Makalapua Kanuha, the director of culture at The Westin Ka`anapali Ocean Resort Villas, was recently honored by Pacific Business News at its 18th Annual Women Who Mean Business Awards in Honolulu. Kanuha was one of 12 women recognized in the category “Women to Watch.”
As the director of culture, Kanuha interacts with The Westin’s associates and leadership, as well as its owners and guests. Her responsibilities include implementing an ongoing cultural program into the associates’ daily lives and educating them on the proper Hawaiian protocol and customs, maintaining a presence of the Hawaiian culture throughout the resort.
One of Kanuha’s many significant contributions to the Westin Ka`anapali Ocean Resort Villas was introducing the Pu‘uhonua Cultural Center, the first of its kind for Starwood Hawaii, to owners, guests and the community in December 2014.
“Hawaii is known for its wonderful year round climate, pristine beaches and stunning sunsets,” said Angela Nolan, area managing director, Hawaii Villas for Starwood Vacation Ownership. “But Hawaii offers so much more to visitors who seek to understand this dynamic culture, its people and the history. What Maka brings to our resort, its guests, associates and anyone who meets her is nothing short of memorable. The impact she has made at the resort will never be truly quantifiable. She is the heart and soul of the resort and is a natural leader to both leaders and associates.”
Photo of Makalapua Kanuha courtesy Westin Ka`anapali Ocean Resort Villas