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Friday, December 31, 2021
Honolulu Hale Multiple Resignations, Retirements
By News Release @ 3:47 PM :: 2571 Views :: Honolulu County

Department of Human Resources Director Noel Ono to retire Dec. 31, 2021

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, Dec 30, 2021

HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi is announcing long-time City employee and director of the Department of Human Resources (DHR) Noel Ono will be retiring on Dec. 31, 2021, capping an 18-year career with the City and County of Honolulu.

“Noel Ono is smart, humble, and has capably served the people of the City throughout his distinguished career. We thank him for everything he has done to help our City employees for all these many years and to also make our island home a better place,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “He and his many positive contributions will be missed and we all wish him the very best in retirement. He has certainly earned the opportunity to enjoy a great retirement.”

Noel Ono began his career with the City and County of Honolulu on Sept. 22, 2003 as the DHR assistant director and was later appointed DHR director in 2009.

“I thank Mayor Blangiardi and Managing Director Formby for their support and the opportunity to work on behalf of the City,” said Noel Ono. “It has been an honor and privilege to work for the City for 18 years. I will miss working with the dedicated hardworking men and women of the Department of Human Resources and the City departments and agencies. I have thoroughly enjoyed my tenure as director and assistant director.”

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, DHR Assistant Director Florencio Baguio, Jr. will serve as Acting Director and Lissa Lau (DHR Labor Relations and Training Division Chief) will be Acting Assistant Director until Mayor Rick Blangiardi selects a permanent appointment for the department.

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ENV Director Wes Yokoyama returns to Chief, Division of Wastewater Engineering

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, Dec 27, 2021

HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi has accepted the decision of Wes Yokoyama, Director of the Department of Environmental Services (ENV), to return to his previous position as lead engineer and Chief, Division of Wastewater Engineering, effective Jan. 1, 2022. Yokoyama has served in his current role as Director since Jan. 2021.

“Wes will continue to serve the City and fill a key leadership role directly overseeing infrastructure and facility improvements in the City’s Department of Environmental Services, including capital improvement projects (CIP) as part of the City’s consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protections Agency,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “We thank Wes for his leadership and many contributions as director and we look forward to our continuing work together.”

“I thank Mayor Blangiardi and my fellow Cabinet directors for their support and the opportunity to work on critical city wastewater infrastructure during the past year,” said Yokoyama. “I thoroughly enjoyed my tenure as director and am grateful for the encouragement and support the Mayor has given me to follow my passion as an engineer by returning as chief of the Division of Wastewater Engineering.  I look forward to working with my former team at ENV and carrying on our critical work for O’ahu communities.”

An announcement on the appointment of an ENV director beginning in 2022 is expected soon. Deputy Director Michael O’Keefe will serve as acting director in the interim.

ENV’s mission is to work in partnership with the residents throughout the City and County of Honolulu to ensure our island has a clean, safe environment. ENV is responsible for collecting and treating more than 107 million gallons of wastewater every day. In addition, its crews gather tons of trash, recyclables and green waste from the curbside six days a week.

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Mayor Blangiardi announces new leadership at the Department of Environmental Services and Department of Facility Maintenance

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, Dec 30, 2021

HONOLULU – Mayor Blangiardi announced today that effective January 1, 2022, Roger Babcock, Jr. Ph.D. P.E. is appointed Director of the Department of Environmental Services (ENV) and Dawn Szewczyk, P.E. is appointed Director of the Department of Facility Maintenance (DFM). These critical leadership changes follow the decision by Director Wes Yokoyama to return to his full-time position as engineer and Chief of the Division of Wastewater Management in ENV.

“I respect and admire Wes Yokoyama greatly, and his decision to follow his passion and return to his former position as chief engineer,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “What Wes’ decision did was open up an opportunity for two strong leaders already at the City to make best use of their engineering experience and transition into new leadership roles. First, Roger Babcock, Director of DFM, an experienced environmental engineer and former Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Hawai‘i, is perfect to take the reins at ENV.  Roger’s specialization in environmental engineering long preceded his role at DFM and I am excited to see him take the lead at ENV. Roger will find a strong partner in Michael O’Keefe, who will continue as First Deputy at ENV.”

“Second, Dawn Szewczyk, Deputy Director of DFM, a professional engineer with significant experience in facilities planning, design, utilities, transportation, and environmental services, has proven herself to be a strong leader during her time at DFM,” continued Mayor Blangiardi. “I could not have found two people more qualified for these challenging leadership roles than Roger and Dawn. From day one, Roger and Dawn have been incredible members of our leadership team and I have complete confidence they will excel in their new roles.”

Both appointments are subject to City Council confirmation and, after confirmation, Dawn will have an opportunity to select her deputy at DFM.

“The move to ENV is an ideal fit and I am grateful to Mayor Blangiardi for making the transition possible. I look forward to working with the skilled team at ENV and continuing to build upon the foundation Wes has laid down before me,” said Roger Babcock, Ph.D. “ENV has a huge responsibility as it impacts everyone on the island every single day, whether treating wastewater from our homes to picking up rubbish and waste.”

“I thank Mayor Blangiardi for this opportunity to serve in his Cabinet for the benefit of our community,” said Dawn Szewczyk. “Engineering is my passion and I am honored and humbled to be the second woman to serve as Chief Engineer and DFM director, as a positive example for girls everywhere to pursue engineering. I understand the impact of this role and I look forward to hitting the ground running and improving our services and infrastructure island-wide.”

Dr. Babcock was a Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering and the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa for 25 years. Dr. Babcock was selected as Hawai‘i’s Engineer of the Year in 2019 and has been active in engineering professional organizations, including serving as president of both the American Society of Civil Engineers, Hawaii Section, and the Hawaii Water Environment Association. Dr. Babcock is the current Chair of the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies, serves on the Board of Certification of Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators, and is director of Hawai‘i’s Statewide Wastewater Operator Training Center. Dr. Babcock obtained his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from UCLA in 1991.

Dawn Szewczyk joined the City in May 2021 after leaving her post as the Deputy Public Works Officer (DPWO) of the U.S. Department of the Navy – Naval Facilities Engineering Command Far East, Public Works Department Singapore. As the DPWO, Szewczyk served as the primary advisor to the Public Works Officer for all matters relating to public works, and was the recipient of two Navy Meritorious Civilian Service awards in 2018 and 2021. Szewczyk was selected as Hawai‘i’s Young Engineer of the Year in 2011 and has also been active in local engineering professional organizations, including serving as president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Hawaii Section, and past-chair for the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies. Szewczyk currently serves as an officer for the Hawaii Chapter of the American Public Works Association. She was selected as a 2010 fellow for Pacific Century Fellows program, and selected as one of Pacific Business News’ Forty Under 40 honorees in 2011. Szewczyk was born and raised in Wahiawā, is a Punahou graduate and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Science, Engineering from Loyola Marymount University in 1998.

ENV’s mission is to work in partnership with the residents throughout the City and County of Honolulu to ensure our island has a clean, safe environment. ENV is responsible for collecting and treating more than 107 million gallons of wastewater every day. In addition, its crews gather tons of trash, recyclables and green waste from the curbside six days a week.

The Department of Facility Maintenance administers maintenance programs for City assets including, but not limited to, roads, traffic signs and markings, streetlights, bridges, streams, flood control systems, storm drainage systems, City buildings and office facilities, and City vehicles and heavy equipment.

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Honolulu Fire Department Chief Lionel Camara to retire December 30

Concluding 36 years of service

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, Dec 28, 2021

HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi today announced that Honolulu Fire Department chief Lionel E. Camara Jr. will be retiring on Thursday, December 30, 2021. He served as the acting chief of the Honolulu Fire Department, concluding a 36 year-long career.

“I want to sincerely offer my deep appreciation and respect to Acting Chief Lionel Camara, Jr. on a truly stellar and distinguished career,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “On behalf of the people of the City and County of Honolulu, I want to offer my most heartfelt mahalo for your 36 years of dedication, hard work and leadership in the Honolulu Fire Department.  Your exemplary body of work sets an enviable standard for all others to follow.  You will be truly missed!  Well done…very well done!  Bravo!!”

Lionel E. Camara Jr. began his career on April 16, 1986. He comes from a legacy of Firefighters, following in the footsteps of his father, who served in the Honolulu Department from 1960 to 1992.

“As the son of retired Fire Chief Lionel Camara Sr., I have spent my entire life in the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) and made a career of almost 36 years in the HFD.  I grew up here,” said Lionel E. Camara Jr. “It is my honor and a cherished gift to have served alongside the men and women of the HFD and the people of the City and County of Honolulu.  I am truly humbled and blessed to have had the opportunity to give back to the communities that have given so much to my ‘ohana and me.  I thank my ‘ohana for their support which allowed me to wholeheartedly take this journey.  This has turned out to be wonderful career.  I highly recommend this career path to those looking for a way to serve.

Sheldon K. Hao has been selected by the Honolulu Fire Commission as the 35th chief of the Honolulu Fire Department, as announced on December 16, 2021. His duties as chief will begin on December 31, 2021.

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Aedward Los Banos named Deputy Director of the City’s Department of Community Services

Los Banos begins his role with the City and County of Honolulu on Jan. 3.

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, Dec 28, 2021

HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced today his selection of Aedward O. Los Banos as the Deputy Director of the City’s Department of Community Services (DCS). Los Banos will step into his role with the City and County of Honolulu on Monday, January 3, 2022.

Los Banos will be leaving his post as Associate Vice President for Administration for the University of Hawai‘i (UH). He was primarily assigned as the Interim Director of Campus Services for Mānoa.

Prior to joining UH in February 2020, Los Banos was the Executive Director for the Hawai‘i Community Development Authority (HCDA) where he was responsible for the oversight and implementation of HCDA board policy and legislative mandates. Los Banos’ experience in determining community development plans and bringing those plans to fruition goes beyond his work at the HCDA, he also served as Vice President of Administration for Catholic Charities of Hawai‘i and Executive Director of the Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation. 

“Aedward Los Banos brings extensive knowledge and experience in both community development and housing development to the City and County of Honolulu,” said Mayor Blangiardi. “His proven leadership is exactly what we need to get more of our struggling residents into truly affordable homes. Aedward’s understanding and ability to see housing projects through from beginning to end will only help to carry us forward in our affordable housing goals. I am so proud to have Aedward on our team.”

“It is an honor to be selected for this post,” said Aedward Los Banos. “I am very excited to be working alongside Mayor Blangiardi, Director Krucky, the DCS ‘ohana and the network of service providers to strengthen our community.”

“We are looking forward to Aedward joining our leadership team,” added DCS Director Anton Krucky. “His experiences, from housing development to his work with service providers, will greatly contribute to our department’s mission. His work with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and commercial accounting will also be put to good use. Aedward is a dedicated family man and I look forward to working side by side with him.”

Los Banos brings to the City immense knowledge in asset resource management. Serving as the Chief Operating Officer of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs from April 2012-September 2013, Los Banos managed a $350M investment portfolio, 27,000 acres of conservation and agricultural land, a $14M grant program, and a $17M federal loan program.

Aedward Los Banos is a proud graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting and Finance as well as a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree.

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Kymberly Sparlin named deputy director of the City’s Office of Economic Revitalization

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, Dec 30, 2021

“The Office of Economic Revitalization is pleased to welcome new deputy director Kym Sparlin to Mayor Blangiardi’s team. She is a dynamic leader whose diverse experiences in business, government, and community will support Oahu’s ongoing recovery,” said Amy Asselbaye, OER executive director. “Kym will play a major role in OER’s growth and our strategy to generate good jobs, enhance business capacity, and create partnerships in the areas of healthcare, technology, skilled trades, clean energy, and agriculture and food systems.”

“I am honored to join Mayor Blangiardi and the OER team to serve the people of Honolulu as we revitalize our economy,” said Kymberly Sparlin. “I recognize OER’s critical role in helping our community and I look forward to making a positive difference to our residents and businesses through COVID and beyond.”

Sparlin comes to the City after leaving her post as Special Project Manager of the Federal Recovery Plan (FRP) Performance Unit at the State of Hawai‘i’s Office of Budget and Finance where she ensured that federal legislation and federal funding decisions which impacted state programs and services were monitored and assessed. Prior to joining the State Office of Budget and Finance, Sparlin served as Director of Intergovernmental Relations and Policy for Governor David Ige. It was under Sparlin’s leadership that strong relations were developed and maintained with various federal, state, and county agencies to advance countless state initiatives. 

Sparlin is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. She is the co-founder and director of Mana Juniors Volleyball Club and held various coaching positions for several club volleyball and high school soccer and volleyball teams.

 

 

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