Maui Business

New Chair Elected for Hawai‘i Nature Conservancy

December 28, 2014, 8:08 AM HST
* Updated December 30, 8:43 AM
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Christopher J. Benjamin.  Courtesy photo.

Christopher J. Benjamin. Courtesy photo.

The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i has elected a new chair for its board of trustees. Christopher J. Benjamin, president and chief operating officer of Alexander & Baldwin Inc., now holds the position, succeeding Kenton Eldridge, a businessman who chaired the board for the last three years.

“It is with great pleasure that I pass the leadership of the conservancy on to Chris Benjamin,” said Eldridge. “I have great respect for Chris’ commitment to Hawai‘i and the passion he brings to conservation. His dedication and leadership will ensure the ongoing success of the conservancy for years to come.”

Benjamin has served on the conservancy’s board since 2007, and has worked closely with the organization in developing a long-term vision in forest and marine conservation. His company, Alexander & Baldwin, has been a strong supporter of the conservancy in Hawai‘i for decades.

Last April, A&B subsidiary East Maui Irrigation Company donated 3,721 acres of East Maui rain forest to the Nature Conservancy’s Waikamoi Preserve, making the total property size nearly 9,000 acres—the largest private land reserve in the state. The conservancy also has two preserves on Kaua‘i through agreements made with A&B.

“It is an honor to serve as the chair of The Nature Conservancy’s Board of Trustees,” Benjamin said. “I believe strongly in the mission of the conservancy and its science-based, solution-oriented, collaborative approach. I look forward to working with my fellow trustees, staff, and partners in continuing to advance the work of The Nature Conservancy.”

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In addition, Attorney Paul Alston of the Honolulu firm Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing has joined the conservancy’s board of trustees. Alston has worked in the state as an attorney for over 40 years, and has been named “Hawai‘i Lawyer of the Year” four times by Best Lawyers in America. He counsels many nonprofit organizations, including the Mental Health Association and Kokua Kalihi Valley.

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