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Matthew B. James, MA, DCH

Matthew B. James, MA, Phd, President

Matthew B. James is one of the most highly-sought after trainers and educators in the world today. He is the president of The Empowerment Partnership, the leader in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnosis education.

Matt is a living example of the power of The Empower Your Life teachings. Matt began his studies at an early age, by learning teachings such as meditation and siddha yoga. As a young boy he studied with great teachers such as Baba Muktananda and Uncle George Na`ope (one of the most highly respected authorities on Hawaiian hula and chants, and was honored with the "Living Golden Treasure" designation). In the 80s, he studied with Tony Robbins and was invited by Richard Bandler, the legendary co-founder of NLP, and Wyatt Woodsmall, also a pioneer in the NLP field, to continue his education. Matt was chosen as one of Bandler's select-few students, eventually becoming certified as an NLP Master Trainer (a level that takes most people years to achieve, if at all).

Having been there in the early years when NLP was just getting off the ground, Matt was well prepared for his future. Now, decades later, he has more than proven himself in his own right as a teacher and educator. He is renowned for his insight and his intuitive gifts for awakening the hearts and minds of his students. His unique upbringing has enabled him to take the best of the best in NLP, Huna, Hypnosis, and Time Empowerment Techniques and develop a proven system of effective, instantaneous, long lasting change.

Through his role as President of Kona University and President and Master Trainer of its training and seminar division, The Empowerment Partnership (formerly Advanced Neuro Dynamics), Matt is personally responsible for bringing thousands of students closer to fulfilling their dreams. Each year he teaches the life-altering techniques of Hypnosis, NLP, Time Empowerment, and the ancient Shamanistic Hawaiian spiritual system of Huna throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Matt is certainly making his life a living demonstration of the extraordinary power of this wisdom. Along the way, he has picked up several university degrees, including an MA in Organizational Management and a PhD in Health (Integrative) Psychology.

Matt continues to be a student of the ancient Hawaiian ways, studying with Etua Lopes, a top student of Uncle George Na`ope. Etua continues to provide Matt support in sharing these teachings with students from all over the world.


Soomi James, Vice President

Soomi James, Vice President

Soomi's management career has spanned a period of over 22 years. As The Empowerment Partnership's Vice President since 1999, Soomi is responsible for the company's day-to-day operations, both in office and at various trainings.

Highly regarded for her management style and business knowledge, Soomi has been in high demand for her services in corporate consulting, improving various corporations' overall business.

Soomi has attended The Empowerment Partnership's NLP, MER®, Hypnosis, and Huna trainings and is a Certified Master Practitioner of NLP, MER® and Hypnosis. She is also dedicated to Huna and attends the Huna Workshop twice a year.

During her free time Soomi enjoys traveling and spending quality time with her family and friends.


Virginia Omine, Senior Enrollment Advisor

Masako Omine, Director of Enrollment

Masako's extensive experience in customer service allows her to develop a rapport with her clientele, enabling her to provide specialized services specific to the individuals needs and desires.

Her previous position as an Operations Coordinator with an international franchising firm required her to develop skills at negotiating, problem solving, and multi-tasking. This allowed her to better handle relations between customers and contractors.

Masako's current role as Director of Enrollment allows her to use her experience and forte in knowing her customers, to best help students and prospective students with their training and seminar needs.

Since joining The Empowerment Partnership™, Masako has attended their NLP trainings, and is now a Certified Master Practitioner of NLP, MER® and Hypnosis. The skills that she's obtained have helped her to better assist students with their needs.


Mary Jo Bye, Director of Accounting

Mary Jo Bye, Director of Accounting

As The Empowerment Partnership's Director of Accounting, Mary Jo has over 35 years of progressive experience in providing quality accounting services. In 1979 she moved to the island of Oahu and worked for an accounting firm, providing accounting services for businesses, which included restaurants, engineering firms and construction companies.

In 1984 Mary Jo moved to the Big Island of Hawaii where she continued her career in accounting, applying her financial expertise to various businesses, including medical offices, restaurants, automotive repair shops, contractors, mortgage brokerages and not for profit (501(c)3) companies. Her financial career on the Big Island also incorporated co-owning and the position of CFO for a seafood brokerage and distribution company, with her most recent position being a Business Office Manager, CFO and Human Resources Manager at a private preparatory school.

Mary Jo has two grown children and currently resides in her home, located in the middle of 3 acres of land, in the middle of an island, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Her favorite past time is enjoying new experiences while traveling the world with her significant other.


A'ala Peterson, Enrollment Advisor

A'ala Peterson, Enrollment Advisor

A'ala comes from one of the worlds most recognized leading hospitality chains known today. With her welcoming and personable personality, A'ala is no stranger to the world of customer service and sales. Her role in the Enrollment Department allows her to utilize the knowledge and skills developed by years of experience providing clients from all over the world with exceptional and tailored customer service.

Since joining The Empowerment Partnership A'ala has become a Practitioner of NLP, MER® and Hypnosis.


Mahealani 'Nani' Anakalea, Records Office

Mahealani 'Nani' Anakalea, Records Office

Working her way into a Director of Human Resources position for a major retail chain with only a few years of managerial experience has opened many career advancement opportunities for Nani. While in Human Resources she took special interest in the training and development of staff, she saw it as a personal goal to help others flourish professionally.

Nani continues her personal goal in the records office here at The Empowerment Partnership and Kona University by providing guidance to our students in all degree programs from enrollment to graduation. Her strong organizational skills ensure the integrity, confidentiality and security of all academic records.


Vivialyn Cawagas, Human Resources Administrative Assistant

Vivialyn Cawagas, Human Resources Administrative Assistant

Vivialyn's career in the Human Resources Division began 10 years ago with an internationally recognized lodging corporation. She is an asset to the everyday operations of the organization, providing essential support to our staff nationwide, while ensuring that the company's professional guidelines are maintained and adhered to. Vivialyn is charged with keeping up to date with new developments in federal or state laws that govern the workplace.

In her free time, Vivialyn spends time with her son, on long walks and going to the park.


Jayeneen Gonzalez, Products and Shipping Associate

Jayeneen Gonzalez, Products and Shipping Associate

As the Products and Shipping Associate here at the Empowerment Partnership Jayeneen is tasked to handle all of the companies incoming and outgoing shipments, product orders, and assists with product development. With over 25 years experience of customer service Jayeneen's contagious aloha spirit has made her a valuable team player.



Adrianne Gunn, Executive Assistant

Adrianne Gunn is excited to use her marketing, advertising and social media management background to help The Empowerment Partnership empower the planet.

A consummate do-oer of “Things.” Adrianne's obsession with communication and forms of personal and artistic expression have served her well as a writer, actress, musician, comedian, sound engineer and life coach.

Adrianne was first introduced to NLP and Hypnosis by a stage hypnotist and talk show radio host at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas in 1999. Even before becoming a Certified Professional Life Coach, a Master Practitioner of NLP/Hypnotherapy and a Quit Smoking Specialist, Adrianne had a knack for having the kinds of conversations that helped people uncover and remove the barriers to pursuing their true passions in life.