Board of Directors
President: Josh Honsberger has a passion for assisting, mentoring, and guiding veterans and their families in performing to their highest potential and continued growth for success. Josh is a 12 year veteran, Marine Raider who was medically retired after sustaining a multitude of injuries during his time in service.
Vice President: Lani Medina Weigert is co-owner and President of Organic Hawaiian LLC, a native Hawaiian-owned marketing & educational company of organic local food, farming and lifestyle products of Hawaii. She is also the Executive Director of the Hawai`i AgriTourism Association where she teaches farmers in Hawaii and beyond how to diversify their revenue through Agtourism activities and value-added.
She comes with 30 years of tour and travel industry experience working within the Hawaii visitor industry. Most recently was the Director of Marketing for Hamakua Mushrooms, and previous to that--- Co-Founder of Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm on Maui, a premier AgriTourism venue in Hawaii also known as “The Lavender Farm.” Lani specializes in branding businesses, developing their value added products and services. Focused on economic development for agricultural businesses across the state, she is a maestro for collaboration connecting businesses, education, tourism, county, state and federal government resources to agriculture, creating mutual opportunities for all.
Secretary: Jeana Rimmer Realtor, speicalizing in veteran owned land purchases: Jeanna Rimmer has spent the last 20 years developing a well -rounded management perspective at several successful multi-million dollar global companies.
Jeanna started her career in human resources, which lead her to Britax Child Safety, a leader in children’s car seats. For 11 years, she grew with the company and took on roles in marketing, project management and product development. The desire to create products that improved the lives of children lead Jeanna around the world working with marketers, engineers and inventors to create an iconic brand and products.
Jeanna’s passion to get back to the simpler things in life, brought her and her family to Hawai’I Island in 2014. She is reconnecting with the land and the community as her family focuses on becoming self-sufficient and sustainable.
Operations Oversite: John Emmons A former school teacher who served in the Army immediately after the 9/11 attacks. After his defense department service, he returned to the land to find a new mission in service of those who serve our nation, our monnunities and their families. He believes that providing natural agriculture education & training can positively benefit humanity and improve a personʻs physical and mental well-being.
Executive Director- Emily Emmons is the founder and executive director of HVS. She has 15 years of professional work experience, which includes a prior career in marketing and sales, and since 2014 nonprofit management and veteran advocacy on the national, state, and local levels, including participating in two Farmer Veteran Coalition national conferences. She is one of the founders of HVS, which was motivated by her husband who is a military veteran living with traumatic brain injury and PTSD. After taking up gardening, Mr. Emmons experienced significant positive changes in his health and psychological conditions, and the couple was inspired to provide this therapeutic opportunity to other veterans coping with PTSD and other conditions and hardships.
Since 2014, Ms. Emmons has held influential positions including service as a field representative for U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and an Elizabeth Dole Foundation fellow. In these positions, Ms. Emmons has been an advocate for veterans and their families living in rural areas and has developed a strong network of local, state, and national stakeholders who support HVS. Ms. Emmons has been a speaker at the Farmer Veteran Coalition, Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes event, two Department of Defense conferences and most recently the US Conference of Mayors as a panelist discussing transitioning military personnel and the role of the caregiver, along with the importance of supporting agriculture programs for veterans on a local level.
Program Manager: Tara Waller
With a background in design and event management, Tara moved to the big island in 2015 expecting to continue in that direction. After life in Hilo and reality set in, a new desire to become part of the solution emerged. Addressing the challenge of Hawaii’s food security and agricultural sustainability became the true focus. Ho’ola Farms encouraged Tara to get involved and learn from the community what our food security challenges are and how we can do our part to bridge the gap.
Tara spent the next two years working and volunteering with local stakeholders like The Vet Center in Hilo, Hawaii Island Food Alliance, Hawaii Island Food Basket, Blue Zones Project, Rotary Club of South Hilo, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Campaign, and completing the Beginner Farmer Rancher Development Program with the Kohala Center in 2017.
Tara is excited to begin the mobile program working to educate veterans and their families to sustainably grow their own food and raise awareness that this simple process can also be a healing one.
Resident Yogi- Elisha Starr