HONOLULU — The Hawai‘i Meth Project announced Friday that Joe Perez has joined the organization as its new executive director.
He succeeds Founding Director Cindy Adams who has served since its launch in June 2009.
The Hawai‘i Meth Project is a non-profit organization that implements a range of advertising and community action programs to reduce methamphetamine use in the state. Perez will be responsible for driving the project’s strategic direction, community outreach and education, fund development efforts, and business operations.
“Having spent my career as an educator and in public service, I’ve seen, first-hand, the challenges of trying to address the collateral damage caused by meth addiction,” Perez said in a news release.
“I look forward to working with the Hawai‘i Meth Project and the local community to address the issue, up-front, through prevention so we do not have to bear the staggering human and financial cost of the downstream effects. We have the opportunity to build on the success of the Project over the past two years and take the program to the next level.”
Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Perez most recently served as Public Information Officer for the Hawai‘i Department of Human Services. A former educator, Perez’s career path led him to numerous leadership roles in the education field in Los Angeles, including Head of The Country School, an independent school serving pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students.
Prior to that Perez developed human service and educational programs with New Visions Foundation, a nonprofit focused on finding innovative ways to provide a wide range of learning-based programs to underserved urban youth.
Perez received a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. He currently serves as a member of the board of advisors for The Country School in Valley Village, California and Films by Youth Inside in Los Angeles.
The Hawai‘i Meth Project (www.hawaiimethproject.org) is affiliated with the Meth Project, a national non-profit organization headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., aimed at significantly reducing meth use through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach.
“We are grateful to Cindy, who was pivotal to the successful launch of the Hawai‘i Meth Project,” said Mark de Reus, chairman of the Board for the Hawai‘i Meth Project. “On behalf of the Board and Advisory Council, I would like to extend our deepest appreciation to Cindy for her dedication and work to prevent Meth use.
“The Hawai‘i Meth Project has had a substantial impact in two years and we are fortunate to have Joe’s leadership and experience to continue this vitally important work,” he added.