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  • Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation Supports Culinary

Photo Caption L-R: Conrad Nonaka, Culinary Institute of the Pacific director, Carolyn Lee, Takitani Foundation staff member, Janice Luke Loo, Takitani Foundation president, Kelvin Ro, Culinary Institute of the Pacific development team, Michael W. Perry, Takitani Foundation board chair, Cuyler Shaw, counsel to the Takitani Foundation, Karen Uno, Takitani Foundation vice president,  Keith Sakamoto, Hawaiian Host president

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The Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation has donated $1.1 million to support the growing facilities and innovative programs at the new state-of-the-art Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head (CIP). This gift will help the university reach its goal of raising $10 million in private donations necessary to secure $20 million in state funds expressly for building future structures at the institute.

Passionate CIP volunteer fundraiser and owner of Diamond Head Market & Grill Kelvin Ro worked closely with the Takitani Foundation to secure this generous commitment. Ro said, “The Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Diamond Head is something many of us, including Denise and Roy Yamaguchi, Alan Wong and Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton have dreamed about and worked hard to create for so many years. It means a great deal to us that our friends at the Takitani Foundation have stepped forward so generously to help us complete the project.”

In recognition of their generosity, the Food Innovation Laboratory at CIP will be named the Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Innovation Laboratory. Additionally, the private dining room in the signature restaurant at CIP will be named the Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation Dining Room.

Takitani Foundation board chair Michael W. Perry said, “The Takitani Foundation is very proud to be among the many friends, including the State of Hawai‘i, making this new institute possible.”

Janice Luke Loo, president of the Takitani Foundation added, “Mamoru and Aiko Takitani would have wanted to be a part of CIP because it represents the innovation they knew was important for Hawai‘i, and also helps the youth of Hawai‘i achieve their educational and career aspirations.”

The Takitani Foundation named the food innovation laboratory because of the connection to the innovative approach the Takitanis took in creating the successful Hawaiian Host candy company. Mamoru invented the macadamia nut and chocolate candy now ubiquitous in the islands. The Foundation also appreciates the parallels between economic opportunities that will develop from food innovation at CIP and the company the Takitanis grew from 6 to 150 employees during their lifetimes.

Culinary Institute of the Pacific Director Conrad Nonaka, said, “This is such an important moment for the Culinary Institute of Pacific! Thanks to the Takitani Foundation and other private gifts, we are getting closer to qualifying for the matching support offered by the State.”

The Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to helping Hawai‘i ’s youth achieve their educational and career goals by providing scholarships and other educational opportunities to Hawai‘i students. The Foundation also supports local programs that create innovative change in education, and has been a key funder of the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) program at the Shidler College of Business at UH Mānoa.

Culinary Institute of the Pacific Students

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The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.