Okamototo managegolf course

LIHU’E — Mayor Maryanne Kusaka has hired Ed Okamoto, a golf course

management specialist from Japan who once lived on Kaua’i, to oversee the

operation of the Wailua Golf Course.

Okamoto will relocate to Kaua’i from

Japan, and is expected to start work in March. He will serve as the mayor’s

executive assistant, and will apparently replace Robert Murata, who retired as

superintendent of the Kaua’i golf course.

Since February 1998, Okamoto has

worked as superintendent of the Camp Zama Golf Course in Japan.

From 1990

to 1998, he held a management position with the Kaua’i Lagoons Resort

Company.

Okamoto has served as a member of the Hawai’i Golf Course

Superintendents Association and the Mayor’s Advisory Task Force to Wailua Golf

Course.

He is a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of

America.

Okamoto has extensive experience in the implementation and the

operation of golf course irrigation systems.

He will oversee the overhaul

of the Wailua Golf Course irrigation system, a job estimated to cost more than

$2 million.

“Ed is well-qualified to lead us in this area,” Kusaka

said.

While the county waits for Okamoto to move back to Kaua’i, Frank

Sullivan, an experienced golf course manager, will be hired on a temporary

basis to provide technical assistance in the first stages of the reconstruction

of the irrigation system, Kusaka said.

Sullivan is a former director of

golf at the Kaua’i Lagoons who oversaw the construction of the Grove Farm Golf

Course at Puakea.

For the Wailua Golf Course job, the county received 30

applications and resumés.

A five-member citizen panel interviewed

15 of the best-qualified candidates before Okamato was hired.

The panel

provided Kusaka with an evaluation of each candidate who was interviewed.

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