Maui News

Tsuhako sworn in as new Maui Director of Human Concerns; new County deputies named

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Lori Tsuhako is sworn in as County of Maui Director of Human Concerns. PC: County of Maui.

Lori Tsuhako was sworn in on Monday as County of Maui Director of Human Concerns, a new department that launched July 1, 2024, Mayor Richard Bissen announced.

Tsuhako, who has been serving as the director of the County’s Department of Housing and Human Concerns under three different administrations, was confirmed by Maui County Council on June 21. The County Human Concerns department was created when Maui County residents voted to pass a ballot measure in November 2022 that called for bifurcating the Department of Housing and Human Concerns. 

Also on Monday, Jessica Crouse was named the Deputy Director of Human Concerns, and Paul Barany was sworn in as the Deputy Director of Public Works. Deputy directors are not subject to council approval. 


“Public service is an important and sacrificial calling – especially in the wake of a disaster,” Mayor Bissen said. “The County of Maui offers deep mahalo to Director Tsuhako, along with deputies Crouse and Barany, for their willingness to serve Maui County’s communities as we continue to recover and rebuild. Their expertise, work ethic and aloha for our islands will help move our departments and our county forward.” 

Tsuhako has 38 year of experience as a professional social worker in the fields of child welfare, criminal justice, substance abuse education and prevention, and homelessness. She was previously an administrator of the State of Hawaiʻi’s Homeless Programs Office. Tsuhako also is a licensed social worker in the State of Hawaiʻi and received certification from the national Academy of Certified Social Workers. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Jessica Crouse was named the Deputy Director of Human Concerns, PC: County of Maui.

Crouse worked in the County Department of Housing and Human Concerns Housing Division for five years. More recently, she founded and led Crouse Consulting LLC, a management and business leadership consulting firm. Born and raised on Maui, Crouse obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in public administration, both from Arizona State University.

Paul Barany was sworn in as the Deputy Director of Public Works/ PC: County of Maui.

Barany replaces Wendy Taomoto as Public Works Deputy Director. Taomoto has transitioned to the County Department of Management as an Engineering Program Manager, overseeing special projects in housing, infrastructure and other areas. 

Barany, who was serving as the Public Works Highways Division Construction and Maintenance Superintendent since November 2000, started with the County in 2015. Prior to moving to Maui, he worked in engineering and operations positions on the East Coast. Barany has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Seton Hall University in New Jersey. 


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