By Ellise Fujii
All kamaliʻi are destined for great things. For one young ʻŌiwi girl who was raised in Kailua, Oʻahu, her future would include serving the lāhui in ways she could never have imagined.
Growing up, Mahina Eleneki Hugo was an accomplished student-athlete whose highly decorated volleyball career is the stuff of local legend. She fell in love with volleyball in the seventh grade and because of her outstanding ability, was later offered a full ride to the University of Hawaiʻi. She was a member of the Rainbow Wāhine team that clinched the 1987 NCAA DI Women’s Volleyball Championship.
Hugoʻs on-court leadership skills made her a natural fit for roles serving youth. She was Head of School at La Pietra Hawaiʻi School for Girls and later joined Liliʻuokalani Trust as the Executive Director of Youth Development.
Her lifetime of service has prepared her for a role as a Trustee of Liliʻuokalani Trust (LT). She succeeds Thomas K. Kaulukukui, Jr. whose 25-year tenure was vital to engineering a financial and strategic shift of the Trust. She will serve alongside Claire Asam and Robert “Bob” Ozaki.
Future Liliʻuokalani Trustees are growing up right now, perhaps heading to a sports practice or participating in an LT after-school program. They are looking up to trailblazing leaders like Hugo and learning life lessons that will serve them, and the lāhui, well into the future.
Hugo joins the LT Board of Trustees effective Feb. 1, 2023.
Both Ellise Fujii and Justin Santos are on staff at Liliʻuokalani Trust at Kīpuka Liliʻuonamoku.