It was a pleasure to get to know Jo-Anna Herkes, one of our newest members, as she shared her story.  Jo-Anna heads the Hilo office for a prominent engineering company based in Honolulu, SSFM International.  She is not an engineer.  She was asked to join the company in 2001 to help the engineers outreach to the community and government.

Jo-Anna was born and raised on Oahu as one of six girls.  Even the dog was female, her father complained.  The family relocated to California in 1969 where she lived for 26 years.  In California, Jo-Anna entered a career path in Hospitality and Travel Industry starting with Hyatt Hotels.  She returned to Hawaii (Hawaii Island) in 1995 to marry the late Senator Bob Herkes.  

In 2001, she joined SSFM.  For the first 10 years with SSFM, she commuted to and from Honolulu on a weekly basis.  Finally, she could stay home when she took over the Hilo operations in 2011.

Jo-Anna lives in Ka’u at the Volcano Golf Course subdivision.  She enjoys having her 87 year old Mom live with her.  As a 10-year breast cancer survivor, she cherishes the small joys in life.