Photo: Joe Lapilio

E Hoʻololi i ke Kūlana: Changing our Reality, is an initiative of the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce (NHCC) from each county in collaboration with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to give voice to our Native Hawaiian businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals.

We have been surveying businesses to identify need and to connect those businesses to accurate information and resources. We are working closely with OHA to advocate for Native Hawaiian businesses at the legislative and executive levels to ensure that our needs are heard and that we continue to look at building a strong economic reality for Native Hawaiian business well into the future.

This COVID-19 experience has given us the opportunity to think about what a thriving, uniquely Native Hawaiian financial ecosystem looks like. We want to hear how Native Hawaiian businesses have pivoted, adapted and innovated to thrive during these difficult times.

Help us share your business with Hawaiʻi. There are two ways to share your story. The first way is to record a video on your smart device that answers some questions we have for you around the topic of thriving during COVID-19. We will work with you to edit and clean up the video before posting it through our social media platforms and the platforms of our partners.

You can also submit your story in print form to be included as part of this monthly column in Ka Wai Ola. For more information about sharing your story, please contact Ian Custino at icustino@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you and working together toward a better business future for Hawaiʻi.

Please continue to check our website – nativehawaiianchamberofcommerce.org – for more information. If you would like to become a member and receive our email updates, please complete an application, available on our website.


Joseph Lapilio is the President of the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce. He is also the President and CEO of the Waiʻanae Economic Development Council, an emerging Native American Community Development Financial Institution on the Waiʻanae Coast. Joseph is a community and organizational development consultant and has worked in the field for more than forty years. He received his BA in Community Planning and Development from Antioch University and a Master’s in public administration from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.