Lanakila: More Than Crafts

By Marian E. Tsuji
Wednesday - August 13, 2008
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Marian E. Tsuji

Marian E. Tsuji
President & CEO, Lanakila Pacific

What do you think of when you hear Lanakila Rehabilitation Center?

Most people think of Lanakila Crafts, lauhala baskets, Christmas ornaments, pillows - all at bargain prices.

But Lanakila has always been much more than crafts. The organization has provided training and employment services for individuals with disabilities for more than 69 years. We also offer a wide range of social enterprises, staffed by those we serve, to provide services to the community that helps us in moving toward financial self-sufficiency.

On the strong foundation built by Violet Kam in 1939, Lanakila has grown tremendously over the years. The organization currently serves more than 4,000 Oahu residents annually with programs and social enterprises that build independence, which in turn support our greater community. However, our organization was often confused with others that had similar names or was simply known as Lanakila Crafts.

To increase awareness and support our goal of financial self-sufficiency, Lanakila initiated a rebranding strategy with the generous guidance and assistance of Three, A Marketing Group, LLC, Market Trends Pacific and Pang Communications. These superior consultants raised the bar, making the experience exciting and meaningful.

As a result of the research that included input from staff, participants, customers and other stakeholders, we are excited to announce that our name and logo changed this year from Lanakila Rehabilitation Center to Lanakila Pacific. The name Lanakila Pacific expresses the tremendous growth Lanakila has experienced since our founding and our vision to extend services beyond Oahu’s borders. “Lanakila” in Hawaiian means “victory,” and “Pacific” denotes peace and tranquility in addition to describing a geographic region.

The names of our programs also changed to reflect our impact in the community and increase awareness of the many, many facets of Lanakila Pacific. New program names include:

Lanakila Workforce Resources, which promotes independence of people with disabilities through gainful employment,

Lanakila TLC (Teaching and Learning Centers), which teaches basic life skills and advocates for independence and inclusion for individuals with challenges, and

Lanakila Meals on Wheels and more!, Hawaii’s largest and only island-wide provider of meals and more for seniors.

Reid Fujishige, Sylvia Victoriano, Marian Tsuji, Lauren Murphy and Travis Iha
Reid Fujishige, Sylvia Victoriano, Marian Tsuji, Lauren Murphy and Travis Iha

We are also excited to introduce Lanakila Social Enterprises, our mission-driven business ventures that produce high-quality products and services for customers while building independence for people with challenged lives, including:

Lanakila Production Services, offering an array of services, including packaging and shrink-wrapping, silkscreening and embroidery, mailing and more,

Lanakila Maintenance Services, providing fully licensed grounds and custodial services for commercial and government properties, and

Xpress Chefs, featuring fresh produce and ingredients in healthy foods prepared for retail sales, catering services and meal programs for schools and care centers.

These three enterprises are a great choice for many local businesses looking for a way to support our community while getting quality service. Lanakila Pacific’s brand embodies the energy and passion of our staff, volunteers and partners in serving our participants and the community. Bolstered by ongoing feedback, our organization is strongly positioned to meet our goal of financial self-sufficiency, while continually striving for more innovative, efficient and effective ways to deliver services.

Lanakila Pacific still relies on donations and grants. However, we are able to leverage this support through our growing social enterprises. For example, all proceeds from our upcoming golf tournament presented by Five Star Aug. 22 will be invested to foster the growth of Lanakila Meals on Wheels and more!

We look forward to continue working together with the community to ensure that individuals with challenged lives will have the opportunity to reach their full potential for independence as Lanakila Pacific also strives for the same by achieving self-sufficiency.

To learn more, we invite you to visit our headquarters on Bachelot Street for a firsthand look at our programs and high-quality work. To arrange a tour and see how we can help you, please contact us at 531-0555 or visit our new web site at


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