Ms. Bettina Mehnert is a trailblazer in a once male-dominated field. She started at AHL in 1988 and rose steadily, becoming the company’s first female Principal, Director, COO, and now President and CEO. She is known for her belief in people and a participative management style.
Bettina was the mastermind behind moving AHL into the high tech firm it is today. As an architect herself, she realized the need for a distinct and separate marketing department, an element that is recognized today as a hallmark of exceptional architectural firms. Her track record in business development is a testament to that vision.
Bettina facilitated AHL adopting the national 1% program that connects nonprofits with architecture firms to give one percent of their billable hours annually to pro bono projects. The renovation of the Salvation Army’s women and children’s transition home was AHL’s first project in this program. Other AHL 1% projects included the renovation of the Kahuku Medical Center’s Emergency Room. Most recent AHL 1% projects include the Hawaii Nature Center Rain Pavilion and the Roof Garden for the Institute of Human Services Women’s Shelter. As the Principal-in-Charge, her impact in the community is realized by thousands of women and children.
To Bettina, community is an essential part of the corporate philosophy. It’s more than donations, fundraisers and boards – it also means getting your hands dirty, literally. She works alongside AHL volunteer teams, from annual beach cleanups to digging holes to help Camp Erdman (YMCA) build Hawaii’s first sustainable playground.
She serves on the board of directors for YMCA, PBS Hawaii, Kailua Urban Design Task Force, and the Hawaii Nature Center. She is also a member of The Salvation Army Addiction Treatment Services Advisory Council and is an adjunct faculty member for the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.
As the designated spokesperson she does numerous print and television interviews, and is a much sought after speaker at industry conferences and events.
Born and raised in Germany, Bettina has architectural experience in numerous project types and sizes, such as education and institutional facilities, healthcare, hospitality, residential, commercial and light industrial projects. One of her first AHL projects was the Berlin Wall Freedom Monument at Honolulu Community College; years later, she was a guest speaker at HCC’s 20th anniversary celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November.
A Pacific Century Fellow, Bettina received her graduate degrees in computer science and architecture from University, Trier, Germany, and an Executive MBA from Hawai‘i Pacific University.