Maui Business

Cassi Yamashita is MEO’s Employee of the Month

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Cassi Yamashita, who was recently named a Pacific Business News 40 Under 40, was selected Maui Economic Opportunity Employee of the Month for August. PC: Maui Economic Opportunity.

Community Services Director Cassi Yamashita was named Maui Economic Opportunity’s Employee of the Month for August for demonstrating the nonprofit agency’s core values of teamwork, integrity, personal excellence, empathy, creativity and flexibility.

The announcement was made at MEO’s monthly general staff meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 29. 

“Kindness is a natural trait of this person,” wrote nominator Carmelei Leano. “She treats all clients with respect and dignity whether in-person, through phone or emails. She also feeds the hungry if needed . . . A very flexible person, she stops what she is doing and always helps with walk-in clients whenever there’s no coverage in front.”


Carmelei lauded Cassi’s leadership, including instilling the spirit of teamwork and coming up with creative ways to train, organize and manage her team.

“She also has a great personality and aims to achieve excellence every day,” Carmelei said. “This employee deserves recognition for her hard work and quality level of performance.”

Cassi joined MEO in 2011 as a youth program specialist and rose through the ranks, becoming director of Youth Services in 2015, Assistant Director of Community Services in 2017 and Director of Community Services in 2019.


It’s been a year of honors for Cassi. In the summer, she was selected as one of Pacific Business News 40 Under 40: Class of 2021. Her name appeared alongside some of the state’s top young leaders under age 40.

For being named Employee of the Month for August, Cassi gets an extra vacation day and a $150 check. Carmelei earned $50 for the nomination.

Cassi Yamashita was presented with her certificate and $150 check for being selected Maui Economic Opportunity Employee of the Month for August. Shown are (from left) COO Gay Sibonga, CEO Debbie Cabebe, Cassi and Chief Human Resources Officer Cliff Caesar. PC: Maui Economic Opportunity.

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