NLP Staff

Matthew B. James, MA, DCH

Matthew B. James, MA, PhD, President

Matthew B. James is one of the most highly-sought after trainers and educators in the world today. He is the president of The Empowerment Partnership, the leader in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnosis education.

Matt is a living example of the power of The Empower Your Life teachings. Matt began his studies at an early age, by learning teachings such as meditation and siddha yoga. As a young boy he studied with great teachers such as Baba Muktananda and Uncle George Na`ope (one of the most highly respected authorities on Hawaiian hula and chants, and was honored with the "Living Golden Treasure" designation). In the 80s, he studied with Tony Robbins and was invited by Richard Bandler, the legendary co-founder of NLP, and Wyatt Woodsmall, also a pioneer in the NLP field, to continue his education. Matt was chosen as one of Bandler's select-few students, eventually becoming certified as an NLP Master Trainer (a level that takes most people years to achieve, if at all).

Having been there in the early years when NLP was just getting off the ground, Matt was well prepared for his future. Now, decades later, he has more than proven himself in his own right as a teacher and educator. He is renowned for his insight and his intuitive gifts for awakening the hearts and minds of his students. His unique upbringing has enabled him to take the best of the best in NLP, Huna, Hypnosis, and Time Empowerment Techniques and develop a proven system of effective, instantaneous, long lasting change.

Through his role as President of Kona University and President and Master Trainer of its training and seminar division, The Empowerment Partnership (formerly Advanced Neuro Dynamics), Matt is personally responsible for bringing thousands of students closer to fulfilling their dreams. Each year he teaches the life-altering techniques of Hypnosis, NLP, Time Empowerment, and the ancient Shamanistic Hawaiian spiritual system of Huna throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Matt is certainly making his life a living demonstration of the extraordinary power of this wisdom. Along the way, he has picked up several university degrees, including an MA in Organizational Management and a PhD in Health (Integrative) Psychology.

Matt continues to be a student of the ancient Hawaiian ways, studying with Etua Lopes, a top student of Uncle George Na`ope. Etua continues to provide Matt support in sharing these teachings with students from all over the world.


Mary Jo Bye, Director of Accounting

Mary Jo Bye, Director of Accounting

As The Empowerment Partnership's Director of Accounting, Mary Jo has over 35 years of progressive experience in providing quality accounting services. In 1979 she moved to the island of Oahu and worked for an accounting firm, providing accounting services for businesses, which included restaurants, engineering firms and construction companies.

In 1984 Mary Jo moved to the Big Island of Hawaii where she continued her career in accounting, applying her financial expertise to various businesses, including medical offices, restaurants, automotive repair shops, contractors, mortgage brokerages and not for profit (501(c)3) companies. Her financial career on the Big Island also incorporated co-owning and the position of CFO for a seafood brokerage and distribution company, with her most recent position being a Business Office Manager, CFO and Human Resources Manager at a private preparatory school.

Mary Jo has two grown children and currently resides in her home, located in the middle of 3 acres of land, in the middle of an island, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Her favorite past time is enjoying new experiences while traveling the world with her significant other.


Mahealani “Nani” Anakalea, Office Manager

Mahealani 'Nani' Anakalea, Office Manager

Working her way into a Director of Human Resources position for a major retail chain with only a few years of managerial experience has opened many career advancement opportunities for Nani. While in Human Resources she took special interest in the training and development of staff, she saw it as a personal goal to help others flourish professionally.


A'ala Peterson, Enrollment Advisor

A'ala Peterson, Enrollment Advisor

A'ala comes from one of the worlds most recognized leading hospitality chains known today. With her welcoming and personable personality, A'ala is no stranger to the world of customer service and sales. Her role in the Enrollment Department allows her to utilize the knowledge and skills developed by years of experience providing clients from all over the world with exceptional and tailored customer service.

Since joining The Empowerment Partnership A'ala has become a Practitioner of NLP, MER® and Hypnosis.


Jayeneen Gonzalez, Products and Shipping Associate

Jayeneen Gonzalez, Products and Shipping Associate

As the Products and Shipping Associate here at the Empowerment Partnership Jayeneen is tasked to handle all of the companies incoming and outgoing shipments, product orders, and assists with product development. With over 25 years experience of customer service Jayeneen's contagious aloha spirit has made her a valuable team player.