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Wednesday, March 22, 2000

Schools begins
search for trustees

Business experience and good
standing in the local community
are preferred

Star-Bulletin staff


Wanted: Five trustees to run a $6 billion charitable organization set up to educate native Hawaiian children.

Must have experience running a large corporation, managing assets of a multimillion-dollar company or setting policies for a large financial or educational institution.

Background in law, education or corporate administration helpful. Pay: $97,500 or less.

You might see a classified ad similar to this soon in your daily newspaper now that the seven-member blue-ribbon committee named by Probate Judge Kevin Chang is beginning its campaign to name permanent replacement trustees.

The panel, dubbed the Trustee Screening Committee, has scheduled a news conference at the Kamehameha Schools campus this afternoon to provide details of what could be a six-month search for a new board.

Committee members are Winona Beamer, Hawaiian educator; Michael Rawlins, Kamehameha Schools graduate; Colbert Matsumoto, former estate master; Melody MacKenzie, attorney; Kenneth Brown, local business executive and former legislator; Roy Benham, Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association Oahu region president; and Kelvin Taketa, Hawaii Community Foundation executive.

The panel recently hired a consulting firm, Inkinen & Associates, to help them publicize the openings and screen potential candidates.

The committee plans to look at candidates with a business background with a reputation for integrity and a good standing in the local community.

The panel will then come up with a list of seven candidates from which a state probate judge will select the five replacement trustees.

The initial board members will serve two- to five-year terms and each could petition the probate court for another five-year term. There are no age limits, and candidates are not required to have Hawaiian blood.

Trustees will be paid a maximum of $97,500 a year, although the board chairman's pay limit will be $120,000.

The search for new permanent trustees comes nearly a year after the former board members were removed by Probate Judge Kevin Chang after the Internal Revenue Service threatened to revoke the trust's tax-exempt status.

Since then, the trust has been managed by five temporary trustees: retired Adm. Robert Kihune; Constance Lau, American Savings Bank executive; Francis Keala, former Honolulu police chief; Ronald Libkuman, attorney; and David Coon, retired Iolani School headmaster. Only Coon has said he is not interested in serving as a permanent trustee.

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