comscore Ige withdraws nomination to extend Hawaii Tourism Authority chairman’s term | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Every act of aloha counts. Click here to DONATE to the MAUI RELIEF Fund.
Business Breaking | Top News

Ige withdraws nomination to extend Hawaii Tourism Authority chairman’s term

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now

    Rick Fried’s nomination to continue as board chairman of the Hawaii Tourism Authority has been withdrawn. He is shown here near Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki on Dec. 28, 2015.

Gov. David Ige today withdrew his nomination to reappoint prominent Honolulu attorney Rick Fried as Hawaii Tourism Authority board chairman.

Fried, who has served on the HTA board of directors since 2012, took over as chairman in July 2015 after the abrupt resignation of then-chairman Aaron Sala. The HTA is the state agency responsible for Hawaii’s tourism marketing.

Fried’s confirmation was uncertain as a slate of HTA board members headed to a Senate floor today. Four members of the Senate Committee on Economic Development Tourism and Technology who were present at a Monday confirmation hearing were split on Fried’s reappointment.

Fried said today that he made a request to Ige to withdraw his nomination. Fried, who plans to stay on HTA until his current term ends later this year, said he didn’t want his reappointment to distract from the work HTA had to do.

“I didn’t want the focus to be in anyway on personalities or politics,” he said.

His exit is another shakeup for HTA, which took a $13 million legislative budget cut Tuesday, and over the last several months has dealt with the resignations of its second- and third-ranked executives.

At least 11 HTA staff members, the majority in key positions, have left the organization since 2015, a high turnover rate considering that the agency has 20 full-time employees and 1o contract workers.

The Senate did support new HTA board nominees Ben Rafter, David Arakawa, Micah Alameda and the return of Kyoko Kimura, who previously served on the board. They also voted for existing HTA board members George Kam and Fred Atkins.

Comments (18)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to view ongoing news coverage of the Maui wildfires. Sign up for our free e-newsletter to get the latest news delivered to your inbox. Download the Honolulu Star-Advertiser mobile app to stay on top of breaking news coverage.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up