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Friday, March 29, 2013
Hirono Announces State Office Staff Appointments
By News Release @ 7:29 AM :: 5202 Views :: Congressional Delegation


Hirono Also Unveils State Staff To Serve As Senator’s Eyes & Ears In The Islands

News Release from Office of Senator Hirono Friday, March 29, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono today announced her state staff, including former Senator Inouye aide Alan Yamamoto as her State Director.

“While my staff works directly for me -- they are working first and foremost for the people of Hawaii. This strong team will help me bring Hawaii’s voice to Washington as my eyes and ears in the islands. Alan is an experienced leader in our state who knows how to get results for Hawaii. Throughout his career in the public and private sectors, Alan has developed partnerships with leaders in Hawaii and Washington and those experiences will help me deliver for the state,” said Senator Hirono.

Yamamoto brings 14 years of Congressional experience in both the Senate and the House, most recently as a Senior Legislative Assistant for Senator Daniel Inouye. Yamamoto worked closely with federal, state and county officials in Senator Inouye’s office, helping Hawaii agencies identify and compete for federal support during challenging economic times. He also brings years of experience as an executive in Hawaii’s private sector. As State Director, Yamamoto will lead Hirono’s Hawaii operation.

A resident of Kailua, Yamamoto graduated from Punahou School and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Claremont McKenna College.

Senator Hirono also announced her full state staff.

Gerald Ako, Kauai Field Representative– A graduate of Aiea High School, Ako moved to Kauai in 1992. Ako has served the the Hawaii Government Employees Association (HGEA) since 1983 in a number of capacities.

Marvin Buenconsejo, Press Secretary/Field Representative– A graduate of Punahou School and the University of Washington, Buenconsejo worked as an anchor and reporter for KHON TV2 and Hawaii News Now television prior to handing communications for Senator Hirono’s U.S. House office.

Ann Ebesuno, Hawaii Island Field Representative– A graduate of Hilo High School, Ebesuno brings years of experience in local philanthropy and public service, notably as a board member of Hawaii Island United Way, a member of the Mayor’s Healthcare Task Force, and a steering committee member of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

Chanel Honda, Hawaii Scheduler– A graduate of Punahou School and the University of Southern California, Honda served as a staff assistant in Senator Hirono’s U.S. House office.

Lauren Ige, Staff Assistant– A graduate of Iolani School and the University of Southern California, Ige served as a staff assistant in Senator Hirono’s U.S. House office.

Walt Kaneakua, Assistant for Military Affairs– A graduate of Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Kaneakua has strong relationships with Hawaii’s military and veterans. He was a key Honolulu-based liaison to the armed services in Hawaii as an aide to Senator Inouye.

Lauren Montez-Hernandez, Military Liaison/Field Representative– A graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and spouse of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) veteran, Montez-Hernandez served as Military and Veterans Affairs Liaison in Hirono’s U.S. House office and joins Senator Hirono’s military and defense legislative team.

Yuki Lei Sugimura, Maui Field Representative– Born and raised on Maui and a graduate of Baldwin High School, Sugimura brings a wealth of experience in both public service and in the private sector. She is a small business owner who has staged many of Maui’s largest and most colorful events.

Ross Wilson, Hawaii Island Field Representative– A graduate of Hilo High school, Wilson now resides in Kona. He spent close to a decade in visitor industry management positions before becoming vice president of First Federal Savings & Loan. Wilson is now the president of the Kona-based Current Events, a public relations and community affairs firm.

Kehau Yap, Constituent Services Manager/Field Representative– A graduate of Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Yap worked at both Kamehameha Schools and the Ke Ali`i Pauahi Foundation prior to managing casework for Senator Hirono’s U.S. House office.

Senator Hirono also announced longtime senior aide Susan Kodani will retire from federal service. Susan served Hawaii’s Second Congressional District as District Director when Senator Hirono was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Kodani has since served as State Administrator in Hirono’s Senate office.


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