Blankenfeld to Serve as Director of Hawaiian Culture at Fairmont OrchidApril 1, 2019, 8:29 AM HST (Updated April 1, 2019, 8:29 AM)
The Fairmont Orchid has selected Ka‘iulani Blankenfeld to serve as its Director of Hawaiian Culture. In this new position, Ka‘iulani will lead a strategic initiative to create and enhance the property’s Hawaiian programs and practices.
Born and raised on the Island of O‘ahu, Blankenfeld can trace her genealogy to the first native Hawaiians who settled in Hawai‘i. An experienced hula practitioner, lei maker and storyteller, she embraces the kuleana (responsibility) of sharing the rich cultural heritage of Hawai‘i with visitors.
“It’s an honor for me to share our mo‘olelo (stories) with our guests to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture,” says Blankenfeld. “Today’s travelers want to learn and grow through authentic cultural experiences and I’ll work closely with our Hui Holokai Beach Ambassadors to offer them ways to embrace the depth of our traditions, such as developing new ceremonies that honor our kūpuna (ancestors) and cultural tours for those who want to learn about the ‘aina (land). I also look forward to partnering with local hula halau, musicians and practitioners to further enhance the presence of Hawaiian culture at our property.”
Blankenfeld first joined the staff of Fairmont Orchid in 1999 as the Assistant Director of Human Resources. In July 2006, she became the Director of Recreation where she co-created a Hawaiian cultural program that’s still in existence. From November 2009, she was the Director of Learning, where she led and managed a hotel-wide training plan and new-hire orientation. In September 2011, she assumed the position of Director of Guest Services before being appointed to Executive Housekeeper in November 2012, her most recent position.
“Ka‘iulani’s generous spirit of ho‘okipa (hospitality) and keen understanding of Hawaiian culture makes her the ideal candidate for this newly created position,” says General Manager Kelley Cosgrove. “We’re excited to offer our guests an even deeper way to experience the rich cultural offerings that make the island of Hawai‘i so special.”
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