Pono serves as Chairman of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority Board of Directors and was 1 of 5 Living Organ Donors appointed to the Organ Procurement Transplant Network/United Network for Organ Sharing: Living Donor Committee where he works on national policies affecting Living Organ Donors. Other boards of directorships or tasks force include the Friends of Iolani Palace, Hawaii Public Charter School Network, University of Hawaii West Oahu Council of Advisors, Economic Development Alliance of Hawaii, Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative Advisory Board, Hawaii Green Growth Steering Committee, and he is the manager for the Community Development Entity, Punawai O Puuhonua. He was also on the Selection Committee for the appointment of the Federal Magistrate Judge for 2015.
In 2012, Pono successfully led the efforts of Punawai O Puuhonua’s New Market Tax Credit Application and was awarded a $40 Million allocation for Economic Development in Low Income Communities for Hawaii.
In 2009 he was asked to take over the Leadership of Enterprise Honolulu. At the time the organization was in serious financial and public sentiment distress. Today the organization is considered one of the most influential leadership hubs in the state. He considers his exposure to Hawaii leadership philosophies as a child to be the backbone to his ideas, actions, and words. He and Dawn have been married for 28 years and their daughter Chantele, 26, works in China for the Abercrombie and Fitch Corporation. He loves cooking, eating, and physical training which include weekly jogging, sprinting, kettle bell workouts, and hiking the Koko Head trail. In 2013 Pono donated a kidney to a friend.
He’s one of the most sought out speakers in Hawaii and recently addressed a cohort of international leaders and there was significant humor when he completed his talk. Of the myriad of speakers this cohort had been exposed to (during the weeks of their program on International Diplomacy), when Pono called for questions and answers, he was the only speaker who received a deafening silence. It is characteristic of his speeches that audiences are left in deep reflection and speechless. He credits the silence to the true power and resonance of Aloha. People know truth when it connects.