Mahalo Alex; Aloha Melina, Ashley, and Jessica:
As you all know, I have been fortunate at HLTA to be working with some dedicated and outstanding personnel through the years. Unfortunately, this month we are saying goodbye to a staff member who will be taking her talents to assist one of our affiliated members to promote Hawaii tourism on the mainland.
Alex Roth will be joining the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau’s Travel Industry Partnerships team as Regional Director – U.S. East. She will be promoting the Hawaiian Islands to travel agents in the East Coast and will be moving to New York in March. Alex has been a dynamic member of the HLTA team and while we are sad to see her go, we are very happy for her and wish her all the best in her new journey. Also with the departure of Malia Kahale in December to join the Orchid Lei Company, I have taken the opportunity to re-organize staff responsibilities and bring on board some energetic and hard-working individuals to enhance our abilities to serve you.
Our new Director of Membership and Communications will be Melina Hicks. Melina previously held positions at Oahu Publications Inc as Audience Development Coordinator and Marketing and Promotions Coordinator. She has also worked as Talent Engagement Coordinator at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Weekend Morning Producer at KVBC Channel 3 News in Las Vegas, and Production Assistant at WFLD-TV Fox News in Chicago. At HLTA, Melina will focus primarily on growing and maintaining the association’s membership, as well as managing HLTA’s membership database, and handling communications and public relations. Also as a resident of Kapolei, she will serve as a liaison with the growing number of lodging accommodations that we have in West Oahu.
Ashley Yonamine will fill the newly created position of Executive Assistant. She will help manage HLTA’s website, database, and communication efforts, and assist me and the staff administratively. Ashley has previously worked as a Management Trainee at the JW Marriott in Shanghai China, and Disney College Program Intern at Disney in Orlando. She is also a Realtor-Associate at Keller Williams, and has work experience as a property manager, bookkeeper, and events producer.
With an extensive background in accounting, Jessica Caires will take on the new position of Director of Fiscal Services to manage HLTA’s and HHIF's budget and finances. She has recently held positions as an accountant at Liliuokalani Trust, Remedy Intelligent Staffing, and Hawaii Garage Doors. She holds a Master of Business Administration as well as a Bachelor of Accounting from Chaminade University.
We look forward to having you meet our exciting new team in the near future as they will all assume their responsibilities this month. Thanks for all your support of HLTA!
Good news on the legislative front!
I would like to reiterate our success as we continue to navigate through the first half of the legislative session. Yesterday, we had a very big victory as our priority measure on transient vacation rentals, Senate Bill 2963 SD1, which we strongly support, has passed through the Senate with an overwhelming vote of twenty-five ayes to zero noes. If you have a chance to speak to Ways and Means Chair, Senator Dela Cruz, or Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology Chair, Senator Wakai, please thank them for their support in championing this measure. The bill will now head to the House of Representatives where we will continue to ask for your engagement in supporting this measure. For more information on SB 2963 SD1 please click here.
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