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.
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).
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 collaborates closely with clients in the private, government, and non-profit sectors, empowering them to harness the power of data to drive impactful business and community solutions and initiatives. An expert in data-driven decision-making, Anna is passionate about using data to accelerate positive community change.
With expertise in network building, facilitation, and strategic planning, Anna leads workforce development initiatives at SMS, co-convening six different industry sector partnerships in the state and conducting regional and industry-specific workforce analyses. This work has played a pivotal role in shaping and steering workforce development efforts in Hawai‘i.
Anna's current work and professional journey are marked by her contributions to areas including economic development, educational and community partnerships, and efforts to address challenges in housing and homelessness. In addition to her leadership in the workforce development space, she provides a variety of support to a diverse array of nonprofit organizations, enhancing their capacity to effect positive change in their communities.
Prior to her role at SMS Research, Anna worked at Pine Street Inn, Boston's largest homeless shelter, where she cultivated grant and individual giving strategies. Previous to that, she worked in government at the Hawai'i State Legislature and helped shape impactful policy initiatives.
Anna's academic credentials include a master's degree in comparative policy and a bachelor's degree in history.
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.
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.
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.
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.