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. All located right here on the Big Island, we’re truly honored to have these creative, fun-loving, hard-working, 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 island-wide to provide children and families with resources and support.
In 2011, 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.
KT enjoys connecting people and being a part of the community. She sits on The Hawai’i Island United Way Board and her and the BIP Team have created fun events like Holoholoween, to bring fun for the whole community.
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!
Social Media Manager, Writer, Content Creator | Using social listening, current trends and her own understanding of the local culture, Quinn takes social media management to the next level, writing articles, creating content and keeping social accounts fresh and relevant. Let her help you take your social platforms to the top ranking spots!
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!”
Writer/Contributor | Angela helps Big Island Pulse with creating exciting, local content for our readers.
Angela Costa is originally from Oahu and has been residing on the Hilo side of Big Island for 7 years. She is involved in the community through her volunteer work with the Hawai’i County CERT Team, American Red Cross and formerly, Kea’au Middle School PTSA. Her hobbies include cooking, crafting, lei making, photography and writing.
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.
Liam "Levi" Strauss
Administrative Director/Writer| Liam does it all. He can help manage your advertising account and his eloquent writing will highlight your business to the next level.
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.
Accountant | Joining the team officially in January of 2022, Robert works diligently to make sure our invoices, books, statements and of courses taxes are all in order! He is now opening up his skills and offering them to YOU! Get a hold of Robert today and make sure to tell him Big Island Pulse sent you for a special deal! We are so grateful to have him on our team and we know you will be too!
Robert lives in Volcano on the Big Island of Hawai’i. He helps both individuals and businesses here with their taxes and financial needs. He is patient, kind, responsive and superbly knowledgable.
With experience in both tax and financial audits, Robert can help you with a multitude of issues.
Robert K. Erlacher LLC
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.
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.
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.
Writer/Contributor | Tamara helps Big Island Pulse with creating exciting, local content for our readers.
Tamara has lived all over the states, but most of her years have been spent in Hawai’i and she is grateful to call these islands home. After almost a decade of owning and operating a highly successful vacation rental cleaning company in Waikiki on O’ahu, she sold her business and moved with her partner to the Puna side of Big Island two years ago.
Grounded in gratitude, Tamara has many interests and talents. She is a certified yoga teacher with 300 hours of training in Advanced Hatha Yoga and 50 hours of training in Ganja Yoga, who offers a Forest Yoga experience through AirBnB along with private and semi-private sessions. In addition, she is hosting the first Plant Medicine and Yoga Retreat on Big Island in April of 2022. Tamara works with her clients, using consciousness and ancient yogic techniques to yoke their highest selves and manifest their truest desires and dreams.
Tamara attended college at Emerson in Boston, MA where she studied film production. She currently offers freelance photo and video editing. Her portfolio includes weddings, family photos and surreal photo collages. Her other passions include blowing peoples’ minds with her plant-based creations, anything and everything to do with beach adventures and advocating for the end of cannabis prohibition. You can find her on Instagram @ganjayogahawaii.
Writer / Contributor | “Waffles” was born and raised in Olongapo City, Philippines. There her mentors and teachers helped cultivate her love for the drum set while simultaneously shaping up to become a writer.
She credits her experience in Worship Music, and Rock Drumming as a foundation to her musical journey. In the present-day Waffles lives right on the slopes of Mauna Kea, on the Big Island, of Hawai`i. She is a session drummer at Loihi Studios, a professional drummer and is one of the house drummers at Kukuau Studio for Jazz Nights.