Maui’s Helen Nielsen Named to UH Board of Regents

October 6, 2014, 2:11 PM HST · Updated October 6, 2:24 PM
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Helen Nielsen (left) pictured with Governor Neil Abercrombie (right) during a discussion on the reWailuku initiative in 2013. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Helen Nielsen (left) pictured with Governor Neil Abercrombie (right) during a discussion on the reWailuku initiative in 2013. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced the nomination of Helen Nielsen to an interim appointment on the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents.

Nielsen lives in Kaupō and is a 30 year resident of Maui.  She currently serves as a field representative for US Senator Brian Schatz, and is the co-owner and manager of commercial properties on Maui and Hawaiʻi Island.

She is also a founding member of Maui Coastal Land Trust, which is now merged into statewide land conservation organization Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. Previously, Nielsen served as the President of the Maui Japanese Chamber of Commerce. In 2011, she was honored with the Kahului Rotary’s Mike Lyons’ Palaka Award for exemplary volunteer service.

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Nielsen was among three individuals considered for the interim Maui seat.  Others that were considered included Sherrilee Dodson and Anders Lyons.

The seat is one of two representing Maui on the 15-member board, and is good for an interim term through June 2015, to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of former regent Saedene Ota.

In June, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that Ota had submitted a resignation letter citing a newly passed financial disclosure bill.

The other Maui seat is currently held by Eugene Bal III, whose term expires in 2018.

The Candidate Advisory Council continues to accept applications from Maui residents for the new 5-year term that will be created when Nielsen’s interim Maui seat expires on June 30, 3015.  The deadline to apply is October 31, 2014.

In addition to the Maui appointment, Governor Abercrombie announced the nomination of retired Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Associate Justice Simeon Acoba, Jr. to a board seat representing the City and County of Honolulu; Dr. Dileep Bal to a seat representing Kauaʻi County; and former Hawaiʻi County Council member Peter Hoffmann to a seat representing Hawaiʻi County.

All of today’s appointments were to fill vacancies left by the recent resignations of four members from the board.  All appointments became effective immediately, but are subject to state Senate confirmation.

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