Gov. Ige’s UH Board of Regents nominees confirmed

The State Senate confirmed Gov. Ige’s appointments to the UH Board of Regents on April 30, 2015.

They are:

Simeon Acoba, Jr., Honolulu County, is currently serving on an interim basis and upon confirmation will serve through June 30, 2017. Acoba served on the Hawaii Supreme Court for 14 years.  Previously, he served as a judge at various levels for 20 years. He continues to be active in judicial organizations and has received many awards for his work. He received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Hawaii and earned his Juris Doctorate from the Northwestern School of Law.

Helen Nielsen, Maui County, is currently serving on an interim basis and upon confirmation will serve the remainder of her term which ends June 30, 2015. Nielson has a passion for community service and environmental sustainability. She was a founder of the Maui Coastal Land Trust and served on its board. Nielsen is co-owner/manager of commercial properties in Wailuku, Maui and Waimea, Hawaii. She studied business at Kingsborough Community College and Pace University, both in New York.

Wayne Higaki, Hawaii County, will serve through June 30, 2016 upon confirmation. Higaki is the chief development officer at North Hawaii Community Hospital, an affiliate of The Queen’s Health Systems. He is chair of Hawaii County’s Workforce Investment Board and a member of the Workforce Development Council for the State of Hawaii. He graduated from Honoka‘a High School and earned an associate of science degree at Kapiolani Community College.

David Iha, Kauai County, will serve upon confirmation through June 30, 1017. Iha has a long history of service to the University of Hawaii system and has been an outstanding leader at Kauai Community College. While there, he was part of the leadership team that designed and built a new campus, and in his 16-year tenure as provost, he expanded the curriculum and established exchange programs with educational institutions in Okinawa and mainland Japan. He served as the Executive Administrator and Secretary of the Board of Regents from 1998 until his retirement in 2006. He is a graduate of Kauai High School and received a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and a master’s degree from UH Manoa.

Ernest Wilson, Jr., Maui County, will serve from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2020 upon confirmation. Wilson is a seasoned executive with more than 50 years of experience in the fields of travel, hospitality, food service, military logistics, and higher education. In the civilian arena, he served in numerous positions for hospitality organizations including Holiday Inns, Embassy Suites, Sheraton Hotels, and Outrigger Hotels and Resorts. In the military, he achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel leading several large complex organizations. He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Cornell University (BS), Florida International University (MS), and California International Business University (Honorary Doctorate of Business).

Michael McEnerney, Honolulu County, will serve from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2020 upon confirmation. McEnerney is president of McEnerney Shimabakuro Okazaki & Fujita CPAs AAC. He holds a CPA certificate and is registered in Illinois and a CPA license/permit and certificate in Hawaii. He was awarded a BS degree at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a double major in accounting and business administration (finance); an MBA from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa; and a JD from Northwestern University.

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