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Strengthening Hawai‘i’s Communities
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Celebrating Decades of Success with Philanthropy

For Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i owner Toichi Takenaka, business anniversaries are the perfect opportunity for giving back to the community.

From left to right: Hiroki Matsuda, Robin Pratt, Toichi Takenaka, Uri Martos, Toshiaki ShindoFrom left to right: Hiroki Matsuda, Robin Pratt, Toichi Takenaka, Uri Martos, Toshiaki Shindo

When Toichi Takenaka arrived on Kaua‘i, more than 30 years ago, he fell in love with the island. At the time, he was president of Takenaka Corporation, the general contracting business his ancestors founded in 1609.

Takenaka found Kaua‘i calming and peaceful—the perfect place to create a tranquil resort getaway. He launched Kawailoa Development, a subsidiary of his Japanese company, and began building what would become the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort and Spa. In the decades since, Takenaka has committed to being a positive, supportive member of the Kaua‘i community, giving back in a multitude of ways.

Takenaka’s commitment to the Kaua‘i community is evident in his generosity over the years. His favorite way to celebrate anniversaries is by giving back. In commemoration of the resort’s 10-year anniversary, for example, he worked with the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) to establish two charitable funds. The Takenaka Healthcare Fund helps meet the needs of the Wilcox Medical Center, Kaua‘i’s main hospital. The Takenaka Kaua‘i Cultural and Environmental Fund supports grassroots organizations such as Mālama Māhā‘ulepū and the Makauwahi Cave Reserve.

For Grand Hyatt’s 15th anniversary, Takenaka established a third community fund to help out the Kaua‘i Food Bank, Kōloa Early School and Habitat for Humanity, among others.

In total, over the past 22 years, the Takenaka funds have distributed more than $250,000 to local organizations, helping them provide health care, perpetuate Native Hawaiian culture, and educate the youth of Kaua‘i.

Kawailoa Development director Hiroki Matsuda says, “We are honored to be a part of the Island community and provide a work place our employees can be proud of. We are grateful to be able to give back to the community in meaningful ways.”

COVID-19 derailed the company’s 30th anniversary festivities, but the pandemic didn’t stop Takenaka from making another charitable donation. He committed to giving another $100,000 over the next five years. In addition to these financial contributions, the resort assists any guests or employees who want to volunteer with community organizations.

“The culture that Mr. Takenaka built at the Hyatt is all community-minded,” says Uri Martos, the HCF philanthropy officer who helps administer the family’s funds. “Mr. Takenaka is very down to earth, humble, kind, and unassuming. The staff at the Hyatt all say the same thing: When he and his wife and their kids come to visit, they’re so approachable and kind. They really love Kaua‘i. And giving back to the community is just part of who they are.”

Did you know? HCF can work with you to channel your giving for maximum impact. To learn more, contact Uri Martos at umartos@hcf-hawaii.org, or visit hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/investing-community-wellbeing.

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