Maui News

Charen Aki Kepler joins Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows as the new Executive Consultant

December 3, 2021, 8:45 AM HST
* Updated December 3, 8:46 AM
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Charen Aki Kepler

Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows announced the selection of Charen Aki Kepler as the organization’s new Executive Consultant.

Wwith a passion for leadership, Hawaiian culture, and community, Aki Kepler is rooted in Maui, where she grew up and started her own family. 

Organization leaders say, “In her dedication to preserving Hawaiian culture and well-being, she lives by the Hawaiian values of kuleana (responsibility), mālama (stewardship), and ‘ike (knowledge).  She believes in the responsibility of learning how to better care for our islands and each other, and act in ways that protect Hawaiʻi’s unique culture and resources by maintaining tradition, while adapting to modern-day needs and challenges.”

Aki Kepler has over 20 years of management experience and leadership.  Most recently, she was the Director of Leadership Development and the Director of Community Giving for Nā Hoaloha ʻEkolu, the parent company of Old Lahaina Lūʻau, Star Noodle, and Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie
Shop.  In addition, Aki Kepler gained experience in the nonprofit sector when she was the Director of Maui County Operations for Goodwill Industries of Hawaiʻi.

Aki Kepler’s educational background includes a Master of Arts in Organizational Management specializing in Organizational Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  She is currently earning a Ph.D., enrolled in a doctorate program in Organizational Leadership, and is a few weeks away from receiving an Associates’s Degree in Hawaiian Studies.  She aspires to take all she has learned and pour it into the Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows and is dedicated to enhancing and expanding its already exemplary program.

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“We are overjoyed to welcome Charen to Ka Ipu Kukui,” said Leilani Pulmano, Chairperson, Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows Board of Directors, “with her background in Hawaiian culture the program will continue to flourish and get rooted in Hawaiian and local values.”

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Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows is a nonprofit, community-based program created to identify and develop young leaders in Maui County. Ka ipu kukui translates to crucible of light. It is this light that shines in each and every one of us who is willing to make a difference in our environment, in our community, and in our lives.

A Decisions Maui and Focus Maui Nui initiative, the Ka Ipu Kukui Fellows program was conceived to promote and develop future leaders through a community-based program designed to address planning for Maui Nui’s future.

Each month, the program’s content focuses on the multiple perspectives of Maui’s different challenges. Through these monthly learning opportunities known as Halawai, participants develop a holistic appreciation and understanding of these unique challenges, ultimately arriving at a more informed framework and a more enhanced network to better address Maui Nui’s challenges in the future.

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