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HTA gets new board members


The Hawaii Senate has confirmed two new Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) board members. 

Gerald De Mello and Rodney “George” Kam began serving their terms immediately following their confirmations on May 5. Governor David Ige appointed De Mello as the Hawaii Island representative on the HTA board of directors and Kam as an at-large representative.

“Gerald and George have deep ties to the community and extensive experience that will help to guide the HTA during this transitional time,” said Ronald Williams, HTA chief executive officer. “We look forward to having them share their knowledge as we work to maintain the success of Hawaii’s lead economic driver.” 

De Mello has more than 20 years of experience working at the University of Hawaii at Hilo where he is currently the community liaison. De Mello is also a member of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii.

George Kam has worked for Quiksilver for more than 20 years and is currently a vice president and senior director for the U.S. market. Kam also serves on the board of directors for the Waikiki Business Improvement District and was honored in 2014 as the retail employee of the year by the Retail Merchants of Hawaii.

During the 2015 Legislative Session, the Senate also confirmed HTA Board Vice Chairman Craig Nakamura, who is a partner with Carlsmith LLP on the island of Maui. Also confirmed were interim members Sean Dee, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Outrigger Enterprises Group, and Fred Atkins, managing partner of Kauai Kilohana Partners. All of their terms also will expire on June 30, 2018.

 The 12-member HTA board of directors also includes: Aaron Sala, chair; Lorrie Stone, vice chair; Jack Corteway; Donna Domingo; L. Richard Fried Jr.; David Rae and Denise Hayashi Yamaguchi. 

With representation from each of the counties, the board oversees and approves the HTA’s statewide tourism policy and direction, budget, marketing, research, collaboration with other state agencies, community outreach and other tourism-related initiatives.

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