Tokioka to head OED

Citing a need to tend to “important affairs that need attention,” Vida Mossman announced her resignation as the director of the Kauai County Office of Economic Development.

Mossman joined the administration of Mayor Bryan Baptiste in November, initially assuming the role of the county’s director of community response. She then moved to the post she is now vacating.

Mossman’s resignation takes effect Friday, the mayor announced yesterday.

Beth Tokioka has been named as Mossman’s replacement. Tokioka is currently employed by the Transportation Security Administration, and was previously the public information officer in the administration of Mayor Maryanne Kusaka. Kusaka served as mayor under a two-term, four-year restriction, and left office last November.

Mossman said she decided to resign because of other important affairs that needed her attention.

“It has been truly an honor to have served on the mayor’s staff. However, at this time, I feel compelled to take care of more pressing matters on the home front,” Mossman said in a news release.

Mossman’s job partly called on her to identify and promote programs to help Kauai remain economically healthy and viable.

Mossman said she has plans to remain actively involved in the improvement of island communities. She indicated she would continue to volunteer some of her time to Baptiste’s Ka Leo O Kauai program.

Through community meetings tied to the program, county employees have solicited public comments to identify issues that are important to the community. Baptiste’s administration hopes to address and resolve them eventually.

“It’s been an exciting and challenging tenure with the county,” Mossman said. “I have especially enjoyed helping merge the county and the community to move forward.”

Mossman played an instrumental role in assisting with the Ka Leo O Kauai program, and her determination and perseverance will be missed, Mayor Baptiste said.

In her first county position as the director of community response, Mossman served as the county’s public information officer and oversaw a new program established by Baptiste that called on Mossman and her staff to listen to the community and to respond quicker to the needs of residents.

In naming Mossman to her first position with the county last November, Baptiste described Mossman “as the perfect person to lead this effort.”

Baptiste said he was “disappointed to see Mossman go, but indicated her successor will “step into the position with a smooth transition.”

Mossman has served as the public information officer for the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Mana for many years.

Mossman is a Kauai native, graduated from Waimea High School and attended Kauai Community College. The bulk of her experience in communications came from on-the-job-government training, county officials said.

In leaving the county job, Mossman wished Beth “all the best, and I know that she will do an excellent job.”

Tokioka, who assumes her new post July 1, said she was thankful to work “on behalf of Mayor Baptiste and get more closely involved with the community again.”

“I am really anxious to meet with the staff, meet with the business community and get started on the mayor’s vision,” Tokioka said.

Before Tokioka joined the county as a public information officer, she worked for eight years as the sales manager at the Westin Kauai.

She also served as an associate director of sales at the Hyatt Regency. As member of Kusaka’s staff, Tokioka participated in the Kauai Visitors Bureau marketing committee. She currently serves as a board member for the Visitor Aloha Society of Kauai.

Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681, Exte. 225 or mailto:lchang@pulitzer.net.

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