Transitions at Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation by Janis Reischmann (October 2019)
Transitions at Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation
For a number of years, and out of a desire to ensure continuity of leadership within the Foundation, our Founding Directors, Wayne Pitluck and Hans Bertram-Nothnagel, have championed a plan that would enable them to step out of their role as governing board member and into positions of advisor and mentor. Wayne is the first to make that transition which will be effective on October 31, 2019.
Wayne joined Hans on the Foundation's board in 1997, following the passing of Helga Glaesel-Hollenback, the Foundation's benefactor and original board member. Helga had known Wayne well and had relied on his legal counsel over the years since having moved to Hawai‘i in the late 1980s. It was a natural choice for Hans to ask Wayne to join him as a member of the Foundation's board of directors. Looking back, Hans remembers, “As a relative newcomer to Hawai‘i, I wanted to be sure to have someone at my side with real love for and knowledge of Hawai‘i.” For 10 years, Hans and Wayne operated the Foundation together, without staff and by deploying their respective areas of knowledge and expertise.
Beginning in 2007 and for the next decade, Wayne and Hans oversaw the full funding of the Foundation, the hiring of staff and an evolution to the next phase of the Foundation's operations. This includes distributing more than $50 million to Partners for mission-focused work, mostly in Hawai‘i, but also internationally, and growing the board of directors from two members to five.
When reflecting on his more than 20 years of service as a Founding Director of the Foundation, Wayne said, “There are many fond memories that I have from my work with the Foundation over the years. However, I believe what has brought me the most joy are the relationships that I have been able to develop through this work. The individuals who work with our Partner organizations are a truly remarkable group of people, each visibly passionate and wholly dedicated to their mission. It has been a unique opportunity for me to know each of them, and to engage with them in such meaningful ways.”
After a thoughtful review of the type of leadership the Foundation is likely to need in the coming years, the Board is pleased to announce that Barbara Kalipi will be joining the Board on November 1, 2019, not to take Wayne's place, as no one could do that, but to be an active and engaged fifth member of the Foundation's governing body.
And while there are many reasons Barbara was asked to consider joining the Foundation's board, chief among them is her deep knowledge of and commitment to Hawai‘i's people, especially its children. This is evidenced by her 40-plus years of working in the nonprofit sector and specifically with Lili‘uokalani Trust (LT), where she currently serves as Senior Advisor. The Board sees in Barbara someone who has the sensibilities and values which originate from living much of her life on Molokai. At the same time, she also is a reflection of having been a boarding student at Kamehameha Schools on O‘ahu and working in senior management at LT for a number of years.
We have spent a fair amount of time talking about and preparing for transitions at the Foundation so these changes do not come as surprises to us. Still, we know that with change there is adjustment, excitement and, in some cases, sadness. Our Partners have helped us in preparing for change. They have reminded us to look back at how we have traditionally handled leadership transitions in Hawai‘i. One reminder is from Gigi Cocquio at Hoa ‘Āina o Mākaha. He tells us that leadership is about relationships and while you may retire from a role, you do not retire from relationships. When talking about preferred ways of thinking about leadership change in organizations, our Hope for Kids partners have coached us to think about “transitions” not “succession.” They help us to remember that transition does not mean “pau.” In that spirit, we are happy that Wayne will continue to be a vibrant and valued part of the Foundation's ‘ohana. And, we look forward to engaging with and learning from Barbara, as we welcome her into our ‘ohana.
When you see Wayne or Barbara next, we hope you will join us in saying mahalo to them for taking on these new roles with the Foundation.