Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Names New Director
Kirstin Kahaloa has been named Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce’s new executive director, effective April 20.
The newest member of the organization is coming to the Big Island from St. Louis, MO, where she served as director of international admission at Maryville University.
“We are fortunate to have found in Kirstin a strong leader with local roots and a background in education,” says KKCC board chair Tracey Fosso. “The board has enjoyed getting to know Kirstin and discussing her ideas for improving our community and business environment.”
Kahaloa is a Hawai’i native who grew up in Kapolei on Oahu, where she graduated from Kamehameha Schools. With degrees in public service administration, international studies, and political science from the University of Evansville, Kahaloa went on to earn her masters of arts from Webster University in management and leadership, where she emphasized human resource development.
“Although I cannot say I was raised on the Big Island, I would not be who I am without my Hawai‘i Island family ties,” shares Kahaloa. “Both my parents were born and raised here…The Big Isle really means family and heritage to me, since this is where generations of my family are from.”
As part of the KKCC, Kahaloa will oversee the 510 member organization and work with the board, committees, staff, and volunteers. In addition, she will develop and execute strategic initiatives, monitor organizational performance, and grow members while managing the budget and collaborating with other organizations and government entities.
“The journey to return home has taken almost 14 years, but I am ready,” Kahaloa noted. “This position is a start to achieving my dreams. I want to make a difference and have a positive impact on the economic growth and development of West Hawai‘i and the greater state.”