Live and Virtual Grant Workshops Benefit the Community

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Luana Alapa: Trustee Molokaʻi and Lanaʻi

I’m happy to announce that good changes are happening here at OHA! Finally, live and virtual grant application workshops were held throughout Hawaiʻi after my numerous requests to our administration since 2021. Our beneficiaries have persisted in keeping me focused on bringing back live workshops and it’s been great seeing our kanaka return to Nā Lama Kukui building and at Kulana ʻOiwi. This kind of exciting live energy full of hope and determination to improve our conditions can never be diminished and only serves as fuel for all of us to do better for our lāhui.

The grant application workshops started in Hilo on Feb. 20, 2024, and ended on Molokai, Feb. 27, 2024, and I’m happy to say that the room was full with hopeful potential grantees! It’s important to mention a special Mahalo to our fairly new CEO (Ka Pouhana) Stacy Ferreira whose background and professional experience is already proving to be exactly what OHA needs at this time. Stay in touch everyone as more offerings may be coming later in the year! For more information about grant offerings at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, please go to www.oha.org/grants.

Mark your calendar! The annual Molokaʻi island Board of Trustees meeting will be held on May 15-16, 2024, at Lanikeha Community Center in Hoʻolehua. As is tradition, the first meeting will be dedicated to community and a light dinner will be served.

Photo: Trustees meet Sophia the Robot
Trustees meet Sophia the Robot at investment forum in Orlando. – Photo: Courtesy

For the third year now, our Board of Trustees traveled to Orlando, Fla., to attend an investment forum presented by one of our money managers, Commonfund private equity group, otherwise known as Commonfund. This year our group included new CEO Stacy Ferreira, OHA investment director Ryan Lee and OHA investment board advisor Vijoy Chattergi. Trustees: Lindsey, Souza, Waihee, Akina, Akaka and yours truly. Three days of non stop seminars provided our trustees opportunities to learn a variety of investment strategies in order to help grow our portfolio. One of the highlights of the three day forum was meeting and chatting with Sophia the Robot. I asked her if she could say the word Aloha. A few seconds later (her mechanical brain working its magic) Sophia responds with Aloha! Not only was it music to my ears, I was simply amazed by the high-technology of our era. I believe this year’s forum was probably one of the best ever for me, but also the close bonds formed with my fellow trustees, and CEO Stacy Ferreira who was not only engaging her time with trustees but also insuring we were well briefed on the CommonFund current portfolio for OHA but also provided interpretation of investment terminologies throughout each seminar. She has certainly been a blessing to OHA. Mahalo nui and e aloha kekahi i kekahi.