Hale Ma­haolu

Grant Chun set to take helm

The Maui News - - FRONT PAGE - By COLLEEN UECHI Staff Writer Colleen Uechi can be reached at cuechi@mauinews.com.

Alexan­der & Bald­win Prop­er­ties Vice Pres­i­dent Grant Chun has been cho­sen to suc­ceed Roy Kat­suda as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Hale Ma­haolu, the non­profit con­firmed Thurs­day.

Chun will take over af­ter Kat­suda re­tires Oct. 31, fol­low­ing 35 years on the job.

“I grew up just blocks away from their fa­cil­i­ties in Kahu­lui, so I’m very fa­mil­iar with their work and with the peo­ple they serve,” Chun said Thurs­day. “And I just re­ally have al­ways ad­mired the aloha that seems to per­me­ate that or­ga­ni­za­tion, the way they treat peo­ple . . . . I thought that it would be a great chance for me to con­trib­ute to that.”

A 1979 Maui High School grad­u­ate, Chun has worked as an at­tor­ney, served on the boards of nu­mer­ous non­prof­its and has also been the

Maui County man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. That wide range of ex­pe­ri­ences in the Maui com­mu­nity con­vinced Hale Ma­haolu to hire Chun.

“Grant seemed to stand out be­cause of his over­all reach into the com­mu­nity and his back­ground,” said Ed Rein­hardt, pres­i­dent of Hale Ma­haolu’s board of di­rec­tors. “He’s a lo­cal boy, and that kind of fit that pro­file of what we were look­ing for.”

Hale Ma­haolu is a pri­vate, non­profit hous­ing cor­po­ra­tion that de­vel­ops, owns and man­ages low- and moder­ate-in­come hous­ing units for fam­i­lies, se­niors and those with dis­abil­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to its web­site. Un­der Kat­suda, the or­ga­ni­za­tion has gone from man­ag­ing 300 to 400 units at two sites to more than 1,000 units at 13 dif­fer­ent sites on Maui, Molokai and Lanai.

At the end of 2016, Kat­suda in­formed the board of his plans to re­tire. An ex­ec­u­tive search com­mit­tee made up of Kat­suda and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ink­i­nen & As­so­ciates spent the next sev­eral months search­ing for and vet­ting can­di­dates. Kat­suda said they re­ceived 21 ap­pli­ca­tions, and that the fi­nal­ists were all Maui res­i­dents. The group rec­om­mended Chun to the board, which made the ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion to hire him.

“He’s cer­tainly bright and ex­pe­ri­enced and knowl­edge­able, and has good con­nec­tions within the com­mu­nity,” Kat­suda said. “I think he just has the right tem­per­a­ment.”

Chun has been vice pres­i­dent at A&B Prop­er­ties since 2003. Be­fore that, he was the county man­ag­ing di­rec­tor un­der Mayor James “Kimo” Apana from 1999 to 2002. A grad­u­ate of the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Hast­ings Col­lege of the Law, Chun was also an at­tor­ney in the late 1980s and ‘90s with the Maui of­fices of Case & Lynch and Carl­smith Ball.

He has been or is cur­rently on the board of di­rec­tors for nearly 20 dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing Wailuku Hong­wanji Mis­sion, the Le­gal Aid So­ci­ety of Hawaii, Iao School Foun­da­tion, Hale Makua and the A&B Foun­da­tion.

Chun said that his last day at A&B will likely be in mid-De­cem­ber.

“Here at A&B Prop­er­ties, the work here has given me a lot of ex­po­sure to the kind of work re­quired to build hous­ing,” he said. “In some ways, I feel al­most like I’ve in­ad­ver­tently been train­ing to do the kind of work that is what Hale Ma­haolu does.”

Chun said he hadn’t thought about ap­ply­ing, but that some Hale Ma­haolu em­ploy­ees and Kathryn Ink­i­nen asked him whether he’d be in­ter­ested.

“The more I thought about it, the more I kind of came to feel like what they do is more like a mis­sion and a call­ing than a job,” Chun said. “And that re­ally be­came en­tic­ing.”

The A&B ex­ec­u­tive said he that he doesn’t have any spe­cific plans for the non­profit. He said he would first take his cues from the board of di­rec­tors.

“In a small com­mu­nity like Maui County, to do what they’ve done is just re­mark­able,” Chun said. “So I feel like be­fore I start throw­ing out grand vi­sions, I’m go­ing to def­i­nitely meet with (the board) and un­der­stand where the board sees the or­ga­ni­za­tion evolv­ing over the next time frame.”

Kat­suda said Hale Ma­haolu al­ready has “sev­eral irons in the fire, but the land hasn’t been se­cured yet.” Fu­ture plans could in­clude hous­ing in Maui Lani and an adult day care fa­cil­ity in Hana. In July, the non­profit broke ground on the 61unit Hale Ma­haolu Ewalu in Ku­la­malu. And, the first oc­cu­pants of the 56-unit Ku­la­malu Hale will move in to­day. The project is owned by the county and man­aged by Hale Ma­haolu.

Kat­suda said that he and his wife have al­ready bought tick­ets to visit their three-week-old grand­son in Ja­pan, just the kind of fam­ily time he’d hoped to have in re­tire­ment.

“Hale Ma­haolu’s been a part of our lives for the past 35¢ years,” Kat­suda said. “I started this just to help out a friend for six months, and I didn’t re­al­ize that I was go­ing to en­joy it, and I didn’t re­al­ize that we would morph the or­ga­ni­za­tion. From where we started to now, it’s a very dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tion, and as a re­sult it’s been ful­fill­ing.”

Grant Chun

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