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Governor nominates deputies, state representative


Gov. David Ige has announced the nomination of two deputy directors to his cabinet. All are subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Joseph Kim has been nominated to be the Deputy Director at the Department of Taxation where he will redeploy his extensive experience in training and commanding U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard personnel into effective administration of the tax laws for the state.

Brigadier General Kim has served as the Deputy Adjutant General, Deputy Commander, Hawaii National Guard since 2011, where he ran the day-to-day operations for the State Department of Defense.

Prior to that, he commanded the Air National Guard’s largest Wing, a combat ready 1900 person flying organization consisting of three major flying systems and associated support organizations, supporting over 2,500 personnel.

He has trained military pilots and aircrews in various locations throughout the United States.

Kim earned an MBA at the City University of Seattle and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Mechanics.

“I’m glad that General Kim has agreed to continue to serve the State of Hawaii,” said Ige. “I’m confident that he will be able to translate his outstanding military record into exceptional results at the Department of Taxation.”

“I’m pleased to be a part of this administration and the Dept. of Taxation team,” Kim said. “I have confidence in Gov. Ige’s leadership and in the men and women who ensure that the State’s revenues are collected and accounted for. Together, we can make a difference.”

Keith Yamamoto has been appointed to remain in his current position as the First Deputy Director of the Department of Health, a post he has held since March 2011.

He is primarily responsible for overseeing the general administration of the department which includes budget, fiscal, facilities management, human resources, information technology, planning, vital records as well as the District Health Offices on the neighbor islands. Prior to his appointment as First Deputy Director, Yamamoto was the Chief of the Department of Health-Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division; he worked for the Department of Human Services – Office of Youth Services as the Program Development Administrator; and has also managed various school-based vocational education and career development programs for at-risk youth while employed with the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Yamamoto received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Services from the University of Northern Colorado, and graduated from Pearl City High School.

“Keith Yamamoto has been a valuable leader within the Department of Health,” said Ige. “He is well respected and has shown he has the skills to move the department forward. I’m pleased that he will be continuing to provide his steady hand to this administration.”

“It’s been a privilege to work with the Department of Health staff over the years,” said Yamamoto. “The hundreds of committed, hard-working employees put the public interest first, and I’m honored to be part of team.”


Gov. David Ige has announced his nominees to the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA).

The HCDA is a state agency that was established to promote and coordinate public and private sector community development in its designated community development districts.

This is the first time Board members have been named in accordance with Act 61 (HRS Sec. 206E-3), and they are subject to confirmation by the Senate.

The appointees are:

At-Large Member, Nominated by the Senate President
· John Whalen; Expiration Date: June 30, 2019

At-Large Member, Nominated by the Speaker of the House
· Tom McLaughlin; Expiration Date: June 30, 2018

Heeia Community, Nominated by the Honolulu City Council
· Donna Camvel, Resident; Expiration Date: June 30, 2017

· Amy S. Luersen, Resident; Expiration Date: June 30, 2019

· Brett N. Prejean, Area Small Business or Non-profit Representative; Expiration Date: June 30, 2018

Kalaeloa Community, Nominated by the Honolulu City Council
· Michael J. Golojuch, Sr., Resident; Expiration Date: June 30, 2018

· Shirley S. Swinney, Resident; Expiration Date: June 30, 2018

· Dean Capelouto, Area Small Business or Non-profit Representative; Expiration Date: June 30, 2017

Kakaako Community, Nominated by the Honolulu City Council
· William Oh, Resident; Expiration Date: June 30, 2019

· Jason T. Okuhama, Resident; Expiration Date: June 30, 2017

· Steven J. Scott, Area Small Business or Non-profit Representative; Expiration Date: June 30, 2017

By statute, the terms of these members were determined by lot.

By statute, the director of finance and the director of transportation, or their designees, also serve on the Board as ex officio members, and the county director of planning and permitting and the chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission serve in an ex-officio, nonvoting capacity.

Two positions, both to be appointed by the governor, have yet to be announced: one at-large member and one cultural specialist.


Gov. David Ige has announced his appointment of Lynn DeCoite to serve as Representative of State House District 13.

DeCoite lives in Hoolehua on Molokai where she is an owner of L&R Farm Enterprises and R.J.’s Snacks and co-owner of V-8 Ranch. In 2012, she won the First Annual Kaanapali Fresh Best in Show, and in 2007 she won the Maui County Mayor’s Small Business Award.

In addition to her business enterprises, DeCoite has been an active member of the community serving as chairperson of the Farm Service Agency (Maui County) and president of the Molokai Homestead Farmer’s Alliance.

She is a former board member of the Molokai Planning Commission and former PTSO President – Molokai Middle School, and she was part of the Molokai Workforce Development Agricultural Working Group.

DeCoite will resign her position on the State Board of Agriculture, a post she has held since 2012, to take up her new responsibilities.

“I thank the House District 13 Nominating Committee for forwarding three outstanding individuals for consideration and for working so quickly to get the names to me. It’s important that the residents of this district are represented without delay,” said Ige.

“I’m confident Ms. DeCoite knows the issues facing the district and will listen to her constituents to address their concerns,” Ige said. “She has deep roots in the community and is committed to overcoming the challenges by forming partnerships and working collaboratively.”

“I’m deeply honored to serve the community in this capacity,” DeCoite said. “This is an opportunity for me to help address issues like drought, food gathering and security, emergency response programs, and the promotion of economic development for small and large businesses,” she said.

DeCoite will be considered officially in office after she takes the oath of office and is qualified and seated by the House of Representatives.

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