Our Team

Our team of volunteers and interns are at the core of our work. Without these dedicated and hard-working individuals we could not do the work we do. In addition to our great team of volunteers and interns, our staff includes:

Our Staff


Anabel Cepero

Marine Programs Technician


Anabel Cepero leads our Marine Debris Program and is co-lead of our Marine Operations Program. Anabel spent over 15 years in the U.S. Army as a Senior Operations and Logistics Manager before retiring and entering the world of diving. Anabel is a Master Scuba Dive Instructor and has worked in the diving community in Honolulu before joining HMAR as a staff member.

Michael Tillman

Operations Support Manager


Michael Tillman manages internal HMAR operational functions including hotline management, dispatch, inter-agency coordination, volunteer scheduling, and reporting. He is also a member of our staff Rescue & Stranding Response team. He completed his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Marine Sciences at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Previously, his work experience included positions with The Marine Mammal Center and Friends of the Elephant Seal, both of which are in California.

Jon Gelman

Founder & President


Prior to founding Hawaii Marine Animal Response, Jon Gelman spent 32 years in leadership roles in the telecommunications industry working for some of the best-known firms in the U.S. before starting a successful telecom company in Hawaii. Earlier, Jon was a commercial pilot for 7 years. Jon has a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University in Speech Communication/Social Psychology.

Evelyn Macias

Oahu Field Support Technician

Evelyn Macias holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Marine Biology and Sustainability from Hawaii Pacific University. She is also a Divemaster, Scientific Diver, and a Certified Veterinary Assistant. Evelyn was one of our hard-working interns before joining the HMAR team as a staff member.

Emily Greene

Education & Engagement Manager


Emily Greene is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology & Environmental Sciences. Emily has worked as a veterinary technician’s assistant and has experience in education and outreach environments spanning elementary and middle schools, museums, and ocean theme parks. Emily heads up our Education & Engagement initiatives and also assists in our social media, fundraising, and grant applications.

Todd Yamashita

Molokai Community Programs Manager


Todd Yamashita was born and raised on Molokai and is the 4th generation of his family to call Molokai home. Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Prior to joining HMAR, Todd spent 6 years with the Polynesian Voyaging Society as their Communications Specialist. Todd has significant experience in non-profit communications in Hawaii and has a passion for marine conservation.

McKinley Walter

Oahu Field Support Manager

McKinley Walter joined the HMAR staff team after serving as one of our dedicated interns in early 2022. McKinley has a Master’s Degree in Marine Conservation from the University of Miami and previous work experience includes marine mammal rescue with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and sea turtle research and support with the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program.

Our Board of Directors


Whitney Beer-Kerr

Treasurer, Secretary and Board Member


Whitney Beer-Kerr has a Masters in Science degree in Environmental Science & Policy from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University. Whitney has 10 years of experience as a producer and writer of science and wildlife films working with production organizations such as National Geographic and NOVA. Whitney served as HMAR’s Development Manager until transitioning to our Board of Directors.

Jon Gelman

Board President


Prior to founding Hawaii Marine Animal Response, Jon Gelman spent 32 years in leadership roles in the telecommunications industry working for some of the best-known firms in the U.S. before starting a successful telecom company in Hawaii. Earlier, Jon was a commercial pilot for 7 years. Jon has a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University in Speech Communication/Social Psychology.

Megan Rycraft

Board Member


Originally from Hilo, Hawaii, Megan Rycraft attended Hilo High School where her love for the ocean started with her first sailing on the Polynesian Voyaging Canoe, Makali’i and that put her on a path to attend the Maine Maritime Academy where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation Operations. Following graduation, Megan spent 13 years at sea with various companies but, spent the majority of her career with Maersk Line and left as a Chief Officer on various types of vessels (tankers, heavy lifts, container ships). Megan is currently the Director of Health, Safety, Quality and Environment at Young Brothers, a company that has served the people of Hawaii for over 100 years. Megan is passionate about the maritime industry and values the work Young Brothers does to support the community, and the protection of our islands and the ocean.

Our Advisory Board


Patrick Ching

Beloved Hawaii nature and wildlife artist

Matt Kerr

Certified safety & hazardous operations trainer and entrepreneur

Dr. Gregg Levine

Marine animal veterinarian

Sarah Pifer

Financial analyst and animal advocate

Rachel Spraque Ph.D.

Biologist and professional conservation manager