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Kapuniai promoted to community development manager

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HONOLULU – The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement recently announced the promotion of Lilia Kapuniai to community development manager at the eight-year-old nonprofit.

Hired in 2003, Kapuniai joined CNHA as part of its Community Capacity Building team, providing grant training and technical assistance to Native Hawaiian organizations to increase competitive grant proposals.

“Over the last six years, Lilia has been an integral part of our team, and a hard working young leader,” said Robin Puanani Danner, CNHA president and CEO. “She has taken on every challenge presented to her and has excelled throughout our leadership development and management training program.”

Kapuniai will take on the management of the Community Development Division serving CNHA members and oversight of the CNHA Donor Giving Program, the Hawaiian Way Fund. The CNHA Community Capacity Building Program delivers grant training, organizational development, grant administration, cultural programming and development of community facilities.

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She began her community service career with CNHA after eight years with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and transitioned easily into the nonprofit mission of CNHA. During her tenure at CNHA, she spent nearly two years learning the business end of nonprofits by working at CNHA’s social enterprise, Hawaiian Homestead Technology. Kapuniai also completed a policy fellowship at the Hawaii State Legislature in the office of Senator Clayton Hee.

“I thoroughly enjoy my job at CNHA,” Kapuniai said. “Serving and working with community leaders across the state has been one of the most rewarding aspects. I’m grateful for the mentorship and the positive energy at CNHA where all things are viewed as possible.”

The small nonprofit, consisting of 10 staff, will be expanding by opening the first statewide nonprofit community loan fund dedicated to affordable housing and residential energy programs in Hawaiian communities.

“Passing the baton to Lilia in managing our community development activities makes our expansion and launch of our community loan fund possible,” Danner said. “We welcome her to the senior management team at CNHA. We know she will give the staff in the community development division, and our clients her very best.”