Cariann Ah Loo

Chair of the Nakupuna Foundation
President, Nakupuna Services
Profile image for Cariann Ah Loo of Nakupuna Companies.

Cariann Ah Loo is the Chair of the Nakupuna Foundation and President of Nakupuna Services. She brings more than 20 years of experience managing government contracts in the areas of environmental engineering and facilities support services.

Prior to the Nakupuna Companies, Cariann began her career working for a large government contractor. Initially hired as a project accountant, Cariann provided program controls management for over $100M of contracted work after a just few short years and rose through the ranks by demonstrating a passion for learning new disciplines and eagerness to assume additional responsibility. She has a proven track record of success in operations management for all major areas supporting contracts and programs, such as: project portfolio management; plan and report development; resource planning; cost and schedule management; risk and change management; client, regulator, and stakeholder engagement; and operational support.

In 2011, Cariann stepped away from her career with large, public companies to lead the environmental services division of small business where she would have a much more direct impact for her company and clients. During that time, Cariann was recruited by her father to help relaunch the first Nakupuna company, Na Aliʻi, as a full-service government contractor shortly before the company received its Native Hawaiian Organization-owned 8(a) certification from the Small Business Administration. Excited by the challenge of starting a business and the opportunity to help Native Hawaiians, Cariann jumped on board. Since then, Cariann has been integral in building the Nakupuna Companies into a successful enterprise poised for long-term success.

Cariann has a passion for supporting Native Hawaiians' advancement and Hawaii economic development, more broadly. In addition to her role with the Nakupuna Foundation, Cariann is a regular volunteer for a variety of local causes and can often be found on weekends pulling invasive weeds at Loko Ea, a historic Hawaiian fishpond on the North Shore of Oahu.

Cariann earned her bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California; is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP); and has been honored by Hawaii Business Magazine as a recipient of the 20 for the Next 20 award, which recognizes people expected to have the biggest impact in Hawaii over the next two decades.

Fun Fact

Always more comfortable in jeans and slippers, Cariann never owned a suit before becoming president of Na Aliʻi … and even now avoids wearing one whenever possible.

Career Advice

No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.