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.
to 1998, he held a management position with the Kaua’i Lagoons Resort
Okamoto has served as a member of the Hawai’i Golf Course
Superintendents Association and the Mayor’s Advisory Task Force to Wailua Golf
He is a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of
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
“Ed is well-qualified to lead us in this area,” Kusaka
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.
provided Kusaka with an evaluation of each candidate who was interviewed.