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About Our Company

Kona HR combines customized cutting edge HR solutions and decades of experience with clients of all sizes.

In 2004, having spent many years in the consulting and corporate management world, the founding partners established Kona HR to provide a unique blend of advice, practical solutions and financial focus to organizations of all sizes.

The name is derived from Kona, Hawaii, the hometown of the Ironman Triathlon world championships.

Just as we and other endurance athletes from around the world aspire to race at Kona through years of hard work and dedication, we also aspire to help our clients be successful through focus, commitment and experience. 

We are driven by our clients’ success – we are deeply motivated to add value.

In addition to our founding partners and account management team, Kona HR brings an extensive network of specialists to meet our client’s needs.

Our extended team covers the spectrum of HR specialists – from actuaries and ERISA attorneys to executive compensation experts.

Meet the team

Sarah L. Kelly

Partner

Sarah consults with organizations to provide human resources services to small and mid-sized firms. Sarah’s experience spans all aspects of human resource management. She brings FORTUNE 100 experience to companies across all sectors of business.

Working with Hewitt Associates for over 15 years in Asia Pacific and the US, Sarah has extensive HR consulting experience. Based in both Hong Kong and Singapore for a combined 10 years, Sarah worked with US and European multinational companies to help them expand and improve operations Sarah also helped to expand Hewitt’s business in the Greater China market setting up three offices and expanding relationships with clients’ regional headquarters.

Sarah built Hewitt’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice in Asia. In the context of M&A and broad business restructuring, she specializes in organizational effectiveness, change management and human resource issues.

Sarah has published a number of articles on human resource-related topics in China Staff and China Employment Manual, Asia Law & Practice and has been a frequent speaker on international topics.

Sarah is fluent in spoken Mandarin and written Chinese as well as Spanish. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and a Masters from the University of Virginia.

Vincent J. Kelly Jr

Partner

Vince works with organizations to assess their human resources needs and identify opportunities to improve their effectiveness.

In this role, he assists organizations across the spectrum of human resources activities including strategy development, compliance, employee benefit design, financing, administration and communication. Vince has been in the employee benefits and human resources consulting field for more than 30 years. He was a Consultant and Partner at Hewitt Associates for more than 20 years, where he helped to expand Hewitt’s presence in the Metropolitan New York region.

In addition to developing Hewitt’s consulting, actuarial, health management and administration business, he also managed several of Hewitt’s largest global accounts. In this capacity, he coordinated consulting and administrative services in Asia, Europe and South America for Multinational organizations. Prior to Hewitt, Vince worked in the International Employee Benefits division at Aetna Financial Services. Vince started his career working in the White House as a member of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.

Vince has worked with organizations across a range of industries including financial services, education, hospitality and manufacturing. Vince has assisted numerous organizations to assess their needs, set up and assist in managing their human resource activities.

Vince earned his Bachelor’s degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He was also inducted in The Catholic University of America’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of their 1977 N.C.A.A. Division I baseball team.

Robert F. Toole Jr

Partner

Rob helps organizations across all aspects of human resources with particular focus on finance and compliance. His experience as an executive brings a unique point of view to human resources consulting. Rob was previously Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of International Operations for META Group Inc.; an independent marketing assessment company that provides research and analysis of developments and trends in the computer hardware, software, communications and related technology industries.

Rob also spent many years as a human resources consultant for Hewitt Associates as well as R. F. Toole Associates. His experience includes leadership with the United States Army. Rob served as an infantry officer and held leadership positions in the 10th Mountain Division. Rob earned the Airborne, Ranger, Air Assault, Jungle Expert and Pathfinder qualifications while in the Army.

Rob holds a Bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a Masters from the New York University Stern School of Business in Finance and International Business. Rob also holds the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist designation.

Rob serves on many community boards including: Liberty Resources, Inc., a non-profit agency that provides a wide range of community services including adult, child and family, and developmental disability services; and the River Hospital in Alexandria Bay, New York. Rob has completed multiple Ironman and endurance races.

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Connor Kelly

Associate

Connor provides organizations with a wide spectrum of human resource related services, specializing in payroll and benefits administration, financial reporting and reconciliation. He holds special expertise and concentration with clients in the financial and professional services sector. Connor is a licensed employee benefits broker working across all lines of group insurance. Connor is currently working towards his Certified Employee Benefits Specialist designation with the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Connor joined Kona HR in 2013.

Prior to joining Kona HR, Connor worked in the International Relocation and Education industries while living in Taiwan. Connor started his career in the insurance industry with Northwestern Mutual Life as a licensed insurance agent.

Connor earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from The University of Colorado at Boulder.

Read what our clients have to say

COO, Multi Strategy Hedge Fund

"Kona manages our HR function so that we can focus on our business knowing that we are providing our employees with institutional level service."

Director of HR, Community Bank

"We chose Kona because of their total independence in the insurance market. While they have excellent working relationships with the major providers, they are totally objective and focused on keeping our healthcare costs down."

CFO, Midwest-based Hedge Fund

"Kona simplifies our back office by managing all personnel matters including payroll, compliance, benefits and mandatory training programs. They treat our employees like their own."

Partner, Multi Strategy Hedge and Investment Advisory Firm

"Prior to selecting Kona, we checked all of their client references, which were all very favorable. They all commented on the high level of service and commitment including quick response time and depth of knowledge. We have been very satisfied with Kona as our HR partner."

President, Government Contracting Support Services

"Kona helped on board over 400 support services personnel in Jordan, Iraq, Qatar, Sudan and Djibouti. Their familiarity to government and military operations and ability to react quickly was critical to the success of our operations."

Partner, London-based Hedge Fund

"The Kona team have always been extremely helpful and quick to respond to all of our needs! Ours is a specialised industry and Kona’s tailored approach has satisfied key decision makers in our organisation. We regard the team as highly professional and a pleasure to work with."

Interested in learning more about our company?

If you are looking for a way to streamline benefits administration, get employees excited at open enrollment, and help them make smart decisions about their health care options, we can help!

Employees love the familiar online shopping approach and the mobile application that puts their benefits and wellness information at their fingertips year round.

Call (212) 389-6642 or fill out the form to get started.