The Hawaii Health Connector’s board of directors voted Friday to approve Jeffrey Kissel as the new executive director of the state’s troubled health insurance exchange.
Kissel, 64, is the former president and chief executive officer of HawaiiGas and will take over at the Connector on Oct. 13, earning an annual salary of $150,000.
He replaces Tom Matsuda, who has been serving on an interim basis since late last year when then-director Coral Andrews resigned after the organization suffered delays in getting the exchange running.
"The board believes that Jeff is the ideal person to lead the Connector forward for the long-term," said board chairman Clifford Alakai in a news release. "His prior experience leading prominent and successful companies, as well as his drive and enthusiasm, will serve the Connector well to secure affordable health coverage for the residents of Hawaii."
Kissel took an early retirement from HawaiiGas in May 2013 after leading the company for more than five years.
Kissel was instrumental in a number of HawaiiGas initiatives, including the company’s work on developing renewable sources for the synthetic natural gas it produces, and its push to bring liquefied natural gas to Hawaii to try to bring down energy costs.
He serves on the board of directors of Pacific Rim Bank. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and MBA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.