Hanai’s mission is to be a creative gathering space that cultivates authentic connection.

The Hanai Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non profit founded by Kimberly Smythe in 2013. This organization was created to provide a space for the community to gather. The building is currently under construction on the corner of Eagle Rd. and Neff Rd. in Bend, Oregon.  Construction should be completed by winter 2020.

The Inspiration For Hanai

Kimberly was inspired to begin this project when she and her husband, Timothy, sold their company, Structus Building Technologies. She wanted to give back to the community that had supported her through so much: the stress of small business life, raising three kids, and the search for connection. Her instinct to create a beautiful space for Central Oregonians to gather was reinforced by community voices confirming the need. Kimberly and the Hanai team worked with architect Gary Holbrook (HD Architecture) and designer Piper Lucas (Piper Lucas Designs) to create a welcoming space that will inspire connection. This team also sought feedback on the design from facilitators who often organize gatherings.  Kimberly and Timothy signed on a contractor, Dennis Szigeti (Leader Builders), and the project broke ground in July of 2019.

What does Hanai mean?

Hanai is a Hawaiian word that means to nourish, to foster, to bring someone into your family as your own. Kimberly lived in Hawai’i for 26 years and through marriage became part of a Hawaiian family, the Smythes. Hanai is a word that conveys a sense of belonging.

Research: Listening To Our Community

The Hanai Foundation recognizes that, as a community organization, it is our responsibility to learn as much as we can about our community from as many perspectives as possible. Our former Executive Director, Carli Smythe, completed a long term research project that has provided us a foundation of understanding from which to build.  The Listening Project spanned 6 months and incorporated over 115 community members. Carli designed, facilitated and conducted the project with the support of a consultant and  7 volunteers . We had two goals: to connect with members of the community and to learn about their needs and concerns.  Our results revealed an overall theme of longing for connection, with many people citing the things that keep us disconnected: rapid growth, comparison, divisive politics, and perfectionism. Some discussed the “loneliness epidemic,” a local and national phenomenon. The continued planning of Hanai will emerge from what we’ve learned from this project and an ongoing commitment to listening.

What’s Next?

Over the upcoming year of construction, The Hanai Foundation will be putting together its detailed plans for how the space will be used. We are allowing this project to unfold slowly and intentionally.  We are committed to fitting our work mindfully into the local non-profit ecosystem. We will continue to listen to the community and use our insights to achieve our mission of cultivating authentic connection.

Connect With The Hanai Foundation

If you’d like to connect with The Hanai Foundation as we take steps toward a more defined project, please contact us by filling out the form below. We welcome all inquiries and ideas.