our team in 2014
Hi! My name is Faren Perez. I was born in Hilo and raised here in Waimea. I graduated from Honoka’a High School in 2004. I fell in love with the medical field as far back as I can remember. I found a passion for caring for the elderly. Since I’ve been an employee at Ho’oNani, I’ve built a special bond with each and every one of the clients who I now consider family to me. I’m very grateful to be given the opportunity to work at Ho’oNani, my home away from home.