We are pleased to announce Archie Kalepa, one of Hawaii’s greatest ocean sports pioneers, Hawaiian Lifeguard, and Director of Maui County Ocean Safety Division retires and joins the OluKai marketing team full-time as the Konohiki (caretaker).
As the Konohiki, Kalepa will support and direct the brand in remaining authentic to the ocean lifestyle and respectful of the Hawaiian culture through hands on participation in marketing activation. His main focus will be that of direct liaison between the brand’s long-standing partnership with the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association (HLA) and the OluKai product development team to ensure the creation of innovative product concepts. Additional responsibilities include maintaining strong ties to the Hawaiian culture, establishing cultural advisors, and representing the brand at events, trade shows, and through quarterly regional travel.
“Archie is an exceptional human being, bringing a strong sense of Hawaiian culture as well as an ethic of ‘taking action’,” says Kerry Konrady, director of marketing. “His impact at OluKai has been tremendous through his work with the HLA development program; we look forward to his greater influence as Konohiki.”
With more than 30 years as a Hawaiian Lifeguard, this elite and humble waterman has saved countless lives, revolutionized lifeguarding today as one of the pioneers of personal-water-craft (PWC) and PWC sleds for use in tow-in surfing and ocean rescue, and became the trailblazer in establishing long distance SUP racing. In August of 2012, he was inducted into Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation’s Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame, the highest honor a waterman can achieve in Hawaii. Following his induction, Kalepa spoke at “OluKai Presents TEDxMaui”, sharing his experiences and knowledge of the ocean and passion that surrounds him. In 2013, he was profiled on CNN’s “The Next List”, a weekly program that profiles innovators, visionaries and agents of change.
“I’m thrilled to begin this next chapter of my life and join the OluKai ‘ohana full-time as the Konohiki,” says Kalepa. “I’m looking forward to sharing the Hawaiian ‘ohana spirit and furthering OluKai’s roots in Hawaii and their commitment to preserving our local culture and traditions.”