About EAP

001 aboutOur statewide network of Employee Assistance Professionals supports our statewide customers. In addition to a strong, experienced staff in our Honolulu corporate office, we have a diverse proprietary network of clinicians across the Hawaiian islands.

This network of providers gives our companies an unmatched breadth of behavioral health expertise, and gives employees and their family members more choices and convenient locations.

And all it takes is one simple phone call to our central office. We know our providers and their specialties – they’re not just names on a list to us. We will make sure we find the right provider for you – whether you are looking for someone to train your company or someone who can work with your family – we have the expertise to help!


 Who We Are

General Partners


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David W. Mitchell, MA, LMHC (WA), CEAP, SAP

>>> Dave's kuleana has been Employee Assistance work for many years, having served over a thousand businesses. Before joining Employee Assistance of the Pacific, he ran WorkLife Hawaii as well as a large, regional EAP based in Seattle with national contracts and global employees -- First Choice Health EAP. He is active and well-respected in the EAP field, was elected President of the Hawaii Chapter and of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of EAPA. He has advanced critical incident training and experience, and has helped hundreds of businesses across Hawaii and the U.S. stay resilient following traumatic events. In addition, he has responded to large-scale events as a supervisor of clinicians, including the World Trade Center attack. He is a skilled trainer, a clinician with decades of experience, and oversees all administrative functions at this organization. He also is a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP) and a DOT-Qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). He spends most of his time providing management consultations to our corporate clients across the Hawaiian islands and is ready to help your small, local business or large, global business access positive, proactive, robust EAP services that help your employees and your bottom line.
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about dave mitchell
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Vali Hawkins-Mitchell, PhD, LMHC, REAT, CEAP

>>> Vali brings a wealth of experience to Employee Assistance of the Pacific. In addition to her work as a counselor and executive coach, she is a well-published author. Four of her books, Your Guide to Workplace Violence, The Manager's Guide to Bullies in the WorkplaceThe Cost of Emotions in the Workplace, and Emotional Terrors in the Workplace, directly relate to EAP work in helping businesses as well as employees recognize how to work with emotions as well as challenging people. In addition to her work here, she runs ImproVizion Consulting, where she provides Expressive Arts Therapy and coaching. She is also an advanced-level critical incident responder, having responded to incidents ranging from small corporate incidents to the World Trade Center attack. Her expertise on Resilience, and her beloved blog on the same topic -- Resiliency 4 Today-- demonstrate her ho'ohana in the EAP field. Vali is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Hawaii as well as Washington, and a Certified Employee Assistance Professional. She spends most of her time here doing coaching and trainings ("edutainment") across the islands. Her "52 Weeks of Well-Being" premiered to our customers (as a free service!), teaching reslience through self-care and artmaking.
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about vali hawkins mitchell

 Meet our team

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Laura Schlesinger, MS, MAC, SAP, CEAP

>>> Laura is a counselor with Employee Assistance of the Pacific. She has over thirty years of post-master's clinical experience working with clients of all ages in community mental health, substance abuse, and private non-profit settings. She has worked exclusively in the employee assistance field since 1990, providing counseling to employees and their family members, consultation to supervisors and management, and training and education on various workplace issues. Laura has a master's degree in clinical psychology, holds state and national certifications as a substance abuse counselor, and is a certified employee assistance professional. Laura was born and raised in Hawai'i.

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Greg Tanida, LCSW, CSAC, SAP

>>>Greg is a licensed clinical social worker and certified substance abuse counselor who has been working in the mental health and substance abuse field for over 25 years. He was born and raised on Oahu and credits his local experiences with shaping his counseling and communication style. Greg is certified in EMDR and enjoys his work with individuals and couples. His experience in the Employee Assistance field includes work with Straub and Kaiser Permanente. Greg also enjoys being a part-time lecturer at Honolulu Community College and UH Manoa.

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Betta Yeung, Office Manager

>>> Betta is the familiar voice you hear when you call our main office and she loves linking people with the resources they need. Betta has been an office manager for over 9 years and has a wealth of knowledge having worked 13 years in the mental health field. She loves living in the islands and enjoys sharing pictures of her dog Pono!


Our Founders

Cheryl Prince, LSW, CSAC, SAP, CEAP

>>> Cheryl received both her BA and MSW degrees from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She has been a Hawai'i resident since 1971 and in 1976 began her work in the helping professions as a Therapeutic Foster Parent. Since 1989 she has counseled individuals and families impacted by substance abuse and mental health issues. Her work in the employee assistance field began with Straub EAP in 2001 before starting Employee Assistance of the Pacific. In addition to her executive role here, Cheryl is actively involved in counseling adults, children and adolescents, as well as conducting consultations and trainings. She has a private counseling practice in Kailua.

Carey Brown, LCSW, CSAC, SAP, CEAP

>>> Carey has over 20 years post master's clinical experience in the mental health field working with adults, adolescents, and children. Since 1995 she has worked in the employee assistance field providing counseling to employees and their family members, consultation to supervisors and management, and training and education on workplace topics such as workplace violence, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual harassment prevention, change management, and communication skills. She is a Founder of Employee Assistance of the Pacific. She is a licensed clinical social worker, certified substance abuse counselor, and Certified Employee Assistance Professional. Carey has lived in Hawai'i since 1981.

 Our Affiliate Providers


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  • Brandon McNichols, PsyD - Aiea +

    Brandon is an Oahu grown provider servicing the Leeward side of Oahu. He is a veteran who returned home from the U.S. Army and received his Bachelor's degree in Psychology, followed by his Master's, and then his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. In addition to his schooling Brandon has more than 10 years of clinical experience and training, working with individuals and groups of all ages - from preschool to geriatrics. He has a background in substance abuse treatment, risk assessment, trauma work, mood and anxiety issues and personality disorders. In addition, he has experience in health psychology working with individuals who experience migraines, are quitting smoking and even suffering from tinnitus. He utilizes an integrative and collaborative approach to psychotherapy to adress the concerns of individuals, couples and families.
  • Raul Sabat, Psy.D. - Aiea +

    Raul has offices in Honolulu and in Kapolei.
  • Donna Goodwin, PsyD, LCP - Haleiwa +

    Donna's office is in Haleiwa.
  • Jennifer (Dr. Hamada) Apato, Psy.D. - Aiea +

    Dr. Hamada is a licensed clinical psychologist servicing teens, adults, and the elderly on the Leeward side of Oahu. She specializes in substance abuse treatment, anger management, interpersonal conflicts, career counseling, life transition issues, adjustment problems, symptoms of depression and anxiety, grief work, and trauma processing. Dr. Hamada's therapeutic approach focuses on self awareness, restoration of psychological and emotional balance, and the development of motivation and purposeful action. She utilizes the person-centered approach in conjunction with cognitive behavioral and emotion focused techniques.
  • Walter Reed, LMFT, MBA +

    Walter has counseling offices in Aiea and Haleiwa.
  • Jina Uyeda, LMFT, CSAC +

    Jina has extensive experience working with people that struggle with substance abuse. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. She is also fluent in Korean. She can provide Substance Abuse Assessments and early intervention education groups. She works with families, couples, individuals and children and has experience working with trauma, depression, dual diagnosis, children with autism, ADHD, and ADD and has training in play therapy. She has also worked as a domestic violence advocate for the Navy and worked with military families.Her offices are in Kailua, Waipio, and Honolulu.
  • Emily Hew, LMFT +

    Emily is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with an office in Waikiki. She is passionate about helping others in whatever way she can. She has over 7 years of experience working with people from different backgrounds and experiences. She has worked in multiple group practices providing individual, couples, and family counseling to people experiencing depression, anxiety, abuse, and trauma, amongst various other issues. Trained in different marriage therapeutic approaches, she has also worked with the military providing behavioral counseling to couples, individual, and children.
  • Alicia Banda, LMFT - Pearl City +

    Alicia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with an office in Pearl City.
  • Leslie Edwards, LMHC - Kailua +

    Leslie Edwards is a licensed mental health counselor who works with adults, individually or as couples, on the windward side of Oahu in her office in Kailua. She specializes in anxiety and mood disorders as well as relationship issues, but also enjoys working with clients who are experiencing life transitions, grief and loss, work/life balance, family of origin issues, and anger/stress management. She relies on an integrative approach using techniques from cognitive behavioral, person-centered, and solution-focused therapies. Leslie strives to help people feel more equipped to handle the challenges in their lives and to help them be happier and healthier.
  • Marisa Kamada, LMFT - Honolulu and Waipio +

    Marisa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has offices in Honolulu and Waipio. Through her experience over the past 5 years she has found that she has a passion with working with pre-teens, teenagers, and adults. She enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families who are seeking growth within themselves and their relationships. She has extensive experience working with trauma, depression, anxiety, children with autism, ADHD, ADD, oppositional defiance disorder, parent issues, and has training in the Gottman method.
  • Kathleen McLeod, LCSW, BCBA +

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  • Glenn Kondo, DCSW, LCSW, SAP, CSAC +

    Glenn primarily provides counseling for Employee Assistance of the Pacific clients related to his specialization in substance abuse assessment and treatment.
  • Deborah Chavez, LMFT, PhD +

    Dr. Chavez has worked in West Hawaii as a therapist for over 15 years, and in the social service field for over 21 years. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and holds a doctorate in clinical psychology. Deborah offers individuals, couples, and families assistance with life problems, working with children, ages 2 -18 years, and adults.
  • Cynthia Galiano, LMFT, SAP +

    Cynthia's office is in Kona.
  • Hans-Georg R. Kissner, MSCP, MA +

    "George" was born and raised in Germany and moved to Hawaii in 1967. He attended UH Manoa for an MA degree, as well as Chaminade University for a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. He was a high school physical education and health instructor, school counselor and sports coach for 36 years. His personal training and coaching in competitive sports led him to sports psychology studies. George has worked in the field of domestic violence intervention, anger expression, communication skills and parenting skills over the past 16 years. In addition to his work as an EAP provider, he volunteers at Hospice of Kona, supporting a parent bereavement group. He has offices in Hilo and Kona.
  • Joseph Sulla, MFT, CSAC +

    Joseph is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor with offices in Hilo and Waimea. He specializes in working with couples and adolescents, and he also has extensive experience addressing anger management and substance abuse issues.
  • Allene Kaplan, MA, LMFT +

    Allene's office is in Hilo.
  • Sandra Pickard, LCSW +

    Sandra's office is in Hilo.
  • Penelope Rodriguez, MA, LMHC, NCC +

    Penelope's office is in Hilo.
  • Makela Madelyn Bruno-Kidani, MFT +

    Makela's office is in Kamuela.
  • Emily Claspell, EdD +

    Emily's office is in Kamuela.
  • Steven Chelminiak, LCSW, CSAC +

    Steven's office is in Kaumela.
  • John Cerra, CSAC, SAP +

    John is a CSAC and a DOT-qualified SAP. His office is in Kealakekua.
  • Nancy Sallee, MA, LMFT +

    Nancy's office is in Kealakekua.
  • Rebecca Keolanui, LMFT +

    Rebecca's counseling practice is in Hilo. As a 35-year resident of Hawaii, she has worked in the community, schools, and privately, providing creative and mental health services to at-risk children, adolescents, individuals and families. She has worked as a Military Family and Life Consultant, as well as for other local organizations.
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  • Rick Kelley, MC, LMFT +

    Rick is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and received his Master’s Degree in Counseling at the University of Phoenix on Maui. He recently earned certificates from the University of Southern California in Military Culture and Clinical Practice with Service members, Veterans, and Military Families. Rick has worked in the area of human services for over twenty years providing individual, family and marriage therapy for clients referred by the Department of Human Services, Department of Education, and the Department of Health. He is currently in private practice in Wailuku. Rick’s areas of specialty include work relationships, anger management, relationship issues, trauma and PTSD, depression, stress, anxiety, self-esteem, family conflict and substance abuse.
  • Carol Geer Freitas, LSW, ACSW, QCSW +

    Carol has a BA in Psychology from the University of Georgia and a Master's in Social Work from the University of Hawaii. She has been providing EAP counseling on Maui since 1989. Her areas of specialty include family therapy, relationship therapy, parenting, domestic violence, stress, anxiety, depression, and chemical dependency. She works with children, adolescents, and adults in her private practice in Wailuku.
  • Ellen Bellerose, NCACI, CSAC, SAP +

    Ellen has worked as a substance abuse counseling professional for over 23 years and is certified at the state, national and international levels. She has specialized in all aspects of substance abuse, domestic violence and anger management treatment. She has been an independent Substance Abuse Professional contracting with Employee Assistance of the Pacific since 2006. Her work involved assessing EAP clients and assisting them in participating in and successfully completing all requirements of treatment and case management goals.
  • Holly Espinueva, MA, MFT +

    Holly is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and received her Masters Degree in Counseling at Sonoma State University and her professional license in Hawaii. She has worked in the counseling field for over 25 years including work in family therapy clinics, school programs, adult mental health services and adoption/foster care agencies. Areas of specialty include: relationship issues, parenting, child and adolescent therapy, anger management, trauma work including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and career development.
  • Robert Lanser, LCSW, QCSW, ACSW - Wailea and Wailuki +

    Bob Lanser is a Licensed Clinicial Social Worker in Hawaii with offices in Wailea (South Maui) as well as Wailuki (Central Maui). He has over 20 years serving Maui in the behavioral health field and has been in private practice for over a decade.
  • Kit Gillette, MEd +

    Kristin "Kit" Gillette obtained her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Ohio State University and her Masters in Human Relations from the University of Miami. After living and working in the eastern United States for 50 plus years, she moved to Maui in 1990. Besides counseling, mediation is her passion.
  • Jay Serle, PhD, LMFT +

    Jay's office is in Lahaina.
  • Patti Sabla, LCSW +

    Patti is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work with a minor in Holistic Health and a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work. She enjoys providing her clients with a safe, non-judgmental space to talk in her private office in Kihei. Patti’s areas of specialties include: interpersonal communication, relationship issues, self-esteem, negative thinking, anger management, stress management, time management, career management, depression, anxiety and grief.
  • Anita Laviola, QCSW, LCSW, CSAC +

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  • Beverly Eager, LCSW, SAP, CSAC +

    Bev is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is certified in substance abuse counseling as well. She has lived in Hawaii for 27 years where she has a private practice, doing EAP work and contract work for various agencies. Her areas of specialization are marital and couples counseling, domestic violence and anger management, working with teens and families, and EAP brief counseling.
  • Todd Gordon, LCSW +

    Todd's office is in Kalaheo.
  • Lindsay Fernandez Richardson, MS, LMHC +

    Lindsay has a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and has expertise in depression, anxiety, substance abuse, family functioning, grief, and anger management. She works with children, adults, couples, and families—often with individuals who are experiencing high levels of stress and difficulty balancing the demands of everyday life. Lindsay is easygoing and nonjudgmental in her work with clients, while also enthusiastic about helping clients build their strengths and develop new skills to improve their happiness and functioning.
  • Lynn Pizzitola, MA, LMFT +

    Lynn's office is in Kapaa. He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
  • Sheryllee Ponce, MA, LMFT +

    Sheryl is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a solid history of helping Kauai residents, including working in counseling capacities for the YWCA and Kamehameha Schools. Her office is in Lihue.
  • Michael Foley, LCSW +

    Dr. Foley holds four graduate degrees -- doctorates in Ministry and Psychology, as well as Masters in Divinity and Social Work, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Hawaii. His areas of expertise include substance abuse (Substance Abuse Professional Certification), Lifo® interventions, Anger Management, sexuality and relationships. He was the COO for residential Treatment Centers in the U.S. and Europe, and a Clinical Director at an outpatient treatment center for 19 years before coming to Hawaii in 1998. His office is on the north shore of Kauai, in Kilauea.
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  • Shari Lynn, M.Ed., SAP, CSAC +

    Shari is also the Executive Director and clinical supervisor at Ka Hale Pomaika'i with extensive training as a psychotherapist in the areas of sexual abuse/assault/offense, family dynamics, reactive attachment disorder, and addictions. She is the local responder for suicide crisis intervention on Moloka'i, and a mother and grandmother of four mo'opuna. She enjoys her family, Welsh Corgi, farm, and the ocean.
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  • Shari Liden, PhD, LMFT +

    Shari's office is in Lanai City. She works with individuals, couples, and families, and specializes in Depression and Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Phobia, Sexual and Relationship Problems, Medical and Health concerns, Grief and Loss, Work and Career issues, Stress Management, Addiction & Recovery, Parenting and Family Issues, and Conflict Resolution.
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Additional providers are also available on the U.S. Mainland and Internationally for those companies who choose to cover those employees.

Our Growth

We have come a long way from those first two contracts that Straub signed to become the largest EAP in Hawaii! Serving all industries across all Hawaiian islands, we continue to grow and look forward to serving even more employers.

Growth Graph 2018

Our History

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Oct. 1, 1989 >>>

Straub signs two EAP contracts. [HC&D, LLC (formerly Island Ready Mix and Ameron) is still with us today!!]

Sept. 1992 >>>

Straub signs the 25th contract – with Punahou School [Still with us today!]

January 1995 >>> SAP services begin to support corporate clients compliance with the Omnibus Transportation Act’s requirements for drug testing in the workplace
Jan. 1998 >>>

Straub signs the 50th contract – with Queen Liliokalani Trust [Still with us today!]

July 2004 >>> Cheryl Prince and Carey Brown acquire the book of business from Straub and incorporate as Employee Assistance of the Pacific, LLC
Jan. 1, 2005 >>>

The 100th EAP contract is signed – with Times Supermarket [Still with us today!]

April 2009 >>> We partner with Ho’okele to offer free Healthcare Navigation and Eldercare Consultation to our clients
May 2010 >>> We move to our current location – 1221 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite 730 after customizing the space for confidentiality and privacy!
2013 >>>

Employee Assistance of the Pacific has grown to serving over 150 businesses across Hawaii!

2015 >>>

Employee Assistance of the Pacific has grown to serving over 160 businesses across Hawaii!

October 2015 >>>

David and Vali Mitchell take over ownership of Employee Assistance of the Pacific, LLC with Cheryl and Carey continuing to serve as Founders

March 2016 >>> We start rolling out free Legal and Financial Consultation to all our clients – robust Work/Life services at no extra fee!
April 2017 >>> Employee Assistance of the Pacific has grown to serving over 170 businesses across Hawaii!
July 2017 >>> Our new and improved website launches, as well as our 52 Weeks of Well-Being, available to all our clients at no extra fee!
January 2018
>>> Employee Assistance of the Pacific has grown to serving over 180 businesses across Hawaii!


Our Value

  • Our Value
    We reduce your stress, costs, risks, hassles, and turnover – increasing safety and well-being.
  • Our Value
    We help you retain your most important asset – your employees.
  • Our Value
    We facilitate hope, motivation, well-being, productivity, and health.
  • Our Value
    We have many ways of helping your employees so save you time and make EAP referrals easy.
  • Our Value
    Because we live and work here, we understand local issues, companies, and resources.
  • Our Value
    Our local team is ready to help you stay resilient, even on your worst day.
  • Our Value
    We assist Hawaii with overall well-being.
  • Our Value
    We help Hawaii families balance work and their lives.
  • Our Value
    We understand families of all kinds and help build strong relationships.
  • Our Value
    We make a difference for relationships, co-workers, companies, and Hawaii.
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