For more than two decades, we have provided support to Native Hawaiians and other at-risk communities through our many free programs, serving over 100,000 individuals in over 75 communities throughout Hawaiʻi. PIDF President Jan Dill founded this organization in 1997 to offer culture-based approaches to build healthy and resilient families and communities. After turning his dream into a foundation with a staff of nearly 300 professionals working on every major island and an annual budget of $20 million, Dill is set to retire in April of 2019.
“It’s very humbling to see Partners in Development Foundation grow into what it is today because I strongly believe in the work that we’re able to accomplish, which directly benefits our keiki, kūpuna, and families as a whole,” Dill said. “I’ve been honored to work with an amazing team of people as we’ve striven for our mission of inspiring and equipping families and communities for success and service, using timeless Native Hawaiian values and traditions.”
As a Native Hawaiian, Dill has dedicated his life to the betterment of not just Hawaiians, but also to Hawaiʻi and all of its people. He’s amassed significant experience in community development work within the Hawaiian community and has proven to be both innovative and highly successful in securing grants and resources. This has been vital for our ability to support and grow our programs.
One of the very first programs Dill and his team offered was the Tūtū and Me Traveling Preschool. Adopted from Kamehameha Schools, the traveling preschool was created to help meet the developmental needs of infants to five-year-olds and to offer support to their caregivers — oftentimes their grandparents. Teaching teams comprised of early education educators travel to preselected communities where they set up, conduct, and facilitate the program. The curriculum is organized around learning themes and integrates Hawaiian values and culture. Today, Tūtū and Me reaches over 26 communities across the state through funding from the U.S. Department of Education and Kamehameha Schools.
Dill’s commitment to education is apparent not only in his work here at PIDF. He also founded the Mālama ‘Āina Foundation in 1998 to develop programs in environmental education and sustainability for public charter schools in partnership with the University of Hawaiʻi and other entities. He also held positions with Hawaiʻi Pacific University’s Oceanic Institute, Tufts University, Punahou School, and was a Fulbright Fellow at the San Carlos National University in Guatemala.
Tūtū and Me’s success opened the door for PIDF to expand its offerings to reach over a dozen other programs like We Are Oceania for Micronesian social services, Hui Ho‘omalu for foster care, and Kupa ‘Āina Natural Farming for sustainability. Another issue of major importance to Dill and PIDF is the state’s ongoing homelessness epidemic, which disproportionately affects Hawaiians. This prompted the creation of the Ka Paʻalana Homeless Family Education program for children and families. It is the only accredited homeless preschool in the country, an honor earned from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
“Over the past 21 years, we’ve been able to set a solid foundation for PIDF’s continued growth with the support and dedication of so many individuals and organizations,” Dill said. “I’m excited to see the next president expand our current initiatives while carving his or her own path for PIDF’s future success.”
Dill also served the community as Vice President and President of the Board of Na Pua a Ke Ali‘i Pauahi, and Founder and Chairman of the Governor’s Mayors’ Annual Hawai‘i Prayer Breakfast. He was Chair of the Board for the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Hawai‘i, member of the Steering Committee for the Polynesian Voyaging Society (Hōkūle‘a Voyage), and Volunteer Corps of the O‘ahu Community Correctional Center.
In April of 2018, Dill was honored for his accomplishments and service to Hawaiʻi’s businesses and communities with the ‘Ō‘ō Award by the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce. In 2016 he was selected to receive the Order of Ke Ali‘i Pauahi Award by the Pauahi Foundation and Kamehameha Schools for his personal and professional contributions that have helped communities locally and abroad for nearly 50 years. He was awarded the Angels in Adoption Award by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in 2015.
The organization, with support and direction from the Board of Directors, is working through a planned leadership transition and is expecting to name a new president in mid-2019. To learn more about our work, view our recent news and explore the rest of our website.