Gov. David Ige today announced the appointment of Anne E. Perreira-Eustaquio as director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. She has been serving as acting director since last month.
Perreira-Eustaquio, who will earn $154,812 annually at the helm of DLIR, replaced Scott Murakami who resigned from his post in August after being on paid leave for two months. Murakami is now serving as economic development coordinator for the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
Murakami was running the department when the coronavirus pandemic led to the shutdown of Hawaii’s tourism economy and more than a quarter of the state’s workforce being unemployed. An antiquated computer system hamstrung the department and forced some unemployment claimants into a frustrating filing process, with many waiting months for financial relief.
Before the pandemic, Hawaii enjoyed one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation — below 3%. In April, Hawaii’s unemployment rate hit a record 23.8%, the third highest among states.
“I am extremely honored to continue to serve in this capacity in Governor Ige’s Administration,” said Perreira-Eustaquio in a statement. “There are many challenges that the department is facing, and I will continue to work diligently to find solutions to care for our community in this time of need and uncertainty.”
Perreira-Eustaquio, who was born and raised in Hilo, graduated from Waiakea High School. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration from Chaminade University.
Ige also announced the appointment of JoAnn A. Vidinhar as the agency’s deputy director, a position previously held by Perreira-Eustaquio since Oct. 1. Vidinhar has served as administrator for Disability Compensation Division since 2015.
Vidinhar previously worked at the Department of Community Development for the City of Bremerton in Washington, serving various roles as an assistant director, city building official, development manager and planner.
Vidinhar will earn between $134,676 and $142,416 annually in the new position.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be considered for this position,” Vindinhar said in a statement. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve under Governor Ige and his administration. As a public servant for over 25 years, I pledge to continue to address the needs of Hawai‘i’s workforce and their families as Deputy Director for the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.”
Both begin their new positions today. Their appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.