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Veteran KITV newscaster drives on over to the DOT

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 2:01 a.m. HST, Jan 26, 2011

Dan Meisenzahl is sure to get a lot of "Oh, so you're the new Tammy Mori" cracks as he starts his new job Monday as information specialist for the state Department of Transportation. That is the same day Mori rejoins KHON-TV as its "Wake Up 2day" traffic reporter — she had joined the DOT in 2008.

On the Net:

"I didn't go looking for it; someone contacted me," Meisenzahl told "TheBuzz." His last day as an anchor and reporter for "KITV4 News This Morning" is Saturday, leaving him one day off between gigs.

"They need me right away," he said, adding, "I'm really fortunate that my wife did this same job for the Board of Water Supply," referring to Su Shin, whom he met while both worked at KHNL-TV.

He initially didn't see himself taking the job, but it soon "seemed like something I wanted to try, to expand my horizons" and see where said horizons would lead.

The ubiquitous appearance of the DOT spokesperson on TV, radio and in print media might make the job look glamorous, but it was the wear and tear from the 24/7, on-call nature that caused Mori's predecessor, Scott Ishikawa, to leave after about five years. Following a stint in public relations, Ishikawa became public information specialist for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project.

Meisenzahl has already been working a pretty brutal schedule, "getting up at 1 in the morning and going to work at all crazy hours," for coverage of one natural disaster or another.

In addition to reacting to problems, the DOT wants to focus more on internal communications, Meisenzahl said.

"I wish we could have worked out a way for him to stay," said Andrew Jackson, KITV president and general manager. He "cares about what he does (and) does it out of a passion and love for the craft."

Aside from a brief attempt at advertising sales around 2005, Meisenzahl's broadcast career has primarily been on camera, beginning in 1995 at KHNL-TV. He joined KITV in 1997 as a sports reporter, was promoted to anchor the next year and in August of 2002 made the jump to news reporting, eventually anchoring, executive producing and helping launch the weekend morning news show.


Award-winning chef-restaurateurs Ed Kenney and Sean Priester have joined the chef lineup at Gourmet Events Hawaii, a catering and event-planning company.

On the Net:

» www.gourmet
The company also hired Diana Caro-Salvador as lead wedding planner as part of its expansion.

From "familiar local-style fare, new fusion innovations, traditional five-star cuisine or any of the above, we now have the ability to offer catering to fit any budget and style of event, including weddings, from big picture to the minutest detail," said Kathleen Lin-Hurtubise, founder and president.

The 8-year-old company's chefs now include Kenney, chef-owner of Town and Downtown restaurants, and Priester, formerly executive chef of Top of Waikiki but more recently chef-owner of Soul Patrol lunch wagon and Soul Cafe in Kaimuki. They have joined longtime chef Elmer Guzman, owner of Poke Stop in Waipahu and Mililani, under the Gourmet Events umbrella.

The company is "not averse to working with other chefs," said Lin-Hurtubise. "We have no exclusivity policy." Should a client "really want Chef Mavro," the company will work to coordinate that.

"First and foremost we are an event-planning company," for which catering can be a crucial element.

The company has also provided wedding planning services in recent years, and with increased demand, Caro-Salvador will be the lead planner. "All she does is the wedding planning, hand-holding and attention to detail," Lin-Hurtubise said.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Advertiser. Reach her by e-mail at

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