Eric Mita holds a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education which provides him with a foundation for being an effective communicator, problem solver and teacher. His hobby of stage, film and television acting has added to Eric’s ability to identify different personalities and understand other people’s views. With these skills and his 30+ years of experience in the insurance industry as an agent he supports and trains IIR’s younger upcoming agents. When corresponding with his clients he uses interactive listening skills to identify their needs and educates them while recommending appropriate insurance options.
Eric has given back to the community by coaching youth baseball, performing Bamboo Ridge Association’s Talk Story shows for both children and Kupuna and participating in beach clean-ups. A homegrown local boy and father of 5, Eric enjoys the outdoors and his passion for exercising and surfing has helped to keep balance in his life. Eric says he learns something new every day and realizes that as he gets older, he really doesn’t know much.
Garrett was raised in Kaneohe and graduated from Maryknoll High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He began his insurance career in 1993 learning and obtaining experience in the areas of underwriting, claims and sales. This broad knowledge allows him to best serve his clients in all areas of their personal and business insurance needs. His easygoing nature, thoroughness, and responsiveness has allowed him to develop trustworthy long term relationships with his clients.
In his free time, he enjoys fishing, exercising, and doing various home projects.
Nicholas “Nick” Mita grew up in Kaimuki with a passion for competing. In high school, he played baseball, soccer, basketball, flag football, track, paddling, bowling, and surfed competitively. Nick graduated from Maryknoll High School in 1997 and went on to obtain an Associates in Arts (AA) Degree from Kapiolani Community College in 2000. Following his dreams, Nick became a professional surfer competing on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) and Japan Pro Surfing Association (JPSA) tour events in Hawaii, Australia, California, Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, and Japan for roughly 10 years before following the footsteps of his father, Eric Mita. In 2010, Nick obtained his Property & Casualty Insurance and Life & Health Insurance licenses and takes pride in going above and beyond for his clients to provide them with the service they deserve.
Nick is happily married with two children and enjoys time with family and friends, watching the Boston Red Sox, watching UFC events, surfing, golfing, coaching his son’s baseball team, and being an active member at his local church.
Kevin Higaki was born and raised in Central Oahu and graduated from Mililani High School. While attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Kevin began an internship at a local insurance company and eventually became a Commercial Lines Underwriter after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2008. During his tenure at the insurance company, Kevin obtained his designation as a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) which he still holds. After six years of working at an insurance company, he decided to move on to the next phase of his career as an Insurance Broker which led him to Innovative Insurance Resources in 2013.
Growing up, Kevin loved competing and playing sports. He played soccer through high school and played in the Oahu Men’s League after high school. It comes as no surprise that during his spare time, Kevin enjoys coaching his son’s soccer team and is currently the Head Coach for the Mililani High School JV Boys Soccer Team and an Assistant Coach for the Varsity Boys Soccer Team.
Jonette Callo is an Independent Agent with Innovative Insurance Resources. She started her career in 1998 specializing in Life & Health Insurance and Securities. She has worked in Sales and Management. In 2007, Jonette decided to increase her knowledge and experience in the insurance industry and obtained her Property & Casualty license. Jonette’s focus is now on business and personal insurance.
Jonette is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for the State Judiciary. She is happily married and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Born and raised in Guam, graduated from Father Duenas Memorial High School in 1994. Being fully bilingual (English / Japanese) immediately working in the Tourism and Hospitality industry. In 2003, Yusuke moved to Honolulu, Hawaii and transitioned to Financial and Insurance industry by obtaining his Life, Health and Property and Casualty Insurance licenses and a designation as FSS from the American College. His primary focus is helping the local Japanese community with their insurance needs and financial planning.
Yusuke is an avid golfer and also a sommelier enjoys fine wines and champagnes.
Traci Payanal was born and raised in Honolulu and graduated from McKinley High School. She then went on to the University of Hawaii at Manoa and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree and Professional Diploma in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education. Traci “fell” into her insurance career when she asked her uncle, Carl Sato, for a part time job at his insurance agency while going to college. With the knowledge she gained from her time there she helped open the doors of Innovative Insurance Resources.
For more than 15 years, Traci and her husband found a way to chauffeur and attend their 3 children’s activities, practices, and games on a daily basis. Traci was also known to be soccer team mom, the one thing she never thought she would be. Now that her children are older, she has free time to relax, binge watch TV shows and movies, and do other things she never had time to do. #MeTime. She also enjoys “girl’s night out” with the many lifetime friends she has made throughout the years.
Julie entered the insurance industry in 2006 working for an insurance broker, however, in 2009 she ventured into the construction field. In 2012, knowing her excellent work ethics while she was working for the insurance broker, IIR searched for her and enticed her back into the insurance industry as a Customer Service Representative.
Julie enjoys spending quality time with her family, checking out new restaurants, going shopping, traveling, and watching Korean Drama, HGTV and Netflix.
Verna Mansanas is a Commercial Lines Customer Service Representative (CSR). She has worked in the insurance industry for over 25 years. She started her career at First Insurance’s Honolulu office as a claims clerk and worked her way to becoming a claims adjuster. Her family moved to Kauai where she continued to work at First Insurance, but as a personal and commercial lines CSR. She then returned to Honolulu where she continued working in the industry as a commercial lines CSR at various insurance agencies.
In her spare time, Verna enjoys reading , traveling and enjoying her grandchildren.
Casey Matsuda has been with Innovative Insurance Resources LLC since their start in 2012. Casey majored in Accounting and graduated from the University of Hawaii with a Bachelor in Business Administration. After a few years in public accounting she transitioned to the private insurance sector. She has worked at a couple of local insurance agencies before finding her home at IIR.
Casey has 2 children, 3 counting her husband; and they enjoy anything “foodie” related.