Mayor Blangiardi announces leadership updates at two City departments
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, June 20, 2023
HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced today that Keith Suzuka will serve as Deputy Director of the Department of Land Management and Ben Sullivan will serve as Deputy Director of the Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency.
“We are very excited Keith and Ben have agreed to take on these key leadership roles. Keith’s depth of knowledge and experience with the complexity involved in land acquisitions is exactly what we needed,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “The combination of Keith Suzuka and Director Catherine Taschner provides us with unprecedented capability in this critical area for the city.”
Suzuka will join the Department of Land Management on Monday, July 3, 2023. He fills the vacancy left when Catherine Taschner, the former Deputy Director was elevated to Acting Director in April 2023.
“Keith is a skilled attorney and real estate broker, and will be an excellent addition to the DLM team,” added Catherine Taschner. “Keith’s experience and leadership will drive execution on critical land transactions, and will help to lay a solid foundation for DLM, the newest department in the City.”
Prior to joining the Department of Land Management, Suzuka was a partner with McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP. He has more than 30 years of business law, residential and commercial real estate experience both in the U.S. and Japan. Suzuka completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.
Ben Sullivan has worked in the city’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency for the past 2 years as an Energy Program Manager. From 2011 to 2021 he served as an Energy & Sustainability Coordinator in the Kaua‘i County Office of Economic Development.
“Ben Sullivan is a knowledgeable, passionate, visionary leader perfectly suited to help us meet the uncompromising demands we face in adapting to climate change, added Blangiardi. “We are very excited to have Ben take on this important leadership role.”
Matt Gonser, Chief Resilience Officer added, “Ben is a strong collaborator with content command who can directly engage stakeholders and City departments to continue progress on Mayor’s priorities of City efficiency and modernization, and community affordability and equity through climate action.”
Sullivan studied Environmental Design at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He fills the vacancy left by Nicola Hedge who moved home to her native New Zealand earlier this month and stepped into his new role on Monday, June 19, 2023.