Meet Our
PICA-WA family

The amazing folks behind PICA-WA who work day in and day out to support the greater Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander community here in Washington.

Wellness Navigators

Malie Chanel

Elder Services Manager

Samoan

Clorine Joujen

Wellness Navigator

Marshallese

Arleen Marston

Wellness Navigator

Kosraean

Martina Naich

Wellness Navigator

Chuukese

Rosi Bolatagici

Wellness Navigator

Fijian

Jiji Jally

Wellness Navigator

Marshallese

Mirius Wenda

West Papua Campaign Manager

West Papuan

Angela William

SW WA Wellness Navigator

Chuukese

Youth Navigators

Atelete Makasini

Western WA Youth Navigator

Tongan

Koa Derouin

Western WA Youth Navigator

Native Hawaiian

Herema Gafa

SW WA Youth Navigator

Samoan

Keichiro Andrew

SW WA Youth Navigator

Chuukese

Pasifika Food Networks Team

Ritae Wallace

Food Security Coordinator

Chuukese

Aseri Kunawave

Food Security Coordinator

Fijian

Admin Team

Fa'ana Fanene-Martin

Executive Admin

Samoan

Jayleen Topasna Salas

Finance Manager

Chamorro

Kelcy Maun

Admin Coordinator

Marshallese

Keleni Tavaiqia

Admin Coordinator

Fijian

Directors

Bronwyn Talaga

Interim Executive Director

Samoan

Amelia Bai

Dir. Community Services

Fijian

Kiana McKenna

Dir. Policy & Civic Engagement

Samoan

Britney Lujan Kingsbury

Dir. Communications & Arts

Chamorro

Savelio Makasini

Dir. Youth Programs

Tongan

PICA-WA Board of Directors

Paula Carvalho

Board Chair

Native Hawaiian

Franky Erra

Board Secretary

Marshallese, Chuukese

Tyson Johnson

Board Treasurer

Quinault

Taffy Johnson

Board Member

Samoan

Malie’s passion stems from cultural upbringing in their village setting, as well as values instilled in them by their grandparents. There were always village events that required participation or contributions. They were taught about sharing with our neighbors, inviting passersby for meals or help distribute food to families in their village surroundings during any environmental or health disasters. It became a natural thing to do back home. At a young age, one becomes accustomed in giving as well as honoring everyone else in unselfish cultural practices.

 

Community Organizer, Community Outreach on Sexual Assault & Domestic violence. Lifelong Aids Volunteer, Pageantry Organizer for LGBT Community, Samoan Cultural Day Committee Member, Pasifika Island Fashion Show Organizer. Former Case Manager For ACRS: LTC Home care Services. Family Homeless Feeding Project. Meals On Wheels Volunteer. Born: Fagatogo, American Samoa.

Clorine Joujen was born in the Marshall Islands and came to the states when she was about seven years old. She has resided in Washington state for about 12 years and graduated with the class of 2020 from Auburn High School. She will be attending college, majoring in accounting. Clorine enjoys playing volleyball and reading. She is overall a homebody but enjoys going out here and there.

 

She is a proud Pasifika woman because of the values of Pasifika people, most importantly the value of family. Pasifika people love to help each other in any way they can, and Clorine really loves the wide variety of unique Pasifika cultures. Her volunteer experience that shaped who she is today includes working at the food bank. Her experience there really opened her eyes to how fortunate she was to have parents that were able to support their family with food. Her gratefulness and humility inspired her to help other families in need. 

Arleen Marston is a Kosraean 4th year student at the University of WA and your Pasifika Wellness Navigator. She was born and raised in Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia. She moved to Hawaii as a 9-year-old with her family for educational and job opportunities. She moved to Kent, Washington as a middle schooler and was fortunate through the grace of God to join the Husky Pack at the University of WA a few years later.

 

She is proud to be Pasifika because the strength and the wits her ancestors carried were so grand, and she aspires to carry the same qualities. Arleen was fortunate to be a “secondary tutor” for High school students under the Highline public school as a 3rd year in college. This work inspired her to further provide resources to the Pasifika community, who are still trying to adapt to the Western world. She recognizes the barriers in relation to societal structure that stands in the way of our social mobility, and is motivated to help her people overcome those barriers. 

Martina Naich is from the outer island of Chuuk-Micronesia. Growing up she moved from place to place. During her toddler years, Martina’s family moved to Guam where she lived most of her young life. After graduating high school, she went to Pohnpei State and attended the College of Micronesia-FSM earning an AS in Business Administration.

 

Five years later, Martina and her little family moved to Hawai’i. She worked in the Department of Education until their family relocated to Washington. Martina’s passion is working in community-based environments; being a part of the Pacific Islander Community Association family is an additional blessing for her.

Rosidamu “Rosi” Bolatagici was born and raised in Nakasi, outside of Suva on the island of Fiji, where her parents both worked as school teachers. She comes from a family of 5 raised through great struggle but with parents who held a firm belief in the power of quality education.

 

Since moving to the US, Rosi has worked as an elderly caregiver for more than 15 years and is bringing a wealth of experience in service and community support to her role with PICA-WA.

 

Rosi is passionate about serving her Pasifika community and about giving back to positively impact the lives of citizens from the country she was proudly raised in, Fiji. Rosi hopes to help keep our traditions going strong so that the generation of leaders after us may continue to carry our cultures far into the future.

Jiji Jally is an advocate for health, justice and well-being for her Marshallese community in Washington State. She advocates for the vision that every child, adult and elder in her community – and all our communities – has the access to health care and full opportunities to live safe, healthy, long lives. She lives in Tumwater, Washington near the capitol in Olympia. She works professionally as a Marshallese interpreter and an Outreach Worker for the Washington Health Benefits Exchange.

 

In a volunteer capacity she served as Co-Chair of the Pacific Islander Health Board of Washington and a member the Children’s Alliance Public Policy Council. Jiji has been a volunteer advocate for more than 13 years, working alongside her community and community-based organizations in Washington. She played a key role in the creation and the passage of the COFA Islander Health Care Program in Washington State and other state legislative campaigns to improve health equity and well-being.

Mirius Wenda is from West Papua New Guinea Island. He came to the United States in 2016 to study at Corban University, and he graduated in 2020 with a Political Science degree. After finishing school, he worked for a year in Georgia, California, and Oregon. In late 2020, Mirius started work as the Free West Papua Campaign Coordinator in the United States and continues the work today.

 

In 2021, he moved to Washington state. Now, he is working at PICA-WA in Federal Way serving as the West Papua Campaign Manager to help Wellness Navigation for West Papuan siblings. This service includes legal funding assistance, giving a hand to logistics, advocacy, and raising awareness of current and historic human rights issues in West Papua. He is always proud to be a West Papuan. He loves his culture, his people, and his island way of life.

 

ONE PEOPLE, ONE SOUL, AND ONE DESTINY.

Angela William is Chuukese from the island of Weno, but was born and raised in Washington. She was fortunate enough to be able to attend school in the states. She recently received her BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology at PSU.

 

Angela currently works as the Pacific Islander Student Specialist for Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, Washington and hopes to bring down the barriers our families have within the school system. Knowing that she can help her community is what is driving her to strive for better.

Atelete “Lete” Makasini’s life started in the city of Seattle, but her roots stretch back to the Kingdom of Tonga. She recently graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and plans to further her education in hopes of attaining a degree in nursing.

 

Lete’s leadership skills were on display during her 4-5 years with Our Future Matters and has been putting those attributes to further use with the Pacific Islander Community Association of WA (PICA-WA). 

Cedrique “Koa” Ho’onakoa Derouin’s life began in South Seattle, but his roots stretch across the seas to the great island of Oahu, Hawai’i as Kanaka ‘Oiwi. He recently graduated from Federal Way High School and is now attending Highline Community College but is planning to transfer to a university in hopes of obtaining his degree in communications and a minor in architecture.

 

Koa’s leadership skills began to grow his sophomore year when he became a youth leader. To this day, he continues to develop his leadership skills and inspire his peers. He is on a mission to help and give back to his community with the support of his Pasifika people. 

Herema “Rema” Fa’alua Gafa was born in Southern California, but has been in Vancouver, WA for most of her upbringing. She is 18 years old and a recent graduate from Evergreen High School. Her villages are Siumu and Fasito’o Uta, in Western Samoa. One of her biggest goals in life is to make sure her parents are set with no worries in sight.

 

Rema hopes to take this opportunity to apply her knowledge where best used as well as learn from her fellow Pasifika youth members and lastly, educate those that have undermined our community time and time again.

Ritae Wallace is from the Island of Chuuk State Federated States of Micronesia. She came to Hawaii in 1990 to study at Hawaii Pacific University till 1994. We moved to Germany in 2003-2008. Ritae earned her bachelor’s degree double majoring in Accounting and Business Management at the University of Maryland, Germany.

 

She is the founder of the First Chuukese Washington Women Association established in 2019. Since COVID started, Ritae wanted to support not only the Chuukese communities but also the whole Pasifika community. Writing grants, gathering resources and supports for our communities has fueled her passions. 

Jayleen Topasna Salas is an indigenous CHamoru woman, currently settled on Muckleshoot and Puyallup land, otherwise known as Kent, Washington.


She graduated in May of 2020 from Pacific Lutheran University with a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Hispanic Studies. Jayleen’s passion is proliferating the practice of her CHamoru culture for the purpose of perpetuating the beautiful and healthy components of it, for her future descendants. She has presented on the political status of Guåhan and the way in which Indigenous knowledge is and should be viewed as legitimate within the sphere of academics, higher education, and within greater society.


She is currently the financial manager for the Pacific Islander Community Association of Washington, and a member of the Masakåda Collective. Jayleen spends her free time cuddling with her dog, playing video games, crafting, reading, and singing with her family. 

Kelcy’s roots lay with the lands of the Marshall Islands, where she grew up around her beloved culture, before moving to the state of Washington to continue her education. Kelcy is a recent graduate out of Auburn High School’s class of 2020.

 

During her time at Auburn, Kelcy was the President of the Marshallese Club. She has a vision to inspire and motivate others, while respectfully advocating for a better future. One of her many goals is to be the first one in her family to graduate from a four year university with a degree. Kelcy is most excited about being able to have the opportunity to help empower her peers!

Keleni Tavaiqia was born and raised in Washington State, and her family comes from the village of Viseisei in the island of FijiKeleni recently graduated from Hazen high school; she plans to attend Bellevue College Fall 2022 to pursue a career in nursing. In the past she has volunteered at various homeless shelters.

 

She has also been a part of the ‘aMAYzing‘ helping hands group going on a mission trip with them to Suva, Fiji to help a school for the blind, special needs school, and a women’s prison, also participating in the Pasifika Food NETworks food distribution since 2020. A goal of Keleni’s is to help strengthen her community and help people get the help that they need. 

Born August 1983 in the Fiji Islands to Timoci and Loata Ratuniyauravu, Amelia Bai is the second of five siblings, fluent in writing, reading and speaking both Fijian and English. She attended Suva Primary School and Suva Grammar School in the Fiji Islands. She migrated to Everett, Washington in 1998 and has resided here since. She briefly attended Mariner High School and then moved onto Lynnwood High School graduating as the class of 2001. She attended Everett Community College in Everett, Washington then moved onto American River College in Sacramento, California.

Amelia volunteered with the Salvation Army Everett Corp and Cedarwood Food Pantry in Mountlake Terrace. Upon temporary stay in California was the Youth Director for Metro Church, Santa Rosa. She also volunteered at the Glide Memorial Church in the city of San Francisco and started the Island Breeze dance team at young age. She is certified and taught First Aid & CPR to the Fijian Community in both Washington and Northern California.

Amelia is a proud single mother to two boys Joseph and Samuel. Currently residing in the city of Marysville, Washington. She is pausing her BSN studies and furthering community work in serving our Pacific Islanders in Washington state as the Director of Community Services here at PICA-WA (Pacific Islander Community Association of Washington), as well as a member of the Providence Institute for a Healthier Community (PIHC). She is an elected Board Member of the NAOPO (National Association of Pasifika Organizations) and a genuine devout member of Everett Community Church.

Kiana began working with PICA-WA in the Spring of 2020 as the lead for the Eastern WA NH/PI COVID-19 Response Taskforce and currently serves as the Director of Policy and Civic Engagement. In addition to organizing with Pasifika communities, Kiana sits on the Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition (APIC) Spokane’s Advisory Committee where she participates in cross-racial organizing and collaborates on opportunities for improving civic engagement on the Spokane Coalition of Color. Kiana is currently serving in her fifth year as a board member for YWCA Spokane, where she is involved in their Racial and Social Justice Committee and is passionate about uplifting voices of domestic violence survivors, womxn and girls of color. She also sits on Providence Health Care’s Community Mission Board for Spokane and Stevens Counties.

 

Born and raised in Spokane, Kiana graduated from Gonzaga University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations as well as minors in promotional marketing and psychology. Outside of work, you can find Kiana in community or with her family, which includes her two-year-old rescue pup, or outdoors, no matter the weather. She is proud to carry the torch forward and honor her ancestors in advocating fiercely for the wellness and thriving of her community.

Britney Jae Lujan Kingsbury is an indigenous CHamoru woman born on Guåhan, from the village of Dededo. She spent most of her young life in Federal Way, Washington but now resides on Coast Salish lands of the Puyallup Tribe in the Tacoma area.

She earned her Bachelors degree in Communications at the University of Washington – Seattle. There, her passion for community and cultural work came alive as she took part in volunteering with the Pacific Islander Student Commission and later becoming an officer for the UW Micronesian Islands Club, while also working at the university’s Ethnic Cultural Center and office of Multicultural Outreach & Recruitment.

These experiences along with her membership in the Tacoma-based Chamorro dance group Guma’ Imåhe have pushed her to pursue and commit to work of advocacy, organizing, empowerment and overall support of our indigenous mañe’lu. Britney is also a lover of art, learning, video games, reading and spending time with her loved ones.

Savelio “Nuki” Makasini was born in the United States, raised in White Center, Washington. His family is from the Kingdom of Tonga and have been in Washington since the 80’s. Nuki loves to listen to music and play sports in his spare time.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington graduating with the 2020-2021 class. He is proud to be a part of a community that loves to reach out to our other PI communities to grow together. At the University of Washington, he worked as an outreach ambassador to our Pacific Islander youth, encouraging them to further their education.