The Native Hawaiian Institute for Technology & Business was founded by a group of native Hawaiians who were fortunate enough to receive training, education, and experience in highly complex areas of technology and business and who also would like to see the same opportunities afforded to other native Hawaiians and their communities. As most of the original founding board members served in the military, they felt driven to serve in the same capacity back home in Hawaii upon completion of their time in service to military. These board members bring much of the requisite leadership skills and technical aptitude to execute programs of this nature. The aim of these programs is to raise the skill-level, earning potential, and overall productivity of the people of Hawaii.
Meet Our Board of Directors & Executive Leaders
The Native Hawaiian Institute for Technology and Business has assembled a leadership team with a diverse background of specialties, capabilities, education, and experience. These individuals are passionate about sharing their mana’o with Native Hawaiians and the Native Hawaiian community.
After 20 years of service Keone Peneku retired from the U.S. Air Force in the Cyber Systems Operations career field. His military experience allowed him to gain a broad array of knowledge in the Information Technology (IT) arena to include auditing and inspection, cybersecurity, enterprise services, and governance, just to name a few. He currently works a lead information systems security analyst for a major goverment contracting company.
Keone’s educational foundation first took root in 1996 as a graduate of Kamehameha Schools. With an endless thirst for knowledge, Keone was driven to attain a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership, a Bachelors degree in Management of Information Systems, and an Associate degree in Information Systems. He also holds a few prized IT certifications which include CISSP, Security+, and ITIL.
Keone has a passion for golf and loves spending time with family and friends. Although he is blessed for all of his accomplishments, Keone feels his true calling is to help others achieve their dreams.
KANAKAOKEKAI K. NAMAUU
Co-Founder, Board Director
Chief Strategy Office
Kekai Namauu is a retired Air Force Veteran, Entrepreneur and Cybersecurity Subject Matter Expert (SME). Throughout his military career he has served in nearly every facet of Cybersecurity from operating and securing the $4.5 billion Air Force Information Network (AFIN), performing global enterprise level Information Assurance (IA) and governance, to non-kinetic Offensive Cyberwarfare Operations (OCO).
Mr. Namauu’s excellence has been recognized countless times throughout his military career and he is also a distinguished graduate of the Air Force’s Cyberwarfare Weapon Systems School. Kekai holds 27 of the industry’s most highly recognized certifications to include: CISSP-ISSMP, CRISC, CISM, PMP, PMI-RMP, CEH, CFR and ITIL.
Kekai is also the owner and President of Dynamic Advancement, a Professional Development consulting firm based in San Antonio, TX which focuses on training, certification, and examination services that enable companies to up-skill and empower their workforce. Their primary customer base are Department of Defense units such as Air Force Cyber Command, National Security Agency (NSA), and government contractor firms such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, and IP Secure.
Mr. Namauu’s education includes a Masters degree in Business Administration, a Bachelors degree in Liberal Science with a focus on Business, Associate degrees in Technology Management and Ecological Control, Graduate Certificates in Advanced Project Management and Advanced Computer Security from Stanford University, and a Professional Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. Kekai is also in the dissertation phase of a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University.
WILLIAM K. JOHNS
Co-Founder, Board Director
Chief Health Technology Officer
William “Kimo” Johns is a licensed career Registered Nurse (RN) with over 15 years of wide-ranging experience holding a nursing license in both Hawaii and Oregon. He has worked as a registered nurse for the Department of Corrections, Neuro/Telemetry units, Medical/Surgical units, and for the Department of Veteran Affairs as a Care Home Nurse Manager.
From an early age Kimo has always been drawn to “ho’ola” (healing) and would eventually find his calling in the world of Health Care Technology. He developed a passion for helping patients navigate the complexities of a health care system which can be daunting for those in need. He is often called to play a leadership role from new graduate nurse preceptor/mentor, to charge nurse. Kimo obtained his Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing from the University of Hawaii at Hilo and while there also served as the nursing class President and taught his fellow Vulcans the art of traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe paddling. Kimo holds the prestigious Advanced Cardiac Life Support credential and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.