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Vea was born and raised in the Kingdom of Tonga the only remaining Monarchy in the South Pacific. He attended primary school in a government public school and then switched to private school until he graduated from high school. His passion for learning was biology and chemistry; however, he was gifted as a young artist and graphic designer. Because his art skills were needed in society, Vea went to school and then provided art services in the evening when needed. His art skills and talents were beneficial for government entities, local businesses, students, and families.
Vea's parents came from a poor family, but the value of education was cultivated with faith in God, hard work, and love for others by his grandparents. His parents were school duxes of their high schools and subsequently became public primary school teachers in Tonga. His parents never had a chance to attend college, but they kept the value of education and understood the importance of higher education for a better way of life and for helping others.
Vea was blessed with an opportunity to study biology and chemistry at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in the Fiji Islands. After two years, Vea returned to Tonga and went on a full-time mission for his Church in the New Zealand Wellington Mission. At the end of Vea's mission, he returned with honor and was subsequently blessed with an opportunity to further his education here in Hawaii.
On April 5th, 2001, Vea landed at the Honolulu airport accompanied by his father to pursue higher education. It was indeed an ultimate sacrifice for Vea to say goodbye to his mother who stayed back in Tonga, due to critical health conditions and travel restrictions to the US.
Although Vea did not want to leave his mother, it was evident that Vea's mother embraced the value of education and appreciated the opportunity given by the U.S. for her son to further his education in the most powerful nation on earth, the United States of America when she said to Vea "... please go and be a good boy and do whatever it takes to complete your education and then give back to others …".
Vea was accepted to study fine art at BYU-Hawaii, but he changed his major of study into pre-professional biology with a minor in information systems. Vea graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and a minor in Information Technology. Vea believed that the opportunity to study at BYU-Hawaii has shaped his life in many ways and prepared him to give back to his family, community, and country.
In 2004, Vea was blessed with an opportunity from the BYU-Hawaii Science department to intern in Fiji. His intern's objective was to assist him with his senior research project in investigating inconsistency in the DNA sequence of a plant species, Barringtonia asiatica, Barringtonia edulis, Barringtonia racemosa, and Barringtonia acutangula, used by fishermen in the south pacific for poisoning fish.
When it was time to return to Hawaii, Vea had collected sufficient leaves samples and extracted reliable genomic DNA. Vea arrived at BYU-Hawaii and completed the phylogenetic analysis, presented the results, and wrote the senior research paper. Vea was supposed to return after graduation and study at the Fiji School of Medicine to become a medical doctor. His goal to become a medical doctor was changed after he married his eternal companion at the Laie Temple for time and all eternity.
On June 17th of 2005, Vea and Vika were sealed for time and all eternity in the Laie Hawaii Temple. Vea changed from medical pursuit to Information Technology and Cybersecurity when they moved to California. They fell in love with the advanced surroundings of Riverside, California, bought a home, and found job opportunities.
Vea expanded his areas of learning into the construction industry and became a general building contractor, an EPA HVAC certified technician, and a small business owner. Amid the nationwide challenges of the recession in 2008, Vea was reminded of his parents' value for higher education and returned to school!
In 2010 Vea was blessed to further his education and earned a Master's degree in Information Systems Management with an emphasis on the healthcare system from Keller Graduate School of the DeVry University. He was particularly fascinated with the idea of hybrid education where online and onsite classrooms are integrated. At the time, Vea learned that many universities worldwide adopted the concept of online education, but the battle between brick-and-mortar versus online education ideas seemed controversial.
In 2010, while working on his Master's degree, Vea had an opportunity to intern at the City of Riverside, CA. He received hands-on-trainings and attended various meetings relating to the use of information technology and cloud computing technology. Vea was blessed to rejoice together with some of the IT team members on the day when the CEO announced that The City of Riverside, CA, was named the Most Intelligent City in the nation.
In February 2012, in Los Angeles, California, Vea was sworn as a United States of America citizen. Vea’s US citizenship opened many doors of blessings and opportunities ought to give back to family, community, and country. Vea graduated and moved back to Hawaii in 2013 to live close to his aging father.
In June of 2021, Vea graduated from Capella University earning a Ph.D. in Information Technology focusing on system security and assurance. While finishing his dissertation in 2020, Vea learned about many malicious threats that emanate from the use of technology such as smartphone technology. Likewise, Vea learned about the pervasive use of the Internet by organizations and individuals. His study of the Technology Threat Avoidance Theory (TTAT) indicated that despite the importance of computer technology, people are particularly vulnerable to IT threats such as viruses, phishing, Ransomware, and the like. Vea’s call for administrators, developers, researchers, and regulators is to develop robust IT security measures to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of people’s data and personal information in Cloud computing.
Vea will never forget the outbreak of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in 2020 that forced all schools worldwide to do their work online. Likewise, Vea will never forget when employees received orders from the government to work from an unsecured home setting prone to malicious IT threats, unsafe computing behavior, and other mundane activities. Vea believes the new best time is NOW … to use those “mandates and emergency decisions” to re-assess, re-evaluate, re-test, re-research, and then upgrade the State of Hawaii emergency preparedness and protocols by developing better innovative and unified “mandates and emergency decisions” for the residents of the State of Hawaii.
Last but not the least, Vea learned that whether we will have another pandemic or not, the magnitude relating to the implementation of computer technology amplified, and the notion linking to the use of computer technology in society climbed sharply. Thus, now is the new best time to make necessary changes to laws and regulations in the State of Hawaii for the betterment and safety of our people!
Lautaha for Hawaii
PO BOX 971533 WAIPAHU, HI 96797
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