The Regents Candidate Advisory Council (RCAC) has presented a list of candidates to Governor Neil Abercrombie to fill three seats on the University of Hawaii Board of Regents for terms beginning July 1, 2013.
The outgoing regents whose terms will end on June 30, are Artemio Baxa (Maui County) and Barry Mizuno (Hawaii County). The third seat was formerly filled by Regent Michael Dahilig whose term would have ended June 30 but resigned Jan. 2, 2013.
The RCAC was created after the passage of the Hawaii Board of Regents Candidates Act, a 2006 legislatively‐referred constitutional amendment. Hawaii voters overwhelmingly cast their votes to require the governor to select Board of Regents candidates from a pool of qualified candidates screened and proposed by the RCAC.
Approximately seven years have lapsed since the passage of the constitutional amendment and the creation of the RCAC. All 15 members currently serving on the UH Board of Regents were selected by the governor from lists provided by the RCAC.
The RCAC selection process is completely transparent; all candidate lists are compiled only after the RCAC completes its comprehensive review and selection process, which is solely and exclusively merit‐based.
The triggering of the need for a list of regent candidates as well as the submittal of the Council candidate lists, strictly follow prescribed processes and procedures set forth in either state statutes or the Council’s administrative rules.
As part of the Council recruitment process, members actively solicited input from the following: Current and former university regents; university students, faculty, and administrators; government, business and community leaders; and the public.
These outreach efforts enhanced the council’s recruitment process and helped focus the search for candidates who possessed skills that further complement and increase board synergy and enhance the board’s governing abilities. The outreach also triggered the council’s highest applicant to vacancy ratio to date.
RCAC began this recruitment cycle during early fall 2012. Council members personally recruited candidates and contacted and encouraged government, business, and community leaders to nominate regent candidates. The council placed print advertisement and issued press releases encouraging regent candidates to apply.
All council members comprehensively and thoroughly reviewed each of the 21 applications received and considered the applicants’ educational background, experience, qualifications and complementing skill set that the applicant could add towards strengthening board governance and synergism.
Council members interviewed 14 candidates and had each candidate understand the extraordinary personal time commitment that is required when serving as a university regent.
Upon completion of the candidate interview process, the council commissioned extensive background and reference checks on its candidate finalists.
Having completed all of its screening processes, the RCAC finalized the following list of candidates from which Gov. Neil Abercrombie must select and the state Senate must confirm during the current legislative session.
The finalists for the three seats are:
Hawaii County Seat (Term to begin July 1, 2013)
* Barry T. Mizuno
* Roy A. Vitousek
Maui County Seat (Term to begin July 1, 2013)
* Eugene Bal III
* Artemio C. Baxa
* Georgia K. McMillen
At Large Seat (Term to begin immediately upon appointment on an interim basis until confirmed by Hawaii State Senate)
* John L. Fink
* Randolph A. Moore
* Eric A. Seitz
The council believes each finalist offers exceptional and complementing skills that will further strengthen board governance and synergy, serve as a tremendous resource for the university and its president, and help guide and focus the institution’s strategic directions in teaching, research, and community service.
The RCAC was created by Act 56 of the 2007 Session Laws of Hawaii in conformity with Article X, Section 6 of the Hawaii State Constitution and its members are selected by various community constituencies including the UH Alumni Association, the Emeritus Regents Association, the UH All Campus Council of Faculty Senate Chairs, the UH Student Caucus Executive Council, the state Senate, the state House of Representatives, and the governor.
The RCAC operates in a wholly nonpartisan manner.
The Board of Regents is the governing body of the University of Hawaii and consist of 15 members whose representation include seven from the City and County of Honolulu; two from the Hawaii County; two from the Maui County; one from the Kauai County; two At Large; and one University of Hawaii student.
Members of the Board of Regents as well as the RCAC serve voluntarily and are not paid.
Biographies of Big Isle candidates
Barry T. Mizuno
For 20 years, Barry T. Mizuno has been in the geothermal power business (Puna Geothermal Venture) and a private energy consultant. As the on-site manager representing the owners of the project, Mizuno oversaw the project at its infancy in 1992 through 2006, when PGV supplied 20 percent of the Big Island’s electricity needs.
Mizuno retired in 2006 to form BTM LLC, a private energy consulting firm and fully retired at the end of 2012.
Mizuno has also served as its the county’s finance director as well as managing director during the administration of two Big Island mayors.
As managing director under Mayor Lorraine Inouye, Mizuno managed and coordinated the activities of all county departments, except the prosecutor’s office. As finance director, he directed the preparation of the annual budget, oversaw the County’s Information Technology Division, Accounting, and Real Property Tax Division.
A CPA, Mizuno has resided on the Big Island since 1983 when he became the CFO, Treasurer and Controller for Hamakua Sugar Company, Inc., the largest, contiguous sugar plantation in Hawaii.
Mizuno previously resided on Oahu and was employed by TheoDavies and its subsidiaries in various accounting and management positions, as well as at Hawaiian Electric Company in internal audit.
Mizuno is currently serving on the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii, completing a short term appointment left vacant by resignation of the previous regent. He serves as chairman of the Planning and Facilities Committee, vice-chair of the Committee on University Audits, and a member of the Committee on Community Colleges and Budget and Finance Committee.
Mizuno is very active in the community and recently served as co-chair of Hospice of Hilo’s community capital campaign to construct a 12-bed in-patient facility to serve the Big Island community. The $10 million project is the only neighbor-island Hospice in-patient facility.
He has also been actively involved with the Mayor’s Healthcare Sustainability Taskforce and the Geothermal Energy Working Group.
He currently serves on the boards of the Hawaii Island Economic Development Board, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii (past president), and W. H. Shipman, Ltd. (director and vice-president).
Mizuno is the past chairman of the Hawaii County Salary Commission, and has served on the boards of Hawaii Island United Way, Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, and the High Technology Development Corp.
He is also active with his church, Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin. He is a past president of Hilo Betsuin and has served in various capacities at Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii.
Mizuno grew up on a sugar plantation on Kauai and graduated from Waimea High School. Through his formative years, his parents instilled upon him and his siblings on the importance of higher education as the avenue to improving their lives in the future.
With their meager wages as plantation workers, his parents insisted that each of their children would go to college. Mizuno earned a BA in Business Administration/Accounting from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash.
Mizuno has been married to his wife, Carolyn, for 41 years and have two grown daughters and three grandchildren.
Roy A. Vitousek III
Roy A Vitousek (Randy) is a resident of Waimea, and is the resident partner in the Big Island offices of Cades Schutte LLP.
Born in Honolulu, Vitousek attended Hanahauoli School and Punahou School then graduated from Hawaii Preparatory Academy in. He earned a BA in Psychology from Williams College in 1972, then returned to the Big Island and was employed by the Kona Village Resort.
Vitousek entered the first class of what became the William S. Richardson School of Law and graduated in 1976.
Upon graduation from law school, Vitousek served as a law clerk for Justice H. Baird Kidwell in the Hawaii Supreme Court then joined Cades Schutte Fleming & Wright in 1977. In 1987, he opened the firm’s Big Island offices.
Vitousek specializes in land use, litigation, employment and hospital law. He is licensed in all state and federal courts in Hawaii, the U. S. Supreme Court, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Vitousek has served as an adjunct and assistant professor at the William S.Richardson School of Law and has taught Hotel Law at the University of Hawaii School of Travel Industry Management.
He is a former president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Hawaii State Bar Association and the Hawaii Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He is a current member of the Board of Directors of Hawaii Preparatory Academy.
Vitousek is married to Dr. Sharon Vitousek and they have three children: Sean, Mike, and Malie. Sean and Mike have masters degrees from University of Hawaii at Manoa; Sean in Coastal Geology and Mike in Applied Archaeology.
All three children were college varsity athletes: Sean (volleyball, Princeton University), Mike (football, Bowdoin College), and Malie (water polo and swimming, Colorado College).