International Women’s Day 2024: Meet RLB’s Erin Kirihara

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  • International Women’s Day 2024: Meet RLB’s Erin Kirihara
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One summer when in college, Erin Kirihara attended a job fair, jokingly admitting it was partly to satisfy her parents and keep herself occupied. Unsure of which career direction to take at the time, she opted to take up an internship opportunity at a construction company she believed was called “Rider.”

It was an opportunity that would soon change her life.

The summer she spent at RLB evolved into a remarkable career trajectory. Fast forward eighteen years, Erin is Executive Vice President of RLB’s North American practice and serves as a distinguished member of the Board of Directors. Erin says her path is proof of her motto: “One opportunity used wisely can change your life dramatically.” Sometimes, she added, that means making your own opportunities, rising to the occasion and putting in the hard work.

As the director for RLB’s Hawaii Region that comprises roughly a third of the North America practice, Erin cherishes the privilege to work with a team of more than 50 talented individuals across the Islands, the many mentors in her life, and the brilliant people surrounding her throughout the years – all who have helped mold her into the person she is today.

Erin shares that from day one, she was embraced by the ohana culture at RLB and quickly understood it was not just a job, but a career.  Recognizing the significant opportunities for learning and advancement, she approached each project with the mindset that it could define her success. She eagerly tackled multiple projects simultaneously, gained insights from every client and project partner, and maximized her learning potential with each endeavor.

Erin has continually absorbed knowledge at every level, sought mentorship and took on learning the industry independently, and I couldn’t be prouder watching her blossom over our nearly two decades of working together. Her confident management style, firm direction forward, and strong industry relationships make her a compelling and inspiring leader.

Cassie Idehara, Vice President, Rider Levett Bucknall

In her career with RLB to date, Erin has brought imagination to life for more than 100 projects across Hawaii and delivered more than 11,000 guestrooms and residential units, culminating in an exceptional portfolio that exceeds $3B of construction work across Hawaii and the U.S.

Beyond her industry track record and reputation for negotiating win-wins for all parties involved in a project, Erin shares that being a mom to two amazing children is one of her greatest joys in life. In addition, her impact to Hawaii’s built environment and community at large have earned her recognition as an outstanding business leader among Pacific Business News’ 40 Under 40 awards, as well as an honoree of the Girl Scouts of Hawaii Women of Distinction. Her contributions to local non-profit organizations include serving on the Board of Directors for Child & Family Service, which provides programs for at-risk youth, domestic violence emergency services, elder care and more. Born and raised on Oahu, Erin is an alumna of Maryknoll School and received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Chaminade University of Honolulu.


Erin Kirihara
Erin Kirihara

Executive Vice President, North America