The Hawaii Tourism Authority has named its former board chairman Ron Williams as interim president and CEO of the agency.
The board unanimously voted on Thursday to enter into an interim contract with Williams that could run through June 30. Williams will replace Mike McCartney, who left the post on Thursday to serve as chief of staff for Gov.-elect David Ige.
Williams, who has served on the HTA board since 2009, is the long-time president and CEO of Atlantis Adventures, a company that celebrated its 25th year in Hawaii last year.
He will remain in his current role at Atlantis while performing his interim duties for HTA, which markets the state as a tourist destination.
The HTA, which is finalizing the terms of his temporary job, will insert a no-conflict clause into his contract. Williams is volunteering for the job and will be paid the minimum amount required to be considered a state employee.
“It is an honor to have been selected as interim president and CEO during this transitional period,” Williams said. “I am committed to working with the HTA board and staff on maintaining the success of our tourism economy. On behalf of the HTA, I would like to extend a sincere mahalo to Mike McCartney for serving Hawaii’s visitor industry and wish him well in his new position as he continues to serve the state of Hawaii.”
The HTA’s Administrative Standing Committee will form a search committee with up to six board members and three members of the community, said Doug Murdock, HTA vice president of administrative and fiscal affairs.
“We’ll be looking to get back to the board in January, but that’s a very aggressive timeline,” Murdock said.
HTA Board Member Lorrie Stone added, “HTA is incredibly lucky to have Ron step up to this task.”