Hawaii hotel executive Elliot Mills has been named to a five-year term on the board of trustees for Kamehameha Schools, the educational trust supported by a multibillion-dollar endowment.
Mills was one of three finalists — and the only candidate with Hawaiian ancestry — in the running to fill a post that has sat vacant for nearly two years. The other two candidates were former public schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and nonprofit executive Timothy Johns.
The trio had been recommended by a court-appointed screening committee to replace Janeen-Ann Olds, whose reappointment as a trustee was rejected by the court in 2015. The court late last year ordered the screening committee to reconvene and reopened the application process after a previous finalist withdrew from consideration.
The probate court oversees the trust’s affairs to ensure it abides by the will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop — a great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I — who left most of her estate to found Kamehameha Schools, now the largest independent school system in the country and the state’s largest private landowner.
Mills is vice president for hotel operations for Disneyland Resorts and Aulani Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina. He previously served as general manager of the Kauai Marriott Resort and has held various executive resort management positions on Kauai, Maui and Oahu. He also serves on the boards for Hawaii Pacific Health, the Hawaii Community Foundation, HMSA and Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Mills is a Hilo native and graduate of St. Joseph’s High School. His term, which begins Oct. 1, will run through 2023, with the option to petition for reappointment for an additional five years.
He joins sitting trustees Micah Kane, Corbett Kalama, Lance Wilhelm and Robert Nobriga. The compensation for trustees is $165,000 a year, while the chairman receives $207,000 annually.