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Ex-mayor back on top at Lodging & Tourism

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Mufi Hannemann has been appointed president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association, a position he previously held after serving as Honolulu’s mayor.

Hannemann’s appointment will begin July 20, according to an announce­ment emailed Sunday to the association’s board members.

"We had excellent candidates come forward wanting to lead HLTA, but the search committee felt that Mufi was the best choice considering his superb record of leadership, experience and drive in supporting tourism’s best interests," Kelly Hoen, chairwoman of HLTA’s board of directors, said in a statement. "Mufi did a stellar job in leading HLTA previously and we are thrilled to welcome him back to advance initiatives that build on our success for Hawai‘i’s lodging industry and its thousands of employees statewide."

Hannemann, who served two terms as mayor from 2005 to 2010, was tapped to be president of the Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association in January 2011, and added the title of CEO that fall before leaving the post the following summer. He had succeeded Murray Tow­ill, who retired.

The nonprofit organization is a trade association with a statewide membership of 170 hotels, condominiums, timeshares and other lodging properties representing more than 50,000 guest rooms.

The group says its mission is to provide education and advocacy to the hospitality industry.

Hannemann will replace longtime hotel industry executive George Szigeti, who last month was named president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Hannemann, who lost a bid for governor last year, is a former director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

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