Meet the Speakers

Akemi Hiatt

With 7 years of experience as the owner and head of design at Hidden Gears, a human-centric but data driven boutique e-commerce agency, Akemi crafts thoughtful interfaces that balance beauty with technical performance and extensibility. With a client base of growing brands on Shopify and Shopify Plus, she enjoys finding ways to help businesses solve complex problems through smart design and digital strategy. Originally from the Big Island, Akemi was a fellow of the Good Work Institute and Ka Maka ʻĪnana, a Hawaii based program on indigenous design.

Akemi Hiatt

Owner + Design Lead @ Hidden Gears

Amy McKee

Amy McKee is a Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) PhD student from Kaimukī, Oʻahu. Amy is passionate about supporting Native Hawaiians in education and tech, developing sustainable communities, and leveraging technology to create positive change. She uses her insights on Indigenous education and research methods to design products that are place-based and community-centered.

Amy McKee

PhD Student in Education @ UH Mānoa

Arthur Grau

Every problem is a design problem. As designers we empathetically synthesize human and systemic challenges to build user solutions, engagement, and delight. With RCVM, the U.S. Govt., MIT and as a lifelong mindfulness practitioner and founder of at 250.org, Arthur brings mindful practices to bear on service design challenges.

Arthur Grau

Service Design Strategist @ RVCM

Blake Reary

Blake is a UX Design Lead at Google Play, designing experiences that connect our 2B+ users with great apps and games in the Android ecosystem. Previously, he was Head of Design at Ironclad, and an early designer at companies like Thumbtack, Palantir, and Mode.

Blake Reary

UX Design Lead @ Google Play

Carlo Liquido

Carlo Liquido, born and raised in Hawai’i, is a designer and data-enthusiast passionate about leveraging technology for social good. As lead designer at healthcare startup Zenysis, he helped governments tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. At Shopify, he developed self-serve tools to equip new entrepreneurs with the knowledge and insights to scale their ventures. Currently, Carlo leads Lady Bandit Studios, a local product studio dedicated to shaping a more equitable future in Hawaii. His Circular Design Internship program provides career-building opportunities for aspiring Hawaii-connected designers. Carlo earned his Economics degree from Brown University and holds a Masters in Information from UC Berkeley, where he served as an adjunct professor teaching full-stack development. At Nalukai, Carlo creates curriculum and facilitates participatory design methods.

Carlo Liquido

Founder @ Lady Bandit Studios

Chris Gargiulo

Chris Gargiulo is a designer, front-end web developer, and teacher with experience in web, print, and motion design. He teaches interface design within the New Media Arts program at KCC. Chris enjoys challenging projects that require creative problem-solving and serve a good purpose.

Chris Gargiulo

Professor @ KCC New Media Arts

Christina Agena

Ex-teacher turning her design and tech passions into a career.

Christina Agena

Product Designer @ Amplify

David Chatsutiphan

David Chatsutiphan

David Chatsuthiphan is a product designer and design manager. He is a co-founder of Mantle, where he has lead prominent design projects for wide-reaching Hawaii brands, including Hawaiian Airlines, PBS Hawaii, 7-Eleven Hawaii, and Honolulu Civil Beat. He specializes in finding practical, scalable, and maintainable design solutions for complex business needs.

David Chatsutiphan

Co-Founder/Product Designer @ Mantle

David Sharek

David cares about: uncomplicating life, instilling delight, and ethically harnessing AI to improve the human condition.

David Sharek

UX Researcher @ Google

Emily Lee

Emily Shi Lee is a research-driven content designer whose entire career has centered around helping people reach their goals. Prior to discovering UX, Emily edited, taught academic writing, and built career services for language teachers. She’s currently a solo senior UX writer at Codecademy. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Emily Lee

Senior UX Writer @ Codecademy

Jennifer Kumura

Born and raised in Honolulu, HI, Jennifer returned home at the end of 2020 from working, living, and teaching in Seattle and San Francisco for 8 years in the product design industry. Now that she’s home, she is inspired to grow and evangelize our field and create opportunities for our people of Hawaii.

Jennifer Kumura

Product Design Manager @ Servco Pacific Inc.

Co-organizer @UXHI

Juliana Ceja

Juliana Ceja, Lead Agile Coach at HERE Technologies, brings a decade of AI and tech experience in logistics. She coaches global teams in Agile, product management, and team dynamics. Juliana’s past includes program management at Amazon and Senior Agile Consultant at Centare, where she leveraged storytelling to enhance product understanding. Passionate about sharing valuable techniques in tech and product development.

Juliana Ceja

Lead Agile Coach @ HERE Technologies

Lori Lum

Lori has crafted digital experiences and communication strategies for 25+ years. As Anthology FINN Partners’ SVP/UX in integrated marketing, she contributes to clients’ success including Kenworth Trucks, Halekulani, and Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Lori graduated from UH Mānoa with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication.

Lori Lum

Senior Vice President, UX @ Anthology/Finn Partners

May Sermonia

May is a freelance UI/Visual designer crafting brand identities, landing pages, and MVP products for early startups. Rooted in Hawaii, she’s dedicated to empowering others, fostering community, and nurturing the local tech ecosystem. With a passion for creativity and collaboration, May thrives on bringing innovative visions to life.

May Sermonia

UI/Visual Designer @ Freelance

Mele Hamasaki

Mele, a producer, designer, and educator hailing from Kane’ohe, utilizes systems thinking, visual design principles, effective communication, and her intuition to shape futures that prioritize abundance, joy, and healing for generations to come.

Mele Hamasaki

Senior Product Designer @ Coinbase

Ka'o Carlos

Ka’o Carlos, a Hawaii native, is an cccomplished creative leader specializing in team building, UX design, and product development. He has built teams across various design disciplines and has a remarkable track record of product design execution. His expertise in UX and product refinement extends to connected devices, responsive web, and mobile apps, delivering innovative products.

Ka’o Carlos

VP of Design and Research @ ID.me

Kim Davidson

Kim grew up on O’ahu, then lived in NYC before moving back home in 2021. Her career has been nearly entirely in technology for social impact, with roles in user support, project management, and product management for nonprofits, government agencies, and civic engagement initiatives.

Kim Davidson

VP of Product @ BallotReady

Rachel Dlugos

Rachel is a graphic designer turned art director turned UX & product designer with over 15 years experience. She’s currently lead product designer at Pawlicy Advisor, an early-stage pet insurance startup.

Rachel Dlugos

Lead Product Designer @ Pawlicy Advisor

Tyler Nishida

Tyler is a product designer from Hawaii with a varied background as a bartender, DJ, financial associate, and founder. He’s currently a designer at RVCM and offers freelance work through his company, the quit company.

Tyler Nishida

Product Designer @ RVCM