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Saturday, November 4, 2000

Trustees plan
to expand programs,
reach more kids
work with others

Judge Chang applauds the
5 new trustees for the varied
skills they bring to the estate

See yesterday's story for more, photos

By Mary Adamski

Kamehameha Schools will reach out to help Hawaiians far beyond the students on its campus if the new trustees implement the visions they shared in their job applications.

Probate Judge Kevin Chang announced the new team of banker, developer, lawyer, commander and navigator yesterday. They will take their seats in the boardroom of the multimillion-dollar estate in January.

"All have a recognized reputation for integrity," Chang said. "Each of the selected trustees has experience in one or more of the following areas: business administration, financial investment, strategic planning and policy setting ... and general areas of interest including education or government."

He applauded the interim trustees for having "restored stability and a sense of pride and dignity to Kamehameha Schools."

New trustees

Retired Adm. Richard Kihune and American Savings Bank executive Constance Lau, who were on the interim board named on May 7, 1999, "will provide perspective and continuity for implementation of the strategic plan and other initiatives set by the interim trustees," Chang said.

Diane Plotts, former general partner of Hemmeter Investment Co., "brings analytical and financial expertise ... and overall business experience to Kamehameha schools," said Chang, quoting a supporter's letter that "she has the unique ability to sit through very difficult and complex situations and transactions and get right down to the heart of the matter."

The judge went to some length to describe the bona fides of Hokule'a navigator Nainoa Thompson, who has no financial or executive experience. "What Nainoa Thompson lacks in business and financial experience is made up for by his unique life experiences, his ability to listen, his desire to learn and his commitment to Kamehameha Schools."

Chang said the navigator has helped public and private schools develop educational programs based on the sailing canoe's journeys.

Chang recapped the resume of attorney J. Douglas Ing, saying he is "particularly knowledgeable about language and development history. He is also a steady, independent individual."

The new trustees said, in vision statements submitted to the court-appointed selection committee, that the estate should partner with other agencies to accomplish its goals for Hawaiian children.

"It appears the trust has sought to separate itself from the community rather than cooperating and collaborating with other community groups," Lau wrote. A likely partner is "the Department of Education, which educates most of our Hawaiian children," she said, as well as other Hawaiian organizations that share common or complementary missions.

Kihune said the trust needs to extend its reach to children of Hawaiian ancestry beyond those attending school and campus programs. He proposed collaborating with the various ali'i trusts, Alu Like, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Education "to address the root causes of the educational deficiencies before applying precious resources to develop and implement corrective programs."

Plotts also wants community partnerships for education, research and development but, she insisted, the projects undertaken should be "focused sharply" to offer the best range of educational opportunities for Hawaiian youngsters. If feasible, all "worthy children of Hawaii" could be beneficiaries, she said.

Thompson said trustees must seek ways to reach out to more of the Hawaiian community. "It is unacceptable to limit Kamehameha's services to the several thousand students on Kamehameha campuses, and it would be impossible to bring about generational improvements for Hawaii people through serving a mere several thousand students each year," he wrote.

Ing was pragmatic, describing legal parameters rather than dreams on the horizon. But he used one poetic flight of fancy. "Trustees in their proper role conduct and orchestrate the interplay of all the policies necessary for trust management," he wrote, while the executives and staff play the instruments. "The day is soon upon us when conductor, orchestra and the Kamehameha community as a chorus will be one, and the voices from Kalihi will loudly ring again."


Bullet Occupation: Attorney, Watanabe, Ing & Kawashima

Bullet Education: Law degree, University of Denver, 1974; bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, University of Washington, 1966; Kamehameha School for Boys, 1962

Bullet Personal: 56, married, four children

Bullet Goals: "At the confluence of Bishop Estate's income stream and Kamehameha's educational course must forever lie a watershed of educational opportunities for Pauahi's children. Those opportunities must extend well beyond Kapalama, flowing deep into Hawaiian communities throughout Hawaii. Until each child has been reached, Pauahi's dream is unrealized."


Bullet Occupation: Chairman, board of interim trustees, Kamehameha Schools, 1999 to now; retired admiral, U.S. Navy, 1959-1994

Bullet Education: Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, 1965; bachelor's degree in marine engineering, U.S. Naval Academy, 1959

Bullet Personal: 63, married, three children

Bullet Goals: "To fulfill in perpetuity Princess Pauahi Bishop's desire to improve the capability and well-being of the Hawaiian people by providing a system of strategic and effective educational programs and services, perpetuating the Hawaiian language and culture, and practicing prudent and culturally appropriate stewardship of all resources."


Bullet Occupation: Board of interim trustees, Kamehameha Schools; senior executive vice president, chief operating officer and director, American Savings Bank and selected subsidiaries

Bullet Education: MBA, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1979; law degree, University of California Hastings College of the Law, 1977; bachelor's degree in administrative sciences, Yale College, 1974; Punahou School, 1970

Bullet Personal: 48, married, three children

Bullet Goals: "Given the estate's resources, the trust should be serving many more Hawaiian children." Will push for new spending policy and set aside certain amounts to be spent for educational purposes. "Because the estate has not operated with good financial controls, I believe we can be more efficient and effective in how we conduct the trust's affairs."


Bullet Occupation: General partner, Mideast & China Trading Company, formerly Hemmeter Investment Company; member of board of directors, American Savings Bank, Hawaiian Electric Industries

Bullet Education: Bachelor's degree in accounting, San Jose State College, 1958

Bullet Personal: 65, unmarried, no children, came to Hawaii in 1962

Bullet Goals: "I believe strongly that Kamehameha Schools can, over time, greatly improve the status of the income potential, health and general well-being of those peoples of Hawaiian ethnic descent by improving the availability and quality of education from prenatal care, early childhood education, K-12 and beyond."


Bullet Occupation: Navigator and sail master of Polynesian Voyaging Society's canoe Hokule'a; program director, Polynesian Voyaging Society

Bullet Education: Bachelor's degree in ocean science, University of Hawaii-Manoa

Bullet Personal: 47, divorced, no children

Bullet Goals: "Central to any vision for Kamehameha must be an innate understanding of the uniqueness of Hawaii -- its lands and its people." When it comes to the personal conducts of the trustees, "the board members must be responsible for setting an expectation of excellence, commitment and integrity and they should be the first ones held accountable for living up to that expectation."

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