Volunteer Spotlight: Anna Grune


For Anna Grune, Pearl Haven’s lead architect, the most rewarding part of her job is seeing a vision come to fruition.

Anna’s involvement with Ho‘ola Na Pua began in August 2015, after making a connection with Board Chairperson Jody Allione at a fundraising event. Soon afterwards, she took on the responsibilities of designing the organization’s much anticipated Pearl Haven. Throughout the process, Anna has worked closely with student interns, particularly, the students at Chaminade University of Honolulu’s Environmental + Interior Design program. Along with Program Director Joan Riggs, she created the basic parameters of the students’ projects and watched as their creativity took flight.

After each young woman presented her theme for the home, Anna interviewed all of the students and incorporated the best aspects of their designs into the plans for Pearl Haven. She says, “It’s always good to get students involved because they have new ideas. The girls were very inspirational to me.”

Nevertheless, the project presents an ongoing challenge, since the existing structure is significantly damaged. Its isolated location, large scale, and idiosyncrasies, such as varied wall widths, also provide obstacles for Anna, who bears the brunt of the labor herself.

In spite of those obstacles, Anna is committed to Pearl Haven, noting the community support for Ho‘ola Na Pua’s vision and the building’s purpose. She says, “I think it’s fun seeing a vision come to fruition. It’s a long process, but once it’s built and everything comes together, it’s a good feeling.”

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