Kelvin Taketa ’72
2017 Charles S. Judd Jr. ’38 Humanitarian Awardee
Kelvin Taketa ’72 has spent his adult life giving voice to the voiceless and raising the visibility of the unseen.
His significant contributions to Hawai‘i’s charitable community earned Taketa the Charles S. Judd Humanitarian Award.
In the early 1980s, Taketa helped found The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i (TNC) and served as its first executive director. During his tenure, TNC grew to become one of the state’s most respected and effective conservation organizations and has helped to protect more than 200,000 acres across the Islands. His work has also extended beyond Hawai‘i to China and Palau.
Since 1998, Taketa has led the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF), the state’s largest nonprofit grant maker and one of the oldest community foundations in the country. Under his leadership over the past 20 years, HCF has grown to managing more than 700 funds with assets exceeding $500 million. In 2015, HCF distributed more than $45 million to the community.
Through HCF, Taketa founded an innovative program that links the state’s homeless population with housing service providers. He raised seed money to tackle the state’s antiquated technology infrastructure, and also helped launch Hawaiian language immersion schools.
“I’m always reminded of going to graduation and hearing Dr. Scott’s remarks about the value of a Punahou education and that basically ‘to whom much is given, much is expected,’” said Taketa. “And I really believe that for me, the arc of my life in service started here at Punahou.”