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Deputy takes over as DHHL head


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POSTED: Thursday, August 06, 2009

Kaulana Park, deputy director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, has been promoted to director of the department and chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, the governor's office announced yesterday.

As director, he will focus on “;improving the quality of life for Hawaii residents, fulfilling our commitment to native Hawaiians and uplifting the entire community,”; Gov. Linda Lingle said in a news release.

Park will replace Micah Kane, who is becoming a trustee of Kamehameha Schools on Sept. 1.

Park takes over Aug. 12.

“;It's an honor for me to be in this position,”; Park said. “;We have done a lot of great things since I have been here, and we will continue our efforts to be an asset to native Hawaiians and the state.”;

Park joined the department in 2003 as executive assistant to the commission chairman and became deputy director in February 2008.

Park oversaw special projects such as program development and worked toward the department's mission to put native Hawaiians on the land and into homes.

He also led the Lingle administration's efforts to find solutions for homelessness in Hawaii from July 2006.

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Park helped lay the foundation for three emergency homeless shelters and two transitional shelters along Oahu's Leeward Coast. He also worked to open Kauai's first two emergency and transitional shelters.

Park previously served as manager of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs' Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund, manager with Bank of America, assistant branch manager with First Hawaiian Bank and business banking officer for Wells Fargo Bank.

He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and Stanford University.

Lingle had appointed Kane director in December 2002. During his tenure, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands became the largest affordable housing developer in Hawaii and eliminated its need to receive taxpayer money for operations by increasing income from commercial leases.