Ige Announces 9 New Administration Appointments
By Maui Now Staff
Governor David Ige today announced nine new appointments to his administration in the departments of Health, Public Safety, Transportation, and Communications. None of the appointments are subject to confirmation by the state Senate.
The list of Health Department appointments includes: Lynn Fallin, Director of Behavior Health; Danette Wong Tomiyasu, Deputy Director for Health Resources; Terry Byers, Director at the Executive Office on Aging; and Helena Manzano, Executive Director of the Office of Language Access.
There were two appointments announced within the Department of Public Safety including: Cathy Ross, Deputy Director for Administration; and Shawn Tsuha, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement.
At the state Department of Transportation, the Governor announced the appointment of Darrell T. Young as Deputy at the DOT-Harbors Division.
Two television news veterans, Jodi Leong and Yasmin Dar were tapped for positions on Governor Ige’s communications team. Leong will serve as Ige’s deputy director of communications and press secretary, and Dar was named Digital Media Specialist for the governor.
Below is background information that the governor’s office provided on each appointee:
Department of Health:
- Lynn Fallin, Director of Behavior Health: Fallin has over 25 years of extensive experience in executive level policy and administration in health, education, and human services. She served under four Governors in cabinet positions in both Hawaiʻi and Oregon. From 2011 to the present, she served as the Deputy Director of the Behavioral Health Administration at the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health. From 2003-2010 she served as the Executive Director of the Hoʻokakoʻo Corporation, an education-focused nonprofit. She served as a Policy Advisor in the Office of the Governor from 1999 to 2002; Executive Director of the Oregon Commission on Children and Families from 1995-1998; Deputy Director of the Department of Human Services from 1991-1994; and Director of the Governor’s Office on Children and Youth from 1986-1991.
- Danette Wong Tomiyasu, Deputy Director for Health Resources: She most recently served as Chief of the Family Health Services Division at the Department of Health overseeing statewide public health surveillance, systems, programs, and policy development for Maternal and Child Health, Children’s with Special Health Care Needs, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Primary Care and Rural Health and Oral Health. Wong Tomiyasu previously served as Chief of the Chronic Disease Management and Control Branch from Oct. 2001 to Aug. 2011. She also served with the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health for 10 years overseeing critical school health and nursing services for the Seattle Public Schools. Wong Tomiyasu received a Masters of Business Administration in Health Care Management from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Puget Sound in Washington.
- Terry Byers, Director, Executive Office on Aging: Byers brings more than two decades of dedicated experience in public health, most recently in the Department of Health as Chief of the Maternal and Child Health Branch. She has also been the Chief of the Office of Health Care Assurance, and has served in various capacities in the State Office of Rural Health, Office of Planning, Policy and Program Development, Office of the Director, and Healthy Hawaiʻi Initiative. Prior to joining DOH, Byers was vice president of the Healthcare Association of Hawaiʻi, a non-profit organization representing Hawaiʻi’s healthcare providers including acute care hospitals, long term care facilities, home care agencies and hospices, as well as community based providers. Byers, an alumna of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, began her career in public service as a staff member for Senator Spark Matsunaga in Washington, DC. She then served as Senator Daniel Akaka’s health policy advisor for 12 years before returning home in 2002 for the most demanding and rewarding job of her life: caregiver for her late mom.
- Helena Manzano, Executive Director of the Office of Language Access: Manzano is currently with the Department of Human Services as the Limited English Proficiency Project Manager. The Project was established in 2013 to support and coordinate the department’s efforts to promote meaningful access to programs and services for LEP persons. Previously, at the Department of the Attorney General’s Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division, she was a Planning Specialist administering the State’s federal grants from the Office on Violence Against Women and Office for Victims of Crimes, US Department of Justice. Helena’s non-profit sector experience include: manager of a cultural/linguistic-specific program for underserved victims of intimate partner violence; and case manager for children and adults suffering from serious mental health issues. Helena is a first generation immigrant, bilingual in English and Tagalog. She is a product of Hawaiʻi’s public schools and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work.
Department of Public Safety:
- Cathy Ross, Deputy Director for Administration: Ross has over 14 years of government experience, working for the Department of Health before joining Public Safety in 2012. Before being named Deputy Director for Administration, Cathy was the department’s Performance-Based Management Coordinator where she focused on implementing a department-wide accountability system. The staff-centered process helped transform and improve workflow and business outcomes within the department. Cathy is a proud University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa graduate where she earned her three degrees – a BA in Psychology, MPH in Public Health, and a MBA from the Shidler College of Business Executive MBA program.
- Shawn Tsuha, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement: Tsuha has worked within the Public Safety Department’s Sheriff Division since 1991 and steadily worked his way up the chain of command assuming higher rank and responsibility. He was selected to be the Hawaiʻi State Sheriff Division Administrator, and then subsequently promoted to the Deputy Director for Law Enforcement position in 2013. He returns to assume responsibility for planning, implementing and directing various administrative program areas from budgeting and equipment purchases to policy development for the PSD’s Sheriff and Narcotics Enforcement Divisions. Shawn is also a major in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard since 1988, having served with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and Congressman Mark Takai during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008. He is currently the HIARNG Joint Forces Headquarters Commander responsible for support staff oversight and the coordination of all administrative and collective training tasks for senior level staff elements. Shawn earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix, has an associate degree in Justice Administration from the University of Hawaiʻi, and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Class 234.
Department of Transportation
- Darrell T. Young, Deputy, DOT-Harbors Division: Young is a 1981 graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, Kapālama, Oʻahu and a 1985 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana with a degree in Management/Management Information Systems. He is a result-driven and team-oriented Government, Community and Public Relations professional with more than 28 years of experience in Hawaiʻi. Darrell previously served as the Deputy to the Chair at the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for the past 2 years, where he helped with the revisions to the Department’s Revocable Permit Program and helped strengthen relationships with beneficiary associations. Prior to joining DHHL, Darrell also served as Chief of Staff to Honolulu City Councilmember Nestor Garcia for ten years, where he helped prepare and manage the Council’s island-wide transportation strategy to include the Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project, roadways, bus service, and taxi fares, as well as help prepare and manage fiscal strategy for the City Budget during Nestor’s tenure as Chair of those respective committees. Outside of work, Darrell is the President of the Waikele Community Association, a 2,900 unit planned community, where he has been a member of the board of the directors since 1994.
- Jodi Leong, Deputy Director of Communications and Press Secretary: Leong has served as Director of Communications at the University of Hawaiʻi System since 2012. Prior to that, she spent 21 years in local television news starting at KITV in 1991 as a producer, reporter and weekend co-anchor. In 2000 Leong moved to KHNL Hawaiʻi News 8 where she was weeknight co-anchor. She returned to KITV in 2006 as a reporter and later helped launch the inaugural weekend morning newscast. Jodi graduated from Castle High School before attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst College and the University of Hawaiʻi where she earned a B.A. degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in political science.
- Yasmin Dar, Digital Media Specialist: Dar spent the last six years in television news as an anchor, reporter and producer. She recently moved back from Eugene, Oregon where she anchored the evening news. Prior to that, she was the KITV4 Morning Show Traffic anchor and Social Media Reporter. In her new capacity, Dar will be designing, developing and deploying a two-way environment online, connecting the Governor with the people of Hawaiʻi. Dar is a graduate of ʻAiea High school and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She graduated with a BA in Biology and an MA in Communications. Yasmin is married and is a recent mother to a baby boy.