Maui Business

Visitor Industry Exec Accepts Chief of Staff Position for Gov-Elect Ige

November 7, 2014, 11:31 AM HST
* Updated November 7, 11:33 AM
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Mike McCartney, president and chief executive officer, Hawaii Tourism Authority. File photo.

Mike McCartney, president and chief executive officer, Hawaii Tourism Authority. File photo.

By Wendy Osher

The president and chief executive officer of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, Mike McCartney, announced that he is leaving his post to accept a new position as chief of staff for Governor-elect David Ige.

McCartney served in the lead role at the HTA since 2009, and plans to leave his post effective Nov. 21, 2014.  Prior to his departure, McCartney said an interim president and CEO will be appointed by the HTA board of directors on Nov. 20, 2014.

“In my new position, I will continue serving the state of Hawaii and will do all that I can to continue to support you and Hawaiʻi’s visitor industry,” McCartney said in a statement released today.

In an open letter, McCartney said, “Together we have persevered through tough times and by remaining authentic and committed to preserving and promoting Hawaiʻi’s unique people, place and culture, we have succeeded in recovering and boosting the state’s tourism economy. Two years of record-breaking visitor arrivals and spending, which is on track for a third year of growth, is the result of your hard work, and I am proud and honored to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from all of you.”


In announcing the administrative appointment, Governor-elect Ige said, “Mike is a proven leader with experience as president and CEO of the HTA, a state senator and appointed State department director, making him an outstanding choice to serve as the chief of staff in my administration.”


“As my former colleague in the State Senate, I know Mike is a committed public servant who is dedicated to making Hawaiʻi a better place for future generations. I am pleased that he has agreed to join my team,” said Ige.

According to Ige’s announcement, McCartney was born and raised in Kahaluʻu, Oʻahu and served for 10 years in the Hawaiʻi State Senate.  During the Cayetano administration, he was reportedly a cabinet member, serving as director of the state Department of Human Resource Development.

Ige said other leadership roles included past service as executive director of the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association, president and CEO of PBS Hawaiʻi, and chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi.


“This is an exciting time for our state, and I am honored to be asked by Governor-elect Ige to serve on his cabinet,” said McCartney in a press release statement. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help create a meaningful future for Hawaiʻi and our keiki under Governor-elect Ige’s leadership. I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Hawaiʻi in my new role.”

Governor-elect Ige assumes office on December 1, 2014.  Ige joined Leiutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui today in announcing that they are also in search for 42 department heads, deputies, and other top officials for the state.

Applications are available after 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7, and can be submitted ONLINE at this LINK.

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