David Uchiyama named chief operating officer for HART
Former airline and tourism executive David H. Uchiyama has been named the first chief operating officer of the Honolulu rail authority.
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Former airline and tourism executive David H.
Uchiyama has been named the first chief operating
officer of the Honolulu rail authority.
Uchiyama, 61, began work with the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
on Monday in a new job that also carries the title of first deputy executive director. HART is building the 20-mile, $9.2 billion rail line from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, a job that is scheduled to be completed by
the end of 2025.
The project is about to
enter its most difficult construction phase, which involves building the next four miles of elevated rail line and eight rail stations
in the densely populated
urban core between Middle Street and Ala Moana.
HART has seen heavy turnover in key positions in recent years, and the first deputy executive director’s job has been vacant since Nicole Chapman resigned last spring.
Uchiyama most recently worked as vice president
for sales and marketing at Roberts Hawaii, the state’s largest tour and transportation company, and was CEO of Island Air from 2016 until it closed in 2017.
He was also vice president for brand management for the Hawaii Tourism Authority from 2007 to 2015, and was regional director
of communications for
Starwood Hotels &Resorts from 1996 to 2007.
“We’re particularly pleased to welcome David to our HART Ohana,” said HART CEO Andrew Robbins. “His vast knowledge of business operations, his executive expertise as well as his public sector experience will benefit HART as well as our many stakeholders involved with the Honolulu rail transit project.”
Robbins also announced the selection of Ruth Lohr
to be the new chief financial officer at HART. Lohr has been serving as interim CFO since Robert Yu resigned in January to take a position as deputy director at the state Department of Budget and Finance.
“Ruth is a very dedicated and competent employee who has added value with respect to budget and
finance issues affecting the rail transit project,” Robbins said.