About Us

As a locally owned, independent firm, we have been a trusted source of intelligence for Hawai'i's business, government, and nonprofit leaders for more than six decades.

For as long as Hawai'i has been a state, SMS Hawai'i has been at the forefront of spotting trends, pinpointing issues, and unlocking insights.

We pride ourselves on combining the industry's latest research and survey techniques with our insider knowledge of Hawai'i to give clients a comprehensive view of the local issues that matter most.

Our team has over six decades of experience providing intelligence to Hawai'i's business, government, and nonprofit leaders. Our locally owned and independent firm is a trusted source of knowledge, with our studies guiding some of the most critical and sensitive decisions in our state's history. We cover various topics, from land use and housing to health and well-being, and our insights have helped shape industries such as retail, tourism, commercial real estate, banking, and insurance.

We also have prioritized cyber security in today's global, digital environment. Our team follows best practices for data integrity, security, and privacy. We have partnered with the Cyber Readiness Institute of Hawaii to ensure we are always up-to-date with the latest security measures and carry cyber insurance for added protection.

In 2021, SMS entered a new era with Tim Carson as our President and CEO. Together with our seasoned research and consulting team, we combine the latest expertise with decades of experience to provide unparalleled insight into Hawai'i and the Indo-Pacific region. We are proud of our island roots and look forward to continuing to serve as a trusted source of knowledge for years to come.

Meet The Team

Tim Carson

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President & CEO, SMS Research
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15+ years of experience consulting in all aspects of the data lifecycle in diverse industries including higher education, software, banking, and insurance. Carson held leadership roles with companies including SAI Global, RSA Archer, and IBM, where he leveraged his expertise in data strategy, governance, privacy, and security to protect Fortune 500 companies.

Before joining the private sector, he worked on Capitol Hill as a Congressional staffer in the offices of U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink and U.S. Rep. Ed Case. Carson has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in International Studies and is a graduate of Punahou School (’96).

Faith Sereno Rex

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President, SMS Hawai'i Consulting, and Executive Vice President, SMS Research
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An expert in strategic business planning, marketing planning, evaluation, and implementation, Faith Rex has been an integral part of the SMS Hawai'i leadership team for more than 25 years.

As head of SMS Hawai'i Consulting, a Native Hawaiian- and a woman-owned wholly-owned subsidiary of SMS, Faith works closely with clients to create strategic plans grounded in quantitative market analyses and outcomes-oriented evaluations. She also provides strategies and tactics to help clients better use their customer, donor, and sales databases, to target potential customers and improve customer retention.

Faith has deep experience in business and finance, including holding executive and leadership roles at Honfed/Bank of America and Bank of Hawai'i before joining SMS Research.

A graduate of Carleton College, Faith holds an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Northwestern University.

Anna Pacheco

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Vice President, SMS Research
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An expert project manager with a talent for developing practical data applications, Anna Pacheco works hand-in-hand with clients to help them implement data-driven solutions.

Anna has extensive experience with network building, facilitation, and strategic planning, and as a convening partner in the sector partnerships initiative with the Chamber of Commerce Hawai'i, is guiding workforce development programs statewide.

Anna brings expertise in the areas of economic development, educational and community partnerships, and housing and homelessness, as well as providing a range of support for various nonprofit organizations.

Before joining SMS, Anna worked at Pine Street Inn, Boston's largest homeless shelter, cultivating grant and individual giving strategies. She previously served as office manager for a representative at the Hawai'i State Legislature, where she helped research and develop policy initiatives.

She possesses a master's degree in comparative policy and a bachelor's degree in history.

Jeff May

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Vice President, SMS Research
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A research expert with more than 15 years of experience collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data, Jeff May excels at distilling raw information into meaningful insight. Other areas of expertise include program evaluation.

Jeff previously worked for SMS Hawai'i from 2009 to 2015, before leaving to spend time on the mainland. During his time away, his roles included analyzing health survey data for the Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. He returned to SMS Hawai'i in 2022.

Before joining the private sector, Jeff taught political science at the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa. He also served as an aide at the Hawai'i State Legislature.

Jeff holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Houston and a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University.

John B. Tidwell, Ph.D.

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Vice President, SMS Research
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John is a classically educated researcher with a Ph.D. in Measurement and Evaluation from the University of Delaware. He possesses considerable industry knowledge in financial services, telecommunications, and manufacturing. His experience is steeped in marketing research and social science, which includes new product development, brand health, program/policy evaluation, and strategy development.

Over the years, John has developed a myriad of interests and hobbies. He has been an adjunct instructor teaching statistics at local universities; he owns a patent for a medical cutting device; has coauthored numerous journal articles and opinion pieces, and founded a non-profit that taught Parkinson’s patients how to box to improve their balance and physical condition. He also holds a 3rd Degree Black Belt in American Karate/Kickboxing.

Ava Patricia C. Avila, Ph.D.

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Project Analyst, SMS Research
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Ava’s professional experience encompasses working for private, public, and nonprofit organizations in the Philippines, Singapore, and the U.S., including Washington D.C. and Hawai‘i. Her long-standing goal is to work towards bridging research and policymaking to implement policies effectively.

Before joining SMS, Ava was an adjunct researcher at RAND Corporation, providing evaluation support to a U.S. Department of State Global Engagement Center project on enhancing communication security strategies.

She holds a Ph.D. in Defense and Security from Cranfield University and is fluent in Tagalog.

Samantha Larson

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Assistant Project Director, SMS Research
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Meet Samantha Larson, our Assistant Project Director with a passion for making a difference in the social service sector! With a wealth of experience in development outreach, engagement tools, data tracking, and research, Samantha is a valuable asset to our team.

Before joining SMS, Samantha served as a Planning and Development Specialist at the Honolulu Community Action Program, a nonprofit organization delivering essential human services on O'ahu. Her previous experience has honed her skills and deepened her commitment to making a positive impact in the community.

Samantha holds a Master's degree in Communication & Media Studies, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Political Science & Government, both earned from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.

Meet the SMS Hawaii Team.

Contact Us

Have a question for us? Let us know how we can help. Get in touch with us directly at (808) 537-3356 or by email below.


SMS Hawai’i
Pauahi Tower
1003 Bishop Street, Suite 650
Honolulu, HI 96813
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