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Kelvin Taketa ’76

Louis T. Benezet Award

The 2021 Benezet Award recipient is Kelvin Taketa ’76 who has had a long career in the nonprofit sector. He is a national, state, and local leader in philanthropy, environmental preservation and protection, conservation, aquaculture, and education. He started The Nature Conservancy in Hawaii, helping to preserve 42,000 acres of habitat. He led government relations, communications, membership and development at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and founded its Asia/Pacific region work. During his tenure as CEO and president of the Hawaii Community Foundation from 1998 to 2017, the foundation created the Fresh Water initiative, substantially reduced homeless families statewide, and worked on public education reform. Taketa founded a private equity firm aimed at increasing aquaculture production.

The NonProfit Times named him one of the 50 most powerful and influential people in philanthropy and nonprofits three times. In 2017, Historic Hawaii named Taketa Kama’aina of the Year, an honor given to a Hawaii resident. He serves on several boards, including Feeding America, Elemental Excelerator, the Hawaii Leadership Forum, Hawaiian Electric Company, the Stupski Foundation, and the Center for Effective Philanthropy. His nominator stated, “The communities we see today (in Hawaii) would be less if Kelvin were not here making a difference.” He earned a law degree from the University of California Hastings College of Law.

Report an issue - Last updated: 07/29/2021