Maui Business

Maui County Employee Recognition Awards, Retirees Honored

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The County of Maui announced its 2016 Employee Recognition Awards following ceremonies that were held on Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.

Laureen Perreira, Administrative Services Assistant with the Department of Public Works was named the overall Maui Employee of the Year; the Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety’s Fire Ground Operations Program was named the Overall Maui Team of the Year; and Luz Domingo, the Grant management Program Manager with the Department of Housing and Human Concerns was named the Overall  Maui Manager of the Year.

Mayor Alan Arakawa praised the employees and a list of retirees, offering his appreciation for a job well-done saying, “These employees being recognized exemplify everything good about our County workers.  They’re dedicated to public service, work well together, have a great attitude and go beyond the call to get things done. I’d like to wish all of our dedicated public servants a big mahalo for everything they do to make Maui County one of the best communities in the world.”

The awardees, nominees and recent retirees are as follows:

County of Maui Employee of the Year Laureen Perreira.

County of Maui Employee of the Year Laureen Perreira.

Maui Employee of the Year (Overall)
Laureen Perreira, Administrative Services Assistant I, Department of Public Works

Laureen has been the principal administrative support for the Makawao Public Works Highways department for almost six years and deserves to be the employee of the year. Besides managing the district office, Laureen is in charge of scheduling burials at the Makawao Veterans Cemetery and handling the paperwork to verify the qualifications of the deceased. In this role, she goes above and beyond every single day. She answers all concerns, complaints, & questions with the utmost respect. Besides being the administrative support and handling cemetery questions, Laureen also responds to public complaints regarding roads that need maintenance or overgrown areas that need to be cut back in the upcountry area. This is no easy task and can be distressing. Regardless, she strives to route all complaints to the proper supervisor and makes every effort to respond back to members of the community with answers to their concerns. She consistently listens to everyone, offering extended guidance in where and how to address their concern within the vast County structure. She is patient, polite, well-spoken and compassionate. These are attributes she brings into all areas of her work: co-workers, vendors, other departments, the public and visitors alike agree that her work is exemplary. There are no boundaries in terms of what she will do to represent the county in a positive light. Whether juggling communications with coworkers, resolving employee concerns or handling demanding members of the public, Laureen does it all with a smile on her face and in her voice. She is a superior teacher, mentor and friend who will share her twelve years of County knowledge with those around her. She is a very deserving candidate who works tirelessly in the background so everything runs smoothly at “show time.”


Maui Employees of the Year (Departmental):
Department of Finance: John Paul-Lewis Ko, Clerk II
Department of Fire & Public Safety: Kenyon K. Smith, Fire Fighter III
Department of Housing & Human Concerns: Elinor A. Takahashi, Aging & Disabilities Services Specialist IV
Department of Parks & Recreation: Wade Choda-Kowalski, Park Caretaker II
Department of Planning: Conklin “Kai” Wright, Zoning Inspector II
Department of Police: Jennifer J. Almeida, Personnel Assistant I
Department of Public Works: Laureen Perreira, Administrative Services Assistant I
Department of Water Supply: Lori K. DelBello, Staff Services Assistant

County of Maui Molokaʻi Employee of the Year Guillermo Dela Cruz.

County of Maui Molokaʻi Employee of the Year Guillermo Dela Cruz.

Molokaʻi Employee of the Year
Guillermo Dela Cruz, Building Maintenance Repairer II, Department of Parks & Recreation

We are very pleased with Guillermo’s performance. He is quick and has a positive attitude. He has a personality and is fun to be around. He will answer your calls when you need his service, and he helps fellow workers understand some computer programs that we recently acquired for our department. He is a very talented individual. The community is in good hands because he exemplifies the County Parks and Recreation mission, which is to provide safe, satisfying and cost-effective recreational opportunities for residents and visitors to Maui County. He attends workshops to help improve his skills and achieve his goals.

Molokaʻi Employee of the Year Nominees:
· Hokulani K.M. Alcon, Office Operations Assistant II, Department of Police
· Clint K. Reyes, Equipment Operator IV, Department of Public Works

County of Maui Lānaʻi Employee of the Year Tessie Morimoto.

County of Maui Lānaʻi Employee of the Year Tessie Morimoto.

Lānaʻi Employee of the Year (Department of Police)
Tessie Morimoto, Office Operations Assistant II


Tessie’s ability to multi task and maintain a calm demeanor is clearly a natural gift, not to mention her eagerness to take on more work than required, including firearms and covered offender registration, meet and greet walk-ins, time sheets, dispatching officers, assisting vendors, taking phone calls asking for police assistance, often going above and beyond what is needed to get the job done. Tessie is almost the first person you see when you walk into the Lanai Station and because of her familiarity with our community and her professionalism, she is able to communicate with anyone and is quite often able to resolve various conflicts and concerns from the public reducing and at times eliminating the need for a uniformed officer to address the matter. This allows for the on duty officers to focus on matters related to proactive crime preventions operations and traffic safety by allowing them to remain on the road and on patrol. She is always willing to assist in programs such as ADP training and EEO traning without hesitating, she is a very dependable employee who also volunteers at events such as Big Truck Day, MEO Kids Day, LHES Career Day just to name a few to promote health and safety awareness to our children on behalf of our Department. It is who she is as a person, the values that she possesses, her character and the care and love that she has for her family, co-workers and the community she lives and works in that not only sets an example for us all but inspires us to do better in everything that we do.

Lānaʻi Employee of the Year Nominee: Jim A, Knutson, Fire Fighter III, Department of Fire & Public Safety

County of Maui Team of the Year, Fire Ground Operations.

County of Maui Team of the Year, Fire Ground Operations. Pictured: (L to R) Maui Fire Chief Jeff Murray, Amos Lonokailua-Hewett, and Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa.

Maui Team of the Year (Overall)
Fire Ground Operations Program, Department of Fire & Public Safety
Team members: Amos Lonokailua-Hewett, Eric Neuhart, Lionel Montalvo, Scott Martin, Jeff Watanabe, Chad Sambrano, Michael Howe, Kodi Shepley, Nikolai Reuss, Joshua Dukes, Oliver Vaas, Kamuela Guth.

The professionalism and positivity of Fire Grounds Operations or FGO personnel and its training goes without saying. FGO personnel meets quarterly and does clean up and repair of the Joint Training Center on a voluntary basis. This is simply done because of the love for the profession and the commitment of personnel to the team. Each member of the FGO cadre is working to be a master of his craft. With that being said, mastery comes from an individual commitment to the technical details, tactical considerations, and strategic understanding. This mastery is developed every day on and off duty.

Over the past year, there have been NO reported injuries or personnel equipment damage from training. FGO exceeds the National Fire Protection Association’s live fire training recommendations in safety by:


1. Instructor to student ratio
2. Thermal imaging used to manage personnel in Immediate Danger to Life & Health
3. Written and oral safety plans
4. Written instructor assignments
5. Water supply requirements
6. Established communication plan for instructors and personnel

FGO also does repair and maintenance of the Joint Training Center on a voluntary basis. Lastly, structural firefighting is a core function of the fire service. Structural firefighting is also a huge undertaking as far as training programs go. There is no other program in the department that can match the progress and or production of improved service to the community. Those measurements can be found in the records management system, specifically property saved and or loss damages reported. From department personnel perspective, there is a new found pride and ownership in structural firefighting that has improved department morale.

Maui Teams of the Year (Departmental):
Department of Finance: DMVL Division
Department of Fire & Public Safety: Fire Ground Operations Program
Department of Housing & Human Concerns: Grants Management Division
Department of Parks & Recreation: PALS Program Staff
Department of Personnel Services: NEOGOV Project Team
Department of Planning: Flood Hazard Team
Department of Police: Criminal Investigation Division Detectives Team
Department of Public Works: Development Services Administration/Electrical Section
Department of Water Supply: Engineering Division Clerks

County of Maui Manager of the Year, Luz Domingo.

County of Maui Manager of the Year, Luz Domingo.

Maui Manager of the Year (Overall)
Luz Domingo, Grants Management Program Manager, Department of Housing & Human Concerns

Luz has focused on improving the monitoring process for GMD. She effectively established objectives, developed processes and tools, trained GMD team members and peers from other divisions and greatly increased grant monitoring in accordance with the County Code. Luz has effectively trained new staff members and created a productive work environment. Two of three key grants managers retired and were replaced at about the same time. She trained and developed the new staff in a manner that maintained a professional, responsive and effective division. She has done this by the implementation of regular staff meetings; having an open door and making herself available to hear and discuss inter-division issues; and talking with team members daily. Luz exhibits genuine trust in her team members. She recognizes and utilizes each team members’ strengths, knowledge and skills in delegating tasks and projects. She has also taken the time to identify what their interests are and allow them to put time and energy into initiatives that they find enjoyable while contributing to improving the overall performance of the Grants Management Division. Taking these things into consideration embodies to her team members what it takes to be willing, responsive and productive. Luz is also adept at recognizing when certain things should not be delegated and require her time and attention.

Maui Managers of the Year (Departmental):
Department of Finance: Dulce K. Butay, Administrative Officer
Department of Fire & Public Safety: Roger G. Agdeppa, Fire Captain
Department of Housing & Human Concerns: Luz C. Domingo, Grants Management Program Manager
Department of Parks & Recreation: Todd M. Allen, Golf Course Superintendent
Department of Planning: Jacalyn M.C. Takakura, Administrative Officer
Department of Police: Ryan K. Rodrigues, Police Lieutenant
Department of Public Works: Ty M. Takeno, Civil Engineer VI

Maui Retirees (in order of years of service)
Kay Ogasawara-41 years; Rene Yamaoka-39 years; Judith Hokoana-37 years; Alma Takahashi-37 years; Brian Hashiro-36 years; Linda Tokuoka-36 years; Yvonne Miyasato-35 years; Cary Constantino-34 years; Earle-Ray Kukahiko-33 years; Roback Kawaiaea-32 years; Alvin Corden-31 years; Leticia Hedani-31 years; Sharon Norrod-31 years; Franklyn Silva-31 years; Moses Mattos, Jr.-30 years; Leland Parker-30 years; Aline Takahashi-30 years; Arthur Dadez-29 years; James Fletcher-29 years; Keith Moniz-29 years; Ty Shimabuku-29 years; Francine DeRego Yagi-29 years; Lance Hiromoto-28 years; Clarence Kenui-28 years; George Buzianis-27 years; David Nakamoto-27 years; Augustin Nobriga, Jr.-27 years; Kelan Puaa-27 years; Kevin Souza-27 years; Ryan Ayakawa-26 years; Garret Benito-26 years; Evelyn Kinoshita-26 years; Howard Mahuna-26 years; Rockne Matsuda-26 years; William Oliveira-26 years; Edwin Arreola-25 years; Scott English -25 years; Sheldon Holokai, Jr.-25 years; Theresa-Amm Nishida -25 years; Louis Romero-25 years; Michael Taketa-25 years; Anselm Yazaki, Jr.-25 years; Marguerite Ah-Kee-24 years; Marilyn Oura-24 years; Ernest Takitani, Jr.-24 years; Edna Zane-24 years; Thomas Hoshino-23 years; Robert Rychlinski-23 years; Jeffrey Silva-23 years; William Melton-22 years; Clifford Pacheco-22 years; Carlos Rafael-22 years; Myrna Sabas-Ryder-22 years; Daniel Wallas-22 years; Abilene Fernandez-21 years; Katherine Mayo-20 years; Yvonne Dempsey-18 years; Michael Kaya-18 years; Paul Storm-18 years; Joann Allencastre-16 years; Marilyn Wallace-15 years; Ethel Yogi-15 years; Edward Bediamol-14 years; Pedro Gapero-14 years; Norman Hoopii-14 years; JoAnne Johnson Winer-14 years; Gregory Jensen-13 years; James Kendrick, Jr.-13 years; Artemio Baxa-12 years; Lester Yamamoto-11 years; Segundo Asuncion-10 years; Mark Daniels-10 years; John Kaina, Jr.-10 years; Harold Krau-10 years; Anthony Martins, Sr.-10 years; Layne Otomo-10 years; Jason Ambrose-9 years; Michael Boteilho-9 years; Karen Nemoto-8 years; Bridget Apuna-Miyamoto-7 years; Meleka Meleka-7 years; Barbara Fitzpatrick-6 years; Kay Tesoro-6 years; Brenda Lee-5 years; Gloria Manzano-4 years; Linden Joesting-2 years.

Molokaʻi Retirees: Shane K. Bush, 23 years; Department of Fire & Public Safety; Nazario G. Ragonton, Jr. 22 years; Department of Parks & Recreation; Rene M. Dilla, 10 years; Department of Public Works.

Lānaʻi Retirees: Maggie Masicampo-22 years; Yvonne Alboro-11 years.


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