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Ige appoints DCCA, DOA, DHHL, leadership posts


Gov. David Ige has announced the appointment of numerous members of his Cabinet.

“All of these appointees display a leadership style that will move Hawaii forward for the benefit of the public interest,” said Ige. “There is hard work to be done and together we will address the issues facing our state in a direct and forthright manner.”

Scott Enright will continue to serve as chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture (BOA). Enright has held the position since Jan. 1, 2014.

Formerly, the deputy to BOA Chair Russell Kokubun, he was the administrator of the state Department of Agriculture (DOA) Divisions of Plant Industry and Agricultural Development, managed the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant funding program, and directed Human Resources for the Office of the Chair.

He also directed biosecurity programs, led initiatives to revitalize the state’s livestock industry with special focus on developing the dairy industry and grass-fed beef industry, and provided direction for improving infrastructure for irrigation systems statewide.

Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser will join Enright as deputy director. The long time Hawaii agriculture advocate currently serves as president of Mikilua Poultry Farm in Waianae and vice president of the Associated Producers Corp. in Honolulu.

Shimabukuro-Geiser is a member of the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, World Poultry Science Association and Gamma Sigma Delta Agricultural Honor Society.

Jobie Masagatani will be retained as chair of the Hawaiian Homes Commission and director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL). Masagatani previously served as deputy director at DHHL from 1995 to 2002 and as director since 2012.

Additionally, Masagatani was the special assistant to the CEO of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), an assistant to the president and CEO of The Queen’s Health Systems, where she focused on Native Hawaiian health, and a land investment analyst for Kamehameha Schools.

Serving as deputy to Masagatani will be William Aila Jr. The former chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) and head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) planned and directed the various activities of the department encompassing public lands of the State; water resources and minerals thereon; forest, fish and game resources of the State; and management of the forest reserve, state parks, small boat harbors, and historic sites. Aila was integral to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) decision to hold its 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Hawaii.

Catherine Awakuni Colon has been appointed director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). Currently, Awakuni is the cable administrator in the DCCA’s Cable Television Division and served as the department’s executive director for its Division of Consumer Advocacy from 2006 to 2009. She previously served as chief legal counsel and commission counsel for the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Awakuni holds her J.D. from the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law.

Jo Ann Uchida Takeuchi continues her service as deputy director of DCCA. Takeuchi has been with the DCCA for nearly 25 years, serving in various staff and leadership capacities. Prior to her appointment as deputy director in 2012 she was the complaints and enforcement officer with DCCA’s Regulated Industries Complaints Office. Prior to that position, Takeuchi was the executive director of DCCA’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) after having served as a senior attorney to the OCP.

Col. Arthur “Joe” Logan will serve as adjutant general. Logan is currently serving as director of operations/G3, Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG), a position he has held since October 2013. Prior to this assignment Logan held positions as the chief of staff of the Hawaii National Guard (HING) Joint Staff, and chief of staff of the HIARNG. Logan deployed to Afghanistan and served as the commander, Regional Police Advisory Command – Central, in support of the Afghan National Police. Prior to his deployment he served as the Joint Forces Headquarters – Hawaii (JFHQ-HI) Counterdrug Coordinator and the J2 Director of Intelligence. Logan holds a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and a BA in Justice Administration from Hawaii Pacific University.

Col. Kenneth Hara will join Logan as deputy adjutant general. Hara is the chief of the Joint Staff for the HING where he is responsible for day-to-day operations. Prior to that, he served as commander for the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, HIARNG. Hara received his Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and BA in Human services from Hawaii Pacific University.

Nolan Espinda will serve as the director for the Department of Public Safety. Espinda has been serving as the warden at the Halawa Correctional Facility since 2009. He has been employed by the department since 1983, and has served in multiple correctional facility positions. Espinda earned a BA in political science from the California State University.

Jade Butay will assume his previous role as deputy director for administration at the Department of Transportation, a position he held from 2011-2013. Butay is currently serving as deputy director for the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Butay holds an MA in Business Administration from Babson College and a BA Business Administration from the University of Hawaii.

Carty Chang will serve as acting director for the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). Chang has served as the chief engineer for DLNR’s Engineering Division since 2009. Chang received his BS Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Randy Baldemor has been named deputy director of the Department of Human Resource Development. Baldemor was previously serving as the director of Strategic Initiatives for the Office of the Governor. He has 14 years of experience in a wide range of fields including taxation, law and computer software development. Baldemor received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Florida and earned his law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.

Roderick K. Becker will serve as deputy director of the Department of Budget and Finance. Becker’s experience with government finance includes serving as budget chief for the Hawaii State Senate where he coordinated the development of the State budget. He was also recently the Budget Program Administrator for the City and County of Honolulu. Becker graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a BA in economics and political science. He also earned the Certified Public Finance Officer designation from the Government Finance Officers Association.

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