The HAWAII CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION, Inc. a 501(c)3 Public Charity is run by a volunteer board of trustees:

  • Charles K. Cotton, President
  • Sheila Rego, Secretary, Treasurer
  • Suzan Shinsato Tai, Raymond Theodore Kolby, Jr., Jack H Setian, & Ralph Johiro.

The charity was founded by the late Henry Tsutomu Tai, M.D., Ph.D., hematologist and medical oncologist, who donated his time to needy cancer patients. It was originally named the Charitable Cancer and Medical Clinics of America, Inc., Dr. Tai was the President and Founding Trustee.

Dr.Tai was a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Southern California Medical School.  Dr. Tai was also involved in the collection of marine organisms and with research on their chemicals for possible use in cancer treatments.

Michelle Garcia

Michelle Garcia

Executive Director

Prior to joining the HICF team, Michelle is a proven account leader with an expertise in sales and integrated marketing that spans over a 14-year career. This experience has more than qualified her to help teach The Media Academy, one of the Foundation’s key programs, among her many other duties.

Michelle holds a BSBA in International Marketing, Corporate Communications and Entrepreneurial Business Studies from Hawaii Pacific University where she graduated Cum Laude.

Michelle developed a strong sense of devotion for education, the community and the nonprofit sector as a beneficiary of both public and private school educations. She is also an awardee of two scholarships from the United Nations in which she attended the World Summit for Young Entrepreneurs in Sao Paulo, Brazil and the World Tourism & Marketing Summit in Beijing, China. She considers herself to be a citizen of the world as a result of her extensive travels throughout 51 countries. Collectively, these opportunities have helped her give a global perspective to the Foundation’s projects and forward thinking initiatives and has fueled her passion for helping Hawaii’s students and teachers.

When Michelle is not working to support Hawaii’s public school teachers and classrooms, you can usually find her on the bow of one of the four sailboats she races throughout the Hawaiian waters.

James Avis

James Avis

Development Director

He is also the Managing Director for the Oahu Media Group, a full service Advertising Agency. OMG’s current clients include Longs Drugs, Windward Ford of Hawaii and Hawaii.com. Over the last 16 years, James has been very successful developing innovative marketing campaigns at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for advertisers to grow their business.

He is also passionate about helping to align the local business community with Public School education. He is deeply involved in all aspects of the The Hawaii Children’s Foundation and brings to the table hands on experience as a Home School parent and developer of lesson plans that challenge students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers. This fits well with the ultimate goal of the HICF Team effort -- to increase student college and career readiness while building teacher leaders at the same time.
When James is away from the office, you can find him spending time with his family in Makakilo or at the beach.

Chuck Cotton

Chuck Cotton

President

A lifelong broadcaster, Chuck worked as a pilot and news photographer for KMPC radio and KTLA TV, which at the time was owned by Gene Autrey. Chuck moved into broadcast sales at KFMB AM & FM in San Diego, where he spent 20 years as the sales manager.

In 1985 Chuck bought KPOI-FM in Honolulu and moved to Oahu to run the KPOI and sister station KINE. He sold KPOI in 1997 and was hired as the director of sales for what is now Clear Channel Radio. In 2000 he was promoted to his current position of Vice President/ General Manager where he oversee the operation of KSSK AM/FM, KHVH AM 830, KIKI AM 990, KHJZ Jamz 93.9, KDNN Island 98.5 and KUCD Star 101.9.

Chuck serves on the boards of the American Red Cross, Hawaii chapter, The Hawaii Association of Broadcasters, Armed Services YMCA, The Hawaii Food Bank, The Pacific Aviation Museum and as president of The Hawaii Children’s Foundation.

Chuck and his wife, Shari, have been members of Kaneohe Yacht Club since 1993. He is an avid sailor with a wide variety of interests including aviation and at one time he even delivered the daily paper.

When Chuck is not working, you can find him sailing in Hawaiian waters.