UH Foundation welcomes new hire, announces four promotions

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, UH Foundation
Posted: Dec 17, 2014

SaraLyn Smith
SaraLyn Smith

The University of Hawai‘i Foundation announces that SaraLyn Smith has joined the team, and four development professionals have been promoted in positions serving the UH Mānoa campus.

SaraLyn Smith
has joined the fundraising team as director of development for the College of Arts and Humanities; College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature; and the Library.  She will expand fundraising efforts and broaden philanthropic support for these colleges and the library.  She previously served as director of development at the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra. An attorney by trade, Smith’s career has included job positions as an executive director, CEO, mediator, facilitator and trainer, in addition to a lawyer in private practice. Smith attended Purdue University, where she earned her BA; she received her JD at DePaul University. She is a licensed attorney in both Illinois and Hawai‘i and a certified mediator in Indiana. She has pursued professional development from Indiana University School of Philanthropy, Harvard Law School and Pepperdine University School of Law Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.

Harriet Cintron has been promoted to senior director of development at UH Mānoa, where her primary responsibility is to provide direct fundraising support to the School of Architecture, School of Pacific and Asian Studies, and School of Travel Industry Management (TIM). Most recently she served as director of development; prior to that she was a gift officer for the Mānoa campus.  In this elevated role, Citron will continue to provide fundraising support to the Schools of Architecture, Pacific and Asian Studies, and TIM. She was born and reared in Honolulu, and earned her BA from UH Mānoa.

Jeffrie Jones has been promoted to executive director of development for the John A. Burns School of Medicine. She joined the UH Foundation in 2007 as director of development for the medical school, and since that time has focused her team’s efforts on major gifts and building a culture of philanthropy and alumni engagement. Jones has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and brand management, having worked at General Mills and Helene Curtis on the mainland and overseas before moving to Hawai‘i in 1990.  Locally, Jones served as director of general merchandise and director of marketing for Foodland Super Market Ltd. and as vice president at Peck Sims Mueller. She also led start-up fundraising efforts at Straub Clinic and Hospital, an affiliate of Hawaiʻi Pacific Health, as its first director of philanthropy. Jones earned a BA from the University of California at Los Angeles and MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Leslie Lewis has been promoted to senior director of development at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and Faculty Programs.  Lewis has been a development professional for the past 35 years, playing a key role in securing funds for nonprofits both in Hawai‘i and on the mainland.  Locally, she served as founding development director for both Hawai‘i Public Radio and UH Hilo; for five years, she was development director for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.  For the past eight years, she was director of development for CTAHR and College of Arts and Sciences. She earned a BA from Loyola University in New Orleans, and MA from UH Mānoa.

Unyong Nakata, MBA, has been promoted to senior director of development for the Shidler College of Business. Most recently she served as director of development for the college. In this elevated role, Nakata will continue to provide direct fundraising support to the college as well as manage the overall advancement program, including alumni, annual giving, marketing and stewardship.  Nakata was originally hired as marketing coordinator in the Office of Estate and Gift Planning at UH Foundation in 2006.  A proud Shidler alumna, she has been serving her alma mater since 2008, when she joined the Shidler College of Business alumni and development team. Nakata sits on the boards of the Junior League of Honolulu and Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Program.

Learn about career opportunities at the UH Foundation, and join our team.


The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations.

For more information, visit: www.uhfoundation.org