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Governor’s Office – News Release – Governor Ige reappoints leaders at Commerce and Consumer Affairs and Public Safety

Posted on Dec 28, 2018 in Latest Department News, Office of the Governor Press Releases

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HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige announced today that he is reappointing the directors of the departments of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and Public Safety to serve in his second term.

“These leaders are dedicated to upholding fairness and justice. They have led their departments with integrity and instilled a sense of professionalism among the employees there. I know they will continue to implement reforms and increase efficiencies to better serve our communities,” said Gov. Ige.


Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA)

Catherine P. Awakuni Colón (Cat) will continue as the director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, a position she’s held since January 2015. Prior to this she was the cable administrator in the DCCA’s Cable Television Division and served as the department’s executive director for its Division of Consumer Advocacy from 2006 to 2009. She previously served as chief legal counsel and commission counsel for the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Awakuni Colón holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a J.D. from the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaiʻi.

“I am humbled by the governor’s confidence and look forward to continuing DCCA’s important responsibilities. I remain committed to protecting Hawaiʻi’s consumers and ensuring that businesses and individuals across the state are operating in a sound and fair manner,” said Awakuni Colón.

Colón’s appointment is subject to senate confirmation.

The deputy position at DCCA is appointed by the director, and Awakuni Colón has reappointed Jo Ann M. Uchida Takeuchi to be her deputy. This position is not subject to senate confirmation.

Jo Ann M. Uchida Takeuchi has been the deputy at DCCA since April 2012. Prior to this she served in various staff and leadership capacities at DCCA including as the complaints and enforcement officer with DCCA’s Regulated Industries Complaints Office, as the executive director of DCCA’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) and senior attorney to the OCP. Uchida Takeuchi earned B.A.s in English and political science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a J.D. from the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaiʻi.

“I am truly proud of the work we’ve done for Hawaiʻi and its residents in the nearly thirty years I’ve spent at DCCA. I look forward to continuing our work with stakeholders to promote sound consumer practices and maintain public confidence in our marketplace,” said Uchida Takeuchi.


Department of Public Safety (PSD)

Nolan Espinda will continue in his role as director, Department of Public Safety, a position he’s held for the past four years. Prior to his appointment as director, he spent 32 years in corrections, serving as Warden at the Waiawa Correctional Facility, the Halawa Correctional Facility and the Oʻahu Community Correctional Center. Espinda is a proud 1975 graduate of lolani School and holds a B. A. in political science from California State University at Chico.

“I consider myself privileged and honored to be nominated by Gov. Ige to continue to lead the important work of the Department of Public Safety. I look forward to working with our judicial, legislative and community partners towards making innovative and lasting criminal justice reforms for the people of Hawaiʻi,” said Espinda.

Espinda’s appointment is subject to senate confirmation.


Media Contact:

Cindy McMillan

Communications Director

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0012

Mobile: 808-265-7974

[email protected]