LEADERSHIP

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors is managed entirely by Native Hawaiian business leaders. Each Director is deeply committed to elevating the Native Hawaiian community and contributes decades of multi-faceted experience in both community engagement and economic development. The board drives HNC’s mission and vision for Native Hawaiian beneficiaries and spearheads its organizational strategy to meet the needs of the global economic marketplace. 

Christopher Dawson

CHRISTOPHER DAWSON

FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

OUR FOUNDER’S STORY

As a Native Hawaiian social entrepreneur, Chris is dedicated to creating wide-scale economic and cultural impact through the work of the Hawaiian Native Corporation (HNC), which he established in 2004. An industry trailblazer in Native and Small Business Contracting with the U.S. Federal Government, Chris is also the founder and CEO of HNC’s family of subsidiary companies, collectively known as DAWSON. Chris currently drives business strategy for HNC and DAWSON, drawing on more than three decades of experience launching ventures and positioning them for growth in emerging markets.

With the goal of bettering the environment in his home community, Chris started Dawson Environmental Services in 1994 as a solo entrepreneur providing soil remediation services throughout Hawaii. Since then, he has built the HNC and DAWSON family of companies into a global business enterprise based on traditional Native Hawaiian values and dedicated to giving back to the Native Hawaiian Community.

Beadie Kanahele
Dawson

DIRECTOR

Beadie is a Native Hawaiian attorney, celebrated community leader, and ho’oponopono practitioner and educator. She has served the Native Hawaiian community all her life, driving change in countless community initiatives, including the restoration of Iolani Palace. Among her many accolades, she was named 2019 Kamaaina of the Year.

Donne
Dawson

DIRECTOR

Donne is Native Hawaiian and the film commissioner for the State of Hawai‘i, where she heads the agency that supports all film production in the Hawaiian Islands.  As a media professional and community leader, she is active in the Native Hawaiian community and provides philanthropic services to numerous Hawaiian organizations.

BOARD OF ADVISORS

The HNC Board of Advisors is a group of community leaders that provides guidance to the Board of Directors and Executive Director in the area of community engagement. Advisors serve in a volunteer capacity. As notable leaders in their fields, they are invaluable in guiding the HNC to carry out its mission.

Allen Hoe

Allen Kaleʻiolani Hoe

ADVISOR

Allen is a Native Hawaiian Attorney. As a Keiki O Ka `Āina, he has devoted a lifetime of service to Hawaii in cultural, civic, military, and professional roles, always seeking to improve the status and conditions of Hawaii’s citizens.

Crissy Gayagas

Dr. Christine (Crissy) Gayagas

ADVISOR

A retired Army Colonel, Crissy is a passionate community supporter in the health, education, and economic development fields. She served on the Native Hawaiian Health committee on the Queen’s Health Systems board and is a Governor for Chaminade University, a Native Hawaiian serving institution.

Frank Wiercinski

Frank Wiercinski

ADVISOR

Frank is a retired Army Lieutenant General and has been involved with Indo-Pacific, domestic and International partnership and security for over 20 years. He is a member of the Military Affairs Council of the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Governors, Pacific and Asian Affairs Council, and is a Governor for Chaminade University.

HNC STAFF

The HNC staff oversees the daily advancement of the HNC’s mission

Ed Kertis

ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

A retired Army Colonel, Ed leads the day-to-day operations of the HNC, overseeing strategic business development and community engagement

BRYAN HARA

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

Bryan has been with the HNC since its inception in 2004. He oversees all finances and administers HNC’s annual budget.

LANI DAWSON ARENA

DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY

Lani is a Native Hawaiian attorney and oversees the HNC’s congressional relations. She is current President of NHOA and is on the board of NACA.

KEKAULIKE MAR

CULTURAL ADVISOR

Kekaulike is a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner who guides the HNC’s cultural approach to strategic community partnerships.

NAPUA LEONG

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

Napua is a Native Hawaiian communications professional and leads community engagement and partnership initiatives for the HNC.

JEFF DOLLAR

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE CHAIRMAN

Jeff is Native American and served in various roles at DAWSON for 12 years before joining its parent company, the HNC.

Lehua Kai

LEHUA KAI

DIRECTOR OF EVENTS

Lehua is Native Hawaiian and a graduate of Kamehameha Schools. In her role at the HNC, she oversees production of special events, volunteer events, and community projects for the HNC.