The Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Pacific (VBOC) is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible Active Duty Service members (including National Guard and Reserve), Veterans of all eras, and spouses owning or considering starting a small business.

On this page:

Dennis Kwak


Prior to joining the VBOC of the Pacific, Dennis was a Senior Business Advisor with the Hawaiʻi SBDC where he was the Hawaiʻi State Star recipient in 2015. His other experiences include international trade, light manufacturing, and investment banking. Additionally, he is a certified Marketing Management Professional by American Marketing Association (PCM). He is fluent in Korean, and has working knowledge in Mandarin. Dennis has worked and lived in NY, Shanghai, Seoul, and now lives in Honolulu with his wife and two children.

Lori Hiramatsu

Business Advisor

Lori has more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry serving in various capacities including district manager overseeing several branches, a business and consumer banking team, and operations. She served for 6+ years as a Senior Business Advisor with the Hawaiʻi SBDC and assisted numerous Hawaii businesses in various stages of their business life-cycle including start-ups, expansions, exports, manufacturing, agriculture, selling/buying businesses, and assisting them with access to capital for their business needs. Besides her business banking and lending background, she is knowledgeable of the various SBA financing programs, and is experienced in the financing of commercial PV and PPA systems. She holds a BBA from the University of Hawaii- Manoa, is a honors graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington, certified U.S. Export advisor, certified HiSBDC business advisor and active volunteer in the community.

Andra Tejero-Gaspar

Business Advisor

Andra has served at the Hawaiʻi SBDC, Oahu Center for over 13 years. Prior to her time in economic development, she has dedicated 18 years as an educator in the Education Department at Bishop Museum in Honolulu. She brings a cultural perspective and over 30 years of customer service to the program. She graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. As a member of a military family, Andra has lived in Fort Lewis, Washington, Stuttgart, Germany, Montpellier, France but home is here in Hawaii.

Jane Ray

Boots to Business Instructor

Jane Ray is a Certified Business Advisor with Growth Wheel and Certified Facilitator for the Profit Mastery program. Jane helps aspired small business entrepreneurs in their entrepreneurial journey and eventually transitioning to successful entrepreneurs. She is also an entrepreneur herself, owner of “Strategix 360 Consulting and Training” focus on providing insightful trainings in the area of lending, business & personal finance.

Prior to small business coaching, Jane spent over 12 years as a loan manager and loan officer in different areas at a number of financial institutions. She was awarded small business banker of the year and lender of the year with U.S. SBA Guam branch office from her contribution in assisting small businesses community. Jane hold a BBA in Finance and Economics from University of Guam and Master degree in Accounting and Financial Management from University of Maryland University College.

Noela Napoleon

Boots to Business Instructor

Noela Napoleon is professional consultant who helps people to achieve their dreams of business ownership. As a seasoned business operator, Noela has a broad range of experience and knowledge to help her clients plan, manage and grow strategically. Since 2016 Noela has served as an instructor VBOC’s Boots to Business Transitional Assistance Program for which she was recognized with a “Holomua Award” in 2017. In 2018 Noela was one of ten national finalists for the Boots to Business “Instructor of the Year Awards”; and in 2019 she was selected as the SBA’s Veteran’s Business Advocate of the Year. Noela’s clients come from far and wide and she is honored to serve entrepreneurs at all stages from pre-business to maturity. Noela is an active business owner in Honolulu and is the co-founder/CAO of her family-run wholesale beverage and ice cream distributorship which has been in operation for over 24 years.

Visit us at
2800 Woodlawn Dr - Suite 292
Honolulu, HI 96822

(808) 988-1236


U.S. Small Business Administration: Veterans Business Outreach Centers

Powered by SBA: U.S. Small Business Administration

Boots to Business - from the US Small Business Administration

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Dennis Kwak dkwak@hawaii.edu.