Staff and Board of Directors

Our agency consists of a board of directors, a small professional staff, and a corps of trained, volunteer mediators recruited from the community.

Board of Directors

Anita Giovanna Gherardi – President
Janet Marrack – Vice President
The Honorable Elizabeth A. Strance – Secretary
Dawn Henry, Esq.
Linda Jeffrey
Zaheva S. Knowles, Esq.
Joyce Muktarian
Ruth Smith
Katherine Werner
Michael Zola, Esq.


Margarita Scheffel – Treasurer

Professional Staff


Chelsea LaFrance – Case Manager

After living on Maui for many years, Chelsea returned to her home town of Waimea to provide case management for all general mediation cases for West Hawai’i Mediation Center. With established roots in the community, an outgoing personality and an ease for conversation, daily communication with mediators and clients comes naturally for Chelsea. As Case Manager, Chelsea is responsible for conducting intakes for all parties requesting mediation, coordinating mediation dates, assigning mediators and coordinating mediation locations, assisting the Executive Director with preparing reports, and coordinating multiple trainings within the year. With a background in Early Childhood Education, Chelsea has also taken on the role of assisting the Peer Mediation Program with training elementary students in mediation.

Gina Tumasone – Program Specialist

Being a young member of the Waimea community, Gina quickly found a home at the West Hawai’i Mediation Center (WHMC) in 2014. With a background in the judicial system, the Foreclosure Program seemed like the right fit. As FPS for the Center, Gina’s responsibilities include case management of approximately 20 currently open foreclosure cases, mediating all foreclosure cases, daily communication with attorneys, homeowners and the courts.  Gina also provides assistance to the Executive Director, performing tasks such as grant reports, Special Projects, marketing and outreach, website design, social media campaigns, trainings and other gatherings.

Robyn Skudlarek – Youth Programs Coordinator

Robyn has lived on Hawai’i Island for almost 20 years. She is a certified teacher with the State Department of Education and holds a Master’s degree in Human Development. Robyn has served as a K-8 classroom teacher both in the United States and abroad. She taught in Hawai’i Community College’s Early Childhood Education department and helped to bring college credit courses into under-served communities on the Big Island. Robyn also has a passion for non-profit work, having worked for Recycle Hawai’i and North Kohala Community Resource Center, and – since 2012 – West Hawai’i Mediation Center. Robyn coordinates youth programming for the Center and developed the pilot, middle and high school peer mediation program that is currently in thirteen schools in West Hawai’i. Robyn has a passion for education and believes that learning cannot take place when youth are affected by unresolved conflict.

Jennifer Halley – Bookkeeper

Jennifer Halley has worked in various areas related to financial reporting and bookkeeping since 1985. Prior to moving to Hawaii Island in 2005 Jennifer had many years of experience in corporate America including a successful career for a leading members-only warehouse corporation in roles that included Executive Assistant to the President, Financial Analyst, Auditor and Corporate Trainer. She has been focusing on bookkeeping since the year 2000 with the last 12 years assisting businesses on the Big Island.