The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Board of Directors selected airline industry veteran Blaine Miyasato as its new chair and educator and social entrepreneur Mahina Paishon Duarte as its new vice chair during today’s regular monthly board meeting.
Chair Miyasato is the managing director, State Government Affairs at Hawaiian Airlines with nearly 40 years of experience in the airline industry. Starting as a flight attendant in 1985, he was Hawaiian Airlines’ first rank-and-file employee to join its executive team as Vice President of In-Flight Services.
Miyasato brings a breadth of experience across multiple disciplines including marketing, advertising, promotions, brand management, product development, and business process improvement. Miyasato joined the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority board earlier this month.
Vice Chair Paishon Duarte co-founded Waiwai Collective in 2016, a social enterprise that blends culture, community and commerce to achieve well-being and abundance outcomes for Hawai‘i and beyond. Previously, she served as Kanu o ka ‘Āina’s head of school for the secondary level and Hālau Kū Māna.
Co-author of the ‘Āina Aloha Economic Futures declaration, Duarte has worked with various cultural and community organizations throughout Hawai‘i. She has earned a number of degrees from local universities to cultivate her unique skill set to serve Hawaiʻi through ancestral knowledge and lifeways. Paishon Duarte joined the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority board in July 2022.
“Our board has the important responsibility of guiding and supporting the hard-working HTA leadership and staff, ensuring the Hawai‘i brand remains competitive in the global marketplace and that destination stewardship efforts continue to effectively address the impacts of tourism in our communitites,” said Miyasato. “I’m honored and humbled by this opportunity to put my experience to work, and I am grateful for the trust of my fellow board members.”
“There is a unique opportunity before us to couple the strength of our brand as a visitor destination with responsible destination stewardship to accelerate Hawaiʻi’s progress toward a regenerative economy,” said Paishon Duarte. “We can only realize the full potential of this opportunity in partnership with the communities we serve. I’m excited to serve alongside my fellow board members and the HTA staff in this effort.”
Hawai‘i Tourism Authorityʻs Board of Directors is a policy-making entity comprised of 12 members who meet monthly to guide the agency’s work on behalf of the people of Hawaiʻi.