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2022 Board of Directors


John Burnett, President

John Burnett is the senior reporter at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald with 16 years service at the Hilo daily newspaper, 14 of them covering police and courts. An Illinois native, he arrived in Hawaii in 1973 in the U.S. Navy and stayed after his honorable discharge in 1975. Burnett earned his bachelor's degree in English and a teaching certificate at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and a master's degree in education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He spent 30 years in radio, 12 in Honolulu and 18 in Hilo as a disc jockey, newscaster, talk-show host, program director and sports play-by-play announcer. He is the former voice of UH-Hilo Vulcans athletics and the Hilo Stars of the defunct Hawaii Winter Baseball league. He also taught English for six years in the Hawaii public schools system at Hilo and Waiakea high schools before being hired at the Tribune-Herald in 2006. 

Karin Stanton, Vice President

A native of England, Karin Stanton followed the Union Jack to Hawaii in 1992. She earned a bachelors degree in journalism / political science from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., and has more than three decades experience reporting on and about the Big Island. In addition to co-founding the award-winning website, Karin has worked for West Hawaii Today, The Associated Press, Thomson Reuters and continues to freelance for anyone who will actually pay for writing. Currently, Karin picks up a regular paycheck, health insurance benefits and a bit of ringworm at Kona Petco, where she spends an inordinate amount of time talking about cat litter and dog poop. Otherwise, she is hanging out with her cats, friends and family, watching English Premiership football, and shouting derogatory comments at people on Fox News.

Tiffany Edwards-Hunt,  Board Secretary

Tiffany Edwards Hunt is a middle school social studies teacher and a
"Greenwaves Gazette" adviser at Kea'au Middle School. She is also the Ke
Kalahea student newspaper adviser at UH Hilo. Prior to teaching and advising
full-time, Hunt worked as an investigative reporter, freelance writer, and
publisher of Big Island Chronicle. She has been a member of BIPC since

Michael Phillips, Board Treasurer

Michael Phillips is a journalist-meteorologist residing on Hawaii’s Big Island. While he calls the Aloha State home, he’s often traveling around the world covering breaking weather and science news stories ranging from air pollution in China, climate protests in Australia, hurricanes in Texas, weather satellite launches in Florida, or gales in Ireland and England.

His work appears on television, radio, print, and online.

Phillips also forecasts the weather off-air and writes about earth and space science.

Royelen Lee Boykie, Board Member

An experienced digital and content strategist, Royelen began her social media career with America Online in the nascent days of the social web.

Specialties: Include digital content, social networking, social media, online marketing, analytics, mobile advocacy and organizing campaigns. 

Royelen works for Food & Water Watch and, after a 28.5 year effort, finally calls Hawai`i home.

Patsy Y. Iwasaki, Board Member

Patsy Y. Iwasaki is pleased to return to the executive board of the Big Island Press Club; a position she held for several years that included being scholarship chair. A faculty member with the English Department at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, Patsy Iwasaki teaches online and face-to-face courses in journalism and media writing, English composition, rhetoric and other courses. Iwasaki focuses her teaching related research and practices on English education and studies, instructional design for F2F and online learning, and Japanese American immigrant history. She serves as a UH Hilo Faculty Congress representative for the Humanities Division; and is a member of the UH Hilo Marketing and Social Media Advisory Group and the UH Hilo Subcommittee for Lowering Student Expenses. In addition to receiving several UH Hilo College of Arts and Sciences grants for teaching development and research, Iwasaki was awarded the Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi Award for Excellence and Innovation in 2018, and recently, the 2019-2020 Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

A grant from the Goto of Hiroshima Foundation inspired Iwasaki to create the graphic novel Hamakua Hero: A True Plantation Story, about early Japanese immigrant Katsu Goto. She is writing and producing a full length documentary on Goto and his niece Dr. Fumiko Kaya, who established the Foundation. She is a member of the Japanese Association of Migration Studies and is an affiliate researcher with the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum in Yokohama, Japan. She has presented her literature and research about immigration and graphic novel studies at a number of venues in Hawaii and Japan, including Hannan University in Osaka; and also at the Complutense University of Madrid and Burgos University in Spain. She has studied at UH Manoa, the University of Oregon, UH Hilo and Sophia University in Tokyo. Iwasaki enjoys teaching and mentoring at UHH and she is very active in the community, serving on the boards and administering scholarships for several organizations dedicated to diversity, education, and youth.

Ross Wilson, Board Member

Today, Ross serves as Principal, Current Events, a Strategic Communications Agency.

Ross Wilson Jr., a graduate of Hilo High School attended University of Hawaii Hilo and graduated University of Hawaii Manoa with a Bachelors Business Administration, Travel Industry Management.

Active in the community, Wilson was the West Hawaii Field Representative for former United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka. He serves in the same capacity for United States Senator Mazie K. Hirono.

He currently serves as the Co-Chair of Ahu’ena Heiau, Inc., Chair of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee, President, Home Corporation, member of the Board of Directors of the Big Island Press Club, Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation, Hawaii Community Builders, West Hawaii Housing Foundation, and is a member of Hawaii Community College Chancellor’s Advisory Board.

Wilson is a former Chair of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Kona Family YMCA, Kuakini Exchange Club and University of Hawaii Hilo Chancellor’s Advisory Committee. He also served as a member of the Kukio Community Fund Advisory Committee, Kona Kai Ola Foundation, Kona Outdoor Circle Foundation and Hawaii Community Foundation’s West Hawaii Fund. Wilson is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Friends of NELHA, Kealakowaa Heiau, Hawaii Employer Support for the Guard & Reserve, Hawaii Island Food Bank, Hawaii Island United Way, Big Island Visitors Bureau and Na Leo O Hawaii.

Ross Wilson Jr. is the recipient of the 2010 Hawaii Community College Mahalo Award and the 2012 University of Hawaii Hilo Distinguished Alumni Award.

Nate Gaddis

Born on the Big Island, Nate began his career in the restaurants of Honolulu's old Kakaako district, before finding his way into journalism and eventually landing a job as the marketing director for a multi-faceted real estate brokerage. 

In 2021, he founded GZX Hawai`i, a vertically-integrated real estate group operating across the Big Island and Oahu in over four languages.

 Nate is classically trained in pastry, and still enjoys cooking and baking for clients and friends. He writes occasional columns on local food, culture, and land use, and splits his time between a small farm on the Big Island, and a condo in Waikiki.

 He holds a degree from the University of Hawai`i, where he studied Economics and Finance.

Nancy  Cook Lauer, Immediate Past President

Nancy Cook Lauer has more than 25 years experience as a journalist, winning national and state awards for newspapers in Florida and Hawaii. She publishes a daily state government news aggregate and commentary blog, All Hawaii News, and is a government reporter for West Hawaii Today.

President of the Big Island Press Club as well as vice president of the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Lauer has a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, summa cum laude, from Old Dominion University. She earned her reporting chops covering the 2000 Bush v. Gore presidential election at Florida’s ground zero and was recently honored with a Torch of Light award and a Hawaii state Senate commendation for uncovering questionable spending practices in local government.