The following individuals recently launched a business, were appointed to a leadership position or honored for their work in the business community:
• Mele Brewer was recently honored at Employee of the Quarter by her fellow staff at Hale ‘Opio Kaua‘i Inc. in Lihu‘e, an agency that has provided therapeutic residential care for youth and in-community programs for Hawai‘i’s youth and their families for 33 years. Brewer works as both office assistant and recruiter for professional parents as part of the therapeutic foster home program.
“Mele has a sweet spirit, extreme kindness and boundless generosity in her work with youth and foster parents, bending over backwards to help people solve problems,” said Mary Navarro, Hale ‘Opio executive director.
• Al Hoffman was appointed senior vice president of corporate communications and public affairs for Hawaiian Airlines. In his new post, which he will assume May 1, Hoffman will be responsible for managing and coordinating all of the company’s corporate communications strategies and activities, including media relations and investor relations. He will also oversee internal employee communications, governmental and community relations.
“Al is a highly skilled communications professional with an impressive background in strategic thinking and execution,” said Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian. We will look to him to formulate and communicate, both internally and externally, our position on the important issues, opportunities and challenges in the rapidly changing world around us.”
Prior to joining Hawaiian, Hoffman had his own public relations practice, providing counsel to a number of Hawai‘i corporations, including Hawaiian. Before that he was president and principal of public relations firm Communications Pacific from 1997 to 2005. He had previously been vice president of corporate communications at Hill & Knowlton Hawaii. Before that Hoffman spent 20 years as part of the senior management team that helped KHON-TV become the No. 1 ranked TV station in Hawai‘i. Hoffman currently sits on the board of directors for PBS Hawaii, Diamond Head Theatre and Easter Seals Hawaii, and is a past president of the Hawaii Association of Broadcasters.
• Neeley Hughey joins Energy Industries as Hawai‘i operations manager. Hughey will oversee the execution of energy efficiency projects. Prior to joining the energy efficiency and renewable solutions company, Hughey severed as the Hawai‘i district manager for Starbucks Coffee Co., where she was responsible for the smooth operation of eight stores in her district. She was previously area manager for Vinottimo in Ramstein, Germany, overseeing the outside sales force and development of marketing campaigns. Prior to Vinottimo, Hughey was employed with Pier 1 Imports, where she rose through the ranks from store manager to divisional manager in a period of three years, directly responsible for the operations of 150 stores.
Hughey holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and speech communication from Stephen F. Austin State University and possesses a master’s of science in behavioral psychology from Southern Methodist University.