Maui Mayor-elect Richard Bissen announced a new round of appointments to his cabinet including:
- Victoria Hamilton Takayesu as Corporation Counsel;
- Rogerene “Kali” Arce as Director of Department of Agriculture;
- Mālama Minn as Director of Parks and Recreation; and
- Lori Tsuhako as Director of Housing and Human Concerns.
For over 20 years, Takayesu has worked at the State of Hawai`i’s Department of the Attorney General where she has led the Child Support Enforcement Branch on Maui. She previously had a private law practice and served in the County of Maui as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney before becoming a Deputy Corporation Counsel for the County. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the City College of the City University of New York and received her Juris Doctor from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York. Takayesu will lead a department responsible for the legal oversight of county operations. The department supports County government by providing legal advice and representation that promotes public interest and promotes the countywide strategic priorities.
Arce was appointed in July of 2022 as the director of the newly created County of Maui Department of Agriculture. She is a Molokaʻi resident who is a former executive deputy director for the Molokaʻi Land Trust and previously served as the acting chief and biological technician for Kalaupapa National Historical Park’s Natural Resources Department. Arce developed the successful Molokaʻi Hawaiian Homes New Farmer Program while on staff with the University of Hawai`i CTAHR and held leadership roles at Monsanto Molokaʻi where she garnered accolades for her efforts to develop the first Hawaiʻi business to be conservation certified. She is a Kamehameha Schools graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from University of Hawaiʻi Hilo and earned a Master of Science degree from Washington State University. She has worked for 30 years in the agriculture and conservation restoration industries.
Hāna native Minn has an extensive background in renewable energy projects and policy development. While at the State of Hawaiʻi’s Department of Land and Natural Resources she was involved in leading shoreline certifications for a division and addressing encroachment complaints received by the public and department staff. Her collaborative efforts as part of the State’s Energy Office helped to support bringing more renewable energy to Hawaiʻi. Minn received her Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi.
Tsuhako, who has served as director of the County of Maui’s Department of Housing and Human Concerns under two different County administrations has 36 years of experience as a professional social worker in the fields of child welfare, criminal justice, and substance abuse education and prevention, and homelessness. She was previously an administrator of the State of Hawaiʻi’s Homeless Programs Office and worked in the field of Aging. With decades of experience in implementing evidence-based and data-driven programs including efforts to improve the social safety net of communities, she will lead a department with services and programs that focus on early childhood, homelessness, immigrant services, seniors, housing, as well as oversight of the County’s Volunteer Center. Tsuhako is a licensed social worker in the State of Hawaiʻi and received certification from the national Academy of Certified Social Workers. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
“As we prepare to take the helm of the County, we must also prepare to tackle many critical issues that have been at the forefront for Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi. My team will have the benefit of their individual professional experiences, a fresh opportunity in a new administration, and clear leadership that I intend to give to my cabinet members. Public service isn’t for everyone, and I appreciate and applaud those that have a desire to serve and make a difference. I look forward to the contributions that Tori, Kali, Mālama and Lori will make as we move forward,” said Mayor-elect Bissen.