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 Empowerment, Inc., 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, Empowerment, Inc. (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. Uncle George and Etua made Matt responsible for the Hawaiian lineage taught and Etua continues to provide Matt support in sharing these teachings with students all over the world.


Soomi James, Vice President

Soomi’s management career has spanned a period of over 22 years. As Empowerment, Inc.’s Vice President since 1999, Soomi is responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations, both in office and at various trainings.

Highly regarded for her management style and business knowledge, Soomi has been in high demand for her services in corporate consulting, improving various corporations’ overall business.

Soomi has attended Empowerment, Inc.’s NLP, MER®, Hypnosis, and Huna trainings and is a Certified Master Practitioner of NLP, MER® and Hypnosis. She is also dedicated to Huna and attends the Huna Workshop twice a year.

During her free time Soomi enjoys traveling and spending quality time with her family and friends.


Masako Omine, Director of Enrollment

Masako’s extensive experience in customer service allows her to develop a rapport with her clientele, enabling her to provide specialized services specific to the individuals needs and desires.

Her previous position as an Operations Coordinator with an international franchising firm required her to develop skills at negotiating, problem solving, and multi-tasking. This allowed her to better handle relations between customers and contractors.

Masako’s current role as a Director of Enrollment allows her to use her experience and forte in knowing her customers, to best help students and prospective students with their training and seminar needs.

Since joining Empowerment, Inc., Masako has attended their NLP trainings, and is now a Certified Master Practitioner of NLP, MER® and Hypnosis. The skills that she’s obtained have helped her to better assist students with their needs.


Mary Jo Bye, Director of Accounting

As Empowerment, Inc.’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.