E.H.W. Broadbent Foundation

Our Mission

The EHW Broadbent Foundation supports non-profit organizations working in Hawaii, in the interest of cultivating vibrant communities and empowering individuals to exceed their potential.

our history

Mr. Edward Henry Walton Broadbent was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on July 18, 1872, the son of William (of Lincolnshire, England) and Mary Jackson (of Scotland). Edward was trained as a blacksmith in Whangarei, New Zealand, and at age 19 left for the United States of America. On the way he stopped in Honolulu in 1891, and got a job at Honolulu Iron Works. In 1892, he moved to Lihue, Kauai, and got a job at the Kauai Industrial School (Malumalu) teaching black smithy to local youth. By 1895, at the age of 23, he had been employed by G. N. Wilcox as "Head Luna" at Grove Farm Company.

On September 15, 1896, Edward married Marie Jaouen, one of seven children born in Brittany, France. Marie had emigrated to New Zealand in 1876, at age three, and subsequently to Hawaii in 1890 with her parents and two brothers. Marie and Edward had three children, all born in Lihue: Frank - 1897, Dora - 1900, and Alice - 1908. During Broadbent's tenure as Grove Farm Company Manager, from 1902 until his retirement in 1937, he utilized his black smithy background to invent, build and put into use many labor-saving devices, such as the caterpillar-drawn plow/planting machine. This machine performed the work formerly done by 50 men with oxen, with only five men who rode through the fields planting up to six acres a day.

Early in his career, in 1912, Edward embarked on hisown enterprise, with the purchase from G. N. Wilcox,his boss, of two plots of land at Waipouli, totaling35 acres. In 1914, he planted this area with coconuts that formed the origins of his "Niu Pia Farms, Ltd." In 1936 and 1937, he added two more parcels on thebeach at Waipouli, totaling 72 acres; and 82 acres up Mauka in Wailua for cattle grazing, a fruit-tree orchard, and growing cassava root or "pia." A slaughter house operated on the shore at Waipouli.

The farming operation reached its peak after Edward's retirement from Grove Farm in 1937, and before World War II. Copra and coconut oil were sold; pia root was processed into laundry-quality starch and sold; beef cattle and pigs were raised and marketed; livestock feed was made in-house; chickens and ducks provided eggs and poultry – and up to five employees were on a steady payroll with plantation-style housing provided for them on the farm property.

EHW Broadbent During World War II (1942 - 1945), U. S. Army troops occupied the coconut groves at Waipouli with a large tent city. On September 15, 1946, Edward and Marie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a big luau for family and friends at Waipouli. Edward died the next year on August 18, 1947 in Lihue. Marie lived until age 87, dying at Wilcox Hospital in 1960. The lands and assets of Niu Pia Farms then passed on to Frank, Dora and Alice in equal undivided shares. In 1963, Niu Pia Farms, Ltd., was incorporated and in 1967, the first development agreement for Waipouli was signed with Blackfield Enterprises.

Management of Niu Pia Farms, Ltd., initially a "labor of love" conducted by the three Broadbent children, slowly evolved through the years with grandchildren assuming the leadership in the latter half of the 20th century. With farming no longer the emphasis, the name of the company was changed to Niu Pia Land Company, Ltd., in 2004. As a result of land sales and subsequent 1031 tax deferred exchanges in the early 21st century, the company now owns income-producing real estate on all four major Hawaiian Islands. It was in this setting that the stockholders, now consisting of the grandchildren to the great-great-grandchildren of E. H. W. Broadbent, voted to establish a charitable foundation in his name, on August 31, 2005. Its intent is to give back to the communities in Hawaii that have provided Niu Pia Land Company the business success it has enjoyed over the last 40 years.

our board

Melinda Walker

Melinda Walker

serves as Chairman and Trustee of the EHW Broadbent Foundation. She also serves as Secretary and Director of Property Management for the Niu Pia Land Co., Ltd., a family owned company which owns and manages commercial properties in the state of Hawaii. Melinda worked as a Commercial Property manager in Hilo for six years while maintaining a small farm on the Hamakua coast. She currently volunteers regularly at 2 animal rescue sanctuaries as well as the Hawaii Theatre Stars in Honolulu and the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives. Having graduated from Punahou School, she holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Telecommunication from the University of Oregon as well as an active Real Estate license. Melinda lives in Kailua on the island of Oahu and enjoys yoga, hiking, family get-togethers and the beach.
Sam Pratt

Sam Pratt

is Treasurer and Trustee of the EHW Broadbent Foundation. He also serves as President of Niu Pia Land Company, Ltd. Prior to becoming President in 2009, he served as Treasurer of Niu Pia for 12 years and has been on Niu Pia's board since 1989. Sam worked as a licensed Financial Advisor from 1999 to 2012, and previously spent 10 years as a Business Banking Officer and Branch Manager with First Hawaiian Bank on Kauai and Oahu. Sam has served on numerous community non-profit boards and committees during the last 25 years, and is currently on the boards of Island School, Waioli Corporation, Kauai Developers Council, Kauai Junior Golf, Coconut Plantation Association, and Waikoko Land Corporation. He also serves on the Kauai Economic Development Board's Property Management Committee. Sam holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management and Administration from Lewis & Clark College (1989), and graduated from Hawaii Preparatory Academy (1984). He lives in Lihue on the island of Kauai, and is married (Robin) with 2 sons (James and Bradley). Sam enjoys golf and other outdoor activities.
Ann Leighton

Ann Leighton

is Secretary of the EHW Broadbent Foundation where she has been a Trustee since it was formed in 2005. She also serves as Assistant Secretary of Niu Pia Land Company, Ltd. She originally joined the company in the mid-1980s as its Kauai Agent and has been on Niu Pia's board since the early 1990s. Ann formerly started and operated Two Wheels motorcycle shop in Waipouli for nearly 20 years before she and Tom Leighton sold the business in 2000. She brings to Niu Pia experience in small business matters such as accounting, managing resources and people, interacting with financial institutions, and customer service. Ann has been an active board member of the Coconut Plantation Association since its inception, and also served on boards of Kapaa Business Association, Kauai Chamber of Commerce, and was a founding board member of Hawaii Employers Mutual Insurance company, Inc. (HEMIC). Ann graduated from Pitzer College with a degree in Human Environment Relationships (1977), and from Punahou School. She is a member of the 4th generation and returned to Kauai in 1980, currently living in Wailua Homesteads. Ann enjoys outdoor activities such as bicycling, surfing, and stand up paddling.