Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Members Announced

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Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle and the Honolulu City Council today introduced the mayor’s appointees and the Council’s nominees to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), which will oversee the rail transit project connecting East Kapolei with Ala Moana Center.

Oahu voters decided via a charter amendment to create HART, which will take effect on July 1, 2011. HART will be comprised of three members appointed by the council and three others by the mayor. The city and state transportation directors will also serve on the authority, which will then choose its ninth member. The director of the Department of Planning and Permitting is an ex-officio non-voting tenth member of HART.


Mayor Carlisle appointed retired union representative William Hong, current Corporation Counsel Carrie Okinaga, and First Hawaiian Bank Chairman Don Horner.

“These three highly-qualified individuals, with years of valuable experience in their respective fields, will keep politics out of the rail project,” said Carlisle. “I am grateful they agreed to serve the public by being part of HART, to ensure the project stays on course to be completed on time and on budget.”

William “Buzzy” Hong retired last year after serving the Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council as its executive director since 1990. The Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council is a chapter of the National Building Trades Council headquartered in Washington, D.C. His education includes an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Hawaii and an associate’s degree in police science from Chaminade University.

Carrie Okinaga was appointed Corporation Counsel in 2005 and is the chief in-house legal counsel for the City and its approximately 10,000 employees. Her education includes an undergraduate degree in government/public policy from Pomona College and a juris doctorate from Stanford Law School. She took a primary role in the negotiation of the global consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, the State Department of Health, the State Attorney General’s office, Sierra Club, Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, and Our Children’s Earth Foundation regarding the City’s wastewater system. She will resign as Corporation Counsel on June 30, 2011.

Don Horner is chairman and chief executive officer of First Hawaiian Bank, the 60th largest U.S. deposit bank with over $15.0 billion in assets. His education includes an undergraduate degree in business from the University of North Carolina, an MBA from the University of Southern California, and he is also an honors graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington.  He served in the United States Navy from 1972 to 1976. His current activities include board chair of the First Hawaiian Bank Foundation, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, and Hawaii’s Board of Education; board member and treasurer of Iolani School and board member emeritus of Mid-Pacific Institute, as well as board member of The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation, Hawaii Asia Pacific Association, Foundation for the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, Filipino Community Center, and Honolulu Festival Foundation. He also serves on the advisory committees for the National Financial Services Roundtable and the National Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund.

Council Vice-Chair and Transportation Committee Chair Breene Harimoto introduced the following nominees, subject to a Council vote: attorney Ivan Lui-Kwan, strategic planner Keslie Hui, and Damien Kim of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Ivan Lui-Kwan is an attorney and director with Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher. He is thoroughly familiar with City operations and finances, as he served as the director of the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services from 2003 to 2005. His wealth of business management and finance experience includes: executive vice president and COO of The Queen’s Health Systems; chairman and CEO of the Queen’s Development Corporation; and director of St. Francis Residential Care Community and St. Francis Development Corporation. Lui-Kwan serves the Hawaiian community as director and principal of Palau Grouper Farms, Inc., chairman of the Commission on Energy and Self-Sustainability for Sovereign Councils of Hawaiian Homelands Assembly, and managing member, Hokukahu, LLC, for-profit subsidiary of Hokupili Foundation, a Native Hawaiian not-for-profit, which serves the residents of the Hawaiian Home Lands Communities in Hawaii. Lui-Kwan served as a volunteer on the boards of numerous organizations.

Keslie Hui is experienced in strategic planning and construction. He is currently the development manager of Forest City Enterprises, where he is responsible for planning and development of a large master-planned community.

Damien Kim has 30 years of experience in electrical design and operation. He is the business manager and financial secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1186, where he manages over a half-billion dollars in trust fund moneys for the IBEW. Kim serves on the boards of several organizations, including Aloha United Way and Hawaii Dental Association.

Submitted by the mayor’s office.