Maui Business

State Legislature Confirms Maui Resident to HTA Board

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hta logoBy Maui Now Staff

During the 2015 Legislative Session, the Hawaiʻi State Senate confirmed Maui resident Craig Nakamura as a Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority board member.

Nakamura, a partner with Carlsmith LLP on Maui, has served has served on the state’s tourism agency board since 2011 and as vice chair of the HTA board since 2014.

Interim members Sean Dee and Fred Atkins were also confirmed.

As executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Outrigger Enterprises Group, Dee is responsible for developing global marketing and brand strategies.


Atkins, the Kauaʻi representative, is the managing partner of Kauaʻi Kilohana Partners, which he helped to rebuild after Hurricane Iniki as a venue for entertainment and events.


HTA has also added two new members to its board of directors–Gerald De Mello and Rodney “George” Kam–who began serving their term immediately following their confirmation by the Hawaiʻi State Senate on May 5, 2015.

“Gerald and George have deep ties to the community and extensive experience that will help to guide the HTA during this transitional time,” said Ronald Williams, HTA chief executive officer. “We look forward to having them share their knowledge as we work to maintain the success of Hawaii’s lead economic driver.”

De Mello has more than 20 years of experience working at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, where he is currently the community liaison. He is also a member of the Hawaiʻi Island Chamber of Commerce, Hawaiʻi Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaiʻi.


Kam, who has worked for Quiksilver for more than 20 years, is currently a vice president and senior director for the US market. He also serves on the board of directors for the Waikīkī Business Improvement District and was honored in 2014 as the retail employee of the year by the Retail Merchants of Hawaiʻi.

Gov. David Ige appointed De Mello as the Hawaiʻi Island representative on the HTA board of directors and Kam as an at-large representative.

The 12-member HTA board of directors also includes: Aaron Sala, chair; Lorrie Stone, vice chair; Jack Corteway; Donna Domingo; L. Richard Fried Jr.; David Rae and Denise Hayashi Yamaguchi.

The board members’ terms expire on June 30, 2018.

The HTA board of directors is responsible for executing the mandates of Chapter 201B of the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, regarding the tourism special fund. With representation from each of the counties, the board oversees and approves the HTA’s statewide tourism policy and direction, budget, marketing, research, collaboration with other state agencies, community outreach and other tourism-related initiatives.

Established in 1998, the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, the state’s tourism agency, is responsible for strategically managing tourism to optimize benefits for Hawaii that integrate the interest of visitors, the community and visitor industry.

Tourism is the state’s leading economic driver and largest employer and the HTA continually works to ensure its sustainability well into the future. For more information on the HTA, go online.

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