Founder & Executive Director, Gerontological Specialist
Karyn Clay began her career in the aging field at Ocean View Care Home in Cayucos, California. She quickly decided to major in Gerontology at San Diego State University and completed her Internship at Kona Adult Day Center in Kealakekua, Hawaii. It was during that Summer program in 1997 that Karyn realized her dream to open a Care Home in Waimea. In 1998, she graduated from SDSU and, within a few weeks, had moved permanently to the Big Island. Her experience spans long-term care, home health, residential care and adult day care. With the support of her father, Ken Kjer, she opened HoʻoNani Day Center in 2002. In 2015, her college dream became a reality when she opened HoʻoNani Care Home.
Karyn participates in a variety of organizations that enhance her skills and professionalism. She has been Secretary and President of Adult Day Centers Hawaii, Inc., and also enjoyed being President of the Waimea Professionals chapter of Business Networking International (BNI). Karyn is currently Vice President of the North Hawaii Hospice board of directors.
Through their connection in BNI, Karyn and KC Stallsmith of CrossFit AllStar collaborated in 2013 to create Kupuna CrossFit. This program has gotten national attention due to it’s innovation. A feature was filmed by CrossFit Media which highlights this program and especially acknowledges the ever inspiring Kameichi Yawata who started working out at CrossFit at 99 years of age and continued to work out weekly until he was almost 102. You are invited to watch the video here.
Once a month, Karyn also has an opportunity to reach out to her Waimea community through an article in the North Hawaii News titled “Kupuna Transitions.” The name of this article reflects her understanding of the ever changing dynamics that the older population experiences, especially when they require some form of care from family and/or professional services.