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Aug 15, 2016

Trust Unveils New Strategic Direction


At a company-wide retreat August 10, leaders unveiled a strategic direction to serve the most disadvantaged kamaliʻi (trust beneficiaries), and to begin addressing root causes of poverty and stimulating systems change.

Chairman Thomas Kaulukukui, Jr. said the anticipated increase in resources will enable the trust to build on its strengths in casework and seek broader impact to serve kamaliʻi for generations to come.

“Our perspective must be broader than that of one isolated organization, beyond any one particular problem, and more than alleviating immediate needs," he said.

President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Ozaki said a self-funded, independent trust can take a long-term view and undertake activities which others cannot.

“If we don’t innovate and take risks to solve big problems, then shame on us,” he said.


Newly appointed Vice President and Chief Program Officer Nālei Akina said the trust will invest in high-impact programs, research, and advocacy.

“We will work towards strengthening social, emotional, and cultural foundations; and building economic self-sufficiency,” she said.

Summer Keliʻipio, director of strategic planning, presented the trust’s working theory of change which incuded:

  • Transform conditions (values, beliefs, and behaviors) at all levels of the ecosystem to promote greater equity.
  • Work collaboratively with multiple agencies and groups.
  • Support communities so they can care for their most vulnerable members.
  • Strenghten individuals, ʻohana, and groups to help them improve their wellbeing, including their ability to draw from their cultural heritage as a source of strength and inspiration.
  • Prioritize the allocation of resources to the most vulnerable children and ʻohana, those most seriously and chronically placed at-risk by their circumstances.

Dawn Harflinger, vice president, presented an overview of organizational changes designed to empower teammates, facilitate collaboration, and foster innovation.

“The organizational design reflects our belief in all teammates,” said Harflinger.  “We intend to progress through an empowered workforce.”

Kuʻulani Keohokalole, director of organizational development, said "the trust has substantially increased budgets for capacity building, training, and tools to strenghten our abilities."

Chairman Kaulukukui said we will be returning to our original name:  Liliʻuokalani Trust.  He said trustees decided this in response to employee sentiment for one I.D. and after extensive historical research.

Chairman Kaulukukui recounted the historical evolution of the trust, including the many changes the Queen herself initiated.

“The trust has undergone many changes over its history,” said Kaulukukui in a post retreat interview. “The one constant and the reason for our effectiveness is our committed workforce.  It is with full trust and confidence in our people, that we set these ambitious goals.”

Our vision is e nā kamalei lupalupa.  Thriving Hawaiian children. 

We believe in the resiliency of our Hawaiian children.  We advocate and work towards systemic change for their well-being and build them pathways to thriving lives.  

Highlights from the company-wide retreat can be viewed here:



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