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Governor Ige makes leadership appointments at Agriculture Department and DBEDT

Posted on Jan 16, 2019 in Main

Department of Agriculture

Denise Albano (Resume) has been appointed chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture.

Albano has served as the Department of Agriculture’s water director since 2016, creating and improving water systems across state water agencies, using a collaborative approach to water usage in Hawai‘i.

Albano was president and co-founder of Feed the Hunger Foundation in San Francisco, California, where she created, developed and oversaw a public foundation that provides loans and grants to organizations internationally as well as domestically – in California and Hawai‘i.

In addition, Albano served as president at The Nature Conservancy Hawai‘i, where she also managed the Capital Campaign; executive director of the YMCA, Richmond district, San Francisco; executive director Project YES/Youth Uprising in Oakland, California; family support senior program officer for the San Francisco Children and Families Commission.


Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser (Resume) reappointed as deputy to the chairperson, a position she has held since 2015.

Shimabukuro-Geiser is a long-time agriculture advocate who was previously employed at Mikilua Poultry Farm, Inc. in Waianae, having served as vice president and administrative and fiscal assistant. She was also vice president at Associated Producers Corp. in Honolulu.






Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT)

Mike McCartney (Bio) has been appointed to serve as director of DBEDT. McCartney has been Gov. Ige’s chief of staff since December 2014.

McCartney is the past president and chief executive officer of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, the state’s tourism agency. Prior to serving in this role, he was the executive director of the Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association. He also served as the director of the Department of Human Resources Management and was president and CEO of PBS Hawaiʻi. He served in the Hawaiʻi State Senate for 10 years.


All three of these appointments are subject to senate confirmation.


Office of the Governor

Ford Fuchigami (Bio) has been reappointed to the position of Administrative Director in the Office of the Governor, a position he’s held since Nov. 2017.

Previously, he served as director, Department of Transportation (DOT). While at the DOT, he focused on maximizing existing infrastructure while prioritizing sustainability and making the state more energy efficient. He previously served as an executive in the hospitality industry.

Fuchigami’s appointment is not subject to Senate confirmation.