Meet The Team
Our team may be small, but we are mighty! The talented folks who make up our Big Island Pulse team—the heart and soul of our company—bring with them an impressive array of experience and diverse perspectives. We’re truly honored to have these passionate, fun-loving, hard-working, honest, and compassionate people (who love our community as much as you do) as part of our ʻohana. Learn more about us below!
Kristen "KT" Thario
Owner & Publisher | KT has been a Big Island Pulse supporter since its launch in 2013. She became a show host in 2017 and was grateful to be able to purchase the company in 2019!
KT was born and raised in San Diego, where she grew up in foster care and was later adopted into a loving and supportive family. She relocated to the Big Island in 2003 after finishing her BA in Fine Art. In 2004, she entered social work as a Youth Advocate, working islandwide to provide children and families with resources and stability.
In 2012, KT was diagnosed with a severe illness and was unfortunately forced to leave social work to focus on her treatments. During her journey of healing, she joined a global cellular health company, ASEA, that she is still a part of today.
In late 2013, KT re-entered the family business of real estate investing and property development. Shortly after, her passion for music and singing re-emerged and she became the lead singer for various rock n’ roll bands on the Big Island. As she gained popularity, she became “KT Sunshine,” for all the energy she brought to each performance!
In 2017, Big Island Pulse approached KT to host a travel show called “Passport to Adventure.” KT’s on-camera pizzaz led her to host several shows and interviews for the company until 2019, when she transitioned from on-camera personality to proud owner of BigIslandPulse.com.
Editor-in-Chief | Laurie curates engaging, locally focused content for our readers, including articles, newsletters, and social media, and helps to manage our other writers and contributors.
Laurie Lyons-Makaimoku relocated to Hawaiʻi Island from Austin in 2016, looking for a temporary change of pace. After falling in love with the island (and one of its inhabitants), she ended up permanently relocating. Since then, she’s spent time developing an appreciation for Hawaiʻi’s places, culture, and people.
She now shares her home in Orchidland with her husband, toddler, stepdaughter, and 20 rescue animals. In her free time, she serves on the Leadership Team of Hawaiʻi Rainbow Rangers, binge watches Netflix, and goes on as many 4WD adventures with her family as she can. Laurie holds a Bachelor’s in American Studies from the University of Texas and a Master’s in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University. When she’s not creating and editing content for BigIslandPulse.com she’s writing about travel for Fodors.com and her blog BigIsland.life.
Digital Developer | Cody is our “systems nerd”—he enjoys creating workflows, coming up with partner- and task-management solutions, and administering the Big Island Pulse website.
Cody has a masters degree in Conservation from University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and a BA in Marine Science from Texas A&M—Corpus Christi. After graduating from UH in 2009, Cody spent some time on Oʻahu and the West Coast before returning to the Big Island in 2019. He enjoys hiking, snorkeling, photography, and spending time with friends and hanai family.
In addition to his role as our Managing Director, Cody is also Co-Founder of Big Island Made. He previously worked as a Legislative Aide in the Hawaiʻi State Legislature (2015-2016), Communications Coordinator for the Greater Seattle Business Association, and Community Manager with Seattle Good Business Network. He looks forward to helping small businesses to succeed on the Big Island in an effort to help localize Hawaiʻi’s economy.
Visual Communications Coordinator |
JD graces our social media feeds with his absolutely stunning nature photography, videos and funny, fresh content from around the island.
Born in Honolulu and raised in Kalapana, JD is a graduate of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, with a background in technology, athletics, and education. He enjoys spending his free time hanging out with family, coaching, playing sports and working on growing his photography company, Prolific Hawaii LLC. JD coordinates the Pre-Health Career Corps Program on Hawai’i Island, a year-round education program under the Hilo Medical Center Foundation—the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) for the Big Island. In July 2020, JD and his wife Mililani became proud parents of a sweet baby girl, Maia! Congratulations!
Event Manager | Audrey assists us in finding and entering all of the many incredible events happening around Hawaiʻi Island and keeps our new-and-improved event calendar up to date and on point!
Audrey was born on the island of Oʻahu and raised on the west coast of the island in sunny Nānākuli Valley. Audrey enjoys traveling whenever she is able, having so far visited six other U.S. states. Audrey is a proud mother of four and stepmother to six beautiful children. In addition to being Event Manager for Big Island Pulse, she is currently enrolled at Ultimate Medical Academy and majoring in their Medical Billing and Coding Program. Audrey is a big fan of the outdoors—especially here on beautiful Hawaiʻi Island! She goes hiking, fishing, swimming, and gets “lost in nature” as often as she can.
Lovia Starry Publico
PulseTV Show Host | Lovia delights our viewers with her beauty, charm, and insight as she takes us along for the ride as the host of “Let’s Holo Holo” and other outstanding PulseTV programs!
Born in Kealakekua and raised in Kailua-Kona with four older brothers and three younger brothers, Lovia inevitably became a headstrong tomboy. Lovia has a deep love for the outdoors and ocean adventures, so you’ll typically find her beachside in her bikini with sandy feet and salty hair. Her daddy says, “if she’s not talking your ear off she’s either busy eating or sleeping!”
Lovia is a passionate daydreamer, which is why she is both Owner and Co-Creator of ʻOʻopu Kai Sunset, Ua Koko Tigerlily, Mana Ulu Breezy, and Piʻi Aliʻi Dreamer. She also works as the daily Operations Manager at Homesteads of Panaʻewa.
Administrative Assistant | With her knack for organization, Stacey helps us with various administrative tasks so the rest of the team can focus on bringing you great content.
Writer / Contributor | Tiare became a site contributor in July 2020, and offers our Windward-based office a fresh point of view and great content from the West side!
Tiaré is a freelance author and health advocate based in Kona. She is a lifelong resident of the Big Island, growing up in Kona.
Tiaré is a Hapa Hawaiian, being of mixed Native Hawaiian, Caucasian, and Asian ancestry. Tiaré is passionate about sharing stories with a local interest that make Hawaiian history and culture accessible to a wider audience.
As a young adult living with a physical disability, Tiaré has a vested interest in supporting the health and wellness of Big Island residents.
Graphic Designer | Sage works remotely for us in Maui, helping with advertisements and other graphics for clients.
Sales Associate | With his deep understanding of the needs of local businesses, Pono helps connect them to our advertising and marketing platforms.
Pono was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. Upon graduating from high school, he went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in Business at Midland University, in Nebraska. Pono loves being back on Hawaiʻi island and constantly takes advantage of the outdoor activities. In his free time, you can either find him out in the surf, or on the golf course.
In Nebraska, Pono found his calling in customer service, where he was a sales consultant for a number of years. Seeking a change of pace, Pono decided to get back to his roots where his focus has become community driven.
Social Media Associate | Quinn covers our Social Media Content & Management accounts. Let her help you take your social to the next level!
Quinn Nelson was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawai’i and is excited to be a part of the amazing team at Big Island Pulse! For many years she worked for Puna Kamaliʻi Flowers Inc., creating content for the website, designing magazine advertisements, and creating brochures and rack cards. For the past decade, she has been creating social media content and ad campaigns for Pacific Gymnastics. She has also worked on social media content for De Luz Chevrolet and All Star Tinting.
“I strive to bring my creative talents to the table to tell the story of businesses in a fun and unique way. Ultimately I am here to help them reach customers in an effective way, bringing new and repeat business!”
Food Blogger & Chef | Lisa started writing reviews for Big Island Pulse not long after relocating from Seattle to Keaʻau in 2019.
Lisa Atkinson, Esq. is living her dream by combining her passion for cooking and eating with her love of writing. In addition to sharing information on great food found all over our bountiful Island, Lisa also owns and operates Paradise Hand Pies, LLC. The goal of PHP is to bring local and exotic flavors to fellow foodies and families here, presented from her perspective as a Native cook. Paradise Hand Pies is about so much more than delicious little gourmet pies- Lisa offers buffet-style catering for groups up to 25, and private chef services for parties up to 8. Trust us, Lisa’s food is even better than it looks on her Instagram, Facebook, and website.
Graphic & Visual Designer | Chris helps Big Island Pulse with creative endeavors including graphic design and advertisements for our clients.
Chef by day, artist/designer by night. Tattoo addict. Nature enthusiast. Photography floozy. Amateur guitarist/ukulelist. Creator of all things reclaimed wood. Nutrition junkie. Dr. Who and Battlestar Galactica nerd. Live music fiend. 80’s nostalgia revivalist. Fueled by fried chicken, hot sauce and La Croix. Based in Volcano, HI.