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Class Notes: Aaron Akau (BARCH ‘93)

Honolulu-based planning, engineering and landscape architecture firm Belt Collins Hawaii (BCH) has named Aaron Akau president and chief executive officer.

Akau, previously a vice president and director of landscape architecture, succeeds Michael Terry, who led BCH beginning in 2005. Terry will remain in an advisory role and continue
working on and managing landscape architecture projects.

In his new role, Akau takes every opportunity to promote his vision of “collaborative design solutions” for clients from the beginning of a project. “We are the only multidisciplinary firm in Hawaiʻi providing design and consulting services for everything ‘outside of the building,'” said Akau. “Through collaboration and input from all our disciplines, we provide the best solutions for our clients. When you hire Belt Collins Hawaiʻi, you hire the collective experience and expertise of physical and environmental planners, civil engineers and landscape architects, not an individual or just one discipline.”

Akau implements collaborative design solutions, thinking through internal process changes as well as physical office environment changes, including knocking down walls and cubicles to create flexible team spaces featuring large, open areas. The open environment fosters creativity, teamwork and efficiency, which leads to better collaboration.

“Aaron is well deserving of this promotion and we are all proud of his accomplishments over his 20 years with Belt Collins,” said Terry. “His focus on collaborative design solutions will result in a better product for our clients and will help take Belt Collins Hawaiʻi to the next level of professional services consulting.”

Akau joined BCH in 1997 as a landscape architect. He was elevated to Director of Landscape Architecture in 2006, and in 2012 became one of the majority owners of the company. His areas of expertise include hotel and resort master planning and design, commercial mixed-use design, and landscape master planning and design. Akau’s recent projects include the Halekulani Resort in Okinawa and the Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi.

University of Hawai‘i Alumni