Kona Historical Society Change in Leadership

February 4, 2019, 2:17 PM HST
* Updated February 4, 2:18 PM
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The Kona Historical Society (KHS) reports that Joy Holland will step down in March as Executive Director of the museum which, includes its two sites in Kealakekua and Captain Cook: The H.N. Greenwell Store, The Portuguese Stone Bread Oven, The Jean Greenwell Library and Archive, The Kona Coffee Living History Farm, and the forthcoming Kona Museum gallery. Holland will stay on for the year as an Advisory Board Member at KHS.

Dance Aoki and Joy Holland. PC: Kona Historical Society.

Holland, who joined the Smithsonian-Affiliated museum and nonprofit organization in 2012, and who became Executive Director in early 2013, has overseen capacity building and operational budget increases and program enhancements. She has also overseen the expansion of the exhibit program, collection initiatives, repair, care, and capital projects, extending from historic structure repair, to pasture expansion, to kiosk and other construction, as well as land purchase and project oversight of the forthcoming Kona Museum gallery at its headquarters in Kalukalu.

Holland will be assuming a new post in April at UCLA in the American Indian Studies Center as the Librarian for the center at the Associate Librarian rank. The UCLA American Indian Studies Center (AISC) was founded in 1969 as a research institute dedicated to addressing American Indian issues and supporting Native communities. The AISC serves as a hub of activities for Indigenous students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community, as well as serving as a bridge between the academy and indigenous peoples locally, nationally, and internationally.

“Serving my community at Kona Historical Society has been a dream job and the honor of my life,” Holland said. “I was raised here and I know what museum programs and cultural exposure mean to the children and families in Kona. Kona Historical Society has an incredibly talented staff and Board of Directors, and lots of exciting things on the horizon, so I feel confident that the timing is good to depart, though it’s not easy as I truly feel keiki o ka ‘aina. I am ready for the transition, though, and looking forward to supporting the initiatives of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center and to help Native communities.”

The Kona Historical Society Board of Directors has tapped Dance Aoki, Development Director at KHS, to assume Acting Executive Director upon Holland’s departure. Aoki will take the helm of the organization with an experienced KHS management team during this transitional period.


“The next chapter will build on the work that Sherwood Greenwell, Jill Olson, and I have each contributed,” said Holland. “Dance Aoki will be Acting Director and that will be exciting for lots of reasons with her background in nonprofits and the arts, and her local family roots in Kona.”

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