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Navigating Economic Realities: Insights from the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce

Founded in 1974, the purpose of the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce (NHCC) was to create a foundation of influence for Native Hawaiian business owners and professionals among their non-Hawaiian peers. Ed Auld, a founding member of the NHCC, often said that Hawaiian businessmen considered themselves businessmen that happened to be Hawaiian.

Almost 50 years later, the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce has witnessed thousands of Hawaiian business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals thrive and continue the tradition of giving back to and growing the vibrant Kanaka business community that exists today. Our continuing mission is to mālama Kānaka in business and commerce.

In addition to convening leadership, building relationships, and connecting Kānaka to resources and opportunities, we call out and recognize those who stand out in alignment with this mission – Kānaka who have gone above and beyond across sectors to build Kanaka influence in business circles and throughout Hawaiʻi and the world in general.

Thus, the ʻŌʻō Award is recognition, not only of individuals who have contributed to our mission, but of the vision, dedication, and aloha the founding members of the NHCC had for outstanding Hawaiian leaders.

To date, the ʻŌʻō Award has honored 93 individuals who have made tremendous contributions to the Native Hawaiian community and to the lāhui at large. In Hawaiʻi, a core value is being humble, and we find that honorees are often reluctant to accept praise for what they see as kuleana. However, the ʻŌʻō Award is a way for the NHCC to ʻauamo our kuleana of recognizing leaders who advocate for Hawaiians in business. The leaders recognized, past and present, certainly embody that vision and the spirit of our founders to set a strong foundation of influence in the broader business community in Hawaiʻi and to see Hawaiians thrive!

We invite you to submit nominations for our 2024 ʻŌʻō Award honorees. Submissions are now being accepted. The deadline for nominations is March 15, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. Please go to to complete a nomination form. Be sure to explain why the individual you are recommending for this coveted recognition should be awarded the ʻŌʻō.

The 47th Annual ʻŌʻō Awards Gala will be held on Oct. 4, 2024, in the Coral Ballroom, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. For more information, email


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2024 ʻŌʻō Award Nominations