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Sunday, July 9, 2023
Green Stacks HTA Board Before 'Special' Meeting
By News Release @ 4:39 PM :: 1506 Views :: Tourism

Governor changes HTA board ahead of special meeting

Star-Adv July 8, 2023: … The composition of the beleaguered Hawaii Tourism Authority board unceremoniously changed Friday when Gov. Josh Green appointed two new members effective immediately.

Green, who has been critical of HTA’s ability to get the necessary legislative support to fund its missions, appointed Hawaiian Airlines’ Blaine Miyasato and Business, Economic Development and Tourism Director James Kunane Tokioka to fill four-year terms, which will expire June 30, 2026, on the 12-member board.

Friday was also the last day for HTA Chair George Kam and board member Keone Downing, who had been appointed by Gov. David Ige and had been serving as holdover board members since their terms expired June 30.

That means the HTA board will be under new leadership when it holds a special meeting Thursday to address several pertinent topics, including how to proceed after current HTA President and CEO John De Fries leaves the agency upon the ending of his contract Sept. 15….

read … Governor changes HTA board ahead of special meeting

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Office of the Governor Press Release, Jul 7, 2023

HONOLULU, HI – Governor Josh Green, M.D., has named two new members of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) Board of Directors. Hawaiian Airlines’ Blaine Miyasato and the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism’s (DBEDT) James Kunane Tokioka will fill seats beginning July 7, 2023.

Blaine Miyasato is the Managing Director, State Government Affairs, at Hawaiian Airlines with nearly 40 years of experience in the airline industry. Miyasato was Hawaiian Airlines’ first Vice President of In-Flight Services and the first rank-and-file employee on its executive team. He brings a breadth of experience across multiple disciplines including marketing, advertising, promotions, brand management, product development, and business process improvement. Born and raised in Hawai‘i, Miyasato began his career at Hawaiian Airlines as a flight attendant in 1985 and thereafter was appointed to key management positions of increasing responsibility. Miyasato’s term ends June 30, 2026.

James Kunane Tokioka is the Director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Director for the Department of Transportation’s Airports Division. Tokioka began his political career as a member of the Kaua‘i County Council in 1996, where he served for 10 years. He then went on to serve for 16 years as a member of the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives. Prior to his public service, Tokioka worked his way through the hospitality industry, both in Hawai‘i and across the United States, doing everything from bussing tables to managing hotels and owning restaurants.  

Miyasato and Tokioka will succeed HTA Board Chair George Kam and Board Member Keone Downing, whose terms ended June 30, 2022, but remained on the board in a holdover status. Miyasato’s appointment will be subject to confirmation by the Hawai‘i State Senate. As DBEDT Director, Tokioka will serve as an ex officio voting member per Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Section 201B-2.

The HTA’s Board of Directors is a policy-making entity comprised of 12 members who serve as volunteers to guide the agency’s work on behalf of the State of Hawai‘i. 

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