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Governor Green Makes Four Judicial Appointments; Appoints DHRD Deputy and Names Individuals to Open Positions on State Boards and Commissions

JOSH GREEN, M.D.


  GOVERNOR

KE KIAʻĀINA

 

GOVERNOR GREEN MAKES FOUR JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS; APPOINTS DHRD DEPUTY AND NAMES INDIVIDUALS TO OPEN POSITIONS ON STATE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

HONOLULU — Governor Josh Green, M.D., has appointed four individuals to First Circuit Court vacancies on O‘ahu, a new deputy director for the Department of Human Resources Development, and appointed several individuals to various open positions in state boards and commissions.

The judicial appointments are as follows:

Judges for the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (island of O‘ahu, in alphabetical order):

  • Rebecca Copeland
  • Brian Costa
  • Dyan Medeiros
  • Steven Nichols

 

Circuit Court of the First Circuit

 

Rebecca Copeland 

Rebecca Copeland currently serves as a District Family Court Judge. She was the lead judge for the Special Division and presiding judge for the Truancy Court and Early Education Intervention Program. Prior to serving as a judge, she ran her own law practice and previously worked at several other law offices. Copeland has also served as an adjunct professor at several law schools, including the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law.

 

Brian Costa 

Brian Costa currently serves as a District Family Court Judge. He has presided over matters such as divorce, annulment, paternity, petitions for orders of protection, juvenile delinquency, and much more. Prior to serving as a judge, he worked as an Attorney Member Manager at Costa & DeLacy. Costa is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law.

 

Dyan Medeiros

Dyan Medeiros currently serves as a District Family Court Judge. She is the lead judge of the Domestic Division where she presides over divorce cases. Previously she was assigned to the Juvenile Division and presided over juvenile criminal cases and child welfare neglect cases. She also was assigned to the Special Division and presided over paternity, temporary restraining order, adoption and guardianship cases, and more. Prior to becoming a judge, she was a partner at Kleintop, Luria & Medeiros LLLP. She is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, William S. Richardson School of Law.

 

Steven Nichols

Steven Nichols is currently a per diem District Family Court Judge. He also is in private practice with the Law Office of Steven R. Nichols where he focuses on criminal defense cases. Prior to that, he worked as a Deputy Public Defender for the Office of the Public Defender. He is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, William S. Richardson School of Law. 

 

The vacancies being filled by these appointees resulted from the retirements of Circuit Judges Jeffery P. Crabtree in January 2024, Robert M. Browning in December 2023, and Edward H. Kubo, Jr. in December, 2019. A fourth vacancy will occur in June 2024 with the retirement of Judge Gary W.B. Chang.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the state Senate, after which confirmed judges will be sworn in and seated. 

Department of Human Resources and Development

 

Brian Furuto has been appointed by Governor Green as Deputy Director of the Department of Human Resources Development (DHRD). He joins DHRD from the Department of Hawaiian Homelands where he served as administrative services officer overseeing the proper execution of all daily administrative services, including human resources and addressing staffing shortages, the budget, IT, facilities, and emergency management units. Furuto previously served as vice chancellor of administrative services at the University of Hawaiʻi Kapiʻolani Community College and Honolulu Community College, among other leadership positions in the public and private sectors. His appointment is effective June 10.

The appointees for other positions are as follows:

Agribusiness Development Corporation Board

  • Nathan Trump (Big Island, effective immediately)
  • Dean Okimoto (At-Large, effective July 1)

 

East-West Center

  • Edward Schultz (effective July 1)
  • Rai Saint Chu (effective July 1)

 

Hawai‘i Stadium Authority Board

  • Eric Fujimoto (reappointment, effective immediately)
  • Walter Thoemmes III (effective July 1)

 

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Board

  • Roy Pfund (effective July 1)
  • Chris West (effective July 1)

 

Hawaiian Homes Commission

  • Archie Kalepa (for Maui, to replace Randy Awo, effective immediately)
  • Lawrence Lasua (to replace Zachary Helm, effective July 1)

 

Brief biographies for those appointed appear on the following pages.

 

Agribusiness Development Corporation Board

 

Nathan Trump (Big Island, effective immediately)

Nathan Trump is the General Manager for Island Harvest Inc. Since 2015 he has managed the farming operations of the company’s 500-acre macadamia nut farm, leading a team that carries out the orchard nutrition strategy using organic fertilizer and nutrition amendments. He also helped launch the Island Harvest retail brand’s new products in 2020. Locally he serves as the president for the Hawai‘i Macadamia Nut Association, leading the planning for the annual industry conference and also the monthly meetings, coordinates workshops and assists in applying for grants to benefit the association members. He also serves on several boards and councils within the Hilo community. 

 

Dean Okimoto (At-Large, effective July 1)

Dean Okimoto is the current co-owner of Nalo Farms, LLC, he serves as the current Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation chair and is a member of the Hawai‘i Seafood Council. He has a long history of involvement in the agriculture industry, where his original company Nalo Farms was known for supplying greens, micro greens, sprouts and herbs to many restaurants, farmers markets and supermarkets. Much of his focus has been on expanding local products, education on agriculture challenges and working to grow sustainability for Hawai‘i. He serves on several boards and has been recognized with various honors and awards for his leadership.

 

East West Center

 

Edward Schultz (effective July 1)

Edward Schultz is the President and CEO at Hawaiian Host group. Prior to working at Hawaiian Host Group, Shultz was the President and owner Honolulu Coffee. Before working at Honolulu Coffee, he was President of LatteLand in Kansas City, MO. Schultz currently serves on the Board of Directors of Tradewind Capital Group. He is also an active member of the Hawai‘i community and has served as Chair of the Hawai‘i Chapter of Young Presidents Organization, Hawai‘i State Junior Golf Association and the Hawai‘i Chamber of Commerce. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Engineering.

 

Rai Saint Chu (effective July 1)

Rai Saint Chu earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland Law School. She has worked as a Deputy Public Defender, Legal Aid attorney, lobbyist for the Mental Health Association of Hawai‘i, attorney for the state House of Representatives, a practitioner in various small firms, and is currently a partner with Turbin Chu, Attorneys. Chu is also the founder of Hawai‘i Women Lawyers and the President of the Hawai‘i Women’s Legal Foundation. She is also a board member of the Consumer Lawyers of Hawai‘i.

 

Hawai‘i Stadium Authority Board

 

Eric Fujimoto (reappointment, effective immediately)

Eric Fujimoto has worked for Ho‘ea Wealth Advisory Group, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services for the past 30 years. It has consistently ranked number one in several categories of excellence including accolades from Forbes for Best in State Wealth Advisors, Barron’s and Financial Times. Fujimoto also received the U.S. Small business Person of the Year – City and County of Honolulu award. In addition to his professional achievements, he is also involved in the community, including serving on the Rotary Club of Pearlridge, Nā Koa and ‘Ahahui Koa Ānuenue (UH Athletics) boards. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and Chaminade University.  

 

Walter Thoemmes III (effective July 1)

Walter Thoemmes is currently the Managing Director for planning, industry and development at Kamehameha Schools. Prior to his current role he was managing director of the schools’  Commercial Real Estate Division. Thoemmes is a seasoned executive leader with expertise in strategic leadership, real estate portfolio management, land planning and development, organization and culture development and governance. He has been an active leader in Hawai‘i’s real estate industry promoting best practices, sustainability, smart growth and community impact, while achieving superior risk-adjusted financial returns. He has strong relationships across many sectors in Hawai‘i.

 

Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Board

 

Roy Pfund (effective July 1)

Roy Pfund is the president and CEO of Roberts Hawaii, Inc. and serves on its board of directors. Pfund has worked in increasingly challenging financial and operational management capacities within the tour and transportation industry for more than 40 years. He has management experience covering accounting, finance, tour, transportation, entertainment operations, acquisitions and product development. Pfund is a member of the Hawai‘i Business Rountable, a board member of the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, a member of the Shildler College Travel Industry Management Advisory Board and the George Ariyoshi Foundation Board. 

 

Chris West (effective July 1)

Chris West has been a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for 17 years and has served as an elected official of the Hawai‘i Longshore for 14 years. He also served eight years on the Executive Board of unit 4201 and six years as Hawai‘i Stevedores Vice Chairman. West was one of seven on the 2014 statewide Longshore negotiating committee and the 2018 contract extension committee.

 

Hawaiian Homes Commission

 

Archie Kalepa (for Maui, to replace Randy Awo, effective immediately)

Archie Kalepa Is a retired lifeguard who served the County of Maui for nearly 30 years. A renowned ocean safety expert and dedicated advocate for Hawaiian culture with more than 30 years of experience in rescue operations, cultural preservation and team leadership. He has proven his ability to develop and implement life-saving techniques, inspire future generations and promote self-sufficiency. Kalepa supports DHHL’s mission and plans to leverage his skills and experiences in support of the development of healthy, thriving communities for Native Hawaiians. He is a Duke Kahanamoku Waterman Hall of Fame award winner, Quicksilver Eddie Aikau Waterman of the Year award winner and recently received the Navy Seals Fire in the Gut Award.

 

Lawrence Lasua (to replace Zachary Helm, effective July 1)

Lawrence Lasua is the former president and CEO of Moloka‘i Community Federal Credit Union. He worked his way up from a member service clerk to the head of the organization and has been retired since 2021. Prior to his work with Moloka‘i Community Federal Credit Union, he served at the Department of Health in the Communicable Disease Division, Kalaupapa Branch. His prior work is comprised of planning, organizing, and coordinating business office services and supervision of clerical and technical assistants, fiscal record keeping, budget preparation, inventory control and personnel services for various private and public service organizations.

 

All of the above boards and commissions appointments are effective July 1, unless otherwise noted in parenthesis following the appointee’s name. The appointees are subject to Senate confirmation and will serve in the interim until the next regular legislative session.

 

# # #

 

Media Contacts:   

Erika Engle
Press Secretary
Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i
Phone: 808-586-0120
Email: [email protected] 

 

Makana McClellan
Director of Communications
Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi
Cell: 808-265-0083
Email: [email protected]    

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