Melinda Caroll, Founder/CEO

Melinda served as Youth Education Coordinator for the ArtPlace America creative placemaking grant project on Maui called, Malamalama Maui, from January 2017 to July 2018. During that time, the nonprofit world and the arts merged together.

Singing professionally since the age of 18, Melinda has enjoyed a 35+ year career as a professional Singer/Song-writer, performer, National Song-leader for Girl Scouts of the USA and a 5-Rhythms Dance teacher. 

Her broad experiences as team-leader, event-organizer and collaborator for 100ʻs of events and workshops across the United States and around the world, has provided a unique skill-set and insight into community engagement. That combined with deep passion for Arts in our schools and communities, not only to grow budding artists, recognizes the natural development of individuals into tolerant, creative thinkers who are not afraid to tackle difficult challenges in life.

As a Record Label Founder/President of Legend Productions Inc., Melinda has written, recorded and produced 100’s of songs and over a dozen songbooks. She has performed in hundreds of concerts and facilitated dozens of world-wide song-writing and song leading workshops. Melinda loves sharing her passion with children and adults world-wide. A Hawai’i resident and life-long Hawaiian Cultural student, she believes in ART as a catalyst for positive social and environmental change. For more, visit her website,


Susana Browne, Board President 

Susana Browne brings an extensive resumeʻ and experience with Arts Integration and Education as it affects our schools and communities in Hawaiʻi. Beginning as an elementary education teacher for ten years, Susana is well acquainted with the challenges facing Hawaʻiʻs teachers and their quest for upleveling quality education standards for all children of Hawaiʻi.

When she joined the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) as Education Director in 1998, Susana was given the opportunity to work statewide and nationally, to promote arts education, provide professional development for teachers and teaching artists, and research the impact of an arts education on children. Her most cherished accomplishment was helping to start and sustain the only fully arts-integrated school in Hawai‘i, Pomaika’i Elementary.  Susana retired from MACC in 2016 and began her work with the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa, supervising teacher candidates in the Statewide Elementary Education program.  In 2018, Susana became a commissioner for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. She is also on the board of directors of Adaptations Dance Theater. We are proud to have her experience and expertise guiding When We Shine Foundation!


Rae Takemoto, Creative Program Director

As an Arts Integration Specialist, Literacy Coordinator and Coach for teachers, administrators, and teaching artists, Rae has an impactful history of building arts integration programs in schools. With over 32 years of teaching and coaching experience, she has been instrumental in creating Hawaii’s first and only public school to take a whole school arts integrated approach. In 2016, Rae launched and co-developed the Turnaround Arts Hawai’i Initiative, a program developed by Michelle Obama, that transforms underserved schools through the arts, in 3 locations on Oahu. She has offered her skills in Organizational Leadership Coaching, Program Development, Curriculum Development & Instructional Coaching, Vision Coaching and Literacy, to schools statewide, as well as to nonprofit and for profit community organizations.

As an advocate for whole child learning through arts education for 25+ years in Hawai'i, Rae knows that when children are educated in and through the arts, they grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally; head, heart and hands learning! Rae believes great change can begin with one person at a time, one school at a time and that this shift needs to happen NOW! 


Shelley Toon Lindberg, Visual and Media Arts Director

Based in Hood River, Oregon, Shelley teaches K-12 students and adults, and trains teachers in arts integration practices in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Hawaii. Her work may take her to remote indigenous communities of Alaska, all the way to Hawaiian Immersion Schools throughout the Hawaiian Islands. 

Shelley studied Fine Arts at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Interdisciplinary Studies in Arts, Education and Communications at Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon. Her visual art pieces appear in public and private collections throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Shelley serves as the Executive Director of Arts in Education of the Gorge and is principal teaching artist for the Voices From the Land project. Her Arts Integration and Educational work has her invited 

Shelley's artist in the schools residencies are focused on climate science, writing personal stories, designing storyboards, painting with watercolors, and utilizing iStopmotion and iMovie on iPads to create animated film with the students and training for teachers. 

For more of Shelley's Art, go to Arts Education of the Gorge Videos


Donelle Sakuma, Hawaiian Cultural and Education Advisor

Donelle was born and raised on Maui with ʻohana, from the Uplands to Lahaina, the mountains to the sea. Her love for the ocean and as well as the high elevations inspires her understanding of how everything is connected, mauka to makai. This understanding, along with a kuleana, a responsibility to mālama, to take care of this ʻāina, is deeply rooted within Donelleʻs teaching and cultural understanding.

Her passion and years as a student of Hula, oli, and ʻōlelo (Hawaiian dance, chant and language), Donelleʻs love for cultural connection is brought into every class she teaches and woven into the lessons and class study with her haumāna, her students. Her dream is that every school and classroom in Hawaiʻiʻs public school system incorporate these cultural components, values and connections.

A 4th grade teacher at Pōmaikaʻi Elementary for 13 years, Donelle trained and taught arts integration methods throughout that time. For the last 2 years she has been teaching at Iao Middle School. When We Shine Foundation is proud to be working with this talented arts integration teacher and Hawaiian Cultural Education advocate!


Lily Diamond, Written Arts and Social Media Advisor

Lily Diamond is a writer and advocate harnessing the power of digital media to democratize wellness and empower women through storytelling, accessible practices for inner and outer nourishment, and revolutionary acts of self-care within our earth and human communities. She is the creator of internationally beloved blog Kale & Caramel and author of bestselling memoir-cookbook Kale & Caramel: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table, celebrated as one of the top cookbooks of 2017 by the New York Times, The Independent, Cooking Light, mindbodygreen, and more.

Lily’s writing has been featured in VICE, Healthyish, the Huffington Post, Refinery29, and more. Her work is informed by two decades of study, certification, and teaching in the art and practice of meditation and psychosomatic therapies. She is a devoted co-conspirator to organizations decolonizing food and wellness for all. Lily was educated at Yale University and lives in Maui, Hawai‘i, where she grew up, on occupied native Hawaiian land.

Check out Lilyʻs latest book, co-authored with Rebecca Walker! A Journal For Everyday Evolution, released on December 8, 2020 from Sounds True, transformational writing prompts for personal and global change, Whatʻs Your Story


David Kauahikaua, Board Vice-President

David Kauahikaua serves as Vice-President of When We Shine. He brings a rich and experienced background as a producer/arranger/engineer/keyboard player who has been involved in the recording industry in Hawaii since the early 80’s. One of the first in Hawaiʻi to use computers to enhance music production. David has worked as a musical director for numerous well- known Hawaiian performers and musicians including Don Ho, Loyal Garner, Frank De Lima.

Besides co-producing, engineering and arranging every music project since When We Shine began, David works with many local musicians and performers and organizations. 

In September of 2019, David arranged and scored the music for the Honolulu Symphony in a 90 minute concert that featured many well-known local entertainers paying tribute to the music of Queen Lili'uokalani

He was honored with the 2017 Nā Hōkū Hanohano award for “Engineering / General Category” and his original composition “Kailua Rain” was a final ballot nominee for “Instrumental of the Year” in 2018. He was awarded “Outstanding Arranger” in the 1981 First Hawaiian Music competition for his orchestral arrangement of Loyal Garner’s “I Donʻt Want to Go Away.”

David and Melinda Caroll have produced over fifty music projects and albums together, including sixteen albums for Girl Scouts of the USA, plus they have co-produced numerous other children’s original music, including Songs for Change in 2018 and Keiki Songs for Change, 2019. Currently, David helps people realize their musical visions through programming, arranging and producing their songs. Check out his discography.


Reneʻ Ruch, Board Secretary/Treasurer

Born in Switzerland, Reneʻ has resided the last 30 years in Hawaiʻi on the beautiful island of Maui, about 4,000 feet up Haleakala. He has been a practicing Tax Accountant, Tax Preparer and an Enrolled Agent for the last 20 years and continues actively with his profession.

Reneʻ is an avid enthusiast of The Arts and arts education. He believes in the long-term benefits of arts integration in our schools as an innovative way to support childrenʻs creative problem solving and emotional and social well-being. He understands the benefits that spread out and into families and our island communities. Reneʻ is an enthusiastic supporter of When We Shine Foundationʻs work in these areas and happily shares his experience and expertise!


Christa Ochocki, Admin Support

Christa is an avid crocheter, yogi and passionate advocate for making our world a better place. She works as an IT Specialist for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, even when sheʻs traveling to her favorite places around the world! At When We Shine, she provides invaluable behind the scenes admin support with her technical expertise, organizing abilities and unique skill set! 

Check out her website!