Become part of Hawaii’s conservation story

Job Summary:

The primary purpose of the position is to support economic opportunity in Hawaii, particularly entrepreneurs with businesses that demonstrate a commitment to nonfinancial values – namely, serving the community, caring for ‘āina and the natural environment, and strengthening culture. The Kohala Center’s (TKC) Rural and Cooperative Business Development Services (RCBDS) program aims to increase the business acumen of entrepreneurs and expand access to capital for businesses that ensure a sustainable future for Hawai‘i, particularly those operating in the arenas of community development, local food production, renewable energy, and ecosystem health. The program places a strong emphasis on providing entrepreneurs with technical assistance in business planning and financing, and to supporting the development of cooperatives and collaborations within Hawai‘i’s rural communities and food systems.


Essential Duties:

  1. Provide one-on-one business consulting and technical assistance as well as educational workshops to entrepreneurs and community food system partners in the areas of business feasibility, business capitalization, preparing and interpreting financial statements, cash flow projections, and marketing.
  2. Assist businesses with formation and planning.
  3. Facilitate group meetings with food systems and community economic development stakeholders.
  4. Educate businesses, co-ops, agricultural producers, and community food system partners about potential funding opportunities and other business development resources in Hawai‘i.
  5. Assist businesses with creating and submitting high-quality loan applications and competitive grant proposals to launch, grow, and sustain their businesses.
  6. Foster a network of support for RCBDS clients by creating opportunities for clients to interact with each other and community resources, and to support each other when possible.
  7. Conduct market research and outreach, including exploring stakeholder interest in forming farm to school supply and distribution co-ops.
  8. Network with other loan and business development programs, such as the Farm Service Agency, Hawaii Department of Agriculture Loan Division, Small Business Administration, etc.
  9. Make public presentations to a variety of groups on available loan and business development programs, including TKC’s programs and other resources available within Hawai‘i.  
  10. Collaborate with other members of the Rural and Cooperative Business Development Services team to serve clients and advance economic development and community food system projects.
  11. Ensure that all deliverables are successfully met for the grants funding the Specialist’s position, and identify new funding opportunities.
  12. Write grant proposals and manage grants, including execution of deliverables, grant reporting, budgets, revisions, and funder communications. Keep careful records of applications submitted and grants/loans obtained in order to create reports to relevant TKC funders. Keep careful records of grant writing/loan preparation program expenses that are aligned with the program’s budget.
  13. Evaluate programmatic impact and suggest programmatic improvements.
  14. Additional duties as assigned by senior TKC staff members.

Working Conditions:

Indoors at TKC’s Waimea office. Flexible workspace may be offered.

Work Hours:  Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; duties may require evening and weekend hours.

Equipment Use:

Computer and standard office equipment.

Mental, Physical, and Communication Demands:

  1. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit.  
  2. Must have good organizational and project management skills; ability to focus on multiple concurrent tasks.
  3. Excellent oral and written communication skills including the demonstrated ability to research, assimilate, and analyze information, compose documents, proofread, and present data in a clear and concise manner. Able to communicate effectively with staff, funders, partners, consultants, and representatives from similar programs and other community agencies.
  4. Must have a strong command of lending, business planning, financial analysis, and  financial statements; a strong interest in sustainable community economic development; strong verbal communication, teaching and public speaking skills; and strong writing skills.
  5. Must be able to work with a variety of business types, including agricultural businesses. Must have experience with or be able to quickly learn basics of agricultural production planning and recordkeeping (including software programs), as well as planning for a variety of types of businesses.
  6. Must have experience with or willingness to learn basics of QuickBooks.
  7. Must be able to anticipate and analyze problems, develop effective solutions, identify opportunities, and initiate proactive approaches.
  8. Requires flexibility and adaptability and a strong work ethic to accommodate broad responsibilities, shifting priorities and tight deadlines.
  9. Proven ability to work independently and effectively with a cross-functional team.
  10. Must take initiative, be creative, and take ownership of program development, implementation, and funding.

Minimum Qualifications:

Any combination of education and experience that demonstrate the ability, skills and knowledge to perform the duties. However, five years of experience in business and/or finance and an MBA preferred.  

Excellent computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite. Adept at learning new software and emerging technologies.

Superb oral and written communication skills with an attention to detail.

Possess a valid Hawai‘i driver’s license, no-fault insurance, and access to an insured automobile. The employee is required to use their personal vehicle and must be willing to travel to various locations to perform the abovementioned duties.

To Apply:

Please download and fill out the employment application form and submit with your cover letter and resume to Cortney Okumura at cokumura@kohalacenter.orgNo phone calls, please.

The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by an employee in this classification. It is not to be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory, or all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of employees assigned to this job. Management has the right to add to, revise, or delete information in this description. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.


  • Posted On

    January 3, 2018
  • Closing Date

    July 2, 2018
  • Organization

    The Kohala Center
  • Location

  • Position Type

    Full Time
For more information about The Kohala Center and this opportunity please visit our website at, contact us at Contact Phone or via email at

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