Our team is led by Kurt Hiete, Managing Director, and comprised of a unique network of professionals from around the globe with expertise in project management, logistical planning, water treatment, sanitation, specialty engineering, community development, public relations, veterans affairs, human resources management, and many other areas.
Kurt Hiete began his military career as a destroyer gunnery officer, ASW officer, and nuclear weapons officer on the USS Rogers (DD876). Upon completion of his three year tour he volunteered to go to Vietnam. In 1966, after completing four months of training at Coronado, California, Kurt served as a Naval Advisor to the Vietnamese Junk Force. Their mission was to interdict and capture gunrunners. While serving in this capacity Kurt qualified for the Combat Action Ribbon.
Photo © Geoff Linville.
Photo courtesy of Kurt Hiete.
About half of Kurt’s time in Vietnam was spent in remote fishing villages educating people about the dangers of poor sanitation. This was highly sensitive, time consuming work that required him to demonstrate practical knowledge of the issues at hand as well as a genuine empathy for the villagers, especially the youngest among them. This side of the service was extremely satisfying for Kurt, and his unit’s efforts became increasingly effective as sick call lines consistently decreased over time from village to village. Kurt is passionate about applying the strategies he used in Vietnam to improve living conditions for people in other locations.
Upon returning to civilian life, Kurt was employed by Arthur Andersen & Company as a Certified Public Accountant. He later owned several car rental companies and a construction equipment rental company, and for the last 15 years has been with Coldwell Banker. He is a member and former Commander of American Legion Post 283 in Pacific Palisades, California, which has more than 500 members.
Kurt is a founding board member of the Riviera Tennis Foundation, which provides tennis opportunities to economically disadvantaged children in Los Angeles. He is also the founding board member of the Never Forget Our Veterans Foundation, whose initial goals are to find and repatriate up to 500 Marines still buried in unmarked graves on Tarawa Atoll in the Republic of Kiribati (Central Pacific), where more than 3,400 Americans were killed or wounded while fighting the Japanese in November of 1943, and to lead the environmental remediation of the battlefield and improve water and sanitation for the people of Tarawa in honor of the men who fought and died in the Battle of Tarawa.
Kurt and his wife of 51 years, Mary, have five children and 13 grandchildren.
Photo © Jeremy Edward Shiok.