Ige nominates Smith for BLNR seat

Gov. David Ige announced Thursday he is nominating Riley Smith to represent Hawaii Island on the state Board of Land and Natural Resources.

Smith has been president and CEO at Lanihau Properties LLC in Kailua-Kona, since January 2013. He’s been in leadership roles with the company since 2009.


Previously, he led the construction of the submarine fiber optic network which connects the five major Hawaiian Islands. He has an extensive work history dating back to 1976 and has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Na Ala Hele Advisory Council.

Smith is a Kamehameha Schools graduate, and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and a master’s in Business Administration from the University of Hawaii.

Smith would replace Christopher Yuen, the current Hawaii Island representative on BLNR. Yuen’s term expires on June 30.

Smith’s is one of five BLNR appointments announced by Ige Thursday.

The others are: Wesley “Kaiwi” Yuen, who’s being nominated for a second term as an at-large representative; Doreen Canto, who has represented Maui on an interim basis since July 2021; Aimee Kelii Barnes, who has represented the City and County of Honolulu on an interim basis since January 2022; and Karen Ono, nominated to represent Kauai.

All nominees are subject to state Senate confirmation.

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