Kenton Eldridge, co-founder and partner of Aina Koa Pono and co-founder and managing director of Sennet Capital, has been elected chair of the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i, the organization announced today.
Eldridge, who has served on the Conservancy’s board since 2000, succeeds Duncan MacNaughton, founding partner and chairman of The MacNaughton Group, who chaired the Conservancy’s Hawai‘i board for the past three years.
“It is with great pleasure that I pass the reins of the Conservancy’s Hawai‘i program to Kenton Eldridge,” McNaughton said. “I have great respect for Kenton’s commitment to Hawai‘i and to conservation. His knowledge and leadership will ensure the Conservancy’s success in the years ahead.”
A former U.S. Army intelligence officer who served in Europe and Vietnam, Eldridge has 40 years of business experience, including 25 years in retail management with Federated Department Stores and Duty Free Shoppers. He has served as a mentor and investor for several Hawai‘i start-up companies, including Hoku Scientific.
“During my 11 years as a trustee with the Conservancy, I have seen the organization achieve groundbreaking innovation, protect Palmyra Atoll, launch a thriving marine program and expand its protection of important forested watersheds and reefs in Hawai‘i through science-based, collaborative work,” Eldridge said. “I look forward to working with my fellow trustees and the Conservancy’s staff and partners in continuing to advance the pioneering work of The Nature Conservancy.”
Under MacNaughton, Eldridge served as vice chair of the Hawai‘i Board; he has also served as the chair of the conservation committee and as Hawaii's representative to the national trustee council of The Nature Conservancy. He currently sits on the advisory boards of Innovasc and The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Hawai‘i, and previously served on the boards of American Savings Bank, Assets School, HiBeam and Hoku Scientific.
"The Conservancy has been fortunate throughout its history to have Board chairs who are deeply committed to conservation and to the overall betterment of Hawai‘i," said Suzanne Case, the Conservancy’s Hawai‘i executive director. "Kenton Eldridge continues that tradition."
Eldridge is joined on the new Board leadership team by vice chair Scott Rolles, and by new conservation committee chair Chris Benjamin.
Rolles is president of R&R Restaurants. He was born and raised in Honolulu and graduated from the UCLA School of Business Economics. He is a former president of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and has been a member of the Conservancy’s Hawai‘i board since 2003.
Benjamin is the President of A&B Land, a subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin, Inc., where he served formerly as chief financial officer and treasurer. He has served on the Conservancy’s board of trustees since 2007.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.